Michael Phillips

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For 1,802 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 A Serious Man
Lowest review score: 0 I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Score distribution:
1802 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The film is not for the frantic of spirit. Its steady rhythm and even-handed tone threaten occasionally to stultify. But little things mean a lot in this universe, as they should.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Fruitvale Station works because Coogler and his leading man present a many-sided protagonist, neither saint nor unalloyed sinner.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Lavant is splendid in the film, and he's essentially the entire film - and yet, Holy Motors is somewhat more than a contraption built for a fearless performer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Desplechin's films are great, chaotic, unsettling fun. This one's scored, elegantly, to a mixture of standards and classics and original music by Gregoire Hetzel.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It is that rare futuristic thriller: grim in its scenario, yet exhilarating in its technique.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Revanche has an unusual rhythm: Once it leaves the grotty urban despair behind for the deceptive calm of the countryside, it relaxes and explores the character’s interior lives.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    First-time Anderson performers such as Willis, McDormand and especially Norton fold effortlessly into the melancholy end-of-summer vibe.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It is an actors' showcase, without being showy, and Moreau and Tukur reveal radically different personalities with just enough in common to make things interesting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The story of Harvey Milk is a tragedy, but not since Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" has Sean Penn played such a serenely happy individual.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It sounds sentimental, icky, even, but Heart of a Dog sparkles with its creator's wisdom and droll philosophical insight.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Much of the action takes place in the couple's haphazard apartment, but the movie really does feel like a movie, with Farhadi's camera unobtrusively energizing the close-quarters exchanges, both verbal and non-verbal. The acting is splendid.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Deeply personal, wryly funny and fantastically cinematic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    For about an hour Looper really cooks. Its second half is more of a medium boil, and less fun. But watching it, I realized how few commercial entertainments hold up straight through to the end-point.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A beautifully spun and morally searching tale of interlocking compromises.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It works from a specific place and lets audiences relate to that place, and the people in it, like trusted intimates.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Ballast strikes me as one of the few American pictures of 2008 to say what it wants to say, visually and narratively, about a specific situation and part of the country, in a way that transcends regional specifics.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Some may find the film underpowered. Not me. With elegant understatement, Cohen creates a humane testament to reaching out, whatever our habits and routines.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It's one of the year's most pleasurable American movies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What you’re left with, finally, is the pleasure of a wily director’s company. In much the same way John Huston defied convention and predictability in the third act of his directorial career, with films as odd and fresh as “Wise Blood” and “Prizzi’s Honor,” Lumet is doing the same, right now.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    There’s something of the harlequin in Leigh’s conception of this bright, manic young woman.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It's a little of everything: unnerving, funny in just the right way and at the right times, serious about its observations and perspectives on racial animus, straight-up populist when it comes to an increasingly (but not sadistically) violent climax. That's entertainment!
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Several aspects of Weiner, from Jeff Beal's sardonic music (interpolating, among other cues, the theme from "S.W.A.T.") to the shock-cut editing strategies, nudge the movie toward entertaining if facile mockery mixed with just enough empathy to prevent curdling. It's pretty irresistible viewing, though, which is a pretty sad thing to concede.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    McConaughey is first-rate throughout, on top of every dramatic and blackly comic situation, even when the character isn't on top of anything.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film doesn't so much build as glide, in a pleasing, half-stumbling way, to the first day of school, which links Everybody Wants Some!! to Linklater's previous film, the gentle masterwork "Boyhood."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Weirdly touching documentary.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The first 90 minutes of Avatar are pretty terrific - a full-immersion technological wonder with wonders to spare. The other 72 minutes, less and less terrific.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    David Lowery's film A Ghost Story is best seen a second time, though obeying the customary rules of time and cinema, you'll have the mysterious pleasure of seeing it a first time to get there.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    For me, it's a sign that a filmmaker is on to something if you love hanging out with the characters as they eat and drink and talk and reveal little bits of themselves through everyday action.

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