For 1,366 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 24 City
Lowest review score: 0 Hostel: Part II
Score distribution:
1,366 movie reviews
    • 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
    For a good hour, this is the picture Kevin Smith was trying to make with "Cop Out."
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    The line between cool and cold is a thin one, however. Cool isn't the word for "Thirteen"; it's just smug.
    • 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
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The comedy works some of the time; the pathos, more so. There's an undertow of grief in 2 Days in New York relating to the passing of Marion's (and Delpy's) mother, who died in 2009.
    • 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
    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
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    As in last year's "Bridesmaids," an authentic, dimensional human element animates the jokes and the characters with whom we spend a couple of highly satisfying hours.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    In a rom-com, there's no rom without the com. Hart and Hall give it their all.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    For me, the mechanics or even the (excellent) designs are not enough. Jeunet's archness keeps conventional empathy or engagement at bay, and by design maintains a tone of artificiality.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Davis is reason No. 1 the film extracted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 best-seller improves on its source material.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film may be slight, but it is not stupid, and director Robert Cary keeps both stickiness and shtickiness at bay.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The attitudes evinced by most of the characters, and the movie itself, are those of the admiring tourist, and as two-hour tours go, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel goes smoothly.
    • 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!
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There are times when the facile flimsiness of Hello I Must Be Going threatens to float right off the screen. But Lynskey has her ways of surprising us, even when nothing in the script itself is doing so.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is a paradox. It's ostentatiously restrained. You cannot say Corbijn lacks rigor. You can, however, say that when a talented director's approach too precisely mirrors the tightly calibrated performance strategy of his leading player, a movie risks stalling out completely.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's fitting that a drama trading in classified information would turn out to be such a cryptic bugger.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Big Miracle tells its sort-of-true version of events in a democratic and humane fashion, by way of a rangy, lively group of competing interests who actually do on occasion act like real people.
    • 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).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The director, New Zealander Christine Jeffs ("Sylvia"), loosens the plotting as best she can, letting the interactions breathe. Her work, and the film, is strictly about the performers.
    • 61 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    This is an inspirational true story worried less about turning dramatic screws than earning its feeling through character.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Maybe if I liked the first "Anchorman" a little less, I'd like Anchorman 2 a little more. Still, I laughed.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cassavetes, who wrote the script, proves her skill with actors in this woozy push-and-pull of slurred compliments and shaky hopes for whatever lies beyond the next day.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Uber-raunchy but pretty interesting as sex comedies go.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Director and co-writer Eytan Fox is going for a sexually democratic, politically aware variation on story themes familiar to "Sex and the City" viewers. (At one point Lulu is referred to as "Miss Israeli Carrie Bradshaw.") Surprisingly, it works, and the entire cast is excellent.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Ladron plays like a telenovela without the melodrama. The characters are brightly drawn archetypes, and the humor's very broad. But the tone is nice and brash.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This is the story of a complicated and fraught friendship, and I'm not sure Wright and his collaborators figured out how much Hollywood baloney and how much naturalistic grunge to apply to it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The visual style is typical, ultra crisp computer animation, bright, sharp, somewhat clinical.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    The first "H&K" caught people off-guard with its canny idiocy and zigzagging, picaresque treasure hunt premise. By now, there's no catching anyone off-guard with these two, except by way of the most off-color and off-putting means possible.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At its best, this uneven work represents Moore at the peak of his argumentative skills.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Secretariat isn't bad but it's precisely what you'd expect.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The funniest American comedy of the summer.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Until the last 20 minutes, which stumble around in an attempt to set up a sequel, The Incredible Hulk keeps slamming everything forward, satisfyingly.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A lot of people have no use for Carnage, especially in its unapologetically hemmed-in film version. And yet there isn't a sloppily or casually considered shot in any of the 80 minutes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For a while, Trance had me guessing, and more or less hooked. Then the violence, motivations, double-crosses and fantasy/reality tangles became tedious.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Outside the bedroom, the wartime swirl of intrigue never develops beyond postcard imagery, however. This is one of the major disappointments of the film-going year.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The climax of Transformers contains all that is proficient and slick and all that is drecky and soulless in Bay's work.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    May have a dull title, but it's lively, idiotic fun, at least until it goes too far past "too far" into the realm of "far too far."
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    With most films, that'd be enough to cut out half the potential American audience. But effective, evocative science fiction, which Elysium is, has a way of getting by with an ILA (Insidious Liberal Agenda) in the guise of worst-case dystopia.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Jackie Chan co-stars in Morita's old role of the humble maintenance man who coaches the Bullied One. The older Chan gets, the simpler and truer he becomes as a performer.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Vol. II turns into a battle (like most von Trier films) between the filmmaker's baser instincts and his searching ones.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    50 percent good and 50 percent close.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Larsson's leading characters have less to do in this wrap-up chapter. As Larsson wrote it and screenwriter and exposition-condenser Ulf Rydberg adapted it, it's a rather wobbly blend of courtroom drama and loose ends tied, albeit rather leisurely.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's simply a more focused scenario than usual, full of violence done up with a little more coherence and visceral impact than usual.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's sweet, and low-key. It's very '70s in its vibe, which helps when the script veers in and out of formula.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's not a frenzied head-trip, the way Roman Polanski's "The Tenant" was, nor does the movie have half the energy and nightmarish allure of David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive." It's best taken, I think, as a jape and a wry male-centric fable on transgression and desire.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    9
    Something has gone slightly awry, however, en route from the 11-minute film to the 79-minute edition of 9.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Problems aside, this is a good, twisty, absorbing work.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What's striking about the picture, I think, is its lack of violent threat.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Modest and good-looking, the film starts as dark comedy and ends in pathos. Director Alvarez makes the Oregon scenery a character unto itself.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A roughly mixed but interestingly plotted offshoot of "Death of a Salesman."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It’s uneven and, in many instances, avoidably cheesy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    At its sharpest, The Heat actually moves and banters like a comedy, with sharply timed and edited dialogue sequences driven by a couple of pros ensuring a purposeful sense of momentum.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Small as it is, the film itself functions as a catchy, bittersweet waltz. You've heard it before, but the dancers are fun to watch.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Made with the full cooperation of the Pentagon, Brothers at War makes the war on-screen seem eminently winnable, eminently noble. Rademacher's desire to prove himself to himself, and to his soldier brothers, may stir different reactions among different audience members. And that's as it should be.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    RED
    Red starts repeating itself and spinning its wheels and looking for an ending, well before the ending arrives. The actors have considerable fun with it, though.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Role Models wouldn't be anything without Mintz-Plasse, whose character occasions what may be the cinema's first really funny Marvin Hamlisch joke, and whose camera presence is at once unfailingly modest and distinctive.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Director Jodie Foster's film reasserts the feverish, defiant, often gripping talent of actor Mel Gibson.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    So it's a bit squishy at the center. But the film is sleek, purposeful and extremely well acted.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    His (Schwimmer) film deserves some attention for the remarkable performance from Liana Liberato as Annie.
    • 60 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Wahlberg remains one of our most reliable and least actorly of movie stars, innately macho but vulnerable enough to seem like a human being caught in an inhuman situation.
    • 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?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Jones is first-rate (and her fellow writer McCormack is fun as the wild-eyed pot dealer, Skillz). The film has a conventional fake-documentary look, but underneath it is an honest concern about how to learn to treat people well and kindly after the end. Or to get to an ending, or a new beginning, in the first place.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    An estimated 4 million Latinas leave one or more children behind when they travel north to find work. They deserve a more nuanced film, but this one’s often affecting.
    • 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!!!
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    You want big wows with this sort of entertainment, and the wows here are medium.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A far more Tyler Perry-ish mixture of comedy and tragedy than the easygoing "Best Man" was, back in the pre-Perry movie era.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    For what it is - recessionary wish-fulfillment escapism, with a lot of highly skilled familiar faces in its amply qualified cast - it's fun.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I like the way DiCaprio and Hammer capture the little things - the byplay, the moments in which two men are "playing" FBI agents, partly for show, partly for real. At times, DiCaprio's macho posturing recalls a junior G-man version of Marlon Brando's self-hating homosexual in "Reflections of a Golden Eye."
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Gray’s writing lacks the punch and zing that might take your mind off such rickety plotting.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Levine has a strong instinct as a packager of moments, ladling on the alt-rock just so before ladling on another ladle's worth.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Moliere transforms into a fuller piece whenever Morante takes center stage.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Almost all of it works as wish-fulfillment fantasy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Has its satisfactions, thanks mainly to a cast skillful enough to finesse what is effectively two films sharing the same screen.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Calling Dredd 3D a movie is sort of a lie. It's a premise, and there are levels to reach, and always there's another grimy hallway to stalk, and then you turn right or left, and then kill some more.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The films are not works of genius. They are, however, wily reminders of the virtues of restraint when you're out for a scare.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Keeps you interested in its characters and isn’t afraid of complicating your sympathies a little. In these dog-day months for romantic comedy, that means a lot.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Grant and Barrymore are very enjoyable together onscreen. Who would've guessed that Barrymore would turn into such a deft comedian?
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It displays a growing sense of fluidity and craft [from Apatow]. ... But much of the script feels oddly dishonest and dodgy.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film's occasional toe-dips into real-world politics, sectarian conflict and the horrors of war are demure and unruffling. What's missing is a point of view beyond Hallstrom's interest in making his actors look as attractive as possible.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Malick is a true searcher, true to his preoccupations and definitions of soulful rhapsody. To the Wonder repeats its central motifs aplenty, yet you may find yourself thinking about life, and living, and love, while sorting through the movie. Even if it drives you nertz.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    See the play sometime. It cooks; the movie's more of a microwave reheat.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Good and creepy, The Mist comes from a Stephen King novella and is more the shape, size and quality of the recent “1408,” likewise taken from a King story, than anything in the persistently fashionable charnel house inhabited by the “Saw” and “Hostel” franchises.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I just wish Cronenberg hadn't adapted the book on his own. Behind the camera, he does remarkable things, turning Packer's limo into what Cronenberg himself has described as an upscale version of "Das Boot." But the playlets constituting the whole are thick, stubbornly undramatic affairs; the verbiage is lumpy, self-conscious.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The result is a film that feels hidebound. And nobody ever called a dance-driven movie "hidebound."
    • 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."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wasikowska is a fine, intriguing actress, though I'm not sure anyone could make actual psychological sense of this woman. Nobody on screen — not Kidman, not Goode, not Wasikowska, not Jacki Weaver as Auntie Gin — seems entirely at home in the chosen (or guessed-at) style.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Wholly predictable yet serenely enjoyable.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film should've aimed higher, given all that these people endured to have their story told.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Pap, but easygoing pap with a cast you can live with for a couple of hours.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Despite the proficient technique, after a while you may feel you're watching a particularly scenic snuff film.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For many, this central performance will be more than enough. For others, the film will simply be too much.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Cohen at his best is both brazen and sly. As is The Dictator.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Easy Virtue may be a bauble, as Larita's described at one point, but Coward's examination of hypocrisy demands real skill. The style should suggest "whipped cream with knives," as Stephen Sondheim once described "A Little Night Music." Elliott's film is more like curdled milk with a spork.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film works best when widening its focus to include the Federal Communications Commission's often baffling and hypocritical stances regarding what's OK to say, or show, on TV and radio, and what isn't.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    More happens in Eclipse than in the previous "Twilight" zone, "New Moon," and yet it's duller
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A surer hand behind the camera might’ve finessed the jokes more effectively, or established a consistent and satisfying tone.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This should've been a really good picture, especially with Hillcoat's crack ensemble. Instead it's a stilted battle waged between the material and the interpreters. It's up to you, the thirsty customer, to decide who won.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even when the film's cheating, Firth refuses to tidy up the fictionalized Lomax's emotional state. The actor, so good at playing stalwart men contending with inner demons, can utter a simple line — "I don't think I can be put back together" — and break your heart, legitimately, without histrionics.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The film is gripping---an honorable and beautifully acted addition to the tradition of homefront war stories.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Extracting three generously proportioned films from Tolkien's books made sense. But turning the relatively slim 1937 volume 'The Hobbit' into a trilogy, peddling seven or eight hours of cine-mythology, suggests a better deal for the producers than for audiences.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The way it's shot and cut, it plays like a parody of a car commercial shot in the style of a Bond film.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    If older kids and adults seek out this picture, which 20th Century Fox and Walden Media clearly aren't sure how to sell, they may well find themselves drawn into a subterranean world of considerable imagination.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Glib and charming in roughly equal measure.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The first-person remembrances hit you where you live, while everything else (including a bland musical score by John Piscitello) often creates the opposite of the intended effect: It keeps you at arm's length from an extraordinary story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Genuinely odd in its mixture of bluntness and indirection, screenwriter Angus MacLachlan's study in biblical temptation is saved from its own heavy-handedness by a fine quartet of actors.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I enjoyed seeing Joss Ackland as well. The veteran character actor with the world’s lowest voice plays the diamond company chairman, and when he rumbles out orders, it’s like Sensurround never left us.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Peter and Michael Spierig's earlier, campier horror outing, the zombie picture known as "Undead," was even bloodier than this one. The movie-makers are after bigger game here, and a subtler mixture of speculative nightmare and action film.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The script avoids going full-bore as satire. Where it goes instead lacks a purpose, a reason for being, beyond the usual name-checking of "The X-Files" and the like.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Phillips
    The exhausting slapstick violence is the film's chief variation, and it's no fun at all.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The last 25 minutes of Thor aren't much better than the first. But that hour in between - tasty, funny, robustly acted - more than compensates.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The most interesting thing about this slick but frustrating picture is the way it puts Crowe’s Hoffman at the center of our mixed feelings.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sharp, well-acted film.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Church is most at home in his character’s skin; aside from the game but strident Quaid, all the leading players are ideally cast. It’s the script that isn’t ideally cast.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The way director and co-adapter Armfield shoots it, the film's awfully pretty in its grimness, in the way "Leaving Las Vegas" managed to make train-wreck alcoholism more fake-lyrical than grungy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    When you see and hear so many fans of so many backgrounds expounding on what "Firework" means to them, you realize that while a song may or may not be for you, it most certainly is for others.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The play itself, some felt, was static. The charge I'm afraid will stick to the film version as well. But the acting is considerable compensation.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A scenic, well-behaved account of Potter's life and times.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Evil Dead offers the core audience for modern horror plenty of reasons to jump, and then settle back, tensely, while awaiting the next idiotic trip down to the cellar beneath the demon-infested cabin in the woods.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's labeled a "true-ish story," and the results are cheeky fun.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A movie like this can handle a large character roster, but it helps if the story retains clean lines and a sense of propulsion. Iron Man 2 sags and wanders in its midsection
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    You don't believe a second of it, but it's easy to enjoy, partly because of the casting of all three leads.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is a violent film. It's rougher, in fact, than "The Hunger Games."
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Outlandish weddings aren't much of a satiric target, but Confetti isn't really going for satire; mild-mannered japes are more its style.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If the romantic comedy Morning Glory clicks with audiences, the McAdams factor surely will be the reason why.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Last Chance Harvey is what it is: a pleasant put-up job, held up by world-class pros.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Cleverly structured, Horrible Bosses works in spite of its cruder, scrotum-centric instincts.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie struggles to turn the story into a paradoxical easygoing thriller, befitting the age bracket of its key ensemble members.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's Complicated isn’t: It’s pretty simple. It’s simply a good time.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There's something off in its scenes of Arterton's romantically unlucky loner showing up at Arthur's home, in the rain, distraught. If the movie weren't so determined to placate, you'd think you're in for a daring exploration of an affair between a 30-something emotional cripple and a 70-something sexy beast, unchained at last.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    An average franchise re-launch.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It's a serious drag to see how Ritchie has turned Holmes and Dr. Watson into a couple of garden-variety thugs.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    If her movie cannot fully resolve the demands of the love story with the horrifying particulars of the context, she's smart and honest enough as a first-time filmmaker to make "Blood and Honey" off-limits for those who prefer easy viewing. Even with a subject such as this.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It's reductive, insanely violent slapstick, but that's the phenomenon in a nutshell.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A gentle, honest and shrewdly realized film such as Tiger Eyes, based on the 1981 Judy Blume novel, shouldn't have to fight for a moviegoer's attention or an exhibitor's screens. But it's worth seeking out.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a fairly entertaining bash, with a travelogue vibe established by director Larry Charles ("Borat"). It’s also smug as all hell.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film works because the screenwriters, Elizabeth Hunter and Arlene Gibbs, have a knack for juggling a dozen-plus major characters without succumbing to the obvious class-warfare gags every 90 seconds.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Call it a successful failure. Some movies worth seeing are like that.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a better-than-average gay relationship film, largely because neither plot mechanics nor the same old camp intrude much.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    The appeal of the film version, such as it is, relates almost entirely to eye-for-an-eye, severed-limb-for-a-limb vengeance, two hours and 41 minutes of it, with just enough solemnity to make anyone who thought "The Dark Knight" was a little gassy think twice about which superhero myth THEY'RE calling gassy.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie's fun. And now, thanks to our annual Neeson thriller, spring can come soon.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a procedural, often absorbing, rarely surprising, about a briefcase bomb and a near-miss. Yet there's no question the film feels dodgy and vague when it comes to the personalities and ideology of the men onscreen.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Date Night is a product substantially inferior to the material routinely finessed by Carell and Fey, on their respective hit shows, into comic gold.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Brave One is "Death Wish" with a guilty conscience, and while it may be a bit of a hypocrite as vigilante thrillers go, the internal contradictions of the thing make for a very interesting picture.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Sleek and, until a stupidly violent climax, very entertaining, Unknown is the opposite of "Memento."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    There isn't a sophisticated or "adult" perspective to be found in The Rum Diary.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For the record: Josh Duhamel brings some welcome exuberance to the role of the goofball suitor, Hobart. Like Oh, he's fun to watch. This is something never to be underestimated
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    A remake for schlemiels, or at least easy marks when it comes to formulaic Hollywood comedy. But the film's peculiar sluggishness and nagging hypocrisy probably won't get in the way of its popularity.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Some actors are dinner. Kevin Kline is dessert, and his comic brio saves the film version of The Extra Man from its limitations.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    It's tough to get on board with these monsters. They don't get the banter they--or we--deserve, and the screenwriters lean on wearying stereotypes.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    W.
    In the end it depicts its subject as lost, and pitiable--like Richard Nixon, but more a pawn than a dark knight.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Zack and Miri has a bright, chipper look to it, thanks to cinematographer Dave Klein, a frequent Smith colleague. Wintertime in Pittsburgh never looked so good.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Campbell’s film offers not surprises, exactly, but craftsmanship and low, brute, cunning satisfactions.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It's a very small film, undermined by a puttering rhythm and Pinter-worthy pauses in the second half and a resolution neither satisfyingly oblique nor conventionally pleasing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A smooth but frustrating third feature with an extremely good ensemble cast.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Snyder films the violence in Man of Steel the way he films most of the rest of the picture: Like a man chasing tornadoes and not even trying to keep subjects in frame. It's a choice, and not a bad one, necessarily — the Smallville farm scenes, in particular, respond well to the approach — but by the end it's a visually limiting one.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Even if the film should be retitled "For a Fairly Good Time, Call ..." at least we're not back on the couch with another variation on the same old group of arrested-development young adult males, hanging on to their adolescence with as much determination as their marijuana intake allows.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Jim Carrey is good as Scrooge. There’s surprisingly little shtick in his performance.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    This is very light material, and, unusually for a Lee picture, not everybody in the ensemble appears to be acting in the same universe, let alone the same story. On the other hand: It’s fun.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Eagle becomes more interesting the further north it travels.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The material, limited payoff; the performer at the center, never less than arresting.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie doesn't really work, but it's fascinating in the ways it doesn't. Then again, I enjoyed the spacey insanity of the Wachowskis' "Speed Racer," which they didn't even like in Asia.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I prefer [HBO's Hitchcock biopic] "The Girl," not because of its salaciousness but because it gets at something underneath the great (truly, great) director's skin.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film is easy to take, though it must be said: It's almost 100 percent blather.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The music's the best thing ... But it isn't enough to lift this middlebrow, middleweight and middling project ... above its misjudgments and limitations.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Dark Shadows illustrates the fine line in a pop reboot between "relaxed" and "lazy."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie is slick, predictable and, thanks mainly to Washington's canny underplaying, fairly diverting.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors — including Patton as Bobby's DEA colleague and sometime fling — cannot act what is not there. But with Washington, Wahlberg, Olmos and Paxton around jockeying for dominance, the standoffs have their moments.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Enjoy the love in your life, and don't squander it: That's all Curtis is selling here, really. With Gleeson and McAdams at the forefront, About Time has a beguiling pair of rom-com miracle workers helping him close the sale.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    A dramatic true story has been made into a diffident biopic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Agora has everything except real drama.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    At least there's Cage, who has become an astute voice actor, finding some odd, clever, energetic line readings consistently fresher than The Croods itself.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    They put the "obvious" in "obvious."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    I greatly prefer this cleverly sustained and efficiently relentless remake to the '73 edition. It is lean and simple.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Young Goethe in Love wants only to engage an audience with a capital-R Romantic ideal of Goethe's first love. It does so very well. And it was well worth the effort.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Wobbles between its comic and dramatic concerns; even those who buy the film more wholeheartedly than I might consider the overall tone uncertain.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    The tragedy is that the performance comes to nothing. Nearly everything else in the film is vile.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    But by the end, when Gandolfini and Sarandon sing their sweet, hesitant little duet, it’s clear Turturro knew where he was going all along.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Howard, playing an inspirational and resourceful man up against long odds, really is an inspiration.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Duchovny and Moore have their moments; they're like two preening sharks working on commission.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Striving for low-key character comedy, Diminished Capacity ends up diminishing its returns.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The title of The Hunting Party doesn’t evoke much in particular. “War Correspondents Gone WILD!” would be more like it if the film itself--messy, but fairly stimulating--had more of the scamp in its soul.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    So how's this "Thor" sequel? It's fairly entertaining. Same old threats of galaxy annihilation, spiced with fish-out-of-water jokes.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    All in all? A curious preachment yarn for peace, one which makes you wonder if the filmmakers couldn't wait to get to the climactic aerial dogfights.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Most of the stuff that's new in the new Sparkle, written by Mara Brock Akil (who is married to the director), is shrewd and cleverly considered. The stuff that's old is what people responded to back in '76.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Janssen is an intense screen presence. Too often she's stuck playing humorless towering antagonists. Here, happily, she's allowed to be a real person.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The film, which really is sloppy, slips around in terms of tone and goes every which way.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Here and there, in the father/son scenes, you see a glimmer of an honest interaction. All in all, I'd rather watch a "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" rerun.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Extraordinarily raunchy, occasionally funny.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Missed it by that much. Actually, the new version of Get Smart misses by a fair-size margin.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Meryl Streep excels as Margaret Thatcher. And the movie itself does not work.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Oblivion is odder and less conventional than your average forgettable star vehicle; at times it feels like a five-character play taking place in a digital-effects lab. But there's not much energy to it.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A Little Help settles for familiar and modest payoffs. It's not much. Yet Fischer clearly relishes the chance to play someone who's a demurely reckless mess.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    There's about 10 good minutes out of 85.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Much of this wordplay is clever, though there’s something off with the plotting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Demons of mediocrity, be gone! Here we have a shrewd sequel a touch better than the original.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I admired the craft more than I loved the results. But The Tales of Despereaux is still better-than-average animation.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie won't be for everyone -- it's a little rough for preteens, and it doesn't throw many laughs the audience's way -- but along with "Sweeney Todd," this is Burton's most interesting project in a decade
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    This is a gentle, diffident concoction. But it has barely enough pulse to power a hummingbird.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Around the midpoint Alpha Dog becomes less sociological and more personal, developing a real sense of suspense.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Veers perilously close to the concept of poverty tourism.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Nice. The film itself is more nice than good, but nice isn't the worst trait.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Draft Day feels like a play, and I don't mean a football play. It feels like a play-play at its sporadic best, in the same way J.C. Chandor's 2011 "Margin Call" felt that way.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    What strikes me about the new Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott, is how its preoccupations and sensibilities lie almost precisely halfway between the derring-do of the 1938 film and the harsh revisionism of the '70s edition
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Ritchie, who shoots and cuts everything in RocknRolla like an ad for a particularly greasy brand of fragrance for men, delivers the beatings and killings in his trademark atmosphere of morally weightless flash.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Only the architecturally refined bone structure of Kristin Scott Thomas' face rescues Keeping Mum from full-on tedium.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The best material in the film is the loosest, capturing the perpetually insecure and overcompensating Pineda in his early concerts, leaping, bouncing, careening around as if every moment in every song were an audition for the next moment in the next song.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The movie lacks wit.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Dawn Treader doesn't so much reinvent the "Narnia" franchise as do what's needed, and expected, with a little more zip than the previous voyages.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    For some reason I was under the impression Jim Carrey already made his penguin movie. Doesn't it seem like it?
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It's a lot of fun. Its spirit is genuine and, even with the odd vomit gag, fundamentally sweet.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The Book of Eli works, even if the preservation of Christianity isn’t high on your personal post-apocalypse bucket list. Establishing its storytelling rules clearly and well, the film simply is better, and better-acted, than the average end-of-the-world fairy tale.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    At times the film appears on the verge of morphing into a singing-cowboy musical.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    I wish the film version of Astro Boy provided a stronger antidote to mediocrity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    This is a fantasy grab bag in which nearly anything can happen.