Michael Phillips
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For 1,483 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Consuming Spirits
Lowest review score: 0 I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Score distribution:
1,483 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    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
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It’s dumb but quick and dirty and effectively brusque, dispensing with niceties such as character.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    • 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
    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
    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
    • 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
    There's something very right with Off the Black in terms of pure emotion and performance craft.
    • 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
    • 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!
    • 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
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The director thinks visually, which sounds redundant until you realize how many monster movies are flat, effects-dependent factory jobs. Edwards knows how to use great heights for great effect.
    • 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
    • 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
    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.
    • 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
    When everything and anything is possible, nothing feels urgent or truly dramatic. The movie devolves into a melange of digital effects and sequences of glamorous slaughter, as Lucy swaggers around, with that big brain, and slouches toward becoming a full-lipped deity.
    • 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
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The Boxtrolls remains relentlessly busy up through its final credits, and it's clever in a nattering way. But it's virtually charmless.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Occasionally very funny, and moderately funny the rest of the time. In mathematical terms that adds up to pretty funny or "funny enough."
    • 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
    • 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
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Rightly, Jolie didn't want to tell the man's entire life story. But as is, at too-convenient dramatic junctures, the screenplay darts back into flashbacks of Zamperini's childhood or young adulthood, when we should really be sticking with the crisis at hand.
    • 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
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    By the second hour of The Battle of the Five Armies, the visual approach becomes a paradox: monotonously dynamic epic storytelling.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The actors make up for the relative thinness of the material. Smith navigates the emotional terrain with great skill. The script is often funny but just as often cutesy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    What If brings up the distinctions among wit, jokes and robotic banter, and this new romantic comedy has a bit of the first and a few of the second, but it's largely a case of the third.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A tough-minded, empathetic portrait of dreamers on the edge.
    • 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
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    For me Chastain's unerring honesty is the only element keeping The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby above the realm of pure affectation.
    • 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
    For an hour or so The Equalizer glides along and works; in the second hour, plus change, it turns into a shameless slaughter contrivance with a flabby sense of pace. I did like one line: "When you pay for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too." Washington's the rain; by the end, the movie is the mud.
    • 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
    McCarthy is following well-established story grooves here, but scene to scene, he allows the dialogue to breathe and reveal bits of character along with the more expedient bits of plot advancement.
    • 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
    First-time feature director Wes Ball's version of The Maze Runner makes the cliches smell daisy-fresh.
    • 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
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    This is almost entirely Angelina Jolie's show...this is a performance that goes from point A to point B without seeming rote, or ho-hum.
    • 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.

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