Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Agrees with the Tomatometer 78% of the time.

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Showing 1 - 50 of 1793
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2.5/4 93% Monkey Kingdom (2015) "You know how nature docs work. You forgive the hoked-up comic relief ... and tasteful allusions to death and dying and procreation because the tight shots of Maya's lil' Kip are so durn cuuuuute. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
3/4 91% Clouds of Sils Maria (2015) "The film glides and snakes along its path, a path we have trod before in so many other films and plays. But often it's not where you go but how you go that matters. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
3.5/4 85% Revenge of the Mekons (2014) "If they symbolize anything, the Mekons represent every musically curious and adventurous group that matures without calcifying, or falling apart. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
2/4 48% True Story (2015) "Even with shrewd and honest work by Franco and Hill and a solid supporting turn from under-used Felicity Jones as Finkel's romantic partner, the film comes to life only sporadically. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
3/4 88% The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) "The film will never rank among my favorites in the careers of these filmmakers, but filmmaking legends as diverse as Cecil B. DeMille, Martin Scorsese and George A. Romero all adore it ... " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
3/4 89% Ex Machina (2015) "Garland sidles up to some large ideas, some more provocative than others, and his premise hints at the costs of perpetual, omnivorous surveillance. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
3.5/4 88% College (1927) "The movie is worth seeing for a lot of reasons, one of them being the weirdly elegant pratfall Keaton takes on the baseball diamond when he gets clipped by an opposing player sliding into third. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 16, 2015
1.5/4 23% Broken Horses (2015) "There are secrets and revelations in "Broken Horses," none of them revealing. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 9, 2015
2/4 29% The Longest Ride (2015) "Even when Eastwood and Robertson, pleasant enough company, threaten to float off the screen, "The Longest Ride" glides along and delivers its reheated comfort food by the ton. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 9, 2015
3/4 94% The Salt of the Earth (2015) "Is what we see grief porn or an epic, careerlong study in the best and worst we can find on Earth? See the film and decide for yourself. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 2, 2015
3/4 85% While We're Young (2015) "Baumbach belongs in a select group of invaluable American directors. He makes movies built, increasingly, like traditionally structured studio comedies of an earlier age. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 2, 2015
3/4 82% Furious 7 (2015) ""Furious 7" is not as zippy as "Fast Five," my favorite of the ones I've seen, but it has its satisfactions; its global audience is built-in, as well as strapped in and ready to ride. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 2, 2015
2/4 54% Woman in Gold (2015) "The relationship between Altmann and Schoenberg, sometimes testy but always loving, plays out like two actors acting, rather than two actors inhabiting a real situation. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Apr 2, 2015
3/4 No Score Yet Le jour du mineur (The Coal Miner's Day) "At its strongest "The Coal Miner's Day" extracts universal truths from shrewdly chosen details. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 26, 2015
3/4 47% Home (2015) "I brought a couple of my kids, who liked it fine and found the friendship at the center rather affecting. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 26, 2015
2.5/4 78% Danny Collins (2015) "There's a delayed-secret hitch in the narrative that hijacks the movie, for better or worse. You don't have to believe any of it to enjoy a lot of it, however. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 26, 2015
1/4 29% Get Hard (2015) "I laughed when Ferrell smashed a bottle of beer on the sidewalk, just to show he's tough, but if that's a movie's standout bit, that movie's no standout. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 26, 2015
2/4 16% The Gunman (2015) "It's a tasty cast, but the script does not do its job in crucial areas, letting the audience get way, way out ahead of the reveals. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 19, 2015
3/4 92% The Hunting Ground (2015) "From its first moments, the new documentary "The Hunting Ground" instills a sense of dread that is very, very tough to shake. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 19, 2015
2.5/4 31% Insurgent (2015) "The actors are more or less saving this franchise's bacon. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 18, 2015
4/4 97% '71 (2015) "The movie excites, but intelligently, without stoking blood lust or Old Testament revenge impulses. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 12, 2015
2.5/4 60% Run All Night (2015) "Directed, frantically, by Jaume Collet-Serra, written by Brad Ingelsby, "Run All Night" promises a sprint punctuated by a lot of gunfire, and bleeding, and bodies. Mission accomplished. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 12, 2015
3/4 85% Cinderella (2015) "It's pleasing to come away from a movie such as "Cinderella" having felt something for, and with, the archetypes on the screen. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 12, 2015
3.5/4 96% What We Do In The Shadows (2015) "If we see two or three more comedies this year that know what they're doing the way this one does, it'll be a very good year indeed. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 6, 2015
0/4 30% Chappie (2015) "A misjudgment from metallic head to titanium toe. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 5, 2015
3.5/4 62% Maps to the Stars (2015) ""Maps to the Stars" loses some steam near the end, and its resolution has the predetermined quality of Greek tragedy writ small. Still, I found it (as the Replacements song says) sadly beautiful. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 5, 2015
2.5/4 62% The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) ""Second Best" offers little you couldn't write yourself, but it does so with respectable level of craft. The appeal lies in the ensemble playing. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Mar 5, 2015
3/4 79% Bluebird (2014) "The dangling ending won't appeal to everyone, but nobody makes a movie like "Bluebird" with that in mind, anyway. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 26, 2015
3.5/4 100% GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2015) "A highly compressed, exquisitely acted tale of two people who do not belong together plays out as a courtroom saga that, in story terms, runs longer than many marriages. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 26, 2015
2/4 56% Focus (2015) "Even in a lark about con artists working through their trust issues, we need more. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 26, 2015
3/4 No Score Yet Hogtown "It captures nooks and crannies and the underside of the elevated train tracks with a true artist's eye. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 19, 2015
2/4 71% The DUFF (2015) "You know what would be revolutionary? Making a really good movie about a three-dimensional teenage female character that doesn't start and finish with both eyes on the same old punishing character types. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 19, 2015
3/4 59% The Last 5 Years (2015) "As far as I'm concerned, Anna Kendrick can make a musical twice annually for the next few decades. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 19, 2015
3/4 79% McFarland USA (2015) "A less talented and more shameless director might've turned it into cornmeal mush, but Niki Caro ("Whale Rider") has delivered unto the Disney corporation a Kevin Costner sports movie that works. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 19, 2015
3/4 96% Manuscripts Don't Burn (2014) "The result asserts the two-headed truism: Artists in many countries will always find grim, sometimes deadly opposition, and those same artists will continue to risk everything to remain alive inside. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 12, 2015
2.5/4 70% Young Bodies Heal Quickly (2015) "I struggled with parts of the second half, but the film is worth the struggle; Betzer's up to something visually, and he has a ripe career ahead of him. At least I hope he does. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 12, 2015
1.5/4 74% Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) "I will say this: "Kingsman" has some nerve, however misguided. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 12, 2015
2.5/4 25% Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) ""Fifty Shades of Grey" turns out to be an intriguing tussle - not in the sack, or in the Red Room of Pain, but in its internal war between the dubious erotica of James' novel (the first of three) and the far craftier trash offered by the movie. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 12, 2015
3.5/4 92% Girlhood (2015) "Throughout "Girlhood" the malignant energy that results from having a scary home life never entirely dissipates. Yet the story allows for a full array of emotional peaks and valleys. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 5, 2015
1.5/4 78% The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) "[The film] runs a reasonable-sounding 92 minutes. Yet those 92 feel like more than enough. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 5, 2015
2/4 25% Jupiter Ascending (2015) "Visionaries often lose their way in their own visions. The majority of moviemakers and movies stick to outdated, predictable formulas and conventions. The Wachowskis, on the other hand, are not afraid to strand you early and often in Jupiter Ascending. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Feb 4, 2015
2.5/4 81% Black Sea (2015) "Handled artfully by Macdonald, whose earlier work includes "The Last King of Scotland," Dennis Kelly's script pulls bits and pieces from "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," "The Wages of Fear" and its remake, "Sorcerer." " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 29, 2015
3/4 91% Mommy (2015) "The movie's rhythm is jumpy, accelerated and alive. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 29, 2015
2/4 63% Still Life (2015) "Marsan's technical precision as an actor is formidable, and he's wonderful to watch. But when the material's synthetic, as it is here, you wish Marsan could bust loose at the expense of the movie's obsessively orderly nature. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 29, 2015
1.5/4 11% The Boy Next Door (2015) "I wish "The Boy Next Door" were a different, zingier sort of mediocrity, but whenever it threatens to go the full Zalman King "Two Moon Junction" route, it pulls back and behaves itself and settles for a grindingly predictable series of escalations. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 22, 2015
2.5/4 49% Cake (2015) "I wish the movie were messier, more surprising. But as with most of what we see, made on small budgets and large: The performances are not the problem. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 22, 2015
3/4 90% A Most Violent Year (2015) "Chandor has yet to learn the fine points of screw-turning when a story's momentum calls for it. But he knows a great deal about writing effective, striving, eagle-eyed characters caught in tricky situations. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 15, 2015
2.5/4 33% Blackhat (2015) "I wouldn't mind seeing some of the scenes and images again, as part of a highlights reel divorced from the material we're meant to care about. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 15, 2015
3.5/4 97% Two Days, One Night (2014) "Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux called it a "Belgian Western," and it's true; echoes of "High Noon" and others reverberate in its bones. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 15, 2015
3.5/4 86% Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language) (2014) "Shooting on various low- and medium-grade digital cameras, Godard turns "Goodbye to Language" into a rumination on memory, communication, everyday life and sexual tension. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 15, 2015
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