Michael Phillips
Select another critic »
For 1,547 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Greenberg
Lowest review score: 0 I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Score distribution:
1,547 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film has a quietly relentless quality. Redford is fully engaged and vital. I'll leave it to others to read greatness into All Is Lost. It's enough that it's good.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's sweet, and low-key. It's very '70s in its vibe, which helps when the script veers in and out of formula.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Good story, well told. Interesting concept. I wonder if people will go for it.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Alas, the movie cannot resolve its story in any sort of surprising or truly fresh way. Where's a good old-fashioned deus ex machina capper when you need it? It's worth seeing nonetheless.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Wiig's natural and savvy instincts to go easy, and let the audience come to her, serve her and Bridesmaids well.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Che
    Che is Soderbergh's most interesting film in years, defiantly eccentric and absorbing at its best.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A year into their new lives, all three men experience profound isolation. How, they wonder, can Americans live such anti-social lives, so unconcerned with the idea of societal interdependence? This is the chief unexamined question raised by a worthy picture. What is there holds you all the same.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What works best is whatever's completely incidental to the story, such as the totes-magotes/slippy mcgippy jive talk.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It’s a big, juicy 1970s period piece, one foot in real life, the other in the movies, the preferred stance of many Hollywood crime sagas.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Even if you don't entirely buy this version of events, director Ralph Fiennes has given us a speculation that works as drama. It's an elegant bit of goods.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The director, New Zealander Christine Jeffs ("Sylvia"), loosens the plotting as best she can, letting the interactions breathe. Her work, and the film, is strictly about the performers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Until the last 20 minutes, which stumble around in an attempt to set up a sequel, The Incredible Hulk keeps slamming everything forward, satisfyingly.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie overall is engaging, though it's more cavalier regarding story and relentless in its action than its predecessor.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Frost/Nixon is wholly absorbing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    See it; see those three performers go to town.
    • 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 actors are excellent. Rogen falls very comfortably into the role of a 29-year-old who has fallen very comfortably into a living thing - a marriage - and stopped working on it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The very antonym of "fun," writer-director Craig Zobel's new film Compliance is one of the toughest sits of the movie year 2012. But it's an uncompromising and, in its way, honorable drama built upon a prank call that goes on and on.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With its one-of-a-kind poetic lamentation, Young's voice sounds more peculiarly lovely than ever. A small picture, but good and true.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's refreshing to see a non-mainstream movie that wears its heart and lust on its sleeve, and has anything but violence on its mind.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Like "Control," the recent Anton Corbijn treatment of rock star Ian Curtis' short life, the powerful British drama Boy A announces its gravitas with a look--organically achieved, with cinematography, production design and direction working together--you are meant to notice.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Think Like a Man is what it is. But its hangout factor is considerable, because the actors' charms are considerable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The fetching comedy Priceless”(“Hors de Prix”) weighs about as much as its star, Audrey Tautou, but like Tautou’s pleasingly craven heroine it knows exactly what it’s doing.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Breathlessly paced bordering on manic, but propulsively entertaining.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    In this teen-boy universe, sex is everywhere and nowhere, it's oozing out of every pop culture pore and every other insane boast, yet the idea of figuring out how to talk to girls without turning into a yutz remains elusive.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Cleverly structured, Horrible Bosses works in spite of its cruder, scrotum-centric instincts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Book of Eli works, even if the preservation of Christianity isn’t high on your personal post-apocalypse bucket list. Establishing its storytelling rules clearly and well, the film simply is better, and better-acted, than the average end-of-the-world fairy tale.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I appreciate Haynes’ craft and ambition. I love the Ledger/Gainsbourg scenes, which are sweet and sad and delicately shaded. And Blanchett’s inspired not-quite-impersonation of Dylan is reason enough to tussle with the rest of it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A strong, blood-boiling documentary from director Amy Berg, who made the similarly fine "Deliver Us From Evil".
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If you’re new to the Dardennes, Lorna’s Silence will serve as a fine introduction.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Coppola and her brilliant cinematographer, Harris Savides, keep the action simple, but the perspective is perfect.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's closer to the hammering "Transformers" aesthetic than expected. Yet the weirdness around the edges saves it from impersonality.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The creator of the original "Mad Max" trilogy has whipped up a gargantuan grunge symphony of vehicular mayhem that makes "Furious 7" look like "Curious George."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sollett works easily and well with Cera and Dennings, and lends a touch of awkward realism to what, from a screenwriting perspective, is pure formula.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If the film is more solid and satisfying than terrific, so be it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's a fascinating bundle of contradictions -- authentic in a million details, deeply romanticized in others. Cool, calm and collected, this is more love story than gangster picture.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Delpy has always challenged Hawke to find a simpler, more direct form of acting in Linklater's films, which gives them their unique suspense and rolling tension.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    By design, the dialogue from the (fictional) play comments directly on the central, shifting power relationship in the film, sometimes elegantly, sometimes a little awkwardly.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film works best when it pays specific attention to how hard it is to write a rhyme worth hearing.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film, a sleek and oddly moving study in the cost of debauchery, has its gleeful excesses.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's still worth seeing. This ambitious and powerful sphinx, a major force in a particular chunk of recent history, may not give away much. Watching and listening to how he doesn't give it away — that's the known known here.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Part "Law & Order" morality play, part "Wall Street" with a dash of the more recent and topically pertinent "Margin Call," Arbitrage hums along, complicating its narrative without tying itself in knots.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Smith carries it, even after the story loses its nerve. This film is the opposite of “Transformers”: It’s all about the unsettling silence, not the noise.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Not everyone can act his material with ease. But Ejiofor, who brings a serene gravity to every exchange, was born to do Mamet.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With Rooney Mara as the woman in question — a poised, tense Manhattanite prescribed anti-anxiety medication by her psychiatrist with newsworthy results — Side Effects finds its ideal performer.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film's surprising, enveloping jazz score is often deliberately at odds with Niko's moody outlook.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Twenty minutes in, Hardy notwithstanding, you might be tempted to bail on Locke. Don't.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Its dramatic vexations are at war with Denis' prodigious visual skill. And the fight, ultimately, rewards the viewer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sicko doesn't formulate a way out of this heartless craps game we're playing. It is, however, a very entertaining position paper, and a reminder that we should do better by more of our citizenry.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Leave it to the first-class actors dining out on those roles to make the cat and the mouse interesting and unpredictable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    However sterling the craftsmanship, the film adaptation inflates the meaning and buffs the atmospheric surfaces of Yates' story, rather than digging into its guts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As close to fraudulent as a documentary can get and still be worth seeing.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie is pretty droll, and it agitates for cross-species friendship; its aggressively packaged heart-tugging elements come with an interplanetary friendly resolution. Followed by a dance party.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, though, The Muppets cuts back on the '80s-flashback self-consciousness and believes in the dream.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The drug humor in 21 Jump Street carries its own distinction, in that it's actually humor.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie is held together by the scenes between Thomas and Zylberstein, which are superbly acted.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Much of Nebraska is ordinary prose, but the best parts are plain-spoken comic poetry.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Emmerich has no time for poetry or magic, even when the director and his digital wizards (here doing wildly variable work) are trying to dazzle. He’s a taskmaster and a field marshall, not a visionary. But I enjoyed 10,000 B.C. more and more, and more than just about anything Emmerich’s done before.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Wahlberg remains one of our most reliable and least actorly of movie stars, innately macho but vulnerable enough to seem like a human being caught in an inhuman situation.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's simply a more focused scenario than usual, full of violence done up with a little more coherence and visceral impact than usual.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    You don't believe a second of it, but it's easy to enjoy, partly because of the casting of all three leads.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As pure, outlandish outlaw cinema it's undeniable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Source Code is a contraption, no doubt. But it works.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Be sure to hang around for the closing credits, which imagine all sorts of "Jump Street" sequels to come.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Small as it is, the film itself functions as a catchy, bittersweet waltz. You've heard it before, but the dancers are fun to watch.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Nicely acted by all and photographed in creepy, cold, under-lit tones.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Cutler is selling a certain kind of product with If I Stay, but he sells it honestly and well.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Doggedly, or rather wolfishly, the film doesn't go in for camp or mirth, at least until its misjudged and semi-endless wolf-on-wolf climax.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sue wins out, and the film is worth seeing, if only for the reminder of how badly justice can miscarry if enough millions are spent by the U.S. government.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Any movie that manages to work in a dig at the National Theatre's heavier pretensions — in a subway sequence, Paddington trots by a National poster for a (fake) play with the amusingly dour title "Damned by Despair" — is OK with me.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The visual style is typical, ultra crisp computer animation, bright, sharp, somewhat clinical.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie's fun. And now, thanks to our annual Neeson thriller, spring can come soon.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is a film for actual moviegoing grown-ups who don't mind a little quality now and then.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The attitudes evinced by most of the characters, and the movie itself, are those of the admiring tourist, and as two-hour tours go, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel goes smoothly.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film may be depressing. But even with a terrible, watery musical score, it's also good.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With his thin-lipped grimace and big, soulful eyes, Lindon's an ideal actor for this sort of puzzle.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The sexual component to Splice pushes the story in provocatively eerie directions.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Whatever audiences think of it, I'd say the latest "Apes" picture is just that: a solid success, sharing many of its predecessor's swift, exciting storytelling and motion-capture technology virtues.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The most coldly compelling version yet of the tale dreamed up by the late Stieg Larsson.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Occasionally very funny, and moderately funny the rest of the time. In mathematical terms that adds up to pretty funny or "funny enough."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    There's something very right with Off the Black in terms of pure emotion and performance craft.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Without making a big deal out of it, Big Hero 6 features a shrewdly balanced and engaging group of male and female characters of various ethnic backgrounds. It'd be nice to live in a world where this wasn't worth a mention, but it is. And yet the movie belongs to the big guy.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The chief limitation of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an old story: However touching, Cooke's Rachel is there mainly to prop up the sweetly messed-up young male lead, and then to quietly guide him toward adulthood.

Top Trailers