Michael Phillips

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For 1,974 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 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Phillips' Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Lowest review score: 0 Only God Forgives
Score distribution:
1974 movie reviews
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Phillips
    Watching this movie is like spending two hours and 27 minutes staring at a gigantic aquarium full of digital sea creatures and actors on wires, pretending to swim.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It’s zippier than “Incredibles 2,” and nearly as witty as the first “Lego Movie,” with whom it shares a very funny screenwriter, Phil Lord.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Roma gives you so much to see in each new vignette, in every individual composition, in fact, that a second viewing becomes a pleasurable necessity rather than a filmgoing luxury.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The results take neither the high road nor the low road, settling instead for an oddly bland middle course.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Throughout Becoming Astrid, August acquits herself brilliantly; the woman we come to know is a tangle of impulses and qualities, and feels vibrantly alive.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    A languorous, catlike psychological puzzle from one of the essential international masters, Lee Chang-dong.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    The result is a splendid black comedy that marks a stylistic leap for its director. Second only this year to the upcoming “Roma,” it’s a reminder of how the movies can imagine a highly specific yet deeply idiosyncratic vision of the past.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The Great Buster, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich’s fond if slight appreciation of Buster Keaton, serves as the centerpiece of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s weeklong “Best of Buster” mini-retrospective starting Friday.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Dafoe never begs for attention or sympathy; he’s there, like the seasoned, craftsmanlike actor he is, as a conduit and a sort of medium.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    A weirder and more interesting movie than “Wreck-It Ralph,” Ralph Breaks the Internet tells a lie right in its title because isn’t that thing broken already?
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    By the end, the movie has become a shameless and, yes, effective ode to fathers and sons everywhere.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A crowd-pleasing hit at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, the movie may not be accurate history (welcome to the movies!). It may not even be particularly interested in one of its two main characters, for various reasons.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It’s a strange, grimly comic collection offering many grotesque sight gags, the occasional moment of seriousness and a general wash of melancholic, photogenic, elegiac Old West atmosphere. I liked the least jokey tale the best; by the time it came along, in the fifth-out-of-six slot, I’d had it with the kidding.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Museo is the work of a genuinely creative directorial talent, and the early family scenes, richly detailed and shrewdly acted, provide just the right emotional context for this squabbling, indecisive gang of two.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    For all its cynicism, the movie floats on a darkly exhilarating brand of escapism. It’s one of the year’s highlights in any genre.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    It took J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter-adjacent franchise exactly one film for the shrugs to set in, even with all those fine actors up there amid expensive digital blue flames.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The new film A Private War ranks higher than most, in the truth department and in cinematic storytelling. Whatever your personal interest or disinterest in Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin’s line of work, the way she did it — and the bloody global conflicts she ran towards, full gallop — makes for a tense, engrossing account.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Uruguayan-born Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe,” the recent “Evil Dead” reboot) handles the action breathlessly and well enough. The movie’s acted with serious conviction. But I kind of hate it.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Too much of Nobody’s Fool makes do with well-worn exchanges and contrived, overheard conversations.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The movie’s full of acidic wisecracks and zingers, though its attempts to be funny aren’t really funny. I found Paul Stewart, who dates back to Welles’ “Mercury Theater of the Air” days, to be the strongest human presence in this ghostly affair.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    Vivid in bits and pieces, Mid90s feels like a research scrapbook for a movie, not a movie. The more Hill throws you around in the name of creating a harsh, immediate impression, the more the impressions blur.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Wisely, Heller doesn’t inflate the tone or impart an overt message. But by the end, Can You Ever Forgive Me? has truly brought you into this woman’s life, head-space, longings and tastes, and I found the whole of it quite moving.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Small but sure, this low-keyed actors’ feast marks the feature directorial debut of writer-director Elizabeth Chomko, who grew up in Chicago and the western suburb of Hinsdale, among other stops in a relocation-heavy childhood.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The tensions inherent in Honnold’s singular life are many. Free Solo gives you just enough of that life on terra firma to make the heights truly dazzling.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    A lot of Beautiful Boy is necessarily hard to take, though the script softens the roughest of Nic’s travails. Is this why the movie’s anguish feels more indicated than inhabited? Still: You can’t fault the performers much. Or Chalamet, at all.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    It’s a fairly engrossing bit of fan service, boasting many clever touches and a few disappointing ones. Director and co-writer David Gordon Green’s picture veers erratically in tone, and the killings are sort of a drag after a while, en route to a rousing vengeance finale.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Like Tarantino, Goddard is a clever structuralist. He attracts strong actors, and lets them stretch out and try things, and gives them juicy dialogue.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I’m glad Chazelle’s film offers some fresh points of view on its subject; it’s proof he’ll be able to keep his filmmaking wits about him, no matter what genre he’s exploring. He has made his Apollo 11 movie. And it’s a good one.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    I hope Spacek gets a role as spacious and accommodating as Redford’s someday. By contrast, Spacek’s co-star delivers what he has been best at: a single, careful look, or mood, or understated note at a time. Redford is not a chord man. I wouldn’t call the film itself complex, but it’s sweet-natured.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Cooper is very much a real director, with a genuine facility with filming musical numbers. We believe in the characters’ talents, and spend time soaking them up without a lot of nervous, overcompensating editing. Between songs, he and Gaga make even the bluntest cliches about love and career and misery minty-fresh, all over again.

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