Michael Phillips

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For 1,813 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Lowest review score: 0 Fun Size
Score distribution:
1813 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Partly real and partly, increasingly, fantastic and outlandish in its wishful thinking.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A fair amount of Uncle John puts us behind the wheel or alongside Ashton as he drives, preoccupied with his misdeeds, along country roads lined with cornfields. No dialogue needed; in these transitions, Ashton and his surroundings are enough.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Written by newcomer Melissa K. Stack, The Other Woman offers roughly equal parts wit and witlessness, casual smarts and jokes, lingering and detailed, regarding explosive bowel movements. Based on that ratio, I'd say the screenwriter's future in Hollywood looks pretty good.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I laughed a lot in the first half, before the movie's repetitive jackhammer pacing, which isn't ideal for any kind of comedy, began working against its better instincts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The acting's strong; in addition to Moretz and Moore, Judy Greer is a welcome presence in the Betty Buckley role of the sympathetic gym instructor. But something's missing from this well-made venture. What's there is more than respectable, while staying this side of surprising.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Too much of the film is a muddle, and it feels like work, not play.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's fitting that a drama trading in classified information would turn out to be such a cryptic bugger.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie's smooth to the point of blandness, but its faces really do tell a story. And having Gere's silverly mane share the same film with Strathairn's is almost too much fabulous hair for one diversion.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Drive begins extremely well and ends in a muddle of ultraviolence, hypocrisy and stylistic preening, which won't be any sort of deterrent for those who like its looks.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite the actors, who at least get some swell clothes to wear, Winter's Tale is a bit of a soul-crusher itself.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Bad Moms keeps settling for less than it should, given the talent on screen. It's lazy, and tonally indistinct; half the time you wish it went further, and risked something with the Kunis character. The other half of the time you may find yourself frustrated with the puerile caricatures filling in the margins.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Doesn't know how to do what I think it's trying to do.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Sidelined by a script that plays like an imitation of another era’s artifacts. It’s an oxymoron: a mild screwball romance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Wine may be sunlight held together by water, as Galileo said, but Bottle Shock is held together only by Alan Rickman.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Most of the clues in Veronica Mars pertain either to Internet sex tapes or the various surveillance uses of the latest tablets. Anybody who works in tech support will probably enjoy the film a tad more than I did.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed these characters more when they were rich, rather than obscenely rich, when their self-involvement and life crises had one foot on planet Earth -- and when they weren't all gussied up like Mae West in "Sextette."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The supporting players in Man on a Ledge bring more to the party than the leads, and my suspension of disbelief seems to have gotten hung up in traffic while attempting to cross the suspension-of-disbelief bridge from the Brooklyn side.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Dwayne Johnson leaves his lovable self behind in the violent but bland Faster.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Director Madden vacillates between treating the issues and historical context of The Debt seriously, and as the story demands, as pure, heavy-handed pulp. The cast does what it can in the service of this assignment. But some jobs simply resist satisfying completion.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite the proficient technique, after a while you may feel you're watching a particularly scenic snuff film.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    She tackled "The Tempest" on stage, years ago. On screen I wish she'd (Taymor) adapted it with a freer hand, and then directed it with a more considered one.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Settles for being simple, familiar and ineffective, though I suspect it'll warm a few hearts.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too often the film itself simply shuffles the postcards of Tibetan scenery, Buddhist rituals and the Tibetan people (many amazing faces on view, to be sure).
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The latest Reacher film is directed, with reasonable skill and no trace of personality, by Edward Zwick, based on a screenplay taken from the 18th novel. I wish I had more dynamic news to report, but contrary to Reacher's own violent tendencies, some things in life and the movies practically defy a strong reaction.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The directive behind this sequel, clearly, was non-stop action. Let's think about that phrase a second. Do we really want our action movies to deliver action that does not stop? Ever? I get a little tired of action sequences that won't stop.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I didn't laugh much, nor did my 10-year-old companions, but nobody had their soul crushed by the experience. This is the film industry's Hippocratic oath: First, crush no souls.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The sequel's themes of friendship and interdependency fail to generate much momentum.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film's tone is utterly indistinct, beyond fatuous adoration of its subject.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The damper here is Affleck, who appears to have been too concerned with placing himself just so, and then posing, so that nothing drew attention away from cinematographer Robert Richardson's pretty light.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Beowulf is all right as far as it goes, and it goes pretty far for a PG-13 rating: Dismemberment, “300”-style blood globules comin’ atcha, and a digitally futzed and, for all practical purposes, completely naked!!!
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The harder this assault weapon went at my tear ducts, the more duct tape I wrapped around them as a defensive measure.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is half rutting goat, half preacher.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I truly wish Dear John were a better, less shamelessly manipulative movie, but a couple of the actors got me through it alive. One is Amanda Seyfried.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Like Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," Stonehearst Asylum starts with the hysteria knob set at 11 and goes up from there.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi gives you next to nothing for narrative complication and surprise, and a meager amount of verbal jokes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Keanes' story is one of eventual triumph over adversity for Margaret, but Big Eyes struggles on the page to make much of her as a character. Adams struggles as well; she's acting in one movie, a sincere, often anguished one, while Waltz (mugging up a storm) works in an entirely different key.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is not badly made. It is, however, weirdly flat, given the stakes and the wild screaming matches.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed parts of Street Kings but I didn’t believe one thing about it, and I couldn’t get past Reeves’ unsuitability to his role. He may someday play a cop on the edge convincingly, but the edge needs to be sharper than this.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    John Carter isn't much - or rather, it's too much and not enough in weird, clumpy combinations - but it is a curious sort of blur.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I suspect a lot of what I found synthetic and sort of galling in Real Steel will work just fine with the target audience.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A smooth but frustrating third feature with an extremely good ensemble cast.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Does not know when to quit. Nor does it extract much fun from a cockamamie story provided by George Lucas.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Folks, I confess: I'm coping with a mild case of arachno-apatha-phobia, defined as the fear of another so-so "Spider-Man" sequel.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite a blue-chip cast, Aloha is just frustrating. It can barely tell its story straight, and Crowe's attempt to get back to the days of "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" is bittersweet in ways unrelated to the narrative's seriocomic vein.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Who would have believed a film with this much skin and reckless, life-threatening excess could end up a rather dull muddle?
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The script of Shrink, written by Thomas Moffett, plays like "Crash" without the angst or the perpetual racial conflagrations.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More happens in Eclipse than in the previous "Twilight" zone, "New Moon," and yet it's duller
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Most of this doc is content to wander through Franken's recent show-biz resume, to no particular end.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    My favorite thing in the movie is the way co-star and Korean action icon Byung Hun Lee uses his feet of fury to hoist a paint can and send it flying.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Making her feature-film directorial debut, Grant is going for an everyday conversational texture and a sense of life's curveballs. But the results wander and you never really believe them.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    An interesting misfire. It's also the victim of lousy timing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Warming up this material, as Johnson tries to do, doesn't make it warmer; it just makes it seem warmed-over.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    By the time Perfume arrives at its ridiculous mass orgy, staged at the gallows where Grenouille is supposed to meet his end, you really would rather see him meet his end than endure a ridiculous mass orgy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's an intriguing premise, weakened by a script lacking in strong forward motion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Rio
    The movie isn't dull, exactly; the problem lies in the other, antsy direction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Clooney remains as game as ever, but the way he and McDormand push the energy here, you feel the strain. Pitt, just floating through, comes off best. He doesn't judge the moron he's playing; he just is.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Girl Most Likely goes a little bit wrong in nearly every scene, its stridently quirky characters never quite making sense together in the same universe, let alone the same movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    After the fourth electrocution gag, the 10th smack in the face and the 12th assault on a wee rodent crotch, we could all use something quiet.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The sharpest five minutes in Alex Cross, by a considerable margin, belong to Giancarlo Esposito.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Those looking for some human interest in their human interest may be equally frustrated.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Veers perilously close to the concept of poverty tourism.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Heartbreakingly average, director Robert Redford's The Conspirator errs in the way so many films do, especially films about unsung pieces of American history. It focuses on the wrong character.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie bumps along from low-grade scare to scare, and it's not lousy, mainly because Virginia Madsen prevents it from being so.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It has a rich premise and no lack of amazements. What it lacks in any sort of dramatic shape.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Dark Shadows illustrates the fine line in a pop reboot between "relaxed" and "lazy."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The chief argument regarding his (Smith) "Human Centipede" riff is pretty basic: good trash or stupid trash? I'd say roughly half and half.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Toward the end, G-Force starts making no sense at all, neither tonally or narratively. It may not matter to the target audience, though the look on my son's face when it was over was pure Buster Keaton. He says he liked it well enough. Me, a little less.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Last Song is primarily for teenagers looking for something disposable to cry about for a couple of hours, though I did find it a tad easier to take than "Dear John."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For me Chastain's unerring honesty is the only element keeping The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby above the realm of pure affectation.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Nothing is harder and more elusive than successful slapstick onscreen. Nothing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A fine and moving film could be made from this story, which was inspired, loosely, by events and situations in the lives of Kurtzman and Orci. But the script sets an awfully low bar for Sam's redemption.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It lacks the rutting nuttiness of "Basic Instinct," even as it recycles much of that film's kiss-or-kill premise.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    They put the "obvious" in "obvious."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie strolls through its paces, sometimes amusingly, though by the end you've heard "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma" reprised often enough to make you wish "Volare" and "Arrivederci Roma" had never been written.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For the record, Gus Van Sant recently made "The Sea of Trees," set in the same infamous suicide forest, starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe. In its contrived sentimentality that film is twice as frightening as this one.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Isn’t eye candy; it’s a drool-worthy slice of eye pie.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What proved tasty in book form comes across a little more like work in the movie.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Many of the original film's booby-trap scenarios are repeated here, but without Milius' grandiosity and nihilism. There's less of both in the new Red Dawn. It's not a disaster. It's just drab.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    21
    21 isn’t pretentious, exactly, but it’s damn close, and in trying to whip up a melodramatic morality tale the film becomes an increasingly flabby slog.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's mostly noise and splurch and, as I mentioned, aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh!
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More an argument than a fully fleshed-out drama ... The script is unconvincing; two key narrative twists, one related to the other, are deeply hokey.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Full of interesting little grace notes, and the cast is excellent, yet it grows more and more frustrating.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Eastwood's foursquare directorial aesthetic tends to heighten, rather than camouflage, a screenplay's shortcomings.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Padding disguised as a feature-length screenplay, adapted from Belber's one-act.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here and there, the actor invests the kind of feeling that makes The Way come alive in human terms.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    An Israeli-on-Arab version of "Shampoo," You Don’t Mess With the Zohan is terrible in many ways, and shoddy in every way that has to do with filmmaking. But politically it's sort of interesting.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    You've seen worse. The film industry is capable of better.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie, full of talented performers in search of a more propulsive vehicle, settles for workmanlike cover-band status, which makes this a cover-band tribute to a jukebox musical - a long way from true, trashy exhilaration.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    As Premonition zigzags toward its solution it loses its head completely, packing a risible final reel with left-field religious disquisitions and heartfelt warnings against infidelity.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Agora has everything except real drama.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Absurdly brutal slapstick is a tough thing to sustain across a feature. I spent a lot of The Three Stooges staring, not laughing. For me this was a stare-out-loud affair.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Not even the film's occasional bursts of ultra-violence, or the endlessly oozing red clay, or Hiddleston crying a red tear, or Chastain swanning around in one flaming crimson ball gown after another, can infuse this gorgeous bore with anything like red-blooded suspense.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Whitman's a wily cross between Janeane Garofalo and Ellen Page and in her scenes with her motivational-speaker single mother (Allison Janney), you sense a better movie lurking in the shadows.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite a few good ideas and the uniformly splendid production and costume designs by Luhrmann's mate and partner, Catherine Martin, this frenzied adaptation of The Great Gatsby is all look and no feel.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The gentle erotic undertow in the friendship of Snow Flower and Lily has been toned down, and replaced by … niceness.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Just about everything in the video-gamey World War I picture Flyboys rings false, although the planes certainly are terrific.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I did like seeing the (fakey-looking) sheep take flying neck-high leaps at various human throats, in scenes recalling the killer rabbit in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." And I enjoyed the Kiwi dialects. And I suspect King's next film will be better.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The whole thing feels a bit desperate.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It sounds fun. It's a little fun. For a while. But Bekmanbetov shoots every killing spree like an addled gamer, working that slow-down-speed-up kill-shot cliche like a maniac.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Planes has practically no visual distinction, it's a complete knockoff, but I think it'll get by with the kids.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The dialogue comes straight out of "The Benny Goodman Story." That look, someone says to a staring, pausing Kutcher, "tells me you're on to something big." Nobody talks in this movie; everyone speechifies or take turns sloganing one another to death.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Woodley is an ace at handling laughter through tears — "my favorite emotion," as a character in "Steel Magnolias" once said. She improves with each new film, even when the films themselves aren't much.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Clarke has loads of talent, but in Me Before You she's undermined by director Sharrock's technique, and an endless slew of overeager reaction shots (She's clumsy! She's twinkling!) exacerbated by editor John Wilson.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Predators, plural, starts well and ends poorly, and in the middle it's in the middle.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Levy surely knew that the script at hand didn't warrant a full two-hour running time; even if you enjoy The Internship, as my son did, it feels 20 minutes over-full at least. Cut out half of the "Flashdance" and "X-Men" references, and you're halfway there.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    There's nothing wrong with Paranoia that a stronger director, livelier leading actors and several hundred fewer narrative conveniences wouldn't cure.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's not much to hijack. But playing a lovelorn version of himself, in love with Adam Sandler in a dress, a lisp and breasts, Al Pacino holds a gun to the head of the comedy Jack and Jill and says: I now pronounce you mine.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Nearly two hours long, 30 Days of Night makes you feel the cold (though it was shot in New Zealand) and feel the fangs, but it also makes you feel like 30 days is a pretty long time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What are Jolie and Freeman and McAvoy doing here, besides acting cooler than Clive Owen in "Shoot ’Em Up"? Cashing a check, that's what. Bekmametov may have talent, but the arrested-adolescent "escapism" of this picture emits a pretty bad odor.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    John Wick 2 stages its gun-fu melees sleekly and sometimes well, from the catacombs of Rome to the subway platforms of New York City.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding manages some lovely images, and some of Spottiswoode’s compositions remind you he's capable of fine work. But Hogg never comes to life, on the page or on the screen.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Unexpectedly sour, The Dilemma barely qualifies as a comedy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For one thing, and it's a big thing, it's filmed all wrong. Director Taylor and cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen favor handheld, Rachel's-eye-view close-ups, by the woozy hundreds. The toggling editing rhythms get to be a bit of a chore.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too much. Too numbing. Too coy. And ultimately too violent.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This contrived mashup of "Proof" (earth-shaking algorithms), "Kramer vs. Kramer" (nerve-wracking custody battles) and "Little Man Tate" really isn't much.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Canyons may not work, and the sex (as well as the synthesized glop on the soundtrack) may be tragically unhip, but it was made by a director who still cares.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film works a bit better than the 2004 "Punisher" installment, the one starring surly, dislikable Thomas Jane as Frank Castle.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The results feel a little harried, as if the focus issues were never really solved.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I like the end-credits sequence best, which has nothing to do with hoary complications or the miseries of stardom or the magical spellbinding powers of a cheap wig.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Unfortunately it’s all a bit dull.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Gyllenhaal certainly holds the screen; at this point in his career, he has found a way to rise above whatever needs rising above. But midway through Demolition, I longed for a sequel to "Nightcrawler" instead.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Self/less hews closely enough to the premise of the 1966 John Frankenheimer thriller "Seconds" to qualify as an unofficial remake. Then again, anyone who remembers that one is not in the target audience for this one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Gray’s writing lacks the punch and zing that might take your mind off such rickety plotting.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The story should have made for charming results on screen. Instead - and I truly don't enjoy saying so - co-adapter and director Rob Reiner's picture lands somewhere between synthetic nostalgia and the texture of real life.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The finished product feels tonally indistinct and plays as a bit of a grind.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This is the sort of film where a character says “Here we are, having a high-minded debate ...” and you wonder if countless moviegoers will be rolling their eyes in unison.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A facsimile of a masquerade of a gloss on "Charade," and on all the lesser cinematic charades that followed in the wake of director Stanley Donen's 1963 picture.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    "Superbad” got a deserved R rating for its unmitigated and gleeful raunch. Drillbit Taylor is cleaner in mouth but far uglier in spirit. Wilson and Mann do what they can to tone it up, but their scenes belong to a different film, and a fresher one.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's funny what you buy completely onstage and resist completely, or nearly, on-screen. Case in point: Mamma Mia!
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie lacks wit.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All of it is plausible, if one were to break the narrative into its component parts; together, though, those parts resemble "Babel" or "Crash" or other determinedly topical mosaics that end up falsifying their own concerns.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Some comedies have the knack for affrontery and shock value; The Change-Up, written by the "Hangover" team of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, merely has the will to offend.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A large amount of dope is smoked in The Pick of Destiny, perhaps the most since the salad days of Cheech & Chong. This may be the problem. Pot rarely helped anybody's comic timing.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Rio 2 offers roughly the same approach to story and to story clutter as did the first movie.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Newell has done some fine work in all sorts of genres, from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” but in “Cholera” he seems to be chronicling a half-century of events, passions and desires as a tourist, not a native.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's worth seeing, on balance, simply for what Mark Ruffalo does in a hundred different, discrete, telling ways as he creates a character who was a capital-A Character, outlandish one minute, scarily unpredictable the next.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This film was not based on a video game, but that's the vibe and the aesthetic at work here: YEAH! KILL!, followed by a few muttered expressions of the horror, the horror.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Cars 3, a reasonably diverting account of middle-aged pity, humiliation and suffering as experienced by Rust-eze-sponsored race car Lightning McQueen, is not the weakest of the Disney/Pixar sequels (I’d vote “Cars 2” or “Monsters University,” those sour, desperate things). But it’s by far the most guilt-ridden.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It is well made as far as it goes. I wish it went beyond its own carefully prescribed limits of the commercially acceptable.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Midway through I started wondering why I wasn't laughing more. "Baby Mama" was not written by Fey and/or Poehler, which may be the reason.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Part of the problem here is one of proportion: The movie throws a misjudged majority of the material to the villains and lets the unfashionably sincere and sweet-natured Muppets fend for themselves.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    You couldn't accuse the film of practicing what it preaches: careful stewardship of a precious resource.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Why does this film, with so many first-rate artists in its corner, not quite work? Partly it's a matter of style, but mostly it's because the script is made of tin.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The action beats come straight out of the video game "Call of Duty." And when you have real SEALs placed in a picture that lives and dies on the same old first-person-shooter aesthetic, you have a film divided against itself.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What it doesn't have is a way of making sense of its comic and dramatic strains, together, in the same movie.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film itself, which has everything from erection jokes to a computer-generated tornado, comes down to a battle between the interpreters and a screenplay riddled with convenience, cliche and well-meaning contrivance.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    As skillful and charismatic as Gere is, I never get the sense he's really in there, conversing with his fellow actor.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A genial, sloppy, minor affair, offering a smidgen of inside baseball, which includes a gag at the expense of the forgotten, late '80s Lucas-produced epic "Willow."
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    After an intriguing start, Transcendence — aka "The Computer Wore Johnny Depp's Tennis Shoes" — offers roughly the same level of excitement as listening to hold music during a call to tech support.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is responsible, earnest, well-intentioned and, as it was in Sundance, maddeningly inconsistent.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Director Morel brings some style and speed to the proceedings, though I found The Gunman increasingly numbing in the carnage department. Compared with someone like Neeson, Penn's avenging angel is a less relatable fellow.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I laughed three or four times, mostly at verbal byplay since director MacFarlane struggles when it comes to timing, filming and cutting sight gags.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Kasdan has inherited much of his father's surface skills; he knows how to round out a scene and keep things on story point. But In the Land of Women doesn't for a moment feel messy and chaotic where it counts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It relays an uplifting story that, ill-advisedly, is not so much Holocaust-era as Holocaust-adjacent, determined to steer clear of too much discomfort.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Snatched, more about victimhood than women running their own show, is funny here and there, but in ways that make the bulk of the formulaic material all the more frustrating.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The eerily precise Heigl, who provided confident back-court support as the exile in Guyville also known as “Knocked Up,” has no trouble filling a leading lady’s shoes. She’s just snarky enough to be interesting, and she knows how to take a fall.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This film is very different: chilly, methodical, a slave to 10-ton metaphor as opposed to metaphoric provocation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The actors save it, periodically, from itself, simply by setting a natural tone and finding some truth in an extended sketch.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Imagine a Judy Blume rewrite of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," and you'll end up somewhere in the ashen yet uplifting vicinity of How I Live Now.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film disappoints particularly in relation to "Young Adam," an earlier picture about sexual obsession from writer-director David Mackenzie; this one's more in line with the creamy tones and surface readings of "Asylum."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    At times the film appears on the verge of morphing into a singing-cowboy musical.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Holiday is a 131-minute romantic comedy for those who, if they had their way, would still be watching "Love Actually."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too often The Express sidelines its own main character in favor of the lemon-sucking, jaw-jutting glower patented by Quaid.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Jackson has not cast himself well, though. He has slathered the imagery in the wrong kind of wonderment and hyperbole, both on Earth and in heaven.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is ruled by sound and fury signifying an attempt to launch a new franchise.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Keener alone finds the truth between the lines of this routine affair. She can't do much about the lines she has to say out loud, but as all first-rate screen performers realize, words are only part of the story.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The glibness of Wiesen's freshman effort wouldn't be a problem if the wit was there.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Morgan and Eastwood are scrupulous in keeping their notions of the afterlife as general and inoffensive as possible. They have no religious or spiritual worldview to sell. As I say: Many admire this film to no end. I found its use of recent tragic events, including the London underground bombing, to be more than a little cheap.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I wish the film version of Astro Boy provided a stronger antidote to mediocrity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's outlandishly gory and bluntly political, the latter being more interesting than the former. It wears out its welcome, though, long before la revolucion and sequels are promised.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here and there an image of spectral beauty, assisted by the 3-D technology, floats into view and captures our imagination. But the script, which really should've been called "Sanctimonium," has a serious case of the bends.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Green just isn't the superhero color this year.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The nuttiest hunk of junk in many months.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Robinson is undone partly by his own workmanlike touch as a writer, and partly by matters of casting. I like Harris, and he's quite moving here, but every time Duchovny reappears the overall energy level sinks to crush depth.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What If brings up the distinctions among wit, jokes and robotic banter, and this new romantic comedy has a bit of the first and a few of the second, but it's largely a case of the third.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    There's about 10 good minutes out of 85.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    If you want a relationship comedy that feels like last year's stuff, doesn't go far enough in any direction and is made watchable only by an overqualified ensemble, there's The Ex.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    LaBeouf's quivering instability creates the impression that his performance is constantly buffering on us. He's never dull — he is, in fact, a compelling actor in any circumstance — but the material ends up cheapening the experiences of so many real-life veterans, which surely was not the filmmakers' intention.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I doubt even rabid fans of the first two will consider Shrek the Third a worthy addition to the franchise.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    My God is this script predictable. Each relapse and betrayal shows up announced, and then announced again, a little louder, by the dialogue equivalent of an aggravating doorman.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This one's just OK, but at midnight, after who knows what, OK might be enough.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    If more of the picture had the inventively grotesque payoff of the scene set at the gymnastics tryout, capped by a female character's inarguably poor dismount, we might have something to puke home about.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The skillful quartet at the center of Drinking Buddies reveals the weaknesses in the material.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu, confining his usual two-and-a-half-note vocal range to half that.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Hiddleston, his eyes full of fire and melancholy longing, was an inspired choice. Everything not-quite-right with most movies, however, goes wrong long before the actors arrive on set.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Assuming your psycho-pigtailed-killer memories extend back as far as "The Bad Seed," Maxwell Anderson's play filmed by director Mervyn LeRoy in 1956, Orphan may remind you of the icon made famous by Patty McCormack.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More than anything Minkoff's project feels like a protracted episode of "Jimmy Neutron," a show with characters for whom I don't have the same affection.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Half the time I wasn't sure what Lee was going for in terms of tone, or style, or focus. It was a tricky assignment to begin with, because McBride's novel, and his screenplay, is part socio-historical corrective, part magical-realist folklore, part wartime procedural.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    How is that Vikander, who played the robot in the recent (and worthwhile) "Ex Machina," was twice as lively and five times as human in that picture than in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This movie's all over the place, trying too hard to be all Westerns to all sensibilities.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I like Duhamel, and in her first straight-up dramatic role Hough does well enough, though her singing and/dancing career thus far has trained her to oversell, as opposed to sell, as opposed to act naturally.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Kids may love the movie, and even kids who love the books may like it. For me, though, an astonishing percentage of the books' appeal has vanished.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    With her arresting, off-kilter look of bruised desire, Michelle Williams ends up being the most interesting aspect of this somber corn.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All that — and yet, dull. Why?
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    To my taste there's too much of everything. The soundtrack never shuts up with the wind, the murmurings, the shudderings. And while director Nixey has talent, his indiscriminately roving camera tends to diffuse the tension, not heighten it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What these men endured is remarkable, and the logistics of the rescue are remarkable as well. The 33 settles for an unremarkable chronicle of that endurance test.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    So it’s one of those Hip, Now updates, albeit with jokes riffing on pop-cult artifacts that are already Then. I mean: “Jerry Maguire”? Moratorium!
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Clooney's attempt to honor unsung real-life heroes while recapturing the ensemble pleasures of some well-remembered Hollywood war pictures, notably "The Great Escape" and "The Guns of Navarone," comes off as a modestly accomplished forgery at best.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Good actors and a talented director doing what they can to bring the truth to a script that's mostly bogus.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    True Story is a case of a well-crafted film, made by a first-time feature director with an impressive theatrical pedigree, that nonetheless struggles to locate the reasons for telling its story.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    When classy, pedigreed British actors go hog-wild under the flowering dogwood trees of a Southern Gothic setting, often the results are good. Just as often they're so bad they're good. And sometimes, as is the case with Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson in Beautiful Creatures, they're simply doing the best they can under the circumstances.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Not bad, not good, Ice Age 3 may be OK enough to do what it was engineered to do, i.e., baby-sit your kid for a while and rake in the dough.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I fear Spielberg and Jackson hitched their wagon to the wrong technological star here.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It is less a film than a puny trampoline -- an occasion, though a grim one, for this most fervently movie-mad of American directors to show off his love for the various pulp genres mooshed together by the 2003 Dennis Lehane novel.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's secondhand, vaguely resigned material. And while Sudeikis has some talent, he's not yet ready to co-anchor a feature comedy. He's no Ed Helms, in other words.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's not very funny, but your kids might like it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Still Life is a very different story, small and quiet and, unfortunately, airless.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Kidnap probably could’ve played into its feverish, violent, trashy side more aggressively. As is, something seems to be holding it back from its own monstrously exploitative premise.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The leading actors labor valiantly and to little effect.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Although Joffe appears to be making a Brighton version of the seductively natty evil we find stateside in "Boardwalk Empire," this Brighton Rock remains muffled, half-formed pulp fiction.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film has a persistent and careful sheen. It looks good. It is, in fact, preoccupied with looking good. If this sounds like faint praise, I'm afraid it is.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Funny Games is fundamentally a bourgeois exercise in authorial sadism. As the methodical games grind on, the suffocatingly beige and white surroundings start to look like a mausoleum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie's benumbed by its own parade of bad behavior. Like some of Scorsese's other second-tier works — "Casino," "Bringing Out the Dead" — the gulf between virtuoso technical facility and impoverished material cannot be bridged. It's diverting, sort of, to see DiCaprio doing lines off a stripper's posterior, but after the 90th time it's like, enough already with heinous capitalistic extremes.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Now and then the movie rouses itself to deliver. If you go to American Reunion - and many will, if they harbor fond memories of the first one, and if they can find a sitter - you should stay through the end credits.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Robert Benton’s recent films have been vexing combinations of gentility and stiffness, and despite a fair bit of nudity "Feast of Love" behaves itself all too well. It’s as neat as a pin; it ties up every loose end in careful "Playhouse 90" style. Despite some awfully smart actors, Benton’s movie made me long for a few interrupted sentences and the occasionally conflicted character.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This one’s no gem. It’s simply large, and long (two-and-a-half hours, the usual length lately with these products). I remain unpersuaded and slightly galled by the attempts to interpolate the history, locale and tragic meaning of Auschwitz into what used to be known as popcorn movies.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I found the mythology of I Am Number Four vague and sloppy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    While it's no disaster, it's oddly indistinct and uncertain.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Suggests that this could be the start of something adequate. Something big would've been nicer, though the movie's limitations are less a matter of scale than of imagination.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The leads' chemistry in The Lucky One is more theoretical than actual. Still, the sunsets and sunrises and sunbeams through the windowpanes fall easily on the eyes.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Distressingly ordinary for such an extraordinary subject.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For many, this central performance will be more than enough. For others, the film will simply be too much.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The result is a placid tale of impulses running wild. Farino is a smooth operator, but he puts little on screen that feels like life, as opposed to a middle-of-the-road indie.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here's how you know Josh Brolin has become a movie star: Jonah Hex may not be much with him, but without him? Perish the thought. Perish it, throw an ax in its heart, then burn it to a crisp.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    No better or worse than the average (and I mean average) time-filling sequel cranked out by other animation houses.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Feels constrained and rather dutiful, no matter how passionate these people are about what they're observing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    In Rendition Gyllenhaal is supposed to be the smartest one in the room, yet he’s essentially just a good-looking plodder. And despite its whirligig story machinations, so is Rendition.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All the astute acting in the world can’t bring such a preposterous story into the station on time and intact.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    You find yourself smiling at some of the bits, wincing through many, many others, and ultimately wondering if the pacing would've improved had either H or K developed a terrible cocaine habit.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    G.I. Joe may not be beefier, but it’s cheesier and less aggravating than "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the summer ’09 headbanger it most resembles.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The relative success or failure of Adult Beginners, directed with a steady, nonjudgmental hand by Ross Katz, depends on how funny you find Kroll. I find him funny-ish.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Neat and tidy and well-mannered and dull, and not even Colin Firth and Jude Law and Laura Linney and Nicole Kidman and some very sharp fedoras can enliven it.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Crowe's feature directorial debut, The Water Diviner, stems from an honest impulse to dramatize ordinary people who honor their dead. Yet the results are narratively dishonest and emotionally a little cheap.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's a two-hour lesson in how to act like a frenemy to your alleged friends. And it's not funny enough.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Besson's commercial instincts for sleek, violent fantasy are often sound, but "Valerian" is more sedative than show.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What are they trying to accomplish and is this really the best way to accomplish it?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Burton's never been especially good at finding the internal motor or the rhythmic drive within a scene. This, I think, is why Miss Peregrine stalls, again and again, while the bird woman or Samuel L. Jackson's pointy-toothed, fright-wigged Barron tells us what's up with what we just saw, and what'll happen next.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The best thing about this self-mocking affair, which runs a leisurely two-plus hours and affords plenty of time for an insane body count, is Antonio Banderas' manic gusto in the role of a gabby mercenary.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It is passable comic book stuff, dumb and loud. Loud. LOUD.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Hateful Eight is an ultrawide bore.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Why isn’t the film better? Guggenheim doesn’t seem to have prodded his subjects in any interesting directions.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The sequel is a disappointing step down, and backward.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's not a lousy experience. Taylor Swift shows up in a glorified cameo. Thwaites has promise; Rush has more than that. But for a movie decrying the concept of societal "sameness," The Giver is a hypocritical movie indeed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's not as if Stone is above this sort of pulp. But as rejiggered for the movies, Savages has trouble making us care what happens to the beautiful people - the untouchables - at the center of the sun-baked fairy tale.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Writer-director Billy Ray's Americanized redux isn't a disaster, exactly; it keeps its head down and does its job. But nothing quite gels, or clicks, or makes itself at home in its adopted setting.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Savage Grace comes up bland and seems to go nowhere in particular.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This debut picture never makes up its mind about what sort of comedy it wants to be. But at least it has one--a mind, that is.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Without a strong narrative engine, Upside Down ends up exactly where it shouldn't go: sideways.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Lasseter's sequel smooshes the vehicular ensemble of the first "Cars" into a nefarious James Bond universe, heavy on the missiles and ray guns and Gatling guns and electrocutions. Sound peculiar? It is peculiar.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    But even with the great good efforts of Wallis, the results, to some of us, betray a distrustworthy slickness reminiscent of a British Petroleum oil spill clean-up commercial.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Ruthlessly skilled as Atkinson is, the Bean persona of generic, maniacally grinning ineptitude owes most of its appeal to seeing just how far an actor can pull a face without pulling a muscle.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    With a less pedigreed international cast the whole thing would be a disaster, as opposed to a chilly new kind of disaster film.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    We're snowed by a great deal of intersecting and crisscrossing information in The Fifth Estate, and Singer's script lacks organizational skills. I can relate. But that doesn't make parsing this busy film, or — crucially — its true, contradictory feelings about Assange any easier.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Though Ball's workmanlike handling of the second in the trilogy, "The Scorch Trials," proves mainly that he can keep a franchise from running completely off the rails when the tracks have been laid perilously near a swamp of "dys-lit" cliches.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Ted
    You can find this clever, or you can find it lazy, and this is why MacFarlane is the biggest mixed blessing in contemporary TV comedy: He is both.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film isn't terrible; Vaughn, Pratt and, as David's frustrated girlfriend, Cobie Smulders know what they're doing in terms of finessing the material for laughs as well as the h-word. But it's all sort of unseemly.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Piven's performance basically made the series, and to the degree the new film works, which is a little, he makes that too.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Missed it by that much. Actually, the new version of Get Smart misses by a fair-size margin.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's nice to see a movie in love with New York City, but That Awkward Moment sets such a low bar for Jason's redemption it becomes a drag.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    If Rodriguez had any selectivity as an action director and a purveyor of garish thrills, the violence might have an impact beyond benumbing the spectator. "Sin City 2" keeps piling on, flipping the visual pages and selling the same ancient lessons in misogyny that real noir, or neo-noir, exploited yet transcended.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More than anything Casa de mi Padre is an exercise - and to those who find it more clever than I do, a valid one - in tone-funny, as opposed to joke-funny.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    DePietro struggles to reconcile the perceived demands of the romantic comedy genre (though his film is more bittersweet than most) and the tang and hustle and detail of real life.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A chaotic headbanger, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is saved from pure flat-footed blockbuster franchise adequacy by six things, three of them on Hugh Jackman's left hand, three on his right.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Roughly the same as the first in terms of quality and style. It delivers without much visual dynamism, and with a determined emphasis on combat. In the 1951 novel the climactic battle between the good Narnians and the bad Telmarines lasted a few pages. The film version of the same battle feels like "The Longest Day."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Kate Winslet has such sound and reliable dramatic instincts (That Face doesn't hurt, either) she very nearly makes something of Adele.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Irrational Man is full of holes. Abe's supposed to be a disillusioned activist, yet that side of him is so half-assedly developed, it's as if Allen himself didn't believe it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film is rarely dull; it's one life-and-death sequence after another, and the filmmaking's efficient, crisply delivered. But Eastwood honors his subject without really getting under his skin.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    With "Braveheart," "Passion" and now Apocalypto, Gibson clearly has established his priorities as a director. History is gore, plus a few hearthside family interludes. The trick is instilling the audience with enough rageful bloodlust to make the story work.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    See the play sometime. It cooks; the movie's more of a microwave reheat.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    In sum it plays like 12 landlocked episodes of "The Love Boat" rammed together, though without the same rate of intercourse.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Half the time, Deliver Us From Evil is genuinely interested in Sarchie's all-too-human demons, and half the time we're marking time until the big exorcism and an ending that keeps the door open for a sequel, should the market demand it.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It sticks in the craw. The whole movie does.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Partly, I think, the problem lies in Kurzel and his key performers being so determined to make the language conversational and naturalistic, they forgot to make the individual scenes move.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I wish Howard's film had more of a distinct personality and drive behind it; Howard's made some supremely enjoyable films, in various keys, but this waterlogged, effects-crazed picture isn't one of them.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Can a formidable actress redeem a pile of solemn erotic kitsch? Kate Winslet answers that one as honestly as she can in the film version of Bernhard Schlink's 1995 novel "The Reader."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The climactic battle of wits between human and shark leads to a conclusion that got the audience whooping pretty good. The rest of it's OK.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This is the "Babel" or "Crash" of ensemble romantic comedies, with screenwriter Dan Fogelman mapping out several narrative surprises that throw you for little loops as they're delivered.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Joy
    Lawrence is very good in the role, as far as the role goes. But the script never jells; the comedy feels forced and mechanically boisterous, particularly in the crucial early passages.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Clean enough to fly the Walt Disney Pictures flag, yet it's full of bimbos and cleavage and shots of Adam Sandler getting kicked in the shins by a dwarf.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The results impart that "trapped" feeling all too well. It's a sullen affair, dominated by a grim visual palette that intrigues for about 30 minutes.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    They should've thrown everything away except the title and the outline. That's what the "Devil Wears Prada" creative team did, and that film turned out a lot richer than this one.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The best efforts of the performers cannot authenticate a plot that no longer feels inevitable. It feels contrived. And the audience stays at a remove instead of entering someone else’s nightmare.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    While Brand manages a couple of effectively brutal bits of violence, Matthew Waynee's gassy screenplay is all premise and no propulsion.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It is a silly film about serious matters.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    New in Town is "The Pajama Game" without the songs, the laughs or the bare-knuckled realism.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The best of Laggies, both in the writing and the playing, comes in the square-offs between Knightley and Rockwell.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    One wishes LaBute, a bleak satirist and, at his best, a crudely compelling dramatist, had taken the script and made it his own sort of twisted comedy instead of a routine thriller
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Red Tails squanders a great subject, reducing the real-life struggles and fierce heroics of the Tuskegee Airmen to rickety cliche.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    My Life in Ruins will neither ruin nor change nor significantly impact your life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    While White plays it supercool, Tommy Davidson and Arsenio Hall (as Cream Corn and Tasty Freeze, respectively) swing for the fences, without much in the way of a bat.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Is the movie good enough to do what it’s designed to do? Not really. It’s designed as a launching pad for a “Dark Tower” television series, scheduled to star Elba and Taylor. So this is an hour-and-a-half TV pilot; it just happens to be a big summer movie too.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The result is passable stupidity leaning hard on its wily leading men. The movie’s also pretty galling in its unceasing brutality for laughs.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    "The Bourne Identity." "The Bourne Supremacy." "The Bourne Ultimatum." And now, "The Pointless, Confused and Then, For the Last Half-Hour, Exciting Bourne Sequel, After a Fashion," more commonly known as The Bourne Legacy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A screwy assassination thriller for these murky times, it takes half its pages from Soldier of Fortune and the other half from links provided by conspiracytheories-zapoppin.org.
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    • 50 Michael Phillips
    While not autobiographical, The Kite Runner feels authentic in its ethnic tensions, even when the narrative itself, with its handily reappearing and easily avenged villain, undermines that authenticity.
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    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A triumph of production design but a pretty dull kill-'em-up otherwise.
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    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Linda Cardellini can play just about anything, with honesty and delicacy, so it's no surprise she makes even a semi-sweet nothing like Austin Found worth a look.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    If it gets people thinking about which light bulbs they buy and their current gas mileage and such, then it's good to have it in the world. It is, however, a panicky blur as documentaries go.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The problems here, I think, are weirdly simple. The movie takes our knowledge and our interest in the material for granted. It zips from one number to another, throwing a ton of frenetically edited eye candy at the screen, charmlessly.

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