Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Agrees with the Tomatometer 78% of the time.

Publications:
At the Movies , Baltimore Sun , Chicago Tribune , Metromix.com
Total Reviews:
1658

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 1658
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
3/4 62% Hercules (2014) " Ratner's sense of humor is never clever, or light, and I've hated my share of his earlier films, but not this one." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 25, 2014
2/4 57% Lucy (2014) " The movie devolves into a melange of digital effects and sequences of glamorous slaughter, as Lucy swaggers around, with that big brain, and slouches toward becoming a full-lipped deity." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 24, 2014
2/4 81% Happy Christmas (2014) " "Happy Christmas" leans hard on the ensemble's exploratory attempts at ad hoc dialogue, so that you find yourself providing alternative snatches of banter in your head, just to speed things up a little." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 24, 2014
1.5/4 15% And So It Goes (2014) " It does not do much of anything, beyond lulling fans into a glum reverie during which they can recall better films that its Oscar-winning stars made en route to this one." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 24, 2014
3/4 90% A Most Wanted Man (2014) " The movie is good, solid le Carre. It's chilly yet humane, and human-scaled ..." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 24, 2014
2.5/4 60% Magic in the Moonlight (2014) " "Magic in the Moonlight" strolls along, muttering familiar axioms about the infernal inconvenience and bedevilment of romantic attraction." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 24, 2014
2/4 5% Paranoia (2013) " There's nothing wrong with Paranoia that a stronger director, livelier leading actors and several hundred fewer narrative conveniences wouldn't cure." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 23, 2014
2/4 39% Wish I Was Here (2014) " Watery at best, whiny at its worst ..." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 17, 2014
1.5/4 18% Sex Tape (2014) " If "Sex Tape" ends up making money, it'll be strictly on the backs of its valiant performers, who surely sensed the weakness of the script and decided to go at it like a job, like turning an acting trick, finesse and pacing be damned." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 17, 2014
4/4 99% Boyhood (2014) " In completing this simple, beautiful project Linklater took his time. And he rewards ours." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 16, 2014
3/4 91% Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) " The film, despite its bloat and its overfondness for scenes of massacre, feels as if it were made by actual humans." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 10, 2014
2.5/4 23% Tammy (2014) " In McCarthy, we have a performer we can trust to deliver laughs even when they barely exist on the page." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 1, 2014
2/4 30% Deliver Us from Evil (2014) " Derrickson made "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" nearly a decade ago, a rather better example of this genre." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 1, 2014
2.5/4 91% The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014) " See the movie, flaws and all, simply to see where you stand in this digital river that runs through all our lives, connecting and isolating us in ways we're barely able to comprehend." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 26, 2014
1.5/4 23% Third Person (2014) " Writer-director Paul Haggis' exasperating multistory drama about how hard it is for a nice, quiet, sensitive guy to be left alone to write an exasperating multistory drama." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 26, 2014
3.5/4 —— On Approval (1945) " This impish 1944 film adaptation of the 1926 Frederick Lonsdale comedy provides spacious roles for two peerless actresses." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 26, 2014
3/4 68% They Came Together (2014) " "They Came Together" is occasionally very funny, and moderately funny the rest of the time. In mathematical terms that adds up to pretty funny or "funny enough."" — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 26, 2014
3/4 71% A Coffee in Berlin (2014) " As sure of itself visually in its black-and-white evocations of Berlin as its protagonist is unsure of himself and his future." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 26, 2014
2.5/4 —— Cinemanovels (2014) " The actors make up for the relative thinness of the material. Smith navigates the emotional terrain with great skill." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 26, 2014
2.5/4 54% Jersey Boys (2014) " Full of genial showbiz cliches and mobbed-up sweeties, it's an easy movie to take." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 19, 2014
2/4 25% Think Like a Man Too (2014) " The way this comedy has been edited by Peter S. Elliot, presumably at the urging of director Tim Story, the shots barely hold themselves for two or three seconds before slam-cutting away to a pushy reaction shot." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 19, 2014
4/4 98% Let The Fire Burn (2013) " Director Jason Osder's grieving account of the deadly police assault on the MOVE collective's fortified Philadelphia row house works small, continuous miracles with a variety of existing footage." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 13, 2014
2.5/4 75% Jews Of Egypt (2014) " In terms of technique Ramses' documentary indulges in some pretty cheesy tactics - freeze-frames, monologue-length accounts when abridged versions of the same information would suffice, a naggingly repetitive musical score." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 13, 2014
3/4 84% Night Moves (2014) " You may not buy the third-act developments, but Reichardt and her actors see to it that you believe in how these people got to that third act in the first place." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 13, 2014
3.5/4 87% Obvious Child (2014) " Moment to moment, you believe what's happening in Robespierre's film, which is funny and rueful in roughly equal measure without being despairing in the slightest." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 12, 2014
3.5/4 92% How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) " For once, we have an animated sequel free of the committee-job vibe so common at every animation house, no matter the track record." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 12, 2014
3/4 85% 22 Jump Street (2014) " A brazen sequel that's both slightly disappointing and a reliable, often riotous "laffer" in the old Variety trade-magazine parlance." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 12, 2014
3/4 90% Edge of Tomorrow (2014) " I'm not sure "Edge of Tomorrow" holds much repeat viewing potential among teenage movie consumers, since the movie's a self-repeating entity to begin with. But once is fun." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 5, 2014
2/4 80% The Fault In Our Stars (2014) " "The Fault in Our Stars" pushes every button." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 5, 2014
3.5/4 —— Black Box " Plaintive and generous, it's a worthy follow-up to Cone's previous film, "The Wise Kids."" — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 29, 2014
0.5/4 33% A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) " What we have here is a failure of craft. [MacFarlane] can't direct action, or even handle scenery well." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 29, 2014
2.5/4 49% Maleficent (2014) " The formula works." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 29, 2014
4/4 94% Ida (2014) " "Ida" accomplishes so much, so surely in its 80 minutes, it's as if the director Pawel Pawlikowski had dared himself: How can I tell this fascinating story efficiently yet without rushing and abridging the narrative?" — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 22, 2014
2.5/4 88% Chef (2014) " Favreau's masterly light touch as an actor hasn't yet translated to a similarly deft offhandedness behind the camera. The movie, slick and shallow, is fairly entertaining anyway." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 15, 2014
3/4 61% Million Dollar Arm (2014) " Its wince-worthy moments, when people aren't treating other people the way they should be treated, feel honest and emerge naturally from the true-ish story." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 15, 2014
3.5/4 74% Godzilla (2014) " Is there enough Godzilla in "Godzilla"? Folks, there is. There is just enough." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 14, 2014
3/4 73% Neighbors (2014) " One part smart, one part stupid and three parts jokes about body parts, the extremely raunchy "Neighbors" is a strange success story." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 8, 2014
2.5/4 83% Belle (2014) " Its best performers find their truths and telling details in between the straightforward expository lines." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 8, 2014
3/4 89% Locke (2014) " "Locke" is a solo act, and Tom Hardy is its superbly talented soloist." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 1, 2014
2/4 53% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) " Folks, I confess: I'm coping with a mild case of arachno-apatha-phobia, defined as the fear of another so-so "Spider-Man" sequel." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 30, 2014
2/4 44% Walking With The Enemy (2014) " The title "Walking With the Enemy" suggests a peculiar lack of urgency, so it's a disappointingly accurate handle indeed." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 24, 2014
2.5/4 23% The Other Woman (2014) " Line to line, it's fresher than any number of guy-centric "Hangover"-spawned affairs, despite director Cassavetes' lack of flair for slapstick." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 24, 2014
3/4 88% Alan Partridge (2014) " The movie clips along and pleases its fan base, and it'll amuse a lot of Partridge newbies as well." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 24, 2014
3/4 51% Hateship Loveship (2014) " The people on screen are all worth watching, as is Johnson's directorial career." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 17, 2014
2.5/4 66% The Railway Man (2014) " [It] has many problems but also has Colin Firth ..." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 17, 2014
3/4 84% The Unknown Known (2014) " By now the director's technique is so savvy, so confident in its visual layering and atmospheric assurance, even a dodgy, cagey camera subject such as Rumsfeld becomes movieworthy." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 17, 2014
2/4 19% Transcendence (2014) " After an intriguing start, "Transcendence" - aka "The Computer Wore Johnny Depp's Tennis Shoes" - offers roughly the same level of excitement as listening to hold music during a call to tech support." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 17, 2014
2.5/4 52% Cuban Fury (2014) " Frost has all it takes to run his own show. Now he just needs a better show." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 10, 2014
2.5/4 59% Dom Hemingway (2014) " The material, limited payoff; the performer at the center, never less than arresting." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 10, 2014
3/4 74% Oculus (2014) " Flanagan's a skillful director and editor, and simply by placing the camera in logical but unusual places ... the tension increases moment by moment, ghost by ghost, frightening reflection by reflection." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 10, 2014
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