Phil de Semlyen

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For 240 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Phil de Semlyen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Living
Lowest review score: 20 Stuber
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 240
240 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    This is obviously a deeply personal subject for Noé, who has spoken about experiencing the fallout of dementia first-hand. But while his film gradually pummels you, it can’t match 2021’s superb dementia chamber piece The Father for impact or insight. As it grinds towards its slightly contrived ending, it does start to feel like rubbernecking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    A benediction is a prayer for divine help. For any lover of beautifully crafted cinema with real emotional charge, Davies’s latest will feel a lot like an answer.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Minor grumbles aside, few Hollywood reboots can boast this blend of nostalgia, freshness and adrenaline. You will want to high five someone on the way out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    Make it your destiny to see this blood-soaked odyssey along the edge of the world as soon as possible.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    If you’re on the hunt for a diverting slice of prestige espionage hokum that comes with a side helping of real history, Operation Mincemeat is a satisfying night at the pictures.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    The Bad Guys will work better for kids than adults: the comedy is broad, with farting not just a major source of laughs but an entire plot device, and the characters aren’t quite as lovable as the movie thinks they are, despite a winning voice cast that also boasts Marc Maron, Zazie Beetz and Awkwafina.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    Haunting and narratively spare, Europa is a plea for humanity wrapped inside a gripping survival story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    You can tell Ryoo loves Hong Kong action cinema. His camerawork is nimble and elastic, and his starchy diplomats are unexpectedly great at martial arts. But the character scenes are well-handled too, and there’s a smart critique here on a divided country that can’t even be truly unified in a shared crisis.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Hive is never quite a feelgood film – the deep trauma that underpins it militates against any jaunty Calendar Girls vibes – but there is a tangible sense of joy as Fahrije begins to lead her fellow, long-suffering widows to a place of healing and the promise of better times ahead. And the comeuppance one or two of the menfolk get is definitely mood-enhancing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Helter-skelter, a bit mad and full of heart, it bounces along with the out-of-control energy of the early adolescence its depicts. When it pauses, it also offers a seriously touching snapshot of mums and their daughters, as well as a smart critique of why the burden of family expectations and the inevitability of teenage boundary-pushing usually results in carnage.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    And Pattinson? He’s solid enough, but the role seems to neutralise his greatest strengths, stifling his edgy, eccentric charisma under a morose, dutiful shell. He’s just another ever-searching crusader in a shadowy world. Hopefully next time he’ll be able to find the fun.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    One token racism subplot aside, it juggles big ideas of social justice with more intimate moments of family life beautifully.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    That’s a lot of years to wrangle into one biography – even before you take in the rags-to-riches, zero-to-hero-to-popular-villain arc of his life – but this snappy and searching doc makes a very solid fist of it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    It’s a compelling, edgy story of exploitation with no easy answers.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    Nighy has never been better than in this richly rewarding ’50s-set drama about a repressed and terminally ill man who discovers life just as it comes to an end.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Navalny is a barely believable brew of activism, resistance, poisonings, death squads, exiles and homecomings. Most of all, it’s a story of courage in the face of ruthless repression and one of those all-too-rare geopolitical stories where the bad guys actually get some comeuppance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Plaza, who follows up Black Bear with another darker turn, is great in a role that lets her badass side out for a rampage.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Dreamweavers, visionaries, plus actors… filmmaking pair Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s latest DIY sci-fi bubbles with mad ideas and eerie pre-apocalyptic vibes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Phil de Semlyen
    While you know the stakes are high, Call Jane never seems particularly interested in proving it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    892
    A mesmerising John Boyega lights a fuse under this poignant but by-the-numbers depiction of an Atlanta bank siege in 2017.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    What Sing 2 does offer is more big musical numbers (‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish backdrops a great visual gag involving a floor polisher), lots of eye-popping animation and a sugar-high ending that will delight kids and U2 fans alike
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    T​his​ smart and taboo-defying social ​​horror draws you in before abruptly bearing its teeth.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    With the faintest debt to The Exorcist and HR Giger, and a barnstorming turn from Imelda Staunton turn as a nun with some dark secrets of her own, Garai has found an arresting way to position male sexual violence: as an age-old curse that brings with it the bitterest of consequences.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Possibly the most uplifting film ever made about a time of unending violence, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast comes with a bruised heart and an unquenchable spirit of optimism.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    There’s something deeply moving, almost tragic, about a good man being slowly enveloped by the dark times around him. Munich captures it nicely.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    The Lost Daughter expertly juggles tone, hopscotching between timelines and slipping from tender to tense and back again, always challenging the viewer’s judgments and preconceptions in unexpected ways.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    What happens when you haul all the trappings of a genre rooted in post-war cynicism and lay them out raw for modern-day moviegoers? You end up with something like Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, a heady, fleeting pleasure that prioritises craft over moral complexity, with themes of class friction and fraudulent spirituality that would once have landed like haymakers packing much less punch today.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    There’s a touch of diet Brando about Elgort’s reformed bad boy-turned-lovebird, but Zegler brings a lovely brand of innocence and conviction to Maria. And don’t be surprised to see Moreno winning another Oscar. Or, for that matter, Spielberg.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    What a clever, haunting way to show art’s power to articulate the hurt we find hard to express.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    This San Fernando Valley palimpsest is so buoyant and bubbly, it practically floats off the screen. It’s the giddiness that grabs you in the Californian’s latest gem, and the dizzying sense of possibility and innocence. It left me with a contact high.

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