Michael PhillipsMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Phillips

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

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3.5/4 93% Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened... (2016) If you have any Broadway or Sondheim or show business in your bloodstream, you should go. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 12, 2017
2/4 33% Live By Night (2017) "Live by Night" may look first-rate (though Affleck's direction, whether it's action or simply two people, seething, is routine) but it feels second-hand. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 12, 2017
83% Mifune: The Last Samurai (2016) Nobody in cinema can rival the unique, electric combination of scowling power and exuberant physicality of Mifune. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 12, 2017
2.5/4 84% Silence (2017) Scorsese has lived with his love of this material for a long time. Maybe too long. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 5, 2017
3/4 93% 20th Century Women (2017) "20th Century Women" doesn't get unduly hung up on plot, or even with the usual forward motion of a coming-of-age narrative. It's a group portrait of a makeshift family. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jan 5, 2017
3.5/4 97% 13th (2016) It's a crazy amount of ground to cover, but only rarely does 13th sacrifice clarity for cinematic energy. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 28, 2016
2.5/4 93% Hidden Figures (2017) "Hidden Figures" is a fairly entertaining gloss of a docudrama elevated by its cast. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 22, 2016
1/4 17% Assassin's Creed (2016) It's just a mediocre action movie, poorly edited and larded with a terrible musical score, based on a video game. Nothing new there. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 21, 2016
3.5/4 95% Fences (2016) The people in charge, on screen and off, know what they have here, and they don't get material like this very often in their careers. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 20, 2016
4/4 93% La La Land (2016) Chazelle is a born filmmaker, and he doesn't settle for rehashing familiar bits from musicals we already love. He's too busy giving us reasons to fall for this one. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 15, 2016
3/4 85% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) A little bit "Guardians of the Galaxy," a little bit "Dirty Dozen" in its mass wartime slaughter, and a pretty good time once it gets going. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 13, 2016
3.5/4 88% Jackie (2016) Even if it lacks full dimension, and a final imaginative leap past the biopic strictures, "Jackie" pulls you into its web, shot by shot, moment by moment - most of them Portman's. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 8, 2016
2.5/4 95% Seasons (Les saisons) (2016) At its best, "Seasons" shakes off its predecessors and captures the simple, grand ideas it's after purely visually. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 1, 2016
2/4 11% Man Down (2016) The material ends up cheapening the experiences of so many real-life veterans, which surely was not the filmmakers' intention. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Dec 1, 2016
3/4 95% Moana (2016) The film is bright, busy, enjoyable, progressive without being insufferable. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 22, 2016
2/4 61% Allied (2016) In a movie built around two characters, Pitt does not hold up his 50 percent. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 21, 2016
2/4 45% Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016) The movie doesn't really work. The script is all too faithful to Fountain's florid brand of not-quite-human poetry. The thesis lines thud into place. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 17, 2016
3/4 71% Bleed For This (2016) Not every biopic needs to reinvent the form. Sometimes it's enough to inhabit it, engagingly. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 17, 2016
3/4 73% Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) There are scenes, typically the most destructive ones, that could be plopped into any old "X-Men" movie. But director Yates knows his way around this stuff. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 16, 2016
3/4 89% Loving (2016) The fine, quiet, carefully modulated ... "Loving" from writer-director Jeff Nichols is the opposite of a rabble-rouser. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 10, 2016
2.5/4 86% Hacksaw Ridge (2016) I respectfully, conscientiously object to the way Desmond Doss has been simplified and sanctified in the movie. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 2, 2016
3/4 90% Doctor Strange (2016) Doctor Strange really does show you a few new things, or at least familiar things in a clever new way. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Nov 1, 2016
1.5/4 19% Inferno (2016) This is a franchise with lead weights tied around its ankles. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 27, 2016
4/4 98% Moonlight (2016) "Moonlight" exerts a tidal pull on your heartstrings, but honestly: It's better than that. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 27, 2016
3/4 97% Aquarius (2016) This is an easygoing, plaintively observant picture, one that putters here and there. But Braga is working on another level, and we're happy to be reminded of what she can do ... ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 20, 2016
3.5/4 90% Certain Women (2016) Reichardt and her first-rate ensemble find intersections of the mundane and the mysterious all around this broad, blustery landscape. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 20, 2016
2/4 37% Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) Some franchises are born; some are made; others thrust themselves upon the public. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 20, 2016
2/4 51% The Accountant (2016) "The Accountant" is all over the place. It's an odd, thickly plotted, two-faced action movie. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 13, 2016
2.5/4 72% The Birth of a Nation (2016) Parker sees the Nat Turner story as righteous wrath, straight, no chaser, not much characterization. Very likely, the real Turner was a more unruly, contradictory and human figure than the icon at the center of things here. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 4, 2016
3/4 91% A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove) (2016) Lassgard isn't the whole show, but he's most of it, and he's rock steady without being predictable, or falling into easy caricature, even when the movie veers that way. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 29, 2016
2/4 64% Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Like his recent film version of "Dark Shadows," Burton's "Miss Peregrine" may end up in a sort of No Teen's Land of audience perplexity. The ick factor's pretty high, and the verbal wit is scarce. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 29, 2016
3/4 83% Deepwater Horizon (2016) Berg sticks to the job at hand, imagining what it is was like to be there, and to be the victim of sloppy, deadly safety practices in the name of a good day on Wall Street. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 29, 2016
3.5/4 100% La Chienne (1931) The women's roles lack dimension and the bittersweet depth Renoir's later films explored so memorably. Visually, though, this one's gorgeous and extremely fluid. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 22, 2016
3/4 77% Goat (2016) This one's a tough sit. I had to look away at times; at the film's midpoint, the hazing rituals of hell week begin in earnest, and Neel doesn't elide much. There's a numbing aspect to "Goat." But the best of it, I'd say, is honorably harsh ... ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 22, 2016
3.5/4 92% Queen of Katwe (2016) Nair's film, her best in a long time, is hardly the first to use a chessboard as a symbol of one life's struggles. It is, however, one of the best. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 22, 2016
2/4 63% The Magnificent Seven (2016) Usually Washington's charisma is enough to see him through a problematic genre exercise. Here, I suspect, we have a movie that'll split audiences between responses of "not bad" and "not good enough." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 22, 2016
2.5/4 61% Snowden (2016) Even though this is Stone's most interesting work since the underrated "W." nearly a decade ago, it's not all that much. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 15, 2016
3.5/4 98% Little Men (2016) "Little Men," barely 80 minutes without its end credits, feels right in its size and scope, even when you wouldn't mind an extra beat or scene or two for each character. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Sep 1, 2016
2.5/4 87% Don't Breathe (2016) A clever if increasingly mechanical suspense contraption, yanking our sympathies this way and that, before turning into a different sort of movie entirely. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 25, 2016
2.5/4 45% Hands of Stone (2016) De Niro and top-billed Ramirez do well with a bantamweight script. It's a strange picture structurally. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 25, 2016
3/4 91% Southside With You (2016) Sawyers and Sumpter ... [are] better than the writing, which follows its diagram and lays out the conflicts and personality differences very, very neatly. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 24, 2016
2/4 25% Ben-Hur (2016) Bekmambetov's visual attack and brand of action make me urp. But he's a sincere merry hack. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 18, 2016
1.5/4 60% War Dogs (2016) Despite all the Martifications and Scorsese-ing, we're left with virtually nothing, except the feeling that a pretty good anecdote has been inflated into a bubble-headed American Dream morality tale. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 17, 2016
3.5/4 98% Hell or High Water (2016) "Hell or High Water" has one foot in pulp conventions, and the other in some stimulating, morally tricky contemporary answers to those conventions. What the movie has, above all, is a dramatic line, clean and straight. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 11, 2016
2.5/4 83% Sausage Party (2016) The script by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir has an inspired stupid idea, and boundless nerve, as well as a legitimate interest in theological debate. Truly, it does. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 10, 2016
3.5/4 86% Pete's Dragon (2016) This is one of the season's most heartening surprises. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 10, 2016
3.5/4 82% Indignation (2016) The movie respects Roth's coming-of-age reverie while ever so gently questioning it, or at least tilting it sideways. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 4, 2016
1.5/4 26% Suicide Squad (2016) It's not satisfying storytelling; the flashbacks roll in and out, explaining either too much or too little, and the action may be violent but it's not interesting. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Aug 2, 2016
3/4 56% Jason Bourne (2016) If a summer picture can be both vaguely disappointing in relation to its franchise predecessors yet worth seeing in relation to its multiplex neighbors, "Jason Bourne" is that picture. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 28, 2016
3.5/4 99% Don't Think Twice (2016) "Don't Think Twice" is a genuinely charming comedy about real people challenging themselves to create new realities for laughs and a little truth, one made-up scene at a time. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 28, 2016