Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Agrees with the Tomatometer 79% of the time.

Michael Phillips's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 51 - 100 of 1807
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
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 95% 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 77% 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 The majority of moviemakers and movies stick to outdated, predictable formulas and conventions.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 82% 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 90% 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 34% 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
3/4 98% Paddington (2015) "Such is the chipper goodwill of both Paddington and "Paddington" that you forgive the flaws. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 15, 2015
2/4 72% American Sniper (2015) "There's a difference between a film about a man reluctant to acknowledge the psychological toll of what he endured and a movie that basically doesn't want to talk about it or question it, or think about it, period. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 15, 2015
3.5/4 99% Leviathan (2014) "It's a small story set in a memorably desolate location. The actors, all quite magnificent, enlarge it ... " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 8, 2015
3.5/4 73% Inherent Vice (2015) "Both times I saw "Inherent Vice," I experienced roughly the same contradictory responses: delight undercut by puzzlement, followed by a happier sort of puzzlement. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 8, 2015
3.5/4 88% Le Week-End (2014) "Before long the movie -- as neatly constructed as it is -- isn't really behaving like a movie, but more like life, as it's lived by a fractious pair of empty nesters who find themselves at a crossroads. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 6, 2015
3.5/4 85% Under the Skin (2014) "Minds will be blown to the four winds. And - fair warning - a percentage of American ticket buyers may find themselves exasperated and/or exiting early. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 5, 2015
4/4 88% Winter Sleep (2014) "Probably the finest (and paradoxically, least faithful) Chekhov adaptation on film. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 1, 2015
3.5/4 99% Selma (2015) "This is no soup-to-nuts King biopic. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 31, 2014
2.5/4 51% Unbroken (2014) ""Unbroken" makes for a grueling experience, which is not quite the same as a memorable one. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 23, 2014
2/4 72% Big Eyes (2014) "Instead of comic and dramatic provocation, "Big Eyes" settles for a pastel set of emotions lost in a primary color world. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 23, 2014
4/4 98% Mr. Turner (2014) "Without a speck of pomposity Leigh's film - one of the year's best - honors its subject in all his tetchy ambiguity. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 23, 2014
3/4 71% Into the Woods (2014) "For years, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim's 1987 fairy tale mashup, written with librettist James Lapine, has hacked its way through the thicket of Hollywood development. And the movie now before us? Here's a relief: It's good. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 22, 2014
2.5/4 50% Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) "It's a hectic pileup, this movie, but at least in its final laps it takes the time to say its goodbyes more or less properly. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 18, 2014
1.5/4 27% Annie (2014) "The overall vibe of this folly is curdled and utterly blase; it's a 118-minute foregone conclusion, finesse-free and perilously low on the simple performance pleasures we look for in any musical, of any period. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 18, 2014
3.5/4 98% The Babadook (2014) "Kent has taste, an eye and a knack for brisk, accelerated pacing. In the case of "The Babadook," familiarity breeds an eerily gratifying contentment. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 18, 2014
2/4 61% The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) "By the second hour of The Battle of the Five Armies, the visual approach becomes a paradox: monotonously dynamic epic storytelling. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 16, 2014
3/4 89% The Imitation Game (2014) "The actors save the day. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 11, 2014
2.5/4 27% Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) "Momentous conversations periodically grind any retelling of the Moses story to a halt, but Scott keeps his head down, plows through and then gets out of the way while visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang and his slave army take it on home. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 11, 2014
3/4 86% Top Five (2014) "In "Top Five," you sense Rock trying to load all these disparate talents onto a conventional romantic-comedy structure. It's a close call, but it holds. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 11, 2014
3/4 94% The Dance of Reality (2014) "A lot of the film doesn't quite click, either as dream imagery or something more conventional. But there's a spirit and a yearning in it that's undeniable and bracing. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 8, 2014
3.5/4 100% The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) "What makes "Princess Kaguya" stick in emotional terms? Its depiction of an extraordinary girl, learning for herself that a life without real joy and spontaneity is only a shadow of a life. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 4, 2014
3/4 90% Wild (2014) "Witherspoon does the least acting of her career, and it works. Calmly yet restlessly, she brings to life Strayed's longings, her states of grief and desire and her wary optimism. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 4, 2014
2/4 No Score Yet Panic 5 Bravo (2014) "This is a pressure-cooker scenario, and the film is not badly made. It is, however, weirdly flat, given the stakes and the wild screaming matches. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 4, 2014
3.5/4 88% Happy Valley (2014) "The film could've benefited from another 15 or 20 minutes of detail and nuance. What's there, though, is strong, thoughtful and disturbing. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 27, 2014
3/4 88% That Man from Rio (1964) "It's fun, in an imperialist, colonialist, patronizing, exotic-marginalized-foreigners way. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 27, 2014
2.5/4 82% The Homesman (2014) "Right or wrong, "The Homesman" belongs to Jones and Swank, and for Western aficionados it's worth seeing. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 20, 2014
3/4 88% Foxcatcher (2014) "At its core, "Foxcatcher" grapples, bluntly, with the subjects of class and money, and what some people do when, to quote a line from "Psycho," they can't buy off their own unhappiness. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 20, 2014
4/4 92% Force Majeure (2014) ""Force Majeure" is both funny and sad, often in the same glance-averted instant. See it with someone you'd trust to stick around in an avalanche. It's one of the highlights of 2014. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 20, 2014
3/4 65% The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) "Even though Mockingjay contains scenes of mass graves and mass slaughter on the battlefield, this isn't a movie, or a set of characters, built on bloodlust or the enjoyment of anonymous kills. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 19, 2014
3/4 77% Rosewater (2014) "Stewart's wryly observant qualities as a TV star serve him well in his feature film debut. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 13, 2014
3.5/4 98% The Overnighters (2014) "So much of "The Overnighters" tells all sorts of truths, and Moss earned the trust of his subjects, whatever they might think of the result. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 13, 2014
3/4 79% The Theory of Everything (2014) "It works best as a study of human vulnerability and love's way with us all, and as such, a handsomely mounted, slightly hollow picture by the end becomes a very affecting one. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 13, 2014
3.5/4 51% Low Down (2014) ""Low Down" serves as a terrific example of how to evoke a given period on a tight budget. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 6, 2014
2/4 69% Laggies (2014) "By dint of its on-screen talent, "Laggies" qualifies as a genial, puttering indie with a starrier cast. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 6, 2014
3/4 89% Big Hero 6 (2014) "There's enough visual invention afoot, and enough spirited interplay among the human characters, to keep things bobbing along. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 6, 2014
3/4 72% Interstellar (2014) "A knockout one minute, a punch-drunk crazy film the next, Interstellar is a highly stimulating mess. " ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 4, 2014
Showing 51 - 100 of 1807