Michael Phillips
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For 1,408 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Margot at the Wedding
Lowest review score: 0 What Goes Up
Score distribution:
1,408 movie reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If older kids and adults seek out this picture, which 20th Century Fox and Walden Media clearly aren't sure how to sell, they may well find themselves drawn into a subterranean world of considerable imagination.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Changeling fundamentally works; it holds you. But these issues of texture and detail matter too, and they hold clues as to why Eastwood's latest is a good, solid achievement rather than a great, grieving one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie is held together by the scenes between Thomas and Zylberstein, which are superbly acted.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Zack and Miri has a bright, chipper look to it, thanks to cinematographer Dave Klein, a frequent Smith colleague. Wintertime in Pittsburgh never looked so good.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film sags in the middle section, and it's more a novelty item than a fully formed work . But it's very entertaining. And Van Damme proves himself a brave, possibly foolhardy actor, which is more than Steven Seagal ever did.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The visual style is typical, ultra crisp computer animation, bright, sharp, somewhat clinical.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Timecrimes doesn't end as well as it begins. Then again, writer-director Nacho Vigalondo deliberately fudges the beginning and endpoints of his premise, which involves one of those nutty causal loops so dear to writers and consumers of science fiction.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If a Warner Bros. social-protest film from the early 1930s somehow got into bed with an American indie from the 1970s, how would the love-child turn out? Like this.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Starts out wobbly but ends up quite nicely, primarily because Carrey has a wonderful acting partner in Zooey Deschanel.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A preposterous but beautifully polished Danish thriller.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The theater building is a four-story monster, and by the end of the picture we know it very well, in all its broken-down glory.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Hinges on humiliation and vengeance, which makes it like most other modern horror titles. Its focus on sexual assault, however, puts it in a different, more primal league.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    There is a good deal of honest charm in this story, and in the three principal performances.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Frost/Nixon is wholly absorbing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Instead of a modern classic, able to travel the globe with ease, Il Divo is merely a wonderfully cast, tonally assured achievement, with a uniquely strange tour de force at its core.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Nothing elegant about Adams here, but she's terrific -- a sparkling screen presence. Her Earhart hoists this big-budget sequel above the routine.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Unabashedly theatrical and richly cinematic, even when it's falling apart.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    May have a dull title, but it's lively, idiotic fun, at least until it goes too far past "too far" into the realm of "far too far."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is a modest but expertly performed piece. And this summer, surrounded by lesser, louder, bigger and dumber diversions, it's especially welcome.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If you’re new to the Dardennes, Lorna’s Silence will serve as a fine introduction.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Here’s the surprise: Bandslam may come from synthetic materials, but the characters are a little more complicated than usual.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The material may be formulaic, but the spirit of the piece is friendly.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sharp, well-acted film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is very light material, and, unusually for a Lee picture, not everybody in the ensemble appears to be acting in the same universe, let alone the same story. On the other hand: It’s fun.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The actors, remarkable and seasoned, take care of their end of things, stylishly and (when and where it can be arranged) truthfully.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The sexual component to Splice pushes the story in provocatively eerie directions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Rock takes his Good Hair job as a documentarian seriously enough to be interesting, but not so seriously that the film groans with earnestness.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie won't be for everyone -- it's a little rough for preteens, and it doesn't throw many laughs the audience's way -- but along with "Sweeney Todd," this is Burton's most interesting project in a decade
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Like the "Bourne" franchise to which Noyce's film is indebted, Salt is a combination of pursuit, evasion, name-clearing and a reversal or two.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It boasts a generous exuberance and, as entertainment products go, it's surprisingly sweet.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film is Nolan's labyrinth all the way, and it's gratifying to experience a summer movie with large visual ambitions and with nothing more or less on its mind than (as Shakespeare said) a dream that hath no bottom.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Extremely raunchy, Get Him to the Greek is also very funny
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What strikes me about the new Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, is how its preoccupations and sensibilities lie almost precisely halfway between the derring-do of the 1938 film and the harsh revisionism of the '70s edition
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film has a compelling way about it. All five of the immediate Block family members emerge in full and affecting portraits.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Janssen is an intense screen presence. Too often she's stuck playing humorless towering antagonists. Here, happily, she's allowed to be a real person.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A small but droll big-box comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The more you like Leone's work the more you'll likely respond to To's latest. Which is odd, considering Exiled is a gangster picture by strict definition.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Director Barry Poltermann’s sweet little evocation of a show business career captures Reilly at “the twilight of an extraordinary life,” in Reilly’s words.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As interesting, certainly, as “American Gangster,” and operating with a truer street sense of the characters involved.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The performances reveal precisely what Rivette wants to reveal, which is to say, in conventional psychological terms, not a great deal.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As close to fraudulent as a documentary can get and still be worth seeing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's labeled a "true-ish story," and the results are cheeky fun.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If one thing holds the picture back, it’s the self-conscious album-cover aesthetic of Sebring’s visual approach.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's a bit schematic and sweet-natured, perhaps to a fault, yet the faces linger. Smith and his mixture of actors and non-actors remind us that an act of generosity is all it takes to change a life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The acting is exceptional. If parts of A Secret veer toward soap opera, the ensemble work reduces the suds to a minimum.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its sharpest Elissa Down's feature directorial debut is guided by intense, rough-edged emotional swings that feel authentically alive, even when the script settles for tidiness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film isn't much as cinema, but it doesn't really matter. The final half-hour, in particular, generates the sort of suspense you rarely get in a sports documentary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Ledoyen in particular humanizes the story-within-a-story strategy. Her character's sly verbal hesitations become part of a mutual seduction, more theoretical than practical, but enticing nonetheless.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    So what is it? Primarily it's a showcase for Vincent Cassel, who dines out on the role and won a Cesar award (the Gallic Oscar) for his efforts.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A satisfying and movingly acted story.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A nerve-racking noir from Australia.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    She delivers a solid and easy star performance. Some young performers lack a relatable quality; Seyfried has it, even with those old-school, big-screen peepers.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The reason Just Wright works is simple. It finds ways to let familiar characters move around inside a familiar premise like living, breathing, likable human beings.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Garcia's calm, steady guidance behind the camera, along with his nicely finessed faith in a very good cast, makes Mother and Child a fuller and more satisfying example of this storytelling style than we've seen lately.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    From director Ken Loach, England's longtime disciple of social realism, comes his most audience-friendly picture yet
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Still, it's a pleasant surprise about an unpleasant guy brought to life by an ingratiating paradox, a movie star who has turned into a wily character man.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What's striking about the picture, I think, is its lack of violent threat.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The way Lawrence captures a young woman's fear and resolve, often non-verbally, well … this is a considerable talent well on her way to a great career. It's for performances like this that moviegoers find themselves taking a chance on a title that doesn't have a fast-food tie-in.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film is a success. It works. Greatness eludes it, yes. But greatness eludes almost every film adaptation of a major novel, which we must remember when confronted by a good one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The interview sessions are all disastrous in one way or another; Let It Rain is at its wittiest when Michel flails around, grousing about his own divorce and child custody troubles without ever quite asking his interview subject an actual question
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Though uneven and less witty than the first two, Toy Story 3 delivers quite enough in two dimensions.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, Wright's film is raucous, impudent entertainment.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This movie's good. It's fast, deftly paced and funny.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I liked the movie mainly for Barrymore. The way she handles the crucial, early "I love you" moment (he's saying it to her, and the camera shows us what she's thinking), you think: This is one canny actress.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Demons of mediocrity, be gone! Here we have a shrewd sequel a touch better than the original.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The funky, enjoyable Hamburg-set comedy Soul Kitchen is a celebration of co-writer-director Fatih Akin's home base, a spacious, moody city of apparently limitless industrial warehouse space - like Chicago.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The result is both a success and a disappointment. It's Kind of a Funny Story, divided into neat little daylong chapters in Craig's stay, lacks the staying power and bittersweet layering of "Half Nelson" and "Sugar."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The original was a very good thriller. The new one is simply a good one.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Genuinely odd in its mixture of bluntness and indirection, screenwriter Angus MacLachlan's study in biblical temptation is saved from its own heavy-handedness by a fine quartet of actors.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Monsters is a sharp little low-fi monster movie operating from a tantalizing premise.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With that kind of financial imperative it's something of a miracle the Potter films have been, on the whole, good. One or two, very good. One or two (the first two), less good. This one's good.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Bright and engaging, and blessed with two superb non-verbal non-human sidekicks, Tangled certainly is more like it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Dawn Treader doesn't so much reinvent the "Narnia" franchise as do what's needed, and expected, with a little more zip than the previous voyages.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A small but, in its way, daring picture.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's Williams you never question, who makes every detail and close-up and impulse natural. She's spectacularly good.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Catfish is fascinating. At the same time, it emits a condescending, pitying odor.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As pure, outlandish outlaw cinema it's undeniable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Liman's sensibility isn't sophisticated enough to tease out the nuances of what must be a pretty interesting marriage; the movie is more about texture and surfaces and surface tensions.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The runaway train thriller Unstoppable is one of Tony Scott's better films.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Its dramatic vexations are at war with Denis' prodigious visual skill. And the fight, ultimately, rewards the viewer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Surely the gentlest American film ever made about home-grown revolutionaries.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's relaxed without being sloppy, or patronizing, and in particular Witherspoon and Lemmon - sorry, make that Rudd - bring charm to burn.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The biggest change from the '69 "True Grit" is the best thing about this formidably well-crafted picture. Portis's narrator and heroine, 14-year-old Mattie Ross, runs the show this time, not the one-eyed marshal.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    For all the warmth emanating from the film's core, thanks to Broadbent and Sheen, I don't know if Leigh has ever made a crueler picture.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Rretains what made it work on stage, chiefly a disarming sense of humor amid the grimmest sort of personal crisis, and a pair of juicy leading roles.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sleek and, until a stupidly violent climax, very entertaining, Unknown is the opposite of "Memento."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The acting's very strong throughout, though few would argue that the final half-hour satisfies either as suspense, or narrative, or social observation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film works because the screenwriters, Elizabeth Hunter and Arlene Gibbs, have a knack for juggling a dozen-plus major characters without succumbing to the obvious class-warfare gags every 90 seconds.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The last 25 minutes of Thor aren't much better than the first. But that hour in between - tasty, funny, robustly acted - more than compensates.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Source Code is a contraption, no doubt. But it works.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Original, it's not. Exciting, it is. This jacked-up B-movie hybrid of "Black Hawk Down" and "War of the Worlds" is a modest but crafty triumph of tension over good sense and cliche.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Nicely acted by all and photographed in creepy, cold, under-lit tones.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    In terms of its title, Haywire doesn't quite go there; it's more "Haywire-ish." But it's eccentric, and the on-screen violence is sharp and exciting - brutal without being either subhumanly sadistic or superhumanly ridiculous.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Modest in every way, the screenplay by Phil Johnston is enjoyable in the telling even when the details smack of contrivance.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The component genre parts coexist, excitingly, without veering into camp or facetious desperation. Alien-invasion aficionados should be pleased. Western nostalgists may be pleasantly surprised. Fans of cowboys-versus-aliens movies, well, it's been a long wait and here's your movie.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I enjoy both Timberlake and Kunis; just this side of manic, they seem right together.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Davis is reason No. 1 the film extracted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 best-seller improves on its source material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Abrams knits together the ordinary stories of the mill town's inhabitants in a way that feels dramatic without showing their contrivances too obviously. And his casting of Courtney and Fanning was fortuitous, though Abrams' banter for the supporting kids grows tiresome in that "Goonies" way.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The most coldly compelling version yet of the tale dreamed up by the late Stieg Larsson.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, though, The Muppets cuts back on the '80s-flashback self-consciousness and believes in the dream.