Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Agrees with the Tomatometer 78% of the time.

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

Movie Reviews Only

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
1.5/4 22%

Inferno (2016)

"This is a franchise with lead weights tied around its ankles." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 26, 2016
4/4 99%

Moonlight (2016)

""Moonlight" exerts a tidal pull on your heartstrings, but honestly: It's better than that." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 26, 2016
3/4 95%

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 19, 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 19, 2016
2/4 38%

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

"Some franchises are born; some are made; others thrust themselves upon the public." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Oct 19, 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 74%

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 93%

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 28, 2016
3.5/4 100%

La Chienne (The Bitch) (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 93%

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 63%

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 14, 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 44%

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 92%

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 26%

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 10, 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 81%

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 3, 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
2/4 60%

Bad Moms (2016)

""Bad Moms" keeps settling for less than it should, given the talent on screen." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 28, 2016
2/4 60%

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016)

"The jokes about washed-up, worn-out social climbers and boozehounds feel a decade or so out of date, and I found Eddy's self-loathing streak to be wanly pathetic, as opposed to touchingly sardonic." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 21, 2016
3/4 77%

Lights Out (2016)

"Palmer and Bello really do seem like world-weary, spook-addled daughter and mother, and they play the stakes just so, favoring neither blase understatement nor yellow-highlighter melodrama." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 19, 2016
3/4 84%

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

"Lin's movie works best when approached as a relaxed, somewhat playful two-hour expansion of one of the old '60s episodes." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 19, 2016
3/4 69%

The Infiltrator (2016)

"The Infiltrator is a true-crime story, familiar but compelling, about false identities, affording Cranston the chance to play a man who is pretending to be another, more swaggering, more dangerous man." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 12, 2016
2.5/4 69%

Café Society (2016)

""Cafe Society" is a good-looking nothing, but there are times - thanks more to Allen's direction than his writing, and thanks mostly to the people acting out the masquerade - when "nothing" is sufficient." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jul 6, 2016
2.5/4 72%

Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

"[A] proficient, moderately engaging film ..." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 30, 2016
3/4 55%

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

"It's nice to see an action movie take more than a passing interest in where our country is at the moment, and then exaggerating that moment into the realm of shrewd exploitation." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 30, 2016
3/4 75%

The BFG (2016)

"For once, underneath all the motion capture folderol, the key performance really does feel like a full, real, vital performance." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 29, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

"From the metallic shell of the 1996 smash "Independence Day," director Roland Emmerich has pulled a seriously lousy sequel, dripping with alien goo and incoherence." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 23, 2016
2/4 77%

The Shallows (2016)

"If the amount of surfing/suffering/staring-at-dark-skies footage rendered in slow motion were depicted at normal speed, "The Shallows" would run about a minute and a half." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 23, 2016
2.5/4 47%

Free State of Jones (2016)

"From camera composition to production design, everything looks and feels fresh-scrubbed and somewhat staid, and you don't quite believe what you're seeing." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 23, 2016
3/4 No Score Yet

L'Inhumaine (The Inhuman Woman)(The New Enchantment) (1926)

"Much of it's sluggish and heavy-handed. But there's real cinema in it, too." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 16, 2016

De Palma (2016)

""De Palma" deftly covers the full gamut of the man's films, from the early Robert De Niro collaboration "The Wedding Party" (shot in 1963) through commercial breakthroughs in the 1970s and then several more career ups and downs afterward." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 16, 2016
2/4 49%

Genius (2016)

"While Firth does a fine and honorable job interpreting Perkins, it's a tight performance with very, very few offhanded moments. Meantime Law gives it his all, acting up a storm, going whole hog with Wolfe's Carolina dialect." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 15, 2016
3/4 94%

Finding Dory (2016)

"The visual personality of the movie is fantastically vivid and bright, the story itself, less so." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 14, 2016
2/4 34%

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

"My main problem with these movies is insufferably old-fashioned. With so much digital effects work guiding so many of the action scenes, the simple pleasures of sleight-of-hand are all but lost." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 9, 2016
3/4 80%

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

"Despite all the children in all that peril, Wan is a humane sort of sadist. His latest offers little that's new, but the movie's finesse is something even non-horror fans can appreciate." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 8, 2016
3/4 77%

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

""Popstar" scores a heartening success-to-failure gag ratio." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 2, 2016
2/4 58%

Me Before You (2016)

"Clarke has loads of talent, but in Me Before You she's undermined by director Sharrock's technique, and an endless slew of overeager reaction shots." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted Jun 1, 2016
3.5/4 81%

Sunset Song (2016)

"Davies tries things nobody else would try. Here that means allowing the choral passages - scenes in which individual characters and groups of characters express their feelings in popular ballads or folk songs - plenty of room." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted May 25, 2016
3/4 96%

Weiner (2016)

"The movie itself makes a compelling if rather hypocritical argument against relentless self-documentation of a life, however it's lived." ‐ Chicago Tribune
Posted May 25, 2016
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