Phil de Semlyen

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For 167 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Phil de Semlyen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Breadwinner
Lowest review score: 20 Hellboy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 167
  2. Negative: 2 out of 167
167 movie reviews
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    But when it all gels, Cherry offers a timely portrait of a country medicating itself to mask traumas it hasn’t begun to process, as well as a poignant snapshot of youth circling the drain. It’s a tough watch, but it envelopes you like a miasma.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    You get why the pair would fall for each but you also get where the faultlines lie. Cullen maps it all out in an impressive, touching debut.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Phil de Semlyen
    There’s a tonne of interesting questions raised in all this that you’re just too numbed to absorb. No matter how often Malcolm goes outside to yell his frustrations into the night sky, the drama doesn’t feel any less airless.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    First-time director Shaka King stages Hampton’s fiery speeches with a crackle and energy you can practically taste. He also has a nice eye for Scorsesian violence too, knowing when to lean into his film’s crime thriller elements, and when not to.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Censor wears its genre influences on its sleeve – The Shining, Cronenberg, Carrie and Peter Strickland’s similarly themed Berberian Sound Studio – but it’s very much its own thing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    There aren’t too many surprises in the journey – especially if you’ve seen La Famille Bélier, the 2014 French film that Coda reworks – but writer-director Siân Heder’s deep affection for the Rossi clan is infectious.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Never extraneous, Flee’s smaller details make this true-life story buzz with life.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    It’s a vicarious pleasure to let The Dig’s warm, gauzy light wash over you. Blanketed in defiant optimism and soaked in summer sun, it’s definitely one to watch with your nan. When you’re allowed to, obvs.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Instead of a study of alienation and solitude, News of the World is about connection – about two traumatised people finding silent comfort in each other. About the promise of healing. It’s a long road, cautions this elegiac film, but it’s always easiest when travelled together.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    The two parallel stories never quite gel, more often pulling focus from each other just a major revelation seems to be in the offing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    The arguments over whether Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever made will rage on forever. But the greatest film about Citizen Kane – and just about any other movie – has definitely arrived. David Fincher’s eleventh film is a lavish love letter to old Hollywood in all its glory, cynicism and wild extravagance.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    The film’s themes of inclusion, family and multiculturalism may be broadly delivered, but they definitely don’t all miss the mark.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Sure, it gets a bit silly towards the end, and the promised post-credits scene is for the truly dedicated. But in a year when the cinemagoing experience could be categorised as ‘much too little’, you can’t really blame it for giving us a bit too much.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Its story beats are so irresistible, the arc of its trio of big-haired disco titans so snappy, the music so contagious, that it soars like a Barry Gibb falsetto above the clichés.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    The truths that spill forth from this unlikely platonic love story are touching and deeply relatable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Funny and wistful, this celebration of Swedish auteur Roy Andersson is a treat for movie lovers.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    The result is a gritty but giddying human drama that plays like a glorious mix of ‘Precious’, ‘Girlhood’ and ‘The 400 Blows’ – a huge-hearted coming-of-age story that serves as an inadvertent throwback to the easygoing buzz of hanging out with your friends in the city you call home.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    Whether it’s the filmmaking pair’s insider/outsider dynamic working to keep the story accessible to non-Aussies or just the depressing universality of Goodes’s experiences, The Australian Dream echoes far beyond national boundaries. So, in a much more positive way, does the man himself.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    It’s beautifully observed stuff – its fractured but tender family dynamics and depiction of parental pain reminded me a little of Ang Lee’s "The Ice Storm" – as it gradually lets you into a world of well-heeled suburbia that’s carefully shorn of all the usual Sydney landmarks.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Phil de Semlyen
    Best of all is the reliably brilliant Rose Byrne, whose scathing Republican strategist turns up to torment Zimmer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    The story is a complex and potentially ongoing one – Simmons has since moved to Bali, which has no extradition treaty with the US, while Reid has offered an apology of sorts – but its takeaways are much easier to parse: women like Dixon must be believed, empowered and supported. On the Record isn’t an easy watch but it’s an important one.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    It’s Woodard’s film from start to finish. She’s been great for three decades, but this is her best work yet.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Phil de Semlyen
    For all the clammy grip it exerts, this thrillingly original film is more interested in trapping you in its psychosexual maze and immersing you in the relatable pains of self-discovery.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    It’s a bleakly familiar message for our times.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    Christopher Nolan’s frosty espionage sci-fi delivers visual intensity but little heart.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    Crowe’s satisfyingly nasty turn deserves a bit more brains to go with the brawn.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Phil de Semlyen
    It’s oh-so-familiar terrain, yet writer-director Scott Wiper lets a deadening sense of inertia creep in, leaving the payoff feeling like a Guy Ritchie movie played at the wrong speed.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Phil de Semlyen
    Heady with cordite fumes and high on its violent spectacle, this Chris Hemsworth-fronted action-thriller makes for a surprise-free but passable lockdown watch.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Phil de Semlyen
    It starts strongly, with the gory deaths coming thick, fast and often unexpectedly, and Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse’s script giving the viewer no purchase on the unfolding mayhem. The underrated Gilpin is a steely, lib-owning presence, too. But the surprises soon dry up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Phil de Semlyen
    It takes a lot for a movie to out-bonkers Cage on this kind of form. Color out of Space manages it in style.

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