Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/4 65% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) The reason the movie works, I think, is simple. The actresses are all strong. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/4 94% Midsommar (2019) The movie works best, I think, as a black-comic treatise on what can befall a garden-variety passive-aggressive mixed blessing of a boyfriend if he's not careful. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
2/4 96% Echo In the Canyon (2019) How did an apparently sincere tribute turn into such a weirdly clueless vanity project? - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
3/4 86% In the Aisles (In den Gängen) (2019) The stars, it must be said, are slightly more interesting than the characters, which is another way of saying Rogowski and Huller amplify what's there on the page. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
3.5/4 98% Toy Story 4 (2019) While we all, as moviegoers, experience franchise and sequel fatigue on our own unpredictable timetables, this film brightens the summer without simply going through the motions. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
2.5/4 22% Men in Black International (2019) Thompson does here what Tommy Lee Jones did so well in the first "Men in Black"... By not overtly giving a rip about the demands or dictates of the franchise machinery clanking all around her, she lightens the load and keeps everything moving efficiently. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
2/4 62% The Fall of the American Empire (La chute de l'empire américain) (2019) Though jarringly violent at times, the film becomes a wash of low-keyed comic attitudes thrown into the works of a crime story. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 6, 2019
1.5/4 23% Dark Phoenix (2019) We get a film morose and dull, numbing in its body count, and seriously galling in its emphasis on aliens getting shot up with heavy automatic gunfire at close range. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
3/4 89% Non-Fiction (2019) In barely disguised code, "Non-Fiction" operates as a wry analysis of Assayas' chosen profession as filmmaker. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
3/4 40% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) This is one franchise that doesn't feel fished out or exhausted or exhausting.The monsters, Toho studio classics redesigned but faithfully so, are pretty swell and monumentally destructive. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
No Score Yet Merrily We Go to Hell (1932) "Merrily" packs an improbable number of narrative developments and tonal swings in a zippy running time. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
94% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) Pamela B. Green's documentary operates as an archival treasure hunt as well as a tribute to film preservation the world over. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
2/4 57% Aladdin (2019) The new material folds well enough into the existing material. Tragically little of this matters, because the musical numbers are staged and edited as if director Ritchie had never even seen a musical. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
3/4 97% Booksmart (2019) I like the general lack of meanness in "Booksmart." The party-all-night premise may be as old as the hills, but the script has been successfully finessed as a slice of the here and now, idealized but full of life. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 22, 2019
3/4 71% All Is True (2019) "All is True" shows a better eye and a less fussy, more purposeful sense of rhythm and pacing than all but one or two of the Shakespeare adaptations Branagh has brought to the screen. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
3/4 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) This one's the best of the three so far. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
1.5/4 15% The Hustle (2019) Whatever I said about "Ocean's Eight," I take it back; that was a paragon of wit compared to this movie. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3.5/4 92% Long Day's Journey Into Night (Di qiu zui hou de ye wan) (2019) Three different cinematographers worked on "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and yet the results feel like a single, sustained puzzle that comes together on its own terms. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
2/4 51% Tolkien (2019) With a faint plop, "Tolkien" lands in the marshy middle ground of disappointment. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2019
2.5/4 69% Stockholm (2019) The situation, as presented here, isn't unbelievable, exactly. It's just oddly dull. Hawke is not. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 6, 2019
3/4 97% Hail Satan? (2019) It's a sly primer in homegrown grassroots activism. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
3/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) [E]xtravagant - and mostly very gratifying. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
3.5/4 82% High Life (2019) The production design, the shimmering, evocative Stuart Staples music, everything blends together. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2019
3.5/4 93% Diane (2019) "Diane" affords Martin, Parsons and company the chance to do honest, low-keyed work with material worth the effort. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
4/4 99% Amazing Grace (2019) Her voice could lift people straight out of their seats in jubilation; her vocal flourishes and deep readings of the simplest, most elemental lyrics remain incomparable. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
4/4 98% Ash Is Purest White (2019) This is one of Zhangke's peak achievements: pure cinema, and a story of the underworld unlike anything you've seen before. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/4 53% The Best of Enemies (2019) I like this movie, especially now, because it puts a premium... on finding compromise and resolution the hard way: by getting to know your ideological adversary, and then doing something about what needs doing. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
2.5/4 91% Shazam! (2019) To paraphrase Jack Lipnik, the studio head in "Barton Fink": It has heart. And we need more of that in motion pictures. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
2/4 55% The Beach Bum (2019) "The Beach Bum" is just out for Korine's idea of a good time. By the end, I could've used some shade, a cup of coffee and a round-trip ticket to Buffalo in February. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
1.5/4 47% Dumbo (2019) I felt warmly toward Dumbo, but not "Dumbo." - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
3/4 57% The Hummingbird Project (2019) "The Hummingbird Project" basically works; it's intriguing; the actors play it just straight enough to make it feel like a fact-based drama (though it isn't) with a few darkly comic details. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
2/4 27% The Aftermath (2019) I kept thinking of Donald Duck's nephews: For all its noble intentions, "The Aftermath" is dewey, gooey and, even with its moments, hooey. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3.5/4 94% Us (2019) Peele, who came out of sketch and improv comedy and retains his wit even when he's frying our nerves, has made his second fascinating thriller, this one closer to full-on and wonderfully suggestive horror. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
3/4 91% Gloria Bell (2019) I often wish Lelio's movies were a little longer, messier and a little less tidy, and that's true of "Gloria Bell," too. But what's there is shrewd, engaging and a sturdy actors' showcase. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
2/4 55% Five Feet Apart (2019) First-time feature director Justin Baldoni treats the tidy if increasingly shameless script as sincerely as possible, albeit with as many hackneyed montage sequences as possible. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
2/4 81% Ruben Brandt, Collector (2019) A satisfying heist movie, animated or live-action, requires more selectivity and less clutter than this one. The movie dashes by door after door, but it lacks the key. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 7, 2019
3/4 78% Captain Marvel (2019) How's Larson? She's more than good enough for this job. It's not her loosest work, but few, if any, good actors deliver their loosest work in a superhero movie. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
2/4 45% Second Act (2018) Here's the quickie review: Good cast, nearly hopeless script. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2019
2/4 No Score Yet Canal Street (2019) The film... is nobly intended but, as drama, rickety. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2019
3/4 100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) There's a lot to debate here, and a lot to admire. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2019
3/4 79% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) The acting's uniformly strong, always at the service of a knotty story. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2019
3.5/4 85% The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) When the triumphs of the human, agricultural and engineering spirits arrive, they work. It's moving, and it's earned. Ejiofor is off and running as a director. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
2/4 60% Greta (2019) The movie frustrates. And it squanders Huppert, which really is a waste. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/4 95% The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci) (2019) I can't wait to see it again. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
3/4 91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) Despite a routine middle section, "Dragon 3" starts and ends with a strong, simple emotional bond between humans and dragons. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
3/4 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Nothing much held me back from enjoying writer-director Stephen Merchant's engaging, charismatically acted underdog fable. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
2/4 68% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Why isn't it better? - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
3.5/4 88% The Image Book (Le livre d'image) (2019) "The Image Book" lives and breathes cinema; the cutting and sound games (up and down and all around) remain arresting and instinctive and inspired. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/4 45% What Men Want (2019) Henson's shameless in the mugging department, and Shankman's tendency to cut away to another pop-eyed reaction shot puts the "obvious" in "obvious." Yet who can deny it? Henson's skillful enough to pull it off. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
3/4 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) I loved "The Lego Movie," and I liked "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part." That about covers it. - Chicago Tribune EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 4, 2019