Michael Phillips Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/4 38% Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) Here's hoping the third outing, which will take the main characters to Tokyo, returns to the amiable, artful high jinks of the first.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
3.5/4 97% Black Panther (2018) May Marvel learn its lesson from "Black Panther": When a movie like this ends up feeling both personal and vital, you've done something right.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2018
17% The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) There are humanist bits and chunks of "Interstellar" and "Arrival," though in order to set up another chapter of this loosely assembled saga of woe, "The Cloverfield Paradox" eventually, dutifully gets around to a nonhuman adversary in close-up.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 9, 2018
3/4 92% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fant├ística) (2018) Its clarity of purpose translates to an effectively lean and straightforward story of adversity and survival, in any language.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
1.5/4 24% The 15:17 to Paris (2018) We love stories of real-life heroics and grace under lethal pressure. But we need them to be more than the sum of their stirring intentions.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
3/4 83% Vazante (2018) Any director this far along in developing an assured visual style truly is a director to watch.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
2/4 57% Django (2018) A more honest script might've supported Reda Kateb's laid-back, medium-effective portrayal of Reinhardt more fully. As is, he's depicted as an artist man floating through his awful times, living for the music.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2018
3.5/4 93% Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2017) The personalities make the picture, and James' camera presence is such that "Abacus" never seems to gin up or theatricalize anyone's thoughts or behavior.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
3.5/4 97% Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) It fascinates both as film history and as a sobering reminder of how little credit a woman like Lamarr received, even at the peak of her popularity.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 19, 2018
2.5/4 39% Den of Thieves (2018) It's a sidewinding but often suprisingly effective LA crime thriller. It's also saddled with the wrong leading man.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
2.5/4 72% Mom and Dad (2018) At one point [Cage] sledgehammers a pool table to smithereens while singing the "Hokey Pokey," and honestly: That's what it's all about.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
2.5/4 43% Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) The script is just so-so, but Ball's directorial eye, clear in the first "Maze Runner" film though largely AWOL in the second, saves the third and final adventure from its own bloat.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
2.5/4 54% 12 Strong (2018) It's not a bad movie, as far as it goes. In terms of context, though, it goes virtually nowhere.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
2.5/4 57% The Commuter (2018) The movie goes off the rails somewhat before the train does, but the star gives it the ol' Liam Neeson, which Liam Neeson can do better than anybody.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
3.5/4 91% Phantom Thread (2018) I'd characterize Anderson's film as a romantic comedy with an unusually complicated and profoundly destabilizing happy ending. If that sounds like your thing, then here you are.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
3.5/4 100% Paddington 2 (2018) These movies simply know what they're doing. They retain the spirit and the humane reassurance of the source material.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
2.5/4 73% Hostiles (2018) For "Hostiles" to fully make sense of its introductory on-screen D.H. Lawrence quotation ... we'd need a tougher, less comforting ending than the one Cooper provides.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
3/4 88% The Post (2018) A blunt reminder that everything in this story concerning a craven, paranoid president's loathing of an aggressive free press did not exactly vanish with the Nixon administration.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2018
3/4 82% Molly's Game (2018) It's a good, brash biopic. For the first hour it's very nearly terrific.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2017
3/4 90% I, Tonya (2018) With a less compelling lead performance, the movie's dodgy limitations and flashy, facile editing and cross-cutting might've proven insufferable.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
3/4 77% All the Money in the World (2017) Scott's production works on the level of classy, confident yarn-spinning.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 21, 2017
3.5/4 96% Call Me by Your Name (2018) "Call Me by Your Name" is enough to make you move to the town of Crema, even if your rational self realizes the director Luca Guadagnino trades in a heightened, miragelike state of mythic yearning.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2017
3.5/4 91% Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) This is the longest movie in the franchise. It just doesn't feel that way. I haven't been this into a Star Wars picture since the Empire struck back in The Empire Strikes Back.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2017
1/4 31% Wonder Wheel (2017) Line to line, "Wonder Wheel" clunks and groans.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2017
3.5/4 92% The Shape of Water (2017) "The Shape of Water" is devoted, madly, to the notion of love as a state of liquid bliss, and we see that bliss and a hundred other emotions in Hawkins' nonverbal (mostly) but endlessly expressive performance.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2017
3/4 86% Darkest Hour (2017) "Darkest Hour" pulls from both extremes of Oldman's prodigious but often unexploited skill set, the subtlety as well as the flamboyance.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2017
2/4 91% The Disaster Artist (2017) Should newcomers to this particular cinematic phenomenon see "The Room" first? Yes. Seeing "The Disaster Artist" is less crucial to their camp education.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2017
3/4 97% Coco (2017) "Coco" may not reach the Pixar heights, but there's an upside to its narrative density and elaborations: Since the movie's beautiful, a second viewing will not be difficult.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2017
2.5/4 51% Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Even when the movie loses its way narratively, Washington's in there, slugging, building a living, breathing character out of Gilroy's knight-errant.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2017
3.5/4 96% Mudbound (2017) We've seen stories like this one before on screen, but what's new, and arresting, about "Mudbound" is how easily and persuasively director Rees moves between these families.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
3/4 93% Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) "Three Billboards" raises the stakes as it goes.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2017
3/4 89% 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) Hitchcock's shower scene may never leave the pop culture of fear it helped create.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
2/4 57% Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Midway through a middling film adaptation, like this one, you realize it's the same old clue-delivery mechanism, in a darker mood but also a less lively one.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
4/4 99% Lady Bird (2017) I love it. If a more enchanted movie comes along this year, I'll be surprised.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
3/4 91% Princess Cyd (2017) The performances by Pinnick and Spence are clean, vivid and honestly felt, with a lot of the best work emerging nonverbally in the spaces between characters closing a gap.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
3/4 92% Thor: Ragnarok (2017) The Marvel Fatigue factor continues, to be sure. But hiring Waititi, and letting the right actors lean into the comedy, constitutes not a marvel, but a qualified victory.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
2/4 54% LBJ (2017) What you get is a straightfoward, frustratingly mild portrait of a big man who, in "Hamilton"-speak, wanted to be in the room where it happened, but who really just wanted to be loved and respected.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
2.5/4 29% A Bad Moms Christmas (2017) A movie can be unreasonably formulaic and still be reasonably diverting, and "A Bad Moms Christmas" is the proof.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2017
3.5/4 69% Wonderstruck (2017) Haynes has always favored a quietude in his movies, and he's extremely well-suited to this material. It's a fairy tale full of earned sentiment.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
3/4 79% The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) These are formidable, icy influences, and Lanthimos is a formidable enough talent to use them to his own ends. And yet the strangeness this time feels more studied.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
3.5/4 100% Faces Places (Visages, villages) (2017) This movie, a diary of a freewheeling, far-flung installation art project, combines chance and intuition and a humane eye.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2017
3/4 88% Only the Brave (2017) "Only the Brave" gets better and better as it goes.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
3/4 92% Chavela (2017) A fond but clear-eyed tribute.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
3/4 83% Marshall (2017) There's enough in Thurgood Marshall's story for another two or three movies, but this one's an engaging chapter in the early morning hours of the civil rights era.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
3/4 87% Professor Marston & The Wonder Women (2017) It's a lively and absorbing picture - intelligently sexy, tastefully salacious but serious enough to stick.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
3.5/4 96% The Florida Project (2017) Dafoe has never had a role this warm and sweet, and he plays it for low-keyed honesty. The kids and the adults, some non-professionals, all become part of a bright purple beehive.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
3/4 92% The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) All the performances are terrific, even when some of the scenes sputter or reiterate the grievances.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
4/4 92% Trouble in Paradise (1932) Filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and audiences can learn every sort of valuable trick from it.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2017
3/4 98% Lucky (2017) The movie's small, and a little too tidy, but its devotion to ritual and routine nonetheless gives the actors room to maneuver.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2017
3/4 87% Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Will cinematographer Roger Deakins, having been nominated for an Academy Award 13 times, finally receive a damn Oscar? Yes. I hope it's yes. It should be "yes."‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2017