Michael Phillips
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For 1,528 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 Alexandra
Lowest review score: 0 Bratz
Score distribution:
1,528 movie reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film offers plenty of good screen company along the way.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Samsara is gorgeous. And sometimes, depending on expectations, looks are enough.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie's fun, a lot of it having nothing to do with its specific subject.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Almost all of it works as wish-fulfillment fantasy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's fun! Extremely violent, cleverly managed fun, full of eviscerating aliens.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A tender and upbeat spirit informs the writing and the execution.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Like the Danny Boyle film version of "127 Hours," Wild is extremely nervous about boring its audience with its protagonist's aloneness. Still, Witherspoon and Dern are reason enough to see it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As Cornelia's revered documentary filmmaker father, a crusty truth-teller in the Frederick Wiseman mold, Charles Grodin provides a master class in minimalism.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Is what we see grief porn or an epic, careerlong study in the best and worst we can find on Earth? See the film and decide for yourself.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I couldn't help but feel this adaptation needed more of the thing for which Jane herself yearns: a sense of freedom. At their best, though, Wasikowska and Fassbender hint at their well-worn characters' inner lives, which are complex, unruly and impervious to time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Extremely raunchy, Get Him to the Greek is also very funny
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Grant and Barrymore are very enjoyable together onscreen. Who would've guessed that Barrymore would turn into such a deft comedian?
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With most stories, even most documentaries, survival is the happy ending — the reward for one's luck, or skill, or exceptional circumstances. Sole Survivor, Ky Dickens' nonfiction account of four sole survivors of commercial plane crashes, turns that notion on its head, exploring the depths of survivor guilt and the post-accident lives of these living exceptions to a terrible, fatal rule.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The result is a clever, violent daydream. But McDonagh's skill behind the camera has grown considerably since "In Bruges." And the way he writes, he's able to attract the ideal actors into his garden of psychopathology.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Swift, sharp adaptation of Stephen King's short story (from the "Everything's Eventual" collection).
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The look and sound of Duplicity is half the payoff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Barrymore’s direction is generous to a fault, and there are times when you wish Whip It simply moved faster, on and off the track. It succeeds because of the emotional rather than comic payoffs.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    "Relief" is the word for it. It's a relief to see Robert De Niro giving an honest, effective starring performance in a project that does not stink and that, in fact, rises to a respectable level of filmmaking proficiency. How long has it been?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Keeps you interested in its characters and isn’t afraid of complicating your sympathies a little. In these dog-day months for romantic comedy, that means a lot.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    He's the anti-Michael Bay, the un-Roland Emmerich. No fake-documentary "realism" here; Soderbergh values the silence before the storm, or a hushed two-person encounter in which one or both parties are concealing something.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As interesting, certainly, as “American Gangster,” and operating with a truer street sense of the characters involved.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I found most of what's actually put forth in the film interpretively ridiculous. But I'm just one theorist among millions, and the film worked for me anyway.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The events are complicated, though not complicated by cheap thrills or easy politics. It's a film of interest rather than throttling suspense. By the end, however, when Bachmann's future depends on a very simple nonviolent series of events, Corbijn's methodical approach pays off. And we care. We care about the protagonist's outcome.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Guaranteed to make you think twice about what you're paying for what you're drinking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    He could dance brilliantly right up to the end, it’s clear.This Is It may be a court documentary, but as a heavily lawyered portrait of an artist, it’s still pretty compelling.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    While I wish van Heijningen's Thing weren't quite so in lust with the '82 model, it works because it respects that basic premise. And it exhibits a little patience, doling out its ickiest, nastiest moments in ways that make them stick.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    There is a good deal of honest charm in this story, and in the three principal performances.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A satisfying and movingly acted story.
    • 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."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Slick, ice-cold and enjoyable, The Bank Job is a bit of all right.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Enough talk; enough flashbacks. Sometimes the best thing a mystery can do is give its protagonist a reason to run like hell.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Scott Thomas can play these sorts of ice queens in her sleep, but I've long thought she's a more effective and nuanced performer in French-language projects than in English-language ones. The performance is laced with just enough wit to make it sting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's an odd film in some ways. The porn milieu is detailed in ways at once sparing, in terms of actual screen time, and bluntly explicit. The odd-couple relationship guiding the story has its familiarities. But where it counts, 'Starlet' ... allows its characters room to maneuver within the potential cliches.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    One can’t help but wonder if Ephron would’ve been better off focusing exclusively on Child: She’s simply more interesting screen company.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed it as much as any Allen film of the last 20 years.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The way Diary of the Dead chooses to deliver its gore, you know you’re in the hands of a grown-up uninterested in the excesses of the “Saw” or “Hostel” pictures. I mean, there’s gore, sure, and flesh gets eaten. But the way Romero shoots and cuts the shot of a girl’s reunion with her parents, one dead, one undead, it’s played for keeps--the right kind of gross, with a touch of mournful gravity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This movie comes at you with an idea or two, as well as every available gun blazing.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As Kay and Arnold struggle to reconnect, Hope Springs stays close to the task at hand. The characters aren't fabulously dimensional, but the actors are.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Most of the stuff that's new in the new Sparkle, written by Mara Brock Akil (who is married to the director), is shrewd and cleverly considered. The stuff that's old is what people responded to back in '76.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What works about ParaNorman is its subtle interweave of the stoical and the heroic. The voice work is inspired, without a lot of theatrical flourish. The low-key musical score by Jon Brion, one of the year's best, teases out the macabre humor in each new challenge faced by Norman.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    XXY
    The acting is uniformly strong, the visual approach self-effacingly honest.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The runaway train thriller Unstoppable is one of Tony Scott's better films.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Things We Lost in the Fire finds Bier at an interesting juncture, half-Dogmatic, half traditionalist.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Yet it's worth seeing because the sights are truly something. Claudio Miranda's pearly cinematography, Donald Graham Burt's luscious production design, the visual effects supervised by Eric Barba--everything blends, and none of the seams show.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Malick is a true searcher, true to his preoccupations and definitions of soulful rhapsody. To the Wonder repeats its central motifs aplenty, yet you may find yourself thinking about life, and living, and love, while sorting through the movie. Even if it drives you nertz.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's an entertaining picture — pulp, coming from a place of righteous indignation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Uneven but rollicking, The Pirates! has a personality to call its own.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Spiritual journeys, even if they’re comedies, don’t really lend themselves to the extreme, anal-retentive formalism found in every frame of The Darjeeling Limited.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Dreamgirls is performed, shot, edited and packaged like a coming-attractions trailer for itself. Ordinarily that would be enough to sink a film straight off, unless you're a fan of "Moulin Rouge." But this one's a good time.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, Hobbit 2, which carries the subtitle The Desolation of Smaug, invites comparisons to Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" threesome.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Whatever the film's limitations, it's certainly engaging to watch. As is Mohamed Fellag, as Lazhar.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Despite the familiarity of its themes — the bottom-feeding news media; the pathology born of extreme isolation and a little too much online time; the American can-do spirit, perverted into something poisonous — Gilroy's clever, skeezy little noir is worth a prowl.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A knockout one minute, a punch-drunk crazy film the next, Interstellar is a highly stimulating mess. Emotionally it's also a mess, and that's what makes it worth its 165 minutes — minutes made possible by co-writer and director Christopher Nolan's prior global success with his brooding, increasingly nasty "Batman" films, and with the commercially viable head-trip that was "Inception."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It’s half-crock and half-sublime, which seems about right for its subject.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, it's buoyant pop entertainment focused on three things: speed, racing and retina-splitting oceans of digitally captured color.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Director Hancock knows a few things about directing crowd-pleasing heartwarmers, having made "The Blind Side." This one wouldn't work without Thompson.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film itself, fond and intriguing, is by no means a hard-charging confrontation. Rather, Lewins' film is an affectionate series of memories, as recalled by Ali's family and associates.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, Wright's film is raucous, impudent entertainment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Big Miracle tells its sort-of-true version of events in a democratic and humane fashion, by way of a rangy, lively group of competing interests who actually do on occasion act like real people.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As composite sketches go, it's a good one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Parts of Pride are shamelessly escapist, as when party-mad Jonathan (Dominic West) busts loose with a disco routine, surely the most outre thing ever to hit Onllwyn. But nearly all of it's engaging.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film is a river of pain, weirdly funny in places, as are all of Herzog's filmic essays.
    • 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
    Monsters is a sharp little low-fi monster movie operating from a tantalizing premise.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Some of it's schematic and on the nose. But the grace notes are what make 50/50 better than simply "good enough."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This movie's good. It's fast, deftly paced and funny.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film is worth seeing, if you have any fondness for the writer who co-created "Beyond the Fringe" and who is second only to Stoppard in his sprightly but mellow wit.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    From director Ken Loach, England's longtime disciple of social realism, comes his most audience-friendly picture yet
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The depiction of Havana neither sugarcoats nor grunges-up the harsh reality. The movement intoxicates, but the situations are tough.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A surprisingly heartfelt father/son relationship, handled with restraint by director Todd Holland.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    W.
    In the end it depicts its subject as lost, and pitiable--like Richard Nixon, but more a pawn than a dark knight.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Director Morelli and editor Daniel Rezende know how to set up complex lines of action and keep the screws tight.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Some will take it and like it, all the way to the heart of darkness. Others may feel they've been jacked with, manipulated. Villeneuve collaborates with unusual sensitivity with his actors. The script operates on one level; the interpreters on another, higher level.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Uncommonly good ensemble storytelling.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Enjoy the love in your life, and don't squander it: That's all Curtis is selling here, really. With Gleeson and McAdams at the forefront, About Time has a beguiling pair of rom-com miracle workers helping him close the sale.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie is small, but the actors make it seem larger, like binoculars turned around the right way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    In the scenes between mother and daughter in their apartment, the world outside no longer judging every action, new worlds open up. And therein lies the cinema's role in our lives: It reveals what is concealed to others.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Less polished but more fun than "Dreamgirls." Both are drag revues at heart, one funny, the other serious. I prefer the funny one.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Call The Grey "Deliverance" Lite, with snow, and wolves. And call it a solid January surprise.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It has the air of an officially sanctioned tribute rather than a probing study, but it's stirring all the same.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Some movies pack such a terrific central idea, even their flaws can’t stop the train. District 9 is one of them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is a violent film. It's rougher, in fact, than "The Hunger Games."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's a lot of fun. Its spirit is genuine and, even with the odd vomit gag, fundamentally sweet.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A lot of director George Miller's film is gorgeous and exciting. Its craftsmanship and ambition put it a continent ahead of nearly every other animated feature of the last couple of years.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The games have begun, and so far they're pretty gripping.
    • 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."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Meryl Streep excels as Margaret Thatcher. And the movie itself does not work.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    For what it is - recessionary wish-fulfillment escapism, with a lot of highly skilled familiar faces in its amply qualified cast - it's fun.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A lot of people have no use for Carnage, especially in its unapologetically hemmed-in film version. And yet there isn't a sloppily or casually considered shot in any of the 80 minutes.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When the actors are in cars, the movie's fun. When they get out to argue, or seethe, it's uh-oh time. Happily, director Scott Waugh comes out of the stunt world himself, and there's a refreshing emphasis on actual, theoretically dangerous stunt driving over digital absurdities.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Affleck, in particular, finds something fierce and noble in uneven material and in his character's rage. He's not like any other actor in American movies.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Despite my McConaughey resistance I got more guilty chuckles from Ghosts of Girlfriends Past than "Failure to Launch" or "Four Christmases."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Eagle becomes more interesting the further north it travels.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cody would likely acknowledge she's working through her own contradictory feelings toward her protagonist - and that she may have been a draft or two away from shaping those feelings into a terrific black comedy, rather than a pretty interesting one.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This one may be soft and derivative. But the actors establish a groove and stay on-message.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    50 percent good and 50 percent close.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This is almost entirely Angelina Jolie's show...this is a performance that goes from point A to point B without seeming rote, or ho-hum.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's the knockabout biblical lark Mel Brooks never got around to making.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Neither fish nor fowl, neither foul nor inspiring, director and co-writer Darren Aronofsky's strange and often rich new movie Noah has enough actual filmmaking to its name to deserve better handling than a plainly nervous Paramount Pictures has given it.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Sloppy, grimy but quick on its feet, which puts it ahead of certain other (“The Hangover”) R-rated comedies (“The Hangover”) we’ve seen this summer (“The Hangover”).
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The script is corny and cliched and goes the way you expect it to go. But those things never stopped any movie from working with an audience.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    RED
    Red starts repeating itself and spinning its wheels and looking for an ending, well before the ending arrives. The actors have considerable fun with it, though.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Betzer's title suggests a hardy spirit and the resilience of childhood; the story, which unfolds in elliptical but often intriguing chapters, indicates the healing might be a little more complicated and difficult.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a procedural, often absorbing, rarely surprising, about a briefcase bomb and a near-miss. Yet there's no question the film feels dodgy and vague when it comes to the personalities and ideology of the men onscreen.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Jackie Chan co-stars in Morita's old role of the humble maintenance man who coaches the Bullied One. The older Chan gets, the simpler and truer he becomes as a performer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For the film to be truer to the school’s reputation, it would have had to dig a little deeper.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Arnold's interpretation is taciturn, often entirely without dialogue, though it becomes increasingly conventional in its scene structure as it goes and as the actors hand off the key roles. In reality it's a bit of a slog. ... The movie plays like an idea for a 'Wuthering Heights' adaptation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's well-crafted, but I wish the film showed us an additional dimension or two of the central figure, who once said the great challenge in writing, any kind of writing, is "to write the same way you are."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Katyn will not join Wajda's list of masterworks. In its final flashback, however, when we're taken back to the forest and the details of what really happened, we see what we must see, the clear-eyed way we should see it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Many, I suspect, will fall for The Prestige and its blend of one-upsmanship and science fiction. I prefer "The Illusionist," the movie that got here first.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Rightly, Jolie didn't want to tell the man's entire life story. But as is, at too-convenient dramatic junctures, the screenplay darts back into flashbacks of Zamperini's childhood or young adulthood, when we should really be sticking with the crisis at hand.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Stupid, predictable and fairly funny.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    To be clear: The odds are in favor of you hating it. I hated a lot of it when I saw a barely dry work-in-progress print, 163 minutes long, at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s 19 minutes shorter and better now, though “better” is relative when you’re dealing with a whatzahoozy such as this.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Caine and Law may not be playing human beings, but Pinter’s sense of humor is at least more interesting than Shaffer’s. Caine in particular appears to enjoy honing his cold-eyed stare.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's easy to watch.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The cast's newcomers mix and mingle with ease with the hardened alums of Disney and Nickelodeon TV series.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I found the first 30 minutes of Wreck-It Ralph a lot of fun, the second and third 30 minutes progressively more routine.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's less a western than a loping buddy picture.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This should've been a really good picture, especially with Hillcoat's crack ensemble. Instead it's a stilted battle waged between the material and the interpreters. It's up to you, the thirsty customer, to decide who won.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For the record: Josh Duhamel brings some welcome exuberance to the role of the goofball suitor, Hobart. Like Oh, he's fun to watch. This is something never to be underestimated
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A roughly mixed but interestingly plotted offshoot of "Death of a Salesman."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Directed, frantically, by Jaume Collet-Serra, written by Brad Ingelsby, Run All Night promises a sprint punctuated by a lot of gunfire, and bleeding, and bodies. Mission accomplished.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results fall short of the grown-up comedy about seven-year itches it could've been, asking the Hamlet-like question: to scratch or not to scratch?
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's occasional toe-dips into real-world politics, sectarian conflict and the horrors of war are demure and unruffling. What's missing is a point of view beyond Hallstrom's interest in making his actors look as attractive as possible.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The material settles for amiably familiar observations about the difficulties of growing old and the glories of being surrounded by beautiful music.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Fairly inventive and exceedingly manic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If the romantic comedy Morning Glory clicks with audiences, the McAdams factor surely will be the reason why.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best thing about the film is Viggo Mortensen’s performance. A stealth talent of many shadings, Mortensen has a way of fitting easily into nearly any period, any milieu.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    As is, it's worth seeing, but you may get frustrated at the way Dellal raises provocative questions about ancestry and prejudice, only to lose them in the shuffle of so many mini-portraits of musicians, getting to know each other and each other's foreign yet familiar musical language, on a long 16-city tour.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's fun to see that charming underreactor Neve Campbell, looking about 20 minutes older, back as Sidney Prescott.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Is the movie itself good? Half-good, I'd say - the second, more openly sentimental half.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Feels different from most recovering-train-wreck stories. The movie is a tidy relaying of a messy situation involving two reasonably functional middle-class LA alcoholics, one of whom gets serious about cleaning up a lot sooner than the other.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    While Lunacy leaves you with the impression that Svankmajer is more expressive with cutlets than he is with his atypically human-dominated dreamscape, some of the images are doozies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Stupid but fun.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Near the end, we hear Cobain reveal his disdain for adults who “can’t even pretend, or at least have enough courtesy for their children, to talk to one another civilly.” A painful and unexpected moment.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's a good movie in this story. The one that got made is roughly half-good.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Hedges is a determined romantic and a bit of a saphead. He's also humane.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When the secrets of David's circumstances and motives start spilling into the daylight along with more and more blood, The Guest does a strange thing. It becomes flat-footed and a bit dull.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Pap, but easygoing pap with a cast you can live with for a couple of hours.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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

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