Michael Phillips

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For 1,767 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 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Anton Chekhov's The Duel
Lowest review score: 0 That's My Boy
Score distribution:
1767 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Ashes of Time Redux remains a hermetic and rather frustrating work, dotted by lonely, windblown figures dwarfed by the sand dunes of western China.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As pure, outlandish outlaw cinema it's undeniable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    However sterling the craftsmanship, the film adaptation inflates the meaning and buffs the atmospheric surfaces of Yates' story, rather than digging into its guts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Watching Loeb opposite Berg, you're reminded of the miracles of chemistry and the luck of the draw when it comes to casting a show -- any show.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The look and sound of Duplicity is half the payoff.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Chinese locations ache with beauty. And when Watts and Norton focus, intently, on Maugham's often dazzlingly vindictive characters, The Painted Veil really does feel like a story worth filming a third time.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Guaranteed to make you think twice about what you're paying for what you're drinking.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A preposterous but beautifully polished Danish thriller.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's still worth seeing. This ambitious and powerful sphinx, a major force in a particular chunk of recent history, may not give away much. Watching and listening to how he doesn't give it away — that's the known known here.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If the film is more solid and satisfying than terrific, so be it.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A tender and upbeat spirit informs the writing and the execution.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie works best whenever Corden and Blunt, performers of nearly limitless appeal and sweet-natured vulnerability, take the story back from their cohorts, though Kendrick is no less beguiling.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Still, it's a pleasant surprise about an unpleasant guy brought to life by an ingratiating paradox, a movie star who has turned into a wily character man.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Slick, ice-cold and enjoyable, The Bank Job is a bit of all right.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie is small, but the actors make it seem larger, like binoculars turned around the right way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The drug humor in 21 Jump Street carries its own distinction, in that it's actually humor.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Not everyone can act his material with ease. But Ejiofor, who brings a serene gravity to every exchange, was born to do Mamet.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Liman's sensibility isn't sophisticated enough to tease out the nuances of what must be a pretty interesting marriage; the movie is more about texture and surfaces and surface tensions.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its best, Wright's film is raucous, impudent entertainment.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Parts of The Birth of a Nation are bluntly effective and beautifully acted, though one of the drawbacks, ironically, is Parker's own performance. Even the rape victims of the screenplay have a hard time getting their fair share of the screen time; everything in the story, by design, keeps the focus and the anguished close-ups strictly on Parker.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Though stylistically all over the place, it's not without interest.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The latest, produced by Abrams and directed by "Fast and Furious" alum Justin Lin, isn't quite up to the 2009 and 2013 movies. But it's still fun, you still care about the people and the effects manage to look a little more elegant and interesting than the usual blue blasts of generica.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The games have begun, and so far they're pretty gripping.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The filmmaker's access was impressive, the results moderately entertaining.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    While Streep has a tiny bit too much fun with some of her character's excesses, she's awfully good. So is Hoffman, who walks a fine line between obvious guilt and possible innocence.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Berg sticks to the job at hand, imagining what it is was like to be there, and to be the victim of sloppy, deadly safety practices in the name of a good day on Wall Street.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Potiche is very "Touch of Class" and "House Calls" in its comic vibe and trappings, and if you're old enough to remember those Glenda Jackson rom-coms, you'll probably respond favorably to Potiche.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I fear Spielberg and Jackson hitched their wagon to the wrong technological star here.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The movie belongs to the women, for once, and The Conjuring doesn't exploit or mangle the female characters in the usual ways. Farmiga, playing a true believer, makes every spectral sighting and human response matter; Taylor is equally fine, and when she's playing a "hide-and-clap" blindfold game with her girls, she's like a kid herself, about to get the jolt of her life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The smooth, cozy charm of writer-director Lorene Scafaria's "The Meddler" offers considerable seriocomic satisfaction.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This one's a margin Western. Frustratingly uneven, rarely dull.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All the movie has, really, is Tilda Swinton acting up a storm, which is more than enough for some. For me, given what's up with the rest of the picture, it's not quite.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is an effective genre piece. And Marling's quiet way of anchoring a scene is subtle enough to escape detection in almost any narrative circumstance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If anything, director Cooper is so intent on portraying Bulger as a man, not a monster, the man comes off a little softer than he was, probably.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Hateful Eight is an ultrawide bore.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Now, about the spider. Julia Roberts voices Charlotte in a way that suggests ... not much, I'm afraid. She may be a genuine movie star and can be a good actress, but her voice -- and what she does with it -- never has been one of her strengths.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    True to form, Guest's newest doesn't pull out the long knives. On the gentleness scale, this one's way over here, as opposed to the film of the moment, "Borat," which is way, way over there.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The very antonym of "fun," writer-director Craig Zobel's new film Compliance is one of the toughest sits of the movie year 2012. But it's an uncompromising and, in its way, honorable drama built upon a prank call that goes on and on.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    "Popstar" is most comfortable with material that simply comes out of nowhere.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The actors are excellent. Rogen falls very comfortably into the role of a 29-year-old who has fallen very comfortably into a living thing - a marriage - and stopped working on it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A rich, vexing experience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's not as good as its cast, but The Way, Way Back has its moments.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The oddly beautiful documentary made by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Gray is subtler and richer than its blunt title suggests.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    While it's effects-heavy, the movie itself does not feel heavy. Consider it a fanciful extension of the recent and very fine documentary "Project Nim."
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Timecrimes doesn't end as well as it begins. Then again, writer-director Nacho Vigalondo deliberately fudges the beginning and endpoints of his premise, which involves one of those nutty causal loops so dear to writers and consumers of science fiction.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Typical of a pretty good Sayles movie. There are few, if any, heroes and villains.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It is a better, more fully felt and moving picture than "Blue Valentine."
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It is a film, often breathtaking without settling for being pretty, filled with nervous silence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Effective dialogue doesn't necessarily mean witty dialogue, but wit certainly helps, and you tend not to get much of it in a low-key legal thriller. Fracture is an exception.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The acting is quite deft, if extremely broad, but screenwriter Kundo Koyama seesaws uncertainly between jokes and grief.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    All four stories are worthwhile, though together they’re an awful lot for one modest doc to cover. Yu’s integration of cinematic and theatrical elements is uneven, and a bit stiff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    One part smart, one part stupid and three parts jokes about body parts, the extremely raunchy Neighbors is a strange success story.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The acting's very strong throughout, though few would argue that the final half-hour satisfies either as suspense, or narrative, or social observation.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    It's a very small piece, working in a deceptively casual storytelling style. But it's my favorite music film since "Stop Making Sense," and it's more emotionally satisfying than any of the Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations made in the last 20 years.
    • 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."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Green is a rare bird in American filmmaking: a humanist who knows how to tell a story.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's an intriguing premise, weakened by a script lacking in strong forward motion.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    After playing one too many sullen poseurs it’s clear Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes had a ball making an inky black comedy seething with grandiose invective.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    As a director, Kaufman isn't yet his own best salesman. He's not enough of a visual stylist to sell his script's most challenging conceits. But the cast rises to a very strange and rich occasion.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    There may be less than meets the eye here. But what meets the eye is pretty striking.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It's a seriously withholding action comedy, stingy on the wit, charm, jokes, narrative satisfactions and animals with personalities sharp enough for the big screen, either in 2-D or 3-D.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Outrageous-plus, but often hilarious.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The Wall is no endurance test; rather, it presents the facts of the case, adding an eerie low hum to the soundtrack whenever Gedeck's character edges near her outer limits.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It never should've been OK'd in the first place and never should've gotten past the first day. This has a mixed effect on the movie itself, which inevitably fights against its own sense of dulled outrage and methodical role-playing. But it's pretty gripping all the same.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    By accident or design the film is seriously unbalanced.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    In terms of its title, Haywire doesn't quite go there; it's more "Haywire-ish." But it's eccentric, and the on-screen violence is sharp and exciting - brutal without being either subhumanly sadistic or superhumanly ridiculous.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    XXY
    The acting is uniformly strong, the visual approach self-effacingly honest.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I would see The Ides of March again just for the way Jeffrey Wright takes command of the screen in the secondary role of a senator who is either a cipher, a sphinx, a two-faced sphinx, a lying sack of D.C. dung or a steely man of principle.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Pulls you into a well-observed world and its characters.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's roughly as realistic as Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon," of course. But revisiting our old pals (one of whom is played by an actor who is no longer with us) and watching them survive one unsurvivable collision or plunge after another, continues against the odds to have a walloping charm all its own.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Stewart did direct Rosewater, and even with its limitations, the film works. Stewart has serious, dramatically astute talent behind the camera, as well as (big shock) a sense of humor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    When Ferrell and Hoffman do their thing together, a charming bit of whimsy becomes something more. It becomes really, really funny.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film treats depression and despair and young love with just enough gravity so the movie doesn't float away completely.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    In this teen-boy universe, sex is everywhere and nowhere, it's oozing out of every pop culture pore and every other insane boast, yet the idea of figuring out how to talk to girls without turning into a yutz remains elusive.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The style is brash, and it works. Tucker and Epperlein illustrate Yunis' account of his eight-month imprisonment, much of that time spent at the notorious Abu Ghraib compound, with literal illustrations--pages seemingly torn out of a Frank Miller graphic novel.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It's a strange, fascinating exercise in what Joel Coen once described as "tone management," job No. 1 for any director.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At its best, Seasons shakes off its predecessors and captures the simple, grand ideas it's after purely visually.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A small but, in its way, daring picture.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This sense of unruly behavior is mitigated, deliberately, by the gentleness and odd comic grace of July's presence and voice.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Branagh's regular composer, Patrick Doyle, delivers a persistent dribbling stream of forgettable mood music, and that's too bad; most of the scenes are acted so well, you don't want anything competing with them.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The picture, intelligent but mild, has more of a 10-volt hum than a true spark.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Hinds has been ready for a role of this size and shape for years; it was simply a matter of finding it, and its finding him.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    From director Ken Loach, England's longtime disciple of social realism, comes his most audience-friendly picture yet
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The most stylish comics-derived entertainment of the year...It's paced and designed for people who won't shrivel up and die if two or three characters take 45 seconds between combat sequences to have a conversation about world domination, or a dame.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If one thing holds the picture back, it’s the self-conscious album-cover aesthetic of Sebring’s visual approach.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's a Solondz film; it's a given. Abe may deserve all that comes to him, but the question of how he got this way sustains the picture, against all odds.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Certain things get fudged in The Founder, among them Kroc's middle marriage, and director Hancock can't completely resolve the warring strains in what he sees as Kroc's personality. But that's what gives the movie its tension, and it works.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Coppola and her brilliant cinematographer, Harris Savides, keep the action simple, but the perspective is perfect.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sue wins out, and the film is worth seeing, if only for the reminder of how badly justice can miscarry if enough millions are spent by the U.S. government.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Eighty-four minutes is about right for this style of animation. Even at that trim running time, the silhouette approach won't be for everyone. Ocelot's unity of vision, though, cannot be denied. Your kids, even the preteens, will likely fall headlong into his worlds.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    More than any previous screen role, this one affords Damon a chance to work his sly comic chops.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Behind the camera, Gordon-Levitt shows serious promise.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's too bad Spurlock settles for so little here, beyond the surface gag.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The interviews are often revealing and funny. And much of the music is tremendous.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The film feels dodgy, tentative and uncertain as to how to frame its own protagonist in a complicated story of journalistic compromise (and worse).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Elegy is a curious example of misplaced good taste.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Fairly inventive and exceedingly manic.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film works best when it pays specific attention to how hard it is to write a rhyme worth hearing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Danny Trejo plays Sherry's sometime lover and friend, and he's a big asset to a small, sharp film that won't be for everyone. That's a compliment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It's the big stuff that doesn't really work, at least well enough to be called special.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As close to fraudulent as a documentary can get and still be worth seeing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Baumbach’s achievement stings. It also has the sureness of tone and direction of a Chekhov story.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It may well be a hit, but me, I'm waiting for "Iron Man 2."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    For once, underneath all the motion capture folderol, the key performance really does feel like a full, real, vital performance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wildly uneven.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Butler tells a lot of different stories, some more effectively than others.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Premium Rush is great fun - nimble, quick, the thinking person's mindless entertainment.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The sexual component to Splice pushes the story in provocatively eerie directions.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The result is a brisk trot through a story that is, at heart, a tough slog.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The storytelling rhythm gets a bit pokey for the amount of story being told.... But director Yates knows his way around this stuff. The visual evocation of '20s Manhattan with a twist offers considerable satisfaction, as does Redmayne's embodiment of a boy-man more comfortable in the company of animals than with humans.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    When a new actor slips on the Spandex for a superhero franchise reboot, we should, you know, notice. And we do with Andrew Garfield.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Infiltrator works best in its unglamorous scenes of everyday deception.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Catfish is fascinating. At the same time, it emits a condescending, pitying odor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Smith carries it, even after the story loses its nerve. This film is the opposite of “Transformers”: It’s all about the unsettling silence, not the noise.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I do wish Felicity Jones’ character popped the way Daisy Ridley’s did in last year’s franchise offering. “The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J. Abrams, was smooth, consistent, even-toned, nostalgic. Rogue One zigzags, and it’s more willfully jarring. Yet it takes time for callbacks and shout-outs to characters we’ve seen before, and we’ll see again. And again. And again.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    This exercise in racked nerves makes most of the year's thrillers look like flailing maniacs by comparison.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It’s a close call, but Grace is Gone is worth seeing for the way John Cusack works with Shelan O’Keefe and Gracie Bednarczyk, two of the least affected and most affecting young actors to hit the screen this year.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results are pretty, and sometimes beautiful. They're also a tad stiff, and the dialogue and voice-over narration sometimes has the ring of a scrupulously faithful adaptation.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Good story, well told. Interesting concept. I wonder if people will go for it.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If any one aspect of Chase's film keeps it from being more than merely coolly engaging (which it is), it's the casting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    While not everything in Jindabyne works, especially in its final, redemptive third, the film and its faces stay with you.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    As interesting, certainly, as “American Gangster,” and operating with a truer street sense of the characters involved.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Wan is a humane sort of sadist. His latest offers little that's new, but the movie's finesse is something even non-horror fans can appreciate.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film wages an internal battle between its ripely sensual atmosphere and its often stilted pacing and plotting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The central relationship in Unexpected ebbs and flows, and even when you sense the edges smoothed over to the point of blandness, the actors keep it on track.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A rich and surprisingly old-fashioned musical biopic, The Runaways has neither the bloat nor the blather of your average Hollywood treatment of stars on the rise.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Such stalwarts as Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Toby Jones and Dominic Cooper spice things up as characters of various degrees of familiarity.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Like the "Bourne" franchise to which Noyce's film is indebted, Salt is a combination of pursuit, evasion, name-clearing and a reversal or two.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Hunger Games has completed its tasks well and met fan expectations.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The results go only so far. Yet already Ferrell has come a long way as a seriocomic screen presence.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Apted and his collaborators are so in awe of their subject they neglect to bring him to full human life.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie's far from dull. But first-time feature director Tim Miller's film serves as critique as well an example of what ails the superhero movie industry.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It is craftsmanship incarnate and the embodiment of tonal unpredictability.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Extremely raunchy, Get Him to the Greek is also very funny
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Samsara is gorgeous. And sometimes, depending on expectations, looks are enough.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Unabashedly theatrical and richly cinematic, even when it's falling apart.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The best of Prometheus is nonverbal and purely atmospheric: Fassbender's "Lawrence of Arabia"-loving character bouncing a basketball as he patrols the spaceship while his human cohorts finish up their two-year nap.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The result is a picture that is baldly manipulative yet weirdly sentimental, and while Considine (a fine actor) can write, he is capable also of writing dialogue you've heard before.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I like it up to a point — not a specific story point, but to a certain degree throughout. It's engaging but thin, and I couldn't buy screenwriter Brice's idea of Charlotte's antidote for her 10-year itch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Hanna presents the problem of the well-made diversion that is, at its core, repellent.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Surely the gentlest American film ever made about home-grown revolutionaries.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With that kind of financial imperative it's something of a miracle the Potter films have been, on the whole, good. One or two, very good. One or two (the first two), less good. This one's good.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's pretty good about saying why so much in the culture encourages a political life in the closet, either tacitly or directly. But even The Advocate had a problem with calling it a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Here and there, the actor invests the kind of feeling that makes The Way come alive in human terms.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film's emotional claustrophobia may not be for everyone.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Garcia's calm, steady guidance behind the camera, along with his nicely finessed faith in a very good cast, makes Mother and Child a fuller and more satisfying example of this storytelling style than we've seen lately.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's closer to the hammering "Transformers" aesthetic than expected. Yet the weirdness around the edges saves it from impersonality.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    There's a numbing aspect to Goat. But the best of it, I'd say, is honorably harsh; the subject should be difficult to watch, or the filmmakers aren't being honest about the way we operate as a culture, and what we allow and encourage our young men (and the young women who suffer the fallout) to put up with, still.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film sags in the middle section, and it's more a novelty item than a fully formed work . But it's very entertaining. And Van Damme proves himself a brave, possibly foolhardy actor, which is more than Steven Seagal ever did.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best of Dolphin Tale takes it easy. Led by Connick and Judd, plus the crucially empathetic Gamble and Zuehlsdorff, the cast includes Kris Kristofferson as the seafaring old salt of a grandpa. The acting has a nice, low-pressure vibe, in contrast to the film's high-pressure peril.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Will The Innkeepers be enough for the young folk? These days there's little middle ground between the determined lack of gore in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise and the determined overabundance offered by so much else. West works in that No Man's Land, intelligently.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It is a tour de force for the actress, needless to say. Iranian Golshifteh Farahani is wonderful in the role.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    While the film is roughly half grit and half sugar, it works because Smith sticks to a tougher, more rewarding recipe of 99.9 percent grit and only .1 percent sugar.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Originally titled "Orchestra Seats," Montaigne takes a page from the "Amelie" playbook, without the fancy visuals or magical realism.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Swift, sharp adaptation of Stephen King's short story (from the "Everything's Eventual" collection).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Plenty gory, but graced by a jovial sense of humor and an enjoyably guts-centric use of 3-D.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    XX
    The results offer a collective shiver (not a lot of shrieks here) for those in the mood for sprightly, short-form misfortune.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Che
    Che is Soderbergh's most interesting film in years, defiantly eccentric and absorbing at its best.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Leoni is one of the truly distinctive comic actresses we have in the movies today, a tough broad with murderously effective timing and phrasing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Killing Them Softly isn't anything major. But it's a pungent minor film only vaguely resembling the one The Weinstein Co. is advertising, and that's fine with me.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It’s dumb but quick and dirty and effectively brusque, dispensing with niceties such as character.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The reason I like Miles Ahead, despite its problems, has everything to do with Cheadle both behind and in front of the camera.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A handful of revisions, tweaks and adjustments, along with a musical score less bombastically grandiose, might've made this a film to remember.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's easy to watch.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film is distinguished by the grubby velocity of his foot chases, and the effectiveness of its craft.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Maybe this review is more about me than about Conan O'Brien, but I really couldn't get past the odor of self-congratulation emanating from nearly every scene in Conan O'Brien Can't Stop.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sollett works easily and well with Cera and Dennings, and lends a touch of awkward realism to what, from a screenwriting perspective, is pure formula.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Not everything in “Mockingjay” is dynamic or remarkable. Director Lawrence, working from Peter Craig and Danny Strong's screenplay, occasionally mistakes somnambulance for solemnity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film is entertaining and disingenuous, which doesn't make it wrong.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Gigante represents the sort of artful low-budget accomplishment that could, and should, be coming out of distressingly stingy Chicago once a year — whatever the subject, whatever the sensibility.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The plot's the same old thing. Mad, mad, mad, mad science; imminent apocalypse; parent/child issues; blah blah blaggidy blah. The tone of Ant-Man, however, is relatively light and predominantly comic.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Fundamentally Blades of Glory works; it's full of laughs both subtle and ridiculous.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It has a rich premise and no lack of amazements. What it lacks in any sort of dramatic shape.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    State of Play isn't a kinetic fireball like the second or third "Bourne" installment; like its protagonist, it's defiantly old school, "Three Days of the Condor" bleeding into "All the President's Men."
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    For all the boozed and abusive amusement provided by the great Bill Murray in the good-enough St. Vincent, the moment I liked best was Naomi Watts as a pregnant Russian stripper, manhandling a vacuum across the Murray character's ancient carpet. In movies as in life, it's the little things.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's less a western than a loping buddy picture.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A weirdly old-fashioned affair. If it weren't for the explicit sexual encounters, this could be an Ibsen or a Strindberg play, unclothed and unmoored from the late 19th or early 20th century.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A fairly good, extremely grueling movie as far as it goes — tracks the true-life fortunes of a battered group of climbers to the highest place on Earth. Yet somehow it doesn't go far enough.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For a good hour, this is the picture Kevin Smith was trying to make with "Cop Out."
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cafe Society is a good-looking nothing, but there are times — thanks more to Allen's direction than his writing, and thanks mostly to the people acting out the masquerade — when "nothing" is sufficient.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It wanders and putters and follows its main characters around.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's refreshing to see a non-mainstream movie that wears its heart and lust on its sleeve, and has anything but violence on its mind.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Call The Grey "Deliverance" Lite, with snow, and wolves. And call it a solid January surprise.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Linklater's working-class mosaic is seriously interested in how most of this country gets by for a living. And that, sadly, makes it distinctive.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Those receptive to Godard's sense of humor will find Film Socialisme an elusive yet expansive provocation. Those less receptive will find it elusive, period.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Monsters is a sharp little low-fi monster movie operating from a tantalizing premise.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    But by not "saying" ANYTHING about the lives behind all the lovely, easygoing footage of infants making their way to their first steps and beyond, Babies feels a tad dodgy (and repetitive) by the hour mark.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When the story’s twist arrives, you half-expect Twohy to throw in a couple of reels from "Dead Again," plus outtakes from "The Usual Suspects." It’s a lulu; I'm just not sure if it's the sort of lulu that will lead to great word-of-mouth.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The tunes are so good, you can’t believe the film itself doesn’t amount to more, especially with the rightness of the casting. Still, a few laughs are better than none.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Some of the action (and violence) in A Cat in Paris borders on the jarring, and the slam-bang finale - set atop Notre Dame Cathedral - favors bombast over wit. But getting there is a lot of fun, in part because the animators take time to make Dino a truly charismatic animal.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film's surprising, enveloping jazz score is often deliberately at odds with Niko's moody outlook.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Mainly it’s a very solid dance picture, which is the point.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I enjoy both Timberlake and Kunis; just this side of manic, they seem right together.
    • 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."
    • 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."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    The camera bobs and weaves like a drunk, frantically. So you have hammering close-ups, combined with woozy insecurity each time more than two people are in the frame. Twenty minutes into the retelling of fugitive Valjean, his monomaniacal pursuer Javert, the torch singers Fantine and Eponine and the rest, I wanted somebody to just nail the damn camera to the ground.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Accomplishes what "Snakes on a Plane" did not: It offers a merrily idiotic movie to go with its willfully idiotic title.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Changeling fundamentally works; it holds you. But these issues of texture and detail matter too, and they hold clues as to why Eastwood's latest is a good, solid achievement rather than a great, grieving one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Partly real and partly, increasingly, fantastic and outlandish in its wishful thinking.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Style is a tricky, elusive thing, and this film doesn’t so much have it as strive for it, constantly. But something in Watson’s story endures: The wish-fulfillment truly satisfies. And with the war clouds gathering by story’s end, the fairy tale acquires a bittersweet edge, nicely cutting all that whipped cream.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Starts out like a salacious, rump-centric and blithely bare-breasted hip-hop video and ends up in the realm of scary and inspired trash. That's not meant negatively.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Rio
    The movie isn't dull, exactly; the problem lies in the other, antsy direction.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Things We Lost in the Fire finds Bier at an interesting juncture, half-Dogmatic, half traditionalist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Staggers and wanders and feels far longer than its 85 minutes, and it's best considered a calling card for better things to come.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Berge is a meticulous and intriguing host, though one gets the feeling he's relaying, very selectively, only so much of the messier side of his life with Saint Laurent. So be it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Overstuffed, formulaic but very easy to take.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is hit-and-miss in an unusually clear-cut way. It's funny for 45-50 minutes. Then it's strained and abrasive and entirely too devoted to action-movie tropes for 45-50 minutes, minus end credits. I can recommend the first half.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Moderately funny though immoderately derivative.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Youth in Revolt isn't bad -- the cast is too good for it to be bad.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    I prefer my horror with a chaser of wit, and Severance, a modest but very lively British import, serves it up in harsh but high style.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    42
    Treats its now-mythic Brooklyn Dodger with respect, reverence and love. But who's in there, underneath the mythology?
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It's passable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    The line between cool and cold is a thin one, however. Cool isn't the word for "Thirteen"; it's just smug.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Any movie with the sense, the wit and the visual instincts to introduce Kong the way this one does is fine with me.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If you have any curiosity at all about how a fellow like George Hamilton became a fellow like George Hamilton, My One and Only answers the question by looking, fondly, at his primary caregiver.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Don't expect miracles. Not every biopic needs to reinvent the form. Sometimes it's enough to inhabit it, engagingly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    There's something very right with Off the Black in terms of pure emotion and performance craft.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If the key performances in Beautiful Boy were any less honest, the film's half-formed suppositions would undo it utterly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film, a handsome nerve-jangler co-produced under the storied Hammer horror banner, amps up the scares without turning them into something completely stupid. Success!

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