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Michael Phillips

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For 1,951 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 No
Lowest review score: 0 What Goes Up
Score distribution:
1951 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 62 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 79 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The marriage on view here, a little ridiculous, a little galling but full of interesting sharp edges, presents Knightley and West with a full array of emotions to explore. The tone remains deceptively light, but it feels both true and in period.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Amid this conundrum of a movie, the actors provide what the facile screenplay cannot: a human pulse, shrewdly underscored by composer Alexandre Desplat’s time-traveling musical landscape.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Movies about reckless, chemically addled men rarely have the nerve to go whole hog with the bad behavior, because it makes for alienating company. Still: Blaze comes closer than most to an honest look at this sort of troubadour and this kind of life.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Phillips
    The actors aren’t the problem with Night School; the material is.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 25 Michael Phillips
    Life Itself is an emotional mugging, not a movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The documentary Love, Gilda works different ways for different viewers. For older fans, it’s a welcome excuse to reminisce. For newcomers it’s an entertaining primer on Radner’s life, times, demons and famous inventions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The ideas aren’t exactly new here, and one need only look at the entire career of Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg (a producer here) to realize the difficulty of shaping living, breathing, vital art out of gormless improv techniques. Here, clearly, the actors have been well and truly guided along the way, and Howard is a serious find.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Phillips
    Minding the Gap is an exceptionally reflective examination of the 29-year-old filmmaker’s life, and surroundings, and it works because the movie concerns so much more.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    An unusually good adaptation of an unusually good novel.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Hunnam’s reliably charismatic in suffering and in joy, but with most of the political and wartime context shaved off the story, once again, we’re left with the basics.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Michael Phillips
    The Happytime Murders is a one-joke movie, minus one joke. The year may cough up a worse film, but probably not a more joyless, witless one, raunchy or otherwise.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Forgettably entertaining/entertainingly forgettable.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The movie’s an artfully sustained guessing game, tense and rarely dull. It’s also afflicted with a jokey, jaunty tone as deliberate as it is limiting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    Much of Puzzle feels schematic and, in the convenient solution to the family’s financial problems, a bit lazy. Yet Macdonald is so good, on her own or with a scene partner, director Marc Turtletaub’s movie refuses to fall apart.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    McKinnon’s apparent improvisations and inventions create a second, better movie in the margins.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    The core human/bear connection is treated with respect. Pooh’s wisdom and kindness cannot be denied. The same impulses worked for the two “Paddington” movies, God knows. Christopher Robin isn’t quite in their league, but it’s affecting nonetheless.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Phillips
    Eighth Grade works you over, audience wincing followed by audience gratification, narrative tension followed by release, crises leading to just-in-time catharsis.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    That’s Blindspotting all over: an exuberant, brightly colored, zigzagging portrait of a city, an uneasy transformation and a friendship.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    McKay has worked mostly in episodic television in recent years, and “On the Seventh Day” marks his confident, neatly ordered but freshly observed return to feature filmmaking. He’s working with nonactors here, in a fruitful halfway point between documentary and conventional fictional narrative.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    The movie sidesteps the conventional breadth of a documentary subject’s resume. We learn nothing about Sakamoto’s early years, and little about his private life. Yet simply by lingering with his pensive, compelling subject at the keyboard, or engaging Sakamoto (discreetly) in his thoughts on his life and his music, Schible casts a spell and captures the spirit of a uniquely gifted composer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    Some of it’s pleasingly old school in its reliance on formidable stunt work. Enough of it, though, gets a digital effects assist for the amazements to scale the heights of plausibility and then leap, like a gazelle, to the adjacent mountain of sublime ridiculousness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Phillips
    It’s a provocative, serious, ridiculous, screwy concoction about whiteface, cultural code-switching, African-American identities and twisted new forms of wage slavery, beyond previously known ethical limits.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Phillips
    The latest “Purge” is an erratic, fairly absorbing and righteously angry prequel.

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