For 185 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 65% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Phil Hall's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Grin Without a Cat
Lowest review score: 0 An Inconvenient Truth
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 185
  2. Negative: 51 out of 185
185 movie reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    An extraordinary achievement on all possible levels.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    One of the most towering and extraordinary films to grace the screen.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    It is a horrifying and devastating spectacle of life gone dreadfully out of control, yet it is also riveting and hypnotic in such a dramatic sensation that you are left breathless by the sequence of events which will haunt and torture for as long as your memory remains intact.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    One of the year's best films. An extraordinary work of intellectual maturity and emotional depth.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Among the finest films made in the Middle East. This small, subtle gem offers a vivid portrait of life in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, presenting its message with an intelligence and vibrancy that celebrates the human spirit in an environment where humanity is routinely crushed and assaulted.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Offers a remarkable tribute to one of the few people who genuinely deserves to be known as a pioneer of filmmaking. In the genre of films about films, In the Mirror of Maya Deren is among the best.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    If you want pure, undiluted, 100% guaranteed entertainment, Soap Girl is the film to enjoy. This film is a wonderful work of fun, with a marvelous ensemble cast who have more energy, sex-appeal and charm than any group to strut and vamp across the camera in recent memory.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    This extraordinary work of cinematic art is among the most sublime, compelling and beautifully crafted films to grace the big screen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Truly magnificent.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    This amazing tour-de-force presents Huppert in a role, which is equal parts abrasive and vulnerable, exasperating and pathetic, monstrous and saintly.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    A raw, brutal, hypnotic journey into the world of seven heroin addicts who barely survive on the streets of New York City. It is a film of great sadness and pain.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    One of the most effective, intelligent, mature and romantic love stories to come across the screen recently is, of all things, a documentary.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Rich with wonderful music and images.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    The results are either darkly comic and tragic, depending on the viewer's mindframe. But McElhinney's route to these results, as with the Bertolucci, is nothing short of stunning.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    A powerful film worthy of a truly extraordinary American.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Quite simply, House of Flying Daggers is a film that sets several new standards for production and entertainment values. It is a wild riot of color, music, passion, action, mystery, pure old-fashioned thrills and even dancing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    The result is a mature, graceful and extraordinary accomplishment.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    This is an excellent movie -- by all means, flock to it!
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    A symphony of small gestures, throwaway glances, brief exchanges of unexpected observation and silences which actually say more than pages of dialogue.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Kung Fu Hustle is something you rarely encounter in theaters: a genuinely original comedy.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Provocative and poignant.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    One could literally milk a thesaurus in trying to find the right words to lavish on Saraband: brilliant, towering, majestic, challenging, remarkable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Put simply, Mind Game is a mind-blowing experience.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Paltrow gives the performance of the year, and perhaps of her career, in this extraordinary and powerful dissection of genius, jealousy, madness and serenity.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Whereas "Cuckoo’s Nest" is a brilliantly over-the-top accomplishment, The Passenger is more brilliant with the most effortless underplaying one can ever hope to witness on screen.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    I would like to praise My Big Fat Independent Movie for achieving something that most independently-produced comedies fail to do: it creates laughs.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    One of the greatest art documentaries ever made. Through an imaginative mixture of rare footage, audio recordings and contemporary interviews with the living legends of modern art, Rosen has created a cinematic portrait which is, in itself, a work of art.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Cantet weaves a dark, disturbing story of hedonism, casual racism and the lethal consequences of self-indulgence in his superb drama Heading South.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Theaters showing Mad Cowgirl should install seatbelts, because audiences are in for the ultimate wild ride.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    The idea of a gay version of "American Pie" might not seem too tasty, but Another Gay Movie offers a fabulous surprise in not only matching that rude boy classic's unapologetic rude humor but by establishing its own identity as a genuinely funny and often touching coming of age comedy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    It is not only the year's best documentary, but it is also among the finest films ever made about religion.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    Offers the Iraqis a rare chance to share their anger and their lives with the outside world. The resulting production is a raw and powerful film that demands to be seen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    If the state government in Massachusetts refuses to acknowledge its execution of innocent men, then at least this compelling and powerful production can serve as a graceful elegy to the doomed men who were murdered by their adopted homeland.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    One of the year's best films. It is an extraordinary triumph of nonfiction filmmaking, presenting a wild mind game that leaves the viewer invigorated by its sheer audacity and complexity.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 100 Phil Hall
    How does Xanadu qualify as the greatest movie musical? Simple: it offers nothing but pure wall-to-wall fun and nonsense to keep a smile on one’s face from the opening credits (which cleverly spoof the logo of Universal Pictures) through the end of the picture. [11 Aug 2005]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Phil Hall
    Spins in its own orbit and dares the audience to come into its weirdly one-of-a-kind environment. This is a delightful work of humor which is worthy of Spielberg-level praise.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Phil Hall
    Engrossing and brilliantly insightful production.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Phil Hall
    Rare vehicle which gives the Palestinian people (rather than their failed, double-talking leadership) an opportunity to speak freely and openly, and that feat in itself makes this one of the most important documentaries of recent times.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Phil Hall
    If there is one film which makes the most out of life, this is it.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Phil Hall
    A delightfully silly romp which reinvents the legendary Italian lover's adventures into the realm of broad farce.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Phil Hall
    Tsotsi emerges as being among the finest films ever to come out of Africa. It is a brilliant, jolting and altogether powerful blast of energy and emotion.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Phil Hall
    There is a wealth of smaller dramatic triumphs of sly gestures, body language working at odds with spoken words, and minor goofiness (such as repeatedly blowing the rim of an opened beer bottle to create a rough whistle) which makes Home more humane (not to mention more human) than the vast majority of today's movies.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Phil Hall
    For telling America to acknowledge how far the country has deviated from its values and how painfully it has failed to make the world safer, this is the most important movie of the year.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    A diverting and delightful visit with two unheralded indie cinema veterans with a surplus amount of anecdotes and zany film clips.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    While imperfect, it does provide an intriguing glimpse into a subculture, which many people will be surprised to learn, still exists.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    Quirky, entertaining documentary.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    An original and highly memorable comedy, and mention should be made of Ebiri’s work beyond filmmaking: he is also a film critic for New York Magazine, thus giving proof that those who review films for a living can also turn around and make a damn fine movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    A remarkable triumph of documentary filmmaking. It is impossible to walk away from this film without being jolted.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    There is some very un-Mormon gender bending going on here.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    A pleasant diversion which mixes snatches of Wilde's waspish humor with a stylish Art Deco environment. The result is amusing to the ears and easy on the eyes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    The true power of the film comes from young Marko Kovacevic, who plays the poetic child lost in a family and culture where poetry has no meaning.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    Do not, under any circumstance, approach this film lightly. Prepare to be depressed, agitated and shocked. And prepare to see a brilliant work of cinematic art.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    Provides lethal evidence of what becomes of those who deposit their sincerity into the command of a religious lunatic.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    The ultimate rarity: a sequel that is miles ahead of its predecessor in every imaginable department.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Phil Hall
    Something of a surprise: a gay-oriented feature that is genuinely touching and sincere.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    With a stronger actress who could have been in greater command of the character, Freeze Me would have been a cold-hearted masterpiece rather than the okay thriller it turned out.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    While the images presented here are peerless, James Nachtwey is a fascinating individual and it is a shame we cannot learn more about the man behind these extraordinary images.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    While the film is admittedly imperfect, it nonetheless deserves to be seen by all Americans to provide a clear understanding of what kind of a country we are currently at war within.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    Being released at the same time that Bowie's latest album "Heathen" is being unveiled. Bowie fans who need a reason to celebrate the trajectory of the artist's career can make use of this cinematic Alpha and CD Omega.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    McGrath's new film offers a treat for fans of Dickens and moviegoers who love to see a fairly large cast ham it up with delirious abandon.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A small, no-budget, seemingly unsophisticated film that creates a minor energy miracle by fueling its running time on pure raffish charm.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    This is clearly not a pleasant film to watch on many levels.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A meandering and disappointing documentary about one of Africa's most beloved yet elusive musical giants.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    The film is a visceral overload of wordplay ranging from the spontaneous neighborhood park jams to the overflowing concert venues.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A beautifully crafted documentary.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    If Stalin's Wife doesn't provide solid answers, it nonetheless offers a fascinating tapestry of love, madness, politics, suspicions and jealousies.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A guilty pleasure diversion. Yeah, it is dumber than a bag of hair. But it is also fast, occasionally funny and genuinely entertaining in an old-fashion no-brainer manner.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    Jaglom has the good sense to cast the legendary Lee Grant in an extraordinary role.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A good film, but it should’ve been a great one.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A treasure in celebrating remarkable women with a unparalleled zest for life.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    It is an entertaining bit of fluff, with a few engaging performances and enough visual panache to keep audiences diverted and amused.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    Bruno Dumont’s Flanders is something you don't see everyday: a decidedly non-sentimental love story.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    A stirring and touching production, and it is difficult not to be moved by the women’s medical progress. However, it suffers from a somewhat leisurely pacing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    Yiddish Theater: A Love Story is a slight but moving documentary focusing on the final performances given by Zypora Spaisman, the Polish-born star of New York’s Yiddish theater.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    Rich with compelling, often heartbreaking stories.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    For those who never heard of "The Goldbergs" and its amazing star, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg will provide a special introduction to a special person.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Phil Hall
    To its favor, the film is blessed with strong peformances by Ozgu Namal as Meryem and Murat Han as Cemal.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    While the screen didn't really need another Carmen, it certainly needs a knockout femme fatale like Diop Gai. Hopefully, Carmen can get a much-needed rest and audiences can get much more of this stunning African icon-in-waiting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    This is a curious example of taking a hair-raising story and draining the drama from every corner, leaving it a bit flat and ultimately forgettable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    At the risk of being called an anti-Semite, I would like to propose a moratorium on Holocaust movies -- While it would be crass to discount the importance of the subject, at the same time one has to admit there is some degree of excess going on here.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    A potentially great film stuck inside a not-so-great film. Watching Dog Run is fairly painful since flashes of brilliance peek out and shine at unexpected moments.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    A mild but diverting farce about misperceptions involving gays and goombas.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    A style-rich, substance-weak B-level gangster movie which is noteworthy for two unusual reasons: it is one of the very few films from Thailand to gain international release and it is the perhaps the only film of its genre to feature a love story between a hit man and a pharmacist.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    Achieves the impossible by taking one of the most compelling and harrowing stories imaginable and channeling it into one of the most ordinary movies of the year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    While the Raymond Burr sequences and the subsequent clumsy English dubbing of the remaining Japanese footage made the U.S. version an unintentionally funny movie, the complete Japanese version is an unfunny bore.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    A well-intended but hopelessly ill-focused documentary which wants to be the "That's Entertainment!" for the New York theater but seems like a hodgepodge of anecdotes, factoids and moldy memories.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    Never quite clicks, primarily because the central male characters are badly miscast.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    The film's leisurely pacing is often too slow for its own good, and many scenes meander endlessly with no true payoff.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    A documentary which wobbles and weaves as much as often as it soars.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    A lopsided effort which is part-thriller, part-social commentary, and totally forgettable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    Grim and frequently depressing, and despite the artistry of its framing it nonetheless is a very difficult movie to endure.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    This sounds an awful lot like "Memento." But unlike that movie, the French-Swiss-Spanish-Italian co-production Novo opts for a Eurotrash sex comedy approach instead.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    Alas, the big screen also magnifies the problems with Once Upon a Time in the West. Specifically, Leone’s insistence on style trumped the need for substance. The film is basically a B-Western stretched an agonizing 165 minutes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    Watching these old pros elbow their way into the spotlight is the film’s finest surprise, but watching Plowright out-act them all is the ultimate joy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    It is a painful but important subject, to be certain, but the film dilutes its own effectiveness by devolving into a collection of talking heads who often seem to be repeating each other.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    For the most part, Fleck doesn't seem particularly intrigued on finding the banjo’s African heritage – the film offers little in the way of historic value in understanding the origin of the instrument.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Phil Hall
    Although the film is handsomely filmed and features a surprisingly frank view of the political machinations within the upper ranks of Tibetan Buddhism – even the Dalai Lama comes across as a bit of a wheeler-dealer – Unmistaken Child is more than a little disappointing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Phil Hall
    Even if you love all things Yiddish, there is precious little to embrace here.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Phil Hall
    So ham-handed and relentlessly overbaked that it is easy to see why audiences initially stayed away from it. Just when and how did anyone come to see this as a classic?
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Phil Hall
    If anything saves Elling, it is the trio of supporting performances that are closer to the real world.

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