Michael W. Phillips, Jr.

Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Michael W. Phillips Jr. started reviewing films at the age of 15, when he walked into the local newspaper office and asked if they wanted a film critic. The paper closed down soon thereafter. He took a break to attend college and start graduate school in History, then he restarted his career as a film critic with a geocities site in 2000. Somewhere in there he had a short-lived professional relationship with a major movie site that he'd rather not discuss. He moved to his own URL in 2004. In 2005, he was hired as a film critic for yet another small, local paper, which ceased publication shortly thereafter. He's reasonably sure he had nothing to do with this, but after closing down two newspapers, he's not positive anymore. He pays the bills by editing print ads for fast food retailers, as well as programming and running the projector at a film revival house. He's also a filmmaker.
Critics' Group: Online Film Critics Society
Location: Chicago, IL
Official Websites: http://goatdog.com

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/5 100% One Foot in Heaven (1941) It's worth watching for March's performance -- although we don't get to hear him preach enough -- and for his take-down of a wealthy family determined to run his church for him. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2012
2/5 50% Nevada Smith (1966) Not a worthless film, although it's impossible to take seriously. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2011
4/5 89% Bridesmaids (2011) I laughed almost without pause; at several points I made horselike snorting sounds that hurt the insides of my nose. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 30, 2011
4.5/5 94% The Dark Knight (2008) Visceral and terrifying. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2011
2/5 22% Angels Crest (2011) A high-school production of a second-rate Greek tragedian. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2011
4/5 84% Contagion (2011) A supercharged cross between an episode of CSI and a World Health Organization infographic. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2011
4/5 No Score Yet Last Pullman Car (1985) One of Chicago documentary group Kartemquin Films's many incisive documentaries about social injustice. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2011
2.5/5 45% The Perfect Host (2011) It's a film, not a play, and it doesn't work. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2011
3/5 93% Midnight in Paris (2011) Watchable, and on a certain level, it's quite enjoyable. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2011
4.5/5 74% Stake Land (2011) May be the best blunt-force-trauma, tear-your-throat-out vicious vampire film since Near Dark. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2011
4.5/5 95% 13 Assassins (2011) Miike's sadistic fetishization of violence and suffering is nowhere in evidence. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2011
2.5/5 83% Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) If the best thing about a spy movie is the wallpaper, perhaps you've miscalculated. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2011
2.5/5 76% The Debt (2011) Wants to ask deep philosophical questions [but] the protracted ending prevents any of these philosophical darts from sticking. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2011
4.5/5 91% Point Blank (2011) Action cinema distilled. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2011
2.5/5 53% Four Brothers (2005) Feels like a nervous student's heavily footnoted thesis film. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2011
2.5/5 83% Warrior (2011) Suddenly Thunderdome doesn't seem like such a pipe dream anymore. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2011
2.5/5 No Score Yet She Demons (1958) Seems to have been created by choosing randomly from a selection of 13-year-old boys' 'these are a few of my favorite things' lists. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2011
4/5 No Score Yet Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951) Not a film noir, but you should still invest your time in locating and viewing it. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2011
3/5 89% Maniac (1934) A truly wretched film that I enjoyed, partly because of and partly in spite of its excessive excrescence. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2011
2.5/5 No Score Yet Along the Great Divide (1951) Flawed by structural problems in the script but buoyed by its A-list leading cast - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2011
3.5/5 No Score Yet Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) A wonderful little film on its own, but it's also a handy little primer of early-1930s genre conventions. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2011
3/5 No Score Yet Tugboat Annie (1933) An enjoyable diversion that provides Dressler with ample opportunities to flex her acting chops. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2011
4/5 65% Dementia 13 (1963) A peerless horror film of the low-budget variety, a sort of how-to guide for future filmmakers on working with a limited budget. - Movie-Vault.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2011
3/5 No Score Yet The Phantom Planet (1961) It's actually quite compelling. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2011
4/5 100% The Lost Patrol (1934) A mostly successful experiment in minimalism that allows Ford to work with his traditional themes. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted May 4, 2011
2.5/5 No Score Yet Sensuela (1973) So low-budget that it appears Brechtian, so confoundingly bad that it borders on brilliant, and so 1970s softcore that it might just be feminist. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2011
3.5/5 No Score Yet Do It Again (2010) A fanboy's love letter to his favorite band, a desperate and admittedly somewhat selfish wish that they get back together and bring back some of the magic he remembers as a lifelong fan. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2011
2/5 No Score Yet Daresalam (2004) - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2011
3/5 90% The Fighter (2010) Chopin playing Chopsticks. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2011
3.5/5 96% True Grit (2010) Watching them snipe at each other was one of the undeniable pleasures of the 2010 movie season. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2010
3/5 80% Night Catches Us (2010) Attempts to pry the lid off a painful chapter of American history that textbook writers and elected officials would rather erase or whitewash. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2010
3/5 63% Exam (2008) Low-budget but handsomely mounted cross between Cube and 12 Angry Men, with some script input by mystery writer Agatha Christie and literary critic Terry Eagleton. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2010
3.5/5 91% Red Riding: 1980 (2010) A huge step up from the unfollowable plot and unfathomable evil of Red Riding: 1974. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2010
4/5 42% Death at a Funeral (2010) It's almost a checklist of things I don't like, but it won me over in its opening minutes and never let go. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2010
3/5 12% Jonah Hex (2010) When it works, which it does quite often, it's one of the better comic book adaptations of recent years. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2010
4.5/5 98% Marwencol (2010) A painfully intimate, mysterious, joyous film. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2010
5/5 86% White Material (2010) Possesses a defiant, exhilarating life, a testament to its peerless crafts(wo)manship and its uniqueness. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2010
2.5/5 67% Conviction (2010) I charge director Tony Goldwyn and screenwriter Pamela Gray with ineffective assistance of counsel. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 5, 2010
4/5 86% Unstoppable (2010) The most fun I've had at the movies all year. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2010
3/5 65% The American (2010) There's a lot to value, even if it drinks a little too deeply from the well of stock Euro-assassin-movie characters and situations. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2010
2.5/5 85% Black Swan (2010) Shackled by sports-movie clichés, a reductive view of how creativity works, and, most importantly, Natalie Portman's limitations as an actress. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2010
2.5/5 58% It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010) Has a genuine understanding of the protagonist, but ends up betraying him. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2010
2.5/5 73% Monsters (2010) A somewhat confused spawn of Cloverfield and District 9, with less of an effects budget and less of a coherent self-concept than either of its parents. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2010
2.5/5 78% Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (2010) Has too many plot threads to follow in its willy-nilly efforts to set the stage for the real ending. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2010
3.5/5 88% Let Me In (2010) Not as good as the original but able to stand on its own feet. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2010
3.5/5 91% Death Line (Raw Meat) (1972) The first (or only?) ethnographic urban legend horror film. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2010
4/5 80% Catfish (2010) What a gem! - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 3, 2010
4/5 93% Wanda (1971) A sometimes incoherent primal scream, directed not at any particular target but at the state of the American dream in the late 1960s, especially as it applied to women. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2010
2.5/5 92% Vincere (2010) A series of striking images that serve little purpose except to look striking. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2010
2.5/5 47% Hereafter (2010) A few great performances buoy the proceedings, but the laziness of Morgan's script and the overall lack of focus or momentum combine to sink it. - Goatdog's Movies EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2010