Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Agrees with the Tomatometer 78% of the time.

Publications:
At the Movies , Baltimore Sun , Chicago Tribune , Metromix.com
Total Reviews:
1676

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 1 - 50 of 1676
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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
3/4 —— Too Late for Tears (Killer Bait) (1949) " The movie failed to find much of an audience in its own time. It looks a little better every year." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 28, 2014
3.5/4 91% Frank (2014) " A functioning, funny, weirdly touching fable of artistic angst and aspiration, a meditation on fame and its terrors and the metaphoric usefulness of masks and huge fake heads." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 28, 2014
3.5/4 97% Love Is Strange (2014) " Many, I suspect, will be moved to tears by "Love Is Strange," which Sachs earns the hard way: not by amping up the dramatic situations, but by grace notes and quiet spells cast by all the right actors." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 28, 2014
93% Angels in America: Season 1 " While Nichols can be charged with making Angels less comic and energetic and more sentimental in spots, Kushner's achievement feels very much at home in its new skin. " — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 22, 2014
3/4 78% Land Ho! (2014) " As a performance showcase it's intriguing simply because Eenhoorn and Nelson barely belong to the same species, so different are they in demeanor." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 21, 2014
3.5/4 85% The Trip To Italy (2014) " If Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon were even 7 percent less amusing, "The Trip to Italy" would have no reason to exist, even with its casually gorgeous scenery and shattering close-ups of seafood pasta fresh out of the kitchen." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 21, 2014
2.5/4 80% The One I Love (2014) " Moss and Duplass are just about perfect in it, never begging for audience sympathy, merely working inside their characters for audience empathy. But this strikes me as a short film that has been blobbed out, uncertainly, to feature length." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 21, 2014
2/4 45% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) " I'm not sure what mood I'd have to be in to truly enjoy "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." But I'm not in it." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 21, 2014
3/4 37% If I Stay (2014) " Cutler is selling a certain kind of product with "If I Stay," but he sells it honestly and well." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 21, 2014
2/4 34% The Expendables 3 (2014) " The latest in the continuing saga of Sylvester Stallone's mission to provide a work week or two to as many of his old pals as possible." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 14, 2014
2/4 32% The Giver (2014) " "The Giver" gives off an air of wearying familiarity, without much in the way of design wiles or cinematic wonder beyond the spectacle of Streep competing for her share of the movie against her own hair." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 14, 2014
2/4 69% What If (2014) " Why did the film's charms elude me? I felt arm-twisted by "What If," for all its tossed-off verbiage and wisecracking." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 7, 2014
3/4 89% Calvary (2014) " Gleeson carries the film with wonderful, natural authority. He's a little better than the movie itself, which is glib to a fault." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 7, 2014
1.5/4 19% Into The Storm (2014) " A good deal of screenwriter John Swetnam's dialogue sounds like auto-corrected exposition, designed to reveal nothing in the way of character." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 7, 2014
3/4 —— The Sky's the Limit (1943) " The movie manages to fulfill its topical patriotic duties in a way that feels fresh, urgent and honest about its time and place." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 31, 2014
3/4 52% Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) " The best of the movie finds a way to abridge the novel and still allow the scenes to breathe." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 31, 2014
3.5/4 78% Get On Up (2014) " Everything about "Get on Up," a provocatively structured and unusually rich musical biopic, is a little better, a little less formula-bound, a little sharper than the average specimen in this genre." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 31, 2014
3/4 92% Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) " It's looser, scruffier and more overtly comic than the average Marvel action fantasy." — Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 31, 2014
3/4 61% 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 65% 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 78% 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 18% 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 91% 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 48% 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 41% 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 90% 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 24% 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 28% 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 92% 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 24% 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 69% 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 53% 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 85% 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 88% 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 84% 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 48% Maleficent (2014) " The formula works." — Chicago Tribune
Posted May 29, 2014
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