Michael Phillips

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For 1,806 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Waltz with Bashir
Lowest review score: 0 Sucker Punch
Score distribution:
1806 movie reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Made with the full cooperation of the Pentagon, Brothers at War makes the war on-screen seem eminently winnable, eminently noble. Rademacher's desire to prove himself to himself, and to his soldier brothers, may stir different reactions among different audience members. And that's as it should be.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The way director and co-adapter Armfield shoots it, the film's awfully pretty in its grimness, in the way "Leaving Las Vegas" managed to make train-wreck alcoholism more fake-lyrical than grungy.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Thing is, Levy is a hard-sell man. He pushes the material so hard, it's as if he were working on commission.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    By the time Watanabe encounters a holy senile fool in the forest, the film has foregone contemporary urban “King Lear” territory for something a lot closer to the Lifetime Channel.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Around the midpoint, Pineapple Express falls apart and keeps falling, and the comedy, spiced with considerable, unevenly effective violence in that first hour, goes out the window, and in comes all the gore and the bone-crunching.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Has its satisfactions, thanks mainly to a cast skillful enough to finesse what is effectively two films sharing the same screen.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At its best, this uneven work represents Moore at the peak of his argumentative skills.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At least there's Cage, who has become an astute voice actor, finding some odd, clever, energetic line readings consistently fresher than The Croods itself.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's big, brash and dramatically it goes in circles. The first two may be enough for most people, especially if they're into Formula One racing, to overlook the third.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This one's a margin Western. Frustratingly uneven, rarely dull.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is a paradox. It's ostentatiously restrained. You cannot say Corbijn lacks rigor. You can, however, say that when a talented director's approach too precisely mirrors the tightly calibrated performance strategy of his leading player, a movie risks stalling out completely.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This one's a step down from the original.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The second film lingers less determinedly on the degradation of Lisbeth and concentrates more on moving the narrative furniture around. The relationship between the main characters is the glue holding the balsa wood together.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The filmmaker's access was impressive, the results moderately entertaining.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Jim Carrey is good as Scrooge. There’s surprisingly little shtick in his performance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Bailed out by a few good jolts, Jurassic World gets by, barely, as a marauding-dinosaurs narrative designed for a more jaded audience than the one "Jurassic Park" conquered back in 1993.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Unlike a few other well-drilled young actress-singers we could name, such as the one whose name rhymes with "Riley Myrus," Gomez knows how to relax on camera.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's something off in its scenes of Arterton's romantically unlucky loner showing up at Arthur's home, in the rain, distraught. If the movie weren't so determined to placate, you'd think you're in for a daring exploration of an affair between a 30-something emotional cripple and a 70-something sexy beast, unchained at last.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Role Models wouldn't be anything without Mintz-Plasse, whose character occasions what may be the cinema's first really funny Marvin Hamlisch joke, and whose camera presence is at once unfailingly modest and distinctive.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a very small film, undermined by a puttering rhythm and Pinter-worthy pauses in the second half and a resolution neither satisfyingly oblique nor conventionally pleasing.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The script is half-a-fortune at best, and visually the picture is staid. But you stick with it, because it's Williams and because certainly no one since Williams has written this sort of embroidered dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Zoo
    To what degree does Zoo test our limits of tolerance? In the end, not much, which is why Devor's strange, carefully composed objet d'art is a limited achievement.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wysocki is a genuine talent, as is Jacobs, but the subject of Terri remains a pleasant blur.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Butler tells a lot of different stories, some more effectively than others.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie, a formidable technical and design achievement, has everything going for it except a sense of Jobs' inner life.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie version of that life, directed by Richard J. Lewis, gives the adaptation an earnest go. But the script lacks juice.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is: a story of one woman overcoming low expectations. Gugino and Burstyn and the young performers playing the young players do likewise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a reasonably efficient baby sitter, done up in 3-D computer-generated animation of no special distinction. But the first one's weird mixture of James Bond bombast and hyperactive pill-shaped Minions (the protagonist Gru's goggle-clad helpers) had the element of surprise in its favor.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    100 percent right about our corrupt and hypocritical industry-controlled movie ratings system. Being right, however, doesn't automatically make for a strong documentary. I enjoyed a lot of it. Yet fully half of what's on screen is beside its own point.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The result is a brisk trot through a story that is, at heart, a tough slog.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A handful of films, from "The Battle of Algiers" to Paul Greengrass' splendid "Bloody Sunday," have met the challenge of dramatizing civil unrest and law enforcement outrages, memorably. Detroit comes close.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Cabin in the Woods is pure mechanics, as if the shadowy Dharma Initiative of "Lost" switched agents and found itself at the center of a brain-bending ensemble drama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The way Moncrieff has structured The Dead Girl, it's catnip for actors: Divided into five chapters, the script affords juicy roles requiring only a few days' work from each member of its impressive ensemble.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A grandly kitschy rendering of Genghis Khan's early years.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Rates as more determinedly heartfelt than the first and not as witty as the second (and best). Also, no Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart in jodhpurs this time around.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cameo appearances by everyone from James Franco (as Hugh Hefner, putting the moves on Lovelace at her own premiere) to Hank Azaria (as a film "investor") dot the grimy landscape.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Whitaker's performance is the rock here. Even when the confrontations and evasions get a little ridiculous, he's neither wholly saint nor sinner, but something like a human being.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Going in Style stays in the safe zone every second, nervous about risking any audience discomfort, as opposed to Brest's quietly nervy ode to old age and its discontents. Times change.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Lofing and Cluff certainly know the found-footage ropes, and the tropes; we'll see if their next project reveals a little more imagination.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Parts of The Birth of a Nation are bluntly effective and beautifully acted, though one of the drawbacks, ironically, is Parker's own performance. Even the rape victims of the screenplay have a hard time getting their fair share of the screen time; everything in the story, by design, keeps the focus and the anguished close-ups strictly on Parker.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Still, the deadliest single element in this film can be traced not to Bacon's character, but to composer Henry Jackson, whose music seems determined to kill us all with waves of dramatic nothingness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The new film seems a little nervous about the religious content; it's more interested in the swoony bits between Charles and Julia.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I wish the movie were messier, more surprising. But as with most of what we see, made on small budgets and large: The performances are not the problem.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Rough Night is good one minute, weak or stilted or wince-y the next, though even with seriously uneven pacing and inventiveness it's a somewhat better low comedy than "Snatched" or "Bad Moms," or (here's where I part company with the world) the "Hangover" pictures. Yes, even the first one.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Raid is maniacal in its pacing and assault tactics. It's also, absurdly, rated R. Fantastic. I love that a film this gory secured the same Motion Picture Association of America rating as "The King's Speech."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Each time a character gets tossed in the air by some manifestation or another, the effect is cheesy. Still, I've seen worse. For the record, the violence in Annabelle is far less copious and sadistic than the stuff in the Denzel Washington movie everybody's going to.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Eragon is a bit cheesy, but I rather liked it. It's sincere cheese... The special effects -- which include glowing-eyed heroes and villains, and flights over the mythical land of Alagaesia depicted in "dragon vision" -- are refreshing in their slightly out-of-date air.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Snyder films the violence in Man of Steel the way he films most of the rest of the picture: Like a man chasing tornadoes and not even trying to keep subjects in frame. It's a choice, and not a bad one, necessarily — the Smallville farm scenes, in particular, respond well to the approach — but by the end it's a visually limiting one.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Dermot Mulroney takes the largest male role, that of the driven ex-soccer star and patriarch of the onscreen family. From certain angles he looks like a Shue too.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film, which really is sloppy, slips around in terms of tone and goes every which way.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When the songs themselves take center stage the movie works. What remains in the wings constitutes another, fuller story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cassavetes, who wrote the script, proves her skill with actors in this woozy push-and-pull of slurred compliments and shaky hopes for whatever lies beyond the next day.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    How you respond to the totality of Exodus: Gods and Kings will, I suspect, relate directly to how you responded to Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood" from 2010. Square, a little heavy on its feet, much of that film held me, even when its bigness trumped its goodness. Same with this one.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Draft Day feels like a play, and I don't mean a football play. It feels like a play-play at its sporadic best, in the same way J.C. Chandor's 2011 "Margin Call" felt that way.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results are corny beyond measure. Yet there's something sweet about them, in part because there's something sweet about hearing the line "Congratulations! Why didn't you tell me you pledged?" outside the realm of comedy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For a good hour, this is the picture Kevin Smith was trying to make with "Cop Out."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wilson does amusingly steely work, while Page goes bonkers, giving her gleeful nut job one of the more memorable horselaughs in recent American film history.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The material, limited payoff; the performer at the center, never less than arresting.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Now comes The Dark Knight Rises, which makes "The Dark Knight" look like "Dora the Explorer" and is more of a 164-minute anxiety disorder than a movie.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film doesn’t hold together. But it’s the work of a real director, however fantastic his sensibility.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Mother of Tears can't rival the David Lynchian otherworldliness of "Suspiria," but at least you know you're in the hands of a director.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Provides some compensatory satisfactions, thanks mostly to the actors, as they make the most of a series of pencil sketches.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I like it up to a point — not a specific story point, but to a certain degree throughout. It's engaging but thin, and I couldn't buy screenwriter Brice's idea of Charlotte's antidote for her 10-year itch.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Many will find Apollo 18 silly and derivative. It is. Yet it's also a break from the usual hyperbolic, down-your-throat brand of silly and derivative scare movies.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There isn't a sophisticated or "adult" perspective to be found in The Rum Diary.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The stakes are high and the excitement's there and the results, as previously stated, are messy but fairly entertaining.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I wish it were truly special instead of an interesting near-miss.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is ALL revenge, all the time
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Watching bear cubs and walrus pups struggling to survive against increasingly tough odds, and on ever-slushier ice shelves, has both its shamelessly manipulative side and its dramatically necessary side, as handled here. This proves one thing: Unlike global warming, some stories really do have two sides.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Armstrong Lie gets going, and gets pretty good, when Gibney is able to focus on the 2009 Tour de France itself, a race fraught with old rivalries and backstage dramas. It's the movie he set out to make in the beginning, after all. But getting there is tough going.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Then there's screenwriter Steve Conrad. He's interesting. He likes his protagonists to suffer a little en route to finding a better place, and not in the usual sitcomic ways.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Schoenaerts is often affecting and just as often scarily intense. The film's intensity, by contrast, beams on and off.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Originally titled "Orchestra Seats," Montaigne takes a page from the "Amelie" playbook, without the fancy visuals or magical realism.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Anonymous is ridiculous, and like Oliver Stone's "JFK" it sells its political conspiracy theories by weight and by volume. But dull, it's not.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Glib and charming in roughly equal measure.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The result is a Jewish “Death Wish,” to borrow Pauline Kael’s description of “Marathon Man,” amped up to epoch-changing proportions, made by a gentile writer-director with an unlimited appetite for celluloid, right down to its highly flammable properties.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This script bumps along, good ideas jostling with weak, derivative ones, and Seftel doesn't seem to know which way he wants to handle the material. Also, with Cusack playing yet another soul-fried wiseacre running on emotional autopilot, the piece doesn't have much of an engine.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The drawback of the film's visual approach, however, is a considerable one. The relentless first-person shooting in End of Watch - figurative and literal - is less about YouTube factuality than it is about Xbox gaming reconfigured for the movies.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I like a lot of the film despite its drawbacks; its violence isn't rote or numbing, and there's a simplicity and elegance to the digital-countdown effect.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The cast is enjoyable, with Jason Segel (as Gulliver's lil' pal, Horatio) and Emily Blunt (the local princess) a witty cut above for this sort of thing.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film moves along, in its paradoxically static way, at a pretty fair clip. I look forward to Green's follow-up.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There are times when the facile flimsiness of Hello I Must Be Going threatens to float right off the screen. But Lynskey has her ways of surprising us, even when nothing in the script itself is doing so.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors are more or less saving this franchise's bacon. Insurgent is a tick or two livelier than the first one.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's an up-and-down movie, honest one minute and a fraud the next, but you stick with it mainly because of Hahn.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Entertaining as much of Avengers 2 is, especially when it's just hanging out with the gang in between scuffles (the "Guardians of the Galaxy" lesson, learned), Whedon’s picture meets expectations without exceeding them.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The title of The Hunting Party doesn’t evoke much in particular. “War Correspondents Gone WILD!” would be more like it if the film itself--messy, but fairly stimulating--had more of the scamp in its soul.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wasikowska is a fine, intriguing actress, though I'm not sure anyone could make actual psychological sense of this woman. Nobody on screen — not Kidman, not Goode, not Wasikowska, not Jacki Weaver as Auntie Gin — seems entirely at home in the chosen (or guessed-at) style.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    So how's this "Thor" sequel? It's fairly entertaining. Same old threats of galaxy annihilation, spiced with fish-out-of-water jokes.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Until a leaden third act, it IS reasonably entertaining.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    9
    Something has gone slightly awry, however, en route from the 11-minute film to the 79-minute edition of 9.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Modest and good-looking, the film starts as dark comedy and ends in pathos. Director Alvarez makes the Oregon scenery a character unto itself.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best thing in Diggers, besides the close-up of the back end of the Vista Cruiser, is the interplay between Rudd and Tierney. They really do seem like brother and sister, adults yet not entirely grown up.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie slam-jams its overpacked story in a frenetic, needlessly complicated manner. It lacks for nothing in setting and atmosphere but comes up short where it counts: the characters.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The climax of Transformers contains all that is proficient and slick and all that is drecky and soulless in Bay's work.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film is reasonably effective all the same, though Affleck has yet to learn how to conduct each scene like a musical score, paying attention to matters of tempo and dynamics.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A Little Help settles for familiar and modest payoffs. It's not much. Yet Fischer clearly relishes the chance to play someone who's a demurely reckless mess.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    An estimated 4 million Latinas leave one or more children behind when they travel north to find work. They deserve a more nuanced film, but this one’s often affecting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For some reason I was under the impression Jim Carrey already made his penguin movie. Doesn't it seem like it?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's pleasant as far as it goes. For all the blithe interaction among the central three performers, however, the material's conventional and predictable.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Timberlake is not afraid to make himself look like an idiot. He is, in fact, already the comic actor Diaz may yet become: a looker who knows how to use his looks to get away with murder.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Vow is agreeable enough. It may be puddin'-headed but it's not soul-crushing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    As a performance vehicle The Drop does the job. As a story, and an uncertainly padded script, the movie lurches and lets us get out ahead of its developments.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It displays a growing sense of fluidity and craft [from Apatow]. ... But much of the script feels oddly dishonest and dodgy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    And it's too bad The Skeleton Twins settles for tidy, slightly hollow narrative developments. The performers are ready to rip. For many they'll be enough.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors do a lot to dimensionalize the material. Parker's Chavis is especially sharp, creating a man with a subtly burning fuse.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's quite thin, but at least Black Rock plays its "kills" for more than stupid gamer's diversions.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The sequel's not bad; it's not slovenly. Some of the jolts are effectively staged and filmed, and Wan is getting better and better at figuring out what to do with the camera, and maneuvering actors within a shot for maximum suspense, while letting his design collaborators do the rest. But Leigh Whannell's script is a bit of a jumble.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    McQuarrie... is a real writer; his banter has snap and bite. His directorial skills are still catching up with his writing skills; the movie loses steam in the final half-hour.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Foster's direction, aided by cinematographer Matthew Libatique's sharp, clean light, is the most fluid and well-considered of her career. The script is an asset, too. Until it becomes a mixed-bag liability.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie ends up being just sharp enough at its peaks to be frustrating in its valleys. But the laughs are there.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Take the theatrical flourish away from this story, however, and the story's thinness becomes apparent.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Favreau's masterly light touch as an actor hasn't yet translated to a similarly deft offhandedness behind the camera. The movie, slick and shallow, is fairly entertaining anyway.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The interviews are often revealing and funny. And much of the music is tremendous.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This is digital fake-ism all the way. Audiences bought it the first time; they're likely to buy it a second time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a relief — even though the movie isn't much — to see Danner in a leading role on screen again.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The picture, intelligent but mild, has more of a 10-volt hum than a true spark.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At its best, Seasons shakes off its predecessors and captures the simple, grand ideas it's after purely visually.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Pap, but easygoing pap with a cast you can live with for a couple of hours.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cafe Society is a good-looking nothing, but there are times — thanks more to Allen's direction than his writing, and thanks mostly to the people acting out the masquerade — when "nothing" is sufficient.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors are strong, however, and Banks in particular shows some skill and wiles in keeping her rascally stepmother stereotype lively.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Director Espinosa shoots virtually everything in tight but wobbly close-up, and the human and vehicular combat often brakes right at the edge of visual incoherence. Just as often the brakes give out completely.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    127 Hours never calms down. You suspect you're only getting half the truth of what this ordeal must've been like.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a better-than-average gay relationship film, largely because neither plot mechanics nor the same old camp intrude much.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's fairly absorbing though, increasingly, a bit of an eye-roller, and it's designed, photographed and edited to make you itchy with paranoia.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I admired the craft more than I loved the results. But The Tales of Despereaux is still better-than-average animation.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I prefer [HBO's Hitchcock biopic] "The Girl," not because of its salaciousness but because it gets at something underneath the great (truly, great) director's skin.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Youth in Revolt isn't bad -- the cast is too good for it to be bad.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's not as good as its cast, but The Way, Way Back has its moments.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    By accident or design the film is seriously unbalanced.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Many will forgive all the contrivances and a muted ending that doesn't quite come off. It is, after all, a submarine picture.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results go only so far. Yet already Ferrell has come a long way as a seriocomic screen presence.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It is a film of many ploooooches, meaning: stake in the chest? Ploooooch goes the sound effect. Yank it out again: ploooooch. Wipe. Rinse. Repeat.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even if the film should be retitled "For a Fairly Good Time, Call ..." at least we're not back on the couch with another variation on the same old group of arrested-development young adult males, hanging on to their adolescence with as much determination as their marijuana intake allows.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It’s absorbing. The world came perilously close to losing so many Rembrandts, so many Klimts. The cultural casualties, near and actual, may be dwarfed by the millions slaughtered in the same churn of history. But we are what we create, and when emblems of a civilization are reduced to pawns of wartime, there is no victor.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Vol. II turns into a battle (like most von Trier films) between the filmmaker's baser instincts and his searching ones.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Where Surf's Up falls down is in its central relationships. (A few more jokes wouldn't have hurt either).
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film is likable. Its messages, many of them Lord-oriented, are all equally heartfelt.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Olsen is pretty good, too, though with her bald-faced, moon-eyed disdain for everyone around her, the material loses some of its tension between repressed surface and roiling underbelly.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Lego Batman Movie offers more mayhem and less funny.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For all the splurch and head-lopping, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is monotonal. It turns its action sequences into a noisy blur.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    In its way Campion’s film is a thing of beauty, but its characters’ inner lives must be taken on faith.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Maudie works valiantly, and not entirely convincingly, to suggest a happy-ish marriage, all things considered.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    LUV
    An uneven but strongly acted debut feature from co-writer and director Sheldon Candis.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For an hour The Rite, as scripted by Michael Petroni, delivers the expected, but with panache.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Levine has a strong instinct as a packager of moments, ladling on the alt-rock just so before ladling on another ladle's worth.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's not without its payoffs; I enjoyed a lot of it. But overall last year's "Avengers" delivered the bombastic goods more efficiently than this year's Marvel.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors — including Patton as Bobby's DEA colleague and sometime fling — cannot act what is not there. But with Washington, Wahlberg, Olmos and Paxton around jockeying for dominance, the standoffs have their moments.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's junk, and it's excessively violent, which is a given. Approach it as a Stallone movie (which it is) or as a Hill movie (which it is), but it's more interesting as a Hill movie. If it gets this director back into the hard-driving action game, then it will have done its duty.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Won't change your world, but it's attractive and Smith the Elder, lowering his voice to subterranean James Earl Jones levels, delivers a shrewd minimalist performance. His son may get there yet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The tone of "Hail, Caesar!" is even and assured, yet the comic inspiration is sporadic.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie's far from dull. But first-time feature director Tim Miller's film serves as critique as well an example of what ails the superhero movie industry.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Roughly half the scenes are terrible, nervously edited and predictable. The other half transcend the innate shrugginess of the script. At the end there's a dose of voice-over narration assigned to Johnson that is so, so very Carrie Bradshaw, you half-expect Sarah Jessica Parker to show up with a lawsuit.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results are visually exacting if ideologically muddled. Biller's trying to find ways to make the old misogyny usefully ironic. But the acting is so amateurish, partly by accident and partly by design, that the film remains confined to an exercise in replicative style.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Noisy, unsubtle, but it gets the job done.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    With an uneven and overstuffed script you appreciate the corner-of-the-mouth comments as delivered by Steve Buscemi.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The superfast running effects, with Edward dashing up mountains, or rival, evil vampires swooping here and there at amazing speed, look genuinely cheesy, like the guy running the race in the smart-phone ad. I'm surprised Hardwicke and her colleagues couldn't solve this one more effectively. Set pieces such as a vampire baseball game fall flat as well.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed seeing Joss Ackland as well. The veteran character actor with the world’s lowest voice plays the diamond company chairman, and when he rumbles out orders, it’s like Sensurround never left us.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For an hour or so, aided by the autumnal glow of Ben Seresin's cinematography, director Hughes maintains a firm handle on the story's turnabouts. Then the script goes a little nuts with coincidence and improbability.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Extracting three generously proportioned films from Tolkien's books made sense. But turning the relatively slim 1937 volume 'The Hobbit' into a trilogy, peddling seven or eight hours of cine-mythology, suggests a better deal for the producers than for audiences.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film version stars a wonderful Swedish-Icelandic actress named Noomi Rapace as the hacker and Michael Nyqvist as the reporter. They are excellent and subtle and honest.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Wall may be fictional, but at its occasional, patient best it feels truthfully scary.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At its most frantic the cutting and staging here veers perilously close to Baz Luhrmann "Moulin Rouge!" territory for comfort. ... I'd rather have seen Wright's carefully elaborated production on a stage, instead of in a movie partly on a stage.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The music's the best thing ... But it isn't enough to lift this middlebrow, middleweight and middling project ... above its misjudgments and limitations.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Veber's early stage training serves him well both as an adapter (he wrote the "La Cage aux Folles" screenplay) and as a maker of originals though, truth be told, The Valet isn't especially original.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The easiest thing you can say about Silence is that it's a labor of love, made by a valiant soldier for his chosen storytelling medium.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When you see and hear so many fans of so many backgrounds expounding on what "Firework" means to them, you realize that while a song may or may not be for you, it most certainly is for others.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie shoves McCarthy and Sarandon in a car together quickly, without much in the way of expository set-up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even though the film shows very little of the rough stuff, it's still fairly traumatizing. By the end you may feel like seeing a documentary about a more fair-minded and evenhanded treatment of a society's citizens.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Is it fun? Parts, yes, and many will get exactly what they wanted from The Nice Guys.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Jersey Boys the movie is a different, more sedate animal than "Jersey Boys" the Broadway musical.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie doesn't really work, but it's fascinating in the ways it doesn't. Then again, I enjoyed the spacey insanity of the Wachowskis' "Speed Racer," which they didn't even like in Asia.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I love Pete Postlethwaite as a rule, but here - as a murderous florist who pulls all the strings - he overacts his key scene so badly it's as if he did it on a dare. Also, Jon Hamm may rule on "Mad Men," but here he's stuck as a rather dimwitted FBI agent who's two beats behind the action, always.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Elegy is a curious example of misplaced good taste.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is hit-and-miss in an unusually clear-cut way. It's funny for 45-50 minutes. Then it's strained and abrasive and entirely too devoted to action-movie tropes for 45-50 minutes, minus end credits. I can recommend the first half.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wobbles between its comic and dramatic concerns; even those who buy the film more wholeheartedly than I might consider the overall tone uncertain.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Much of this wordplay is clever, though there’s something off with the plotting.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even when the film's cheating, Firth refuses to tidy up the fictionalized Lomax's emotional state. The actor, so good at playing stalwart men contending with inner demons, can utter a simple line — "I don't think I can be put back together" — and break your heart, legitimately, without histrionics.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A movie like this can handle a large character roster, but it helps if the story retains clean lines and a sense of propulsion. Iron Man 2 sags and wanders in its midsection
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I wish Learning to Drive imagined a fuller, more dimensional inner life for Wendy, but Clarkson develops a push-pull rapport with Kingsley that fills in the blanks — or, rather, mitigates the script's on-the-nose tendencies.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A fairly good, extremely grueling movie as far as it goes — tracks the true-life fortunes of a battered group of climbers to the highest place on Earth. Yet somehow it doesn't go far enough.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A handful of revisions, tweaks and adjustments, along with a musical score less bombastically grandiose, might've made this a film to remember.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This weird marriage of indie earnestness and matter-of-fact fantasy gives Colossal its moderately engaging distinction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The tunes are so good, you can’t believe the film itself doesn’t amount to more, especially with the rightness of the casting. Still, a few laughs are better than none.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Someday, if we’re all good little boys and girls, the world will hand us a Dr. Seuss film half as wonderful as one of the books. Meantime we have the competent, clinical computer animation and relative inoffensiveness of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! to pass the time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A fairly entertaining gloss of a docudrama elevated by its cast.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's a delayed-secret hitch in the narrative that hijacks the movie, for better or worse. You don't have to believe any of it to enjoy a lot of it, however.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Outlandish weddings aren't much of a satiric target, but Confetti isn't really going for satire; mild-mannered japes are more its style.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This is the story of a complicated and fraught friendship, and I'm not sure Wright and his collaborators figured out how much Hollywood baloney and how much naturalistic grunge to apply to it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Bird has serious promise outside the animation realm; in "Ghost Protocol" he errs, I think, by shoving the camera too close to the bodies in the frame, so that the momentum and spatial relationships become awfully hard to parse.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If you have any curiosity at all about how a fellow like George Hamilton became a fellow like George Hamilton, My One and Only answers the question by looking, fondly, at his primary caregiver.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Director Jodie Foster's film reasserts the feverish, defiant, often gripping talent of actor Mel Gibson.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I just wish Cronenberg hadn't adapted the book on his own. Behind the camera, he does remarkable things, turning Packer's limo into what Cronenberg himself has described as an upscale version of "Das Boot." But the playlets constituting the whole are thick, stubbornly undramatic affairs; the verbiage is lumpy, self-conscious.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Hunger Games has completed its tasks well and met fan expectations.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a scramble, marked by the unruly variety of visual strategies Lee prefers.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Does it succeed? Sort of. It helps if you don't mind your boxing movies made up of massive granite chunks of previous boxing movies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The acting is its chief strength. Russell Crowe brings a cocky charisma to Ben Wade.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    His (Schwimmer) film deserves some attention for the remarkable performance from Liana Liberato as Annie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Uber-raunchy but pretty interesting as sex comedies go.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Moliere transforms into a fuller piece whenever Morante takes center stage.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    That first hour is big, and imposing. The rest grows smaller, with the script's self-conscious deeper meanings either layered on top, like pelts, or — more successfully — left to Luzbeki's meticulous images of a sun-dappled 19th century Eden now home to one too many Wal-Mart stores.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If a film can essentially succeed while also remaining essentially frustrating, here's a prime example.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Gets by for many of the same reasons "Date Night" got by, all of them performance-related.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wildly uneven.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    While its globe-trotting itinerary recalls the mad whirl of a "Bourne" picture, nothing about this film's style resembles the second or third "Bourne" outings (which I loved).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    300
    This is a mixed blessing. For a story replete with open-air combat 300 is strangely claustrophobic. And for a film with lotsa flesh and even more blood, it's light on flesh-and-blood characters.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    See the movie, flaws and all, simply to see where you stand in this digital river that runs through all our lives, connecting and isolating us in ways we're barely able to comprehend.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It’s uneven and, in many instances, avoidably cheesy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film is a clever if increasingly mechanical suspense contraption, yanking our sympathies this way and that, before turning into a different sort of movie entirely.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's more or less a grown-up picture, and not bad at that, though its muted and patient style has both its merits and its drawbacks. Still, as I say: not bad.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Such stalwarts as Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Toby Jones and Dominic Cooper spice things up as characters of various degrees of familiarity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a fairly entertaining bash, with a travelogue vibe established by director Larry Charles ("Borat"). It’s also smug as all hell.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Crushingly realistic one minute and melodramatically hokey the next.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Doesn't quite work but is worth seeing anyway.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    42
    Treats its now-mythic Brooklyn Dodger with respect, reverence and love. But who's in there, underneath the mythology?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For a while, Trance had me guessing, and more or less hooked. Then the violence, motivations, double-crosses and fantasy/reality tangles became tedious.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Vera, as written and as acted, remains a sympathetic and watchful conduit, a peg, rather than a vividly realized engine. We see everything she endures, and all she sacrifices. Yet we are not left with lingering impressions beyond the facts of a fascinating life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Though stylistically all over the place, it's not without interest.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film works best when widening its focus to include the Federal Communications Commission's often baffling and hypocritical stances regarding what's OK to say, or show, on TV and radio, and what isn't.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    You want big wows with this sort of entertainment, and the wows here are medium.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Once it gets going and commits to its time-worn inspirational formula, it's not half-bad.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie struggles to turn the story into a paradoxical easygoing thriller, befitting the age bracket of its key ensemble members.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a maddeningly uneven picture, with an action climax staged and executed with the air of a contractual agreement.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    All four stories are worthwhile, though together they’re an awful lot for one modest doc to cover. Yu’s integration of cinematic and theatrical elements is uneven, and a bit stiff.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There is a good movie to be made about someone like Brandon, especially with someone like Fassbender, a performer of exceptional technical facility and a fascinating sense of reserve. McQueen's isn't quite it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The way it's shot and cut, it plays like a parody of a car commercial shot in the style of a Bond film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is slick, predictable and, thanks mainly to Washington's canny underplaying, fairly diverting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Nice. The film itself is more nice than good, but nice isn't the worst trait.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is shot and edited like a two-hour trailer for itself. As such, it's not hard to take, but you do tend to wonder when the film itself is going to start.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors make up for the relative thinness of the material. Smith navigates the emotional terrain with great skill. The script is often funny but just as often cutesy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Moderately funny though immoderately derivative.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The CGI is relentless and what you might call reverse-magical: The more we're hit with stuff, the less wondrous it becomes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Every time you start resisting, somehow the film makes the sale, again.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A scenic, well-behaved account of Potter's life and times.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    With this script, Allen isn't working in farce mode. It's more an easygoing nod to W. Somerset Maugham or, in the plot's "Pygmalion"-like relationship between a cynical older man and his desired younger female charge, George Bernard Shaw.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film wages an internal battle between its ripely sensual atmosphere and its often stilted pacing and plotting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best of Dolphin Tale takes it easy. Led by Connick and Judd, plus the crucially empathetic Gamble and Zuehlsdorff, the cast includes Kris Kristofferson as the seafaring old salt of a grandpa. The acting has a nice, low-pressure vibe, in contrast to the film's high-pressure peril.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Ross' smooth, steady film is just interesting enough to make you wish it were a lot grittier, and better.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wahlberg has the presence, the glower and the laconic line readings to guide us through a mess of pain, painlessly.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie begins with a tragedy and eases into a more interesting blend of drama and comedy than we've gotten in this genre lately.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Overstuffed, formulaic but very easy to take.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's pretty good about saying why so much in the culture encourages a political life in the closet, either tacitly or directly. But even The Advocate had a problem with calling it a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    But by not "saying" ANYTHING about the lives behind all the lovely, easygoing footage of infants making their way to their first steps and beyond, Babies feels a tad dodgy (and repetitive) by the hour mark.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Since I sort of liked “Step Up 2: The Streets,” I’m not surprised I sort of liked the remake of Fame.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Rescue Dawn is Herzog's first English-language screenplay, and this is part of its problem: The hushed conversations between prisoners sound only fitfully idiomatic. Also--crucially--Herzog can't find a way to make his own big finish feel authentic, even if things did happen roughly this way.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The surprise, if there is a surprise here, is that the film has found a slyly humorous tone for much of the running time.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Last Chance Harvey is what it is: a pleasant put-up job, held up by world-class pros.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Date Night is a product substantially inferior to the material routinely finessed by Carell and Fey, on their respective hit shows, into comic gold.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The comedy works some of the time; the pathos, more so. There's an undertow of grief in 2 Days in New York relating to the passing of Marion's (and Delpy's) mother, who died in 2009.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film is easy to take, though it must be said: It's almost 100 percent blather.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    As a series of sights, which movies like these are, Oz the Great and Powerful is more like "Oz the Digital and Relentless." Certainly this is true in its final half-hour, which seemed to me to be all explosions.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A thickly plotted disappointment, yet it has three or four big sequences proving that director Michael Mann, who gave us "Thief," "Heat," "Collateral" and others, has lost none of his instincts for how to choreograph, photograph and edit screen violence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The most interesting thing about this slick but frustrating picture is the way it puts Crowe’s Hoffman at the center of our mixed feelings.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    With Hands of Stone, Robert De Niro officially enters his Burgess Meredith-in-"Rocky" phase, bringing the ringside grizzle and rumpled gravitas by the pound.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's gut-grinding, to be sure. But a misjudged degree of cinematic dazzle obscures the outrages at the core of Standard Operating Procedure.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    In a rom-com, there's no rom without the com. Hart and Hall give it their all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best material in the film is the loosest, capturing the perpetually insecure and overcompensating Pineda in his early concerts, leaping, bouncing, careening around as if every moment in every song were an audition for the next moment in the next song.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's a tremendous amount of material here, and the script covers too much of it, often confusingly.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results are pretty, and sometimes beautiful. They're also a tad stiff, and the dialogue and voice-over narration sometimes has the ring of a scrupulously faithful adaptation.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's sort of fun, certainly more so than the "National Treasure" pictures, as well as less manic (a little less) than the recent "Mummy" films.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I cannot say how I'd feel about The Walk if I'd never seen "Man on Wire," because I did see "Man on Wire," and I can't un-see it. I love it. I can only say The Walk struck me as an honorable good try of an also-ran, though with some lovely things to offer.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When the story’s twist arrives, you half-expect Twohy to throw in a couple of reels from "Dead Again," plus outtakes from "The Usual Suspects." It’s a lulu; I'm just not sure if it's the sort of lulu that will lead to great word-of-mouth.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Still, it's pretty rich watching Rogen puke all over a Christmas Eve Mass in front of his in-laws.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Maybe if I liked the first "Anchorman" a little less, I'd like Anchorman 2 a little more. Still, I laughed.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The action beats are so relentless, no sooner does one chase end than another begins.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The first-person remembrances hit you where you live, while everything else (including a bland musical score by John Piscitello) often creates the opposite of the intended effect: It keeps you at arm's length from an extraordinary story.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's too bad Spurlock settles for so little here, beyond the surface gag.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cohen at his best is both brazen and sly. As is The Dictator.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Larsson's leading characters have less to do in this wrap-up chapter. As Larsson wrote it and screenwriter and exposition-condenser Ulf Rydberg adapted it, it's a rather wobbly blend of courtroom drama and loose ends tied, albeit rather leisurely.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I don't the think the "look" is quite right for the story. Nor is the dreamy, wandering score by Marcelo Zarvos, which adds the blandest sort of ambient "tension music" to whatever's going on. McGregor struggles to make Perry credible in his credulousness; Harris, far better, doesn't have enough to do; Skarsgard is fun.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Are the results funny? In the margins, yes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Just cute enough for some tastes, too cute by half for others.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Some actors are dinner. Kevin Kline is dessert, and his comic brio saves the film version of The Extra Man from its limitations.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Around the halfway point it starts getting interesting and the people who put it together are at least working in a realm of reasonable intelligence and wit and respect for the audience.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Of the 141 minutes in The Judge, roughly 70 work well, hold the screen and allow a ripe ensemble cast the chance to do its thing, i.e., act. The other 71 are dominated by narrative machinery going ka-THUNKITA-thunkita-thunkita.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I’m flummoxed as to why the movie left me feeling up in the air, as opposed to over the moon. Partly, I think, it’s a matter of how Anderson’s sense of humor rubs up against that of the book’s author, Roald Dahl.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If the key performances in Beautiful Boy were any less honest, the film's half-formed suppositions would undo it utterly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The kids are magnetic.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I like its devotion to the drab outskirts of Sin City, and Buscemi's performance is right up his alley without being entirely predictable.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The funniest bit in the crude but diverting Soul Men really makes you miss Bernie Mac, who died in August, a few months after completing the picture.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Has its bright spots but is practically blinded by its own privileged perspective of life among the landed gentry of Brooklyn.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If her movie cannot fully resolve the demands of the love story with the horrifying particulars of the context, she's smart and honest enough as a first-time filmmaker to make "Blood and Honey" off-limits for those who prefer easy viewing. Even with a subject such as this.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie marches in predictable formations as well. But when Biel's rebel pulls over in her hover car and asks Farrell if he'd like a ride, your heart may sing as mine did.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The entire project is carefully wrought in visual terms and more than a little familiar. Sometimes even a well-applied pair of jumper cables can't do the trick.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film should've aimed higher, given all that these people endured to have their story told.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors are more than fine. Demoustier is the key, making her character's shifts in astonishment and perplexity honest and plausible.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Some of this is slick and enjoyable in what I'd characterize as the wrong way, the painlessly bloody, box-office-friendly way.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A genial "Hangover" for the AARP set, Last Vegas is roughly what you'd expect, or fear, but a little better.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The mordant wit and paradoxical melancholic bounce you find in a great many Eastern European filmmakers informs every joke and rosy sexual encounter in the work of Czech writer-director Jiri Menzel.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Not bad, not great, a little less pushy and grating than the usual.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Flashes of Goodnight Mommy are forceful and blackly funny.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A bit of a tweener, neither triumph nor disaster, a war-games fantasy with a use-by date of Nov. 22, when the new "Hunger Games" movie comes out.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The play itself, some felt, was static. The charge I'm afraid will stick to the film version as well. But the acting is considerable compensation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Partly real and partly, increasingly, fantastic and outlandish in its wishful thinking.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A fair amount of Uncle John puts us behind the wheel or alongside Ashton as he drives, preoccupied with his misdeeds, along country roads lined with cornfields. No dialogue needed; in these transitions, Ashton and his surroundings are enough.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Written by newcomer Melissa K. Stack, The Other Woman offers roughly equal parts wit and witlessness, casual smarts and jokes, lingering and detailed, regarding explosive bowel movements. Based on that ratio, I'd say the screenwriter's future in Hollywood looks pretty good.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I laughed a lot in the first half, before the movie's repetitive jackhammer pacing, which isn't ideal for any kind of comedy, began working against its better instincts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The acting's strong; in addition to Moretz and Moore, Judy Greer is a welcome presence in the Betty Buckley role of the sympathetic gym instructor. But something's missing from this well-made venture. What's there is more than respectable, while staying this side of surprising.

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