Michael Phillips

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For 1,816 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Tillman Story
Lowest review score: 0 Left Behind
Score distribution:
1816 movie reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Weirdly touching documentary.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The first 90 minutes of Avatar are pretty terrific - a full-immersion technological wonder with wonders to spare. The other 72 minutes, less and less terrific.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    For me, it's a sign that a filmmaker is on to something if you love hanging out with the characters as they eat and drink and talk and reveal little bits of themselves through everyday action.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    I’m flummoxed as to why the movie left me feeling up in the air, as opposed to over the moon. Partly, I think, it’s a matter of how Anderson’s sense of humor rubs up against that of the book’s author, Roald Dahl.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    While director Armando Iannucci's brand of satire -- just plausible enough to be painful -- isn't for all tastes, it's a little bit of heaven to hear screen characters spew such eloquently vicious bile.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Is what we see grief porn or an epic, careerlong study in the best and worst we can find on Earth? See the film and decide for yourself.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Small but sure, the film is like Alejandro himself: quick on its feet, attuned to a harsh life’s hardships and possibilities.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    '71
    Swift and exciting, with no taste for the usual war movie heroics, first-time feature film director Yann Demange's film belongs on a short list of immersive, rattling, authentic fictions right next door to the fact of survival inside a war zone.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The film may be depressing. But even with a terrible, watery musical score, it's also good.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Writer-director Robert Eggers' "New England folk tale" film isn't likely to go bonkers in the popular culture the way "Blair Witch" did. But it's an infinitely richer, more meticulous, more elegant and more unnerving horror film — the best since "The Babadook," and very likely a 21st century classic in its hardy yet malleable genre.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Project Nim is practically irresistible. The story keeps getting odder and richer and more complicated.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It makes the dream of flight itself a vehicle for bittersweet enchantment.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Yes, for every star there are five more also-rans and maybe-next-times. But there is honor and glory in being part of the blend. And, at the film's midpoint, when Clayton talks about the late-night recording session in 1969 of "Gimme Shelter," the memory takes on the glow of myth.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Ever since she took "The Grifters" by storm, Bening has been a spectacular if often ill-used actress. Here, it's a marvelous fit of performer and role, and she makes Dorothea a dozen things at once: warm, chilly, open, wary, worldly, insecure, grave, blithe.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    “Elephant” may have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes but it really didn’t have anything to say about anything. Modest and artful, Paranoid Park says a great deal.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    In both theatrical environments and open-air ones, with Wenders paying close attention to the geometrics as well as the psychology of the movement, Pina is the best possible tribute to Bausch, and to adventurous image-making.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Rich and stimulating even when it wanders.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    It is, however, just about perfect in its wrenching emotion, expressed by an actor clearly up to the challenge of acting in a Paul Greengrass docudrama — which is to say, acting with as little capital-A Acting as possible.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Finally! A comedy that works.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Raimi knows how to modulate his technique, as with the coolly controlled morality tale "A Simple Plan," but he's a firm believer in the power of an active, expressive camera, as well as the value of insinuation.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Farmiga has never been better than she is here. Rarely does she get to do comedy, and she and Clooney give Up in the Air's sustained air of engaging disengagement a heartbeat as well as a romantic charge.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The neatest effects in U2 3D are simple ones. The wow/coolness of watching a revered superstar tilt his mic stand toward the camera creates a simple but irresistible feeling of being there in the flesh, with a phalanx of expensive digital 3-D cameras.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    By the end of Lake of Fire, you know full well you’re in the presence of a deeply conflicted filmmaker, bound to make all sides uneasy, even enraged.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Trouble the Water is so much better and truer and deeper and more illuminating than either of them ("Bowling for Columbine"/"Fahrenheit 9/11").
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The issues at play in Mustang are gravely serious but the tone and rhythm is brisk, headlong and intelligently lively, like the women at the center.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A genuinely charming comedy about real people challenging themselves to create new realities for laughs and a little truth, one made-up scene at a time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Sweeney Todd may haunt you in ways you’re not used to with a movie musical. At least not since “Mame.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Half the film, written by Coogler and Aaron Covington, revels in cliches, skillfully. The other half sidesteps them and concentrates on scenes and relationships that breathe easily and draw us in the hard way: not by narrative fiat or bald calculation, but through well-written and shrewdly acted encounters.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Documentary filmmakers can make any number of rookie mistakes with their first features. Casting too wide a net is one of the most common. "La Camioneta" avoids that pothole, beautifully.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Whatever the film's limitations, it's certainly engaging to watch. As is Mohamed Fellag, as Lazhar.

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