Michael Phillips

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For 1,573 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 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Lowest review score: 0 What Goes Up
Score distribution:
1,573 movie reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It's a nerve-wracking visual experience of unusual and paradoxical delicacy. And if your stomach can take it, it's truly something to see.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Even with its limitations it's one of the necessary films of 2013.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Documentary filmmakers can make any number of rookie mistakes with their first features. Casting too wide a net is one of the most common. "La Camioneta" avoids that pothole, beautifully.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Folk standards such "500 Miles," "The Death of Queen Anne" and "Dink's Song" infuse the movie, and as in the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" T Bone Burnett has done first-rate work supervising the musical landscape. The film, I think, falls just a tick or two below the Coens' best work, which for me lies inside "A Serious Man" and "Fargo."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The miracle is that even with a bit of dramaturgical clunkiness The Past is fluid, intimate cinema. Few directors today can shoot in such tightly confined spaces, with such a determined control over his actors' movements, and make the drama work so well.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    This is a big-hearted, absorbing documentary about a writer who kept on writing until very near the end. Anyone who cared about Roger Ebert will find it necessary viewing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    You wait for months, sometimes, for a movie to show you something new. "7 Boxes" does exactly that, and while it's no more than a briskly managed bit of escapism, it's a really good example of same.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It makes the dream of flight itself a vehicle for bittersweet enchantment.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    An impressive, often enraging feature-length debut from director Robert May, deals carefully and well with the so-called kids for cash scandal.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    To millions, Stritch is the Emmy-winning actress who did "30 Rock," playing Alec Baldwin's mom. Those people who don't know the rest of her story should take the 82 minutes to see this.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    One of Anderson's cleverest and most gorgeous movies, dipping just enough of a toe in the real world — and in the melancholy works of its acknowledged inspiration, the late Austrian writer Stefan Zweig — to prevent the whole thing from floating off into the ether of minor whimsy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Had this ambitious head trip come to pass, it might've made Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" look like "Go, Dog. Go!"
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Vivian Maier is a great Chicago story. And what she did for, and with, the faces, neighborhoods and character of mid-20th century Chicago deserves comparison to what Robert Frank accomplished, in a wider format, with "The Americans."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It feels fresh and unpredictable, as quietly strange as the remarkable musical score from first-time feature film composer Mica Levi.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The director thinks visually, which sounds redundant until you realize how many monster movies are flat, effects-dependent factory jobs. Edwards knows how to use great heights for great effect.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Looks, feels and flows like a real movie. It's better than the last few Pixar features, among other things, and from where I sit that includes "Toy Story 3."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Get on Up hits all these high points. But the Butterworths fracture the order, fruitfully. They're more interested in making musical and dramatic connections across time and space — something in the '70s triggering a childhood memory, for example — than in laying them out predictably.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Do not expect dynamic filmmaking from Love Is Strange. It's about other things, and Lithgow and Molina are splendid, their eyes full of wisdom and experience.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A functioning, funny, weirdly touching fable of artistic angst and aspiration, a meditation on fame and its terrors and the metaphoric usefulness of masks and huge fake heads.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Wasikowska is wonderful here, unaffected and affecting, but then she has long been a young actress conveying a rich and shadowy interior life on screen. She humanized the Tim Burton "Alice in Wonderland," so clearly she can do nearly anything.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    David Fincher's film version of the Gillian Flynn bestseller Gone Girl is a stealthy, snake-like achievement. It's everything the book was and more — more, certainly, in its sinister, brackish atmosphere dominated by mustard-yellow fluorescence, designed to make you squint, recoil and then lean in a little closer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    We need films such as Kennedy's as a corrective.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The film works, whatever your ethical stance on Snowden, because it's more procedural than polemic.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A tough-minded, empathetic portrait of dreamers on the edge.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A rich and troubling documentary highlight of the year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Happy Valley might've fleshed out some of these larger implications. The film could've benefited from another 15 or 20 minutes of detail and nuance. What's there, though, is strong, thoughtful and disturbing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It's good for the soul, and composer Joe Hisaishi's themes are so right they sound as if they came straight out of the ground with the girl in the bamboo.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Here's one of the strongest feature film debuts in a long time, in any genre.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Like "Lincoln," written by Tony Kushner and directed by Steven Spielberg, DuVernay's Selma ushers us into the world of the backstage, back-room and back-scratching political process, dramatizing how the sausage was actually made.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It's a small story set in a memorably desolate location. The actors, all quite magnificent, enlarge it, just as cinematographer Mikhail Krichman illuminates the vistas and roadways and even the furtive kitchen table glances between clandestine lovers.

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