For 1,398 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 5.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair
Lowest review score: 0 I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Score distribution:
1,398 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A seriously entertaining highlight of the fall season.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    You always get more than one genre with this filmmaker. Volver draws upon all sorts of influences -- a little Hitchcock, a little Douglas Sirk, a little telenovela -- but from those sources Almodovar and his collaborators, both on screen and behind the camera, make an improbably organic whole.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Earns its happy ending like few other contemporary dramas concerned with the fate of a child. It puts you through hell for that ending, in fact, hell being modern-day Russia.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Mafioso is shaped like a comedy, and it is one, but its intentionally jarring clashes of tone and rhythm are truly out there.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Sissako has an unusual camera eye, patient and alert to the ebb and flow of both the courtroom sequences and the outside scenes. The music is wonderful as well.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The most charming comedy in town, writer-director-editor Katsuhito Ishii's 2003 piece is a modern Japanese variation on "You Can't Take It With You," with some lovely fantastical flourishes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    If Beyond the Gates were merely a well-intentioned bore, the reality might seem jarring. As is, the coda fits and feels like the only possible ending--proof that surviving to help tell the story of a genocidal nightmare is the best revenge.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    After the Wedding defies the odds: For once, the bigger the emotion, the truer the moviegoing experience.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Except for the tractors, and the tanks in the later desert battle sequences, Flanders could be taking place centuries ago. Or centuries from now.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Talk to Me has a great subject and a great actor working in tandem, reminding audiences that once upon a time media personalities used to fight The Man, not be The Man.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Kim evokes everything from "Seconds" to "Nip/Tuck" here, but his sureness of touch and lack of melodrama make the themes pertinent and vivid. A heartening step up from Kim's previous film, "The Bow."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Sunshine is near-classic modern science fiction, hobbled only by a chaotic final reel and some casting missteps in the white-male department.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It is not an easy film to watch, nor should it be. It is, however, beautifully made. Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, the co-directors, wrangle their information and lay it out clearly, vividly and with a sharp sense of focus.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    An unusually strong crime thriller, Eastern Promises comes from director David Cronenberg, a meticulous old-school craftsman of a type that is becoming increasingly rare.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Tommy Lee Jones is marvelous in the film. He has one scene in particular, a simple two-person encounter, that's as good as it gets in the realm of American screen acting.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It is a film, often breathtaking without settling for being pretty, filled with nervous silence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Michael Clayton is a here’s-how-it-happened drama, cleverly but not over-elaborately structured.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    As a director Hedges is smart enough to allow his actors to share the frame and interact and let the material breathe.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A breezy diary from a pair of first-time farmers, as well as a wry rebuke to a nation devoted to eating cheaply but not necessarily well, King Corn makes its points without much finger-wagging.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Good and creepy, The Mist comes from a Stephen King novella and is more the shape, size and quality of the recent “1408,” likewise taken from a King story, than anything in the persistently fashionable charnel house inhabited by the “Saw” and “Hostel” franchises.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Sweeney Todd may haunt you in ways you’re not used to with a movie musical. At least not since “Mame.”
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Mainly it’s a very solid dance picture, which is the point.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The Witnesses may be schematic, but it lets each character live and breathe. The film captures a time and place that seems very distant now.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Swift and compelling, winner of this year’s Oscar for best foreign-language picture, The Counterfeiters may not be destined for the large international audience that embraced last year’s winner, “The Lives of Others.” But it’s the better, tougher film, with a more provocative moral dilemma at its center.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Pulls you into a well-observed world and its characters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Small but sure, the film is like Alejandro himself: quick on its feet, attuned to a harsh life’s hardships and possibilities.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    “Elephant” may have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes but it really didn’t have anything to say about anything. Modest and artful, Paranoid Park says a great deal.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Shine a Light is one of those lions-in-winter affairs, and Jagger, who has a body fat count of negative 67, can still dance like a maniacal popinjay, and Richards still looks like a satyr who has stayed up all night every night of his adult life.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Jenkins and The Visitor”make lovely music together. It’s a case of a veteran character actor slipping on a leading role like the most comfortable pair of pants in the world.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It's worth seeing just for the banter between Segel and Hader, which recalls the peak conversational riffs from "Knocked Up."