Philip KennicottMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Philip Kennicott

Philip Kennicott
Philip Kennicott's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Washington Post

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2/4 83% Casino Jack And The United States Of Money (2010) Ultimately, it becomes a Rorschach test of the viewer's cynicism: Does it shock you? You must not live in Washington, read the newspaper or follow politics. Are you horrified? Congratulations, and now wise up. ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 7, 2010
36% New York, I Love You (2009) The characters are all more or less useless, inhabiting the frivolous tippy-top of Maslow's pyramid of needs, with little sense that there's anyone essential at the bottom. It's fun, but decadent. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Oct 16, 2009
94% The Cove (2009) It is filmmaking not just in the service of the environment, but in the service of a victim, and while that victim may have flippers and fins, it is straight from central casting.‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 7, 2009
29% Shrink (2009) Shrink is no worse than the average Hollywood comedy. But it shows, more obviously than most, the bankruptcy of standard-issue American pop narrative, circa 2009. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 31, 2009
94% In the Loop (2009) Film should do more than television. In the Loop is tremendous fun at times, especially in its vicious power plays and betrayals. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 23, 2009
94% Tokyo Sonata (Tokyo Sonata) (2009) Kurosawa is the rare director who simply lets his film dissolve into music, allowing the plot to take the film naturally to a musical conclusion. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 17, 2009
96% Herb & Dorothy (2008) You can't hate the film anymore than you can hate Herb and Dorothy. But this is lazy work. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 2, 2009
81% Okuribito (Departures) (2009) It is as polished as it is heavy-handed, and it leaves one under a spell. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 19, 2009
51% The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) Like most of Scott's recent films, this one ends in self-indulgent silliness. You end up asking yourself, how do the few fun bits of the film manage to survive in the midst of so much lousy filmmaking? ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 12, 2009
77% The Garden (2008) A good documentary leaves the viewer wanting more. A problematic one leaves the viewer needing more. ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 15, 2009
65% Is Anybody There? (2009) Caine is magnificent, and the film is worth a look for his contribution alone. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 30, 2009
93% Etz Limon (Lemon Tree) (2009) Riklis has made a powerful film, but can a powerful film change anything about the fatalistic culture of powerlessness that is felt throughout Palestine and Israel? ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 30, 2009
75% Tokyo! (2008) All three films deal with things hidden, or disappearing, or suppressed. But Tokyo, if anything, becomes more of a mystery after Tokyo! than it was before. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 9, 2009
91% Amarcord (1974) Orthodox Fellini lovers will give primacy to La Strada or La Dolce Vita, but Amarcord has its fans, and it's easy to see why. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 13, 2009
65% Watchmen (2009) Sad to say, the much-anticipated adaptation of the world's most celebrated graphic novel is long, dull and sinks under the weight of its reverence for the original. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 5, 2009
50% Donkey Punch (2008) Donkey Punch is almost humorless, and there's no wink and nudge behind the mayhem to absolve us of taking its ugly, class-obsessed subtext seriously. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 12, 2009
63% Marley & Me (2008) Not every book has a movie lurking in it. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 29, 2008
62% Valkyrie (2008) Valkyrie is a brutally efficient bit of storytelling, and it makes no unforced errors. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 29, 2008
92% Frost/Nixon (2008) It isn't Shakespeare, but it is drama at a level one doesn't often get in movies. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 12, 2008
25% Nobel Son (2008) It's all wildly implausible and occasionally fun, but it could be so much better if director Randall Miller had thrown in a little more character development and excised a half-dozen crazy plot twists. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 5, 2008
69% Synecdoche, New York (2008) The acting is magnificent, especially Hoffman's anguished, distracted, solipsistic portrayal of Cotard. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 7, 2008
13% The Women (2008) In the end, English just wants to make a nice chick flick with some sassy lines. Genuine nastiness has been eliminated, while not-very-funny banter is retained. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 12, 2008
78% A Jihad for Love (2008) [Director Sharma's] focus on religion and this particular religion's all but certain hostility to same-sex love means there can be no answers to the spiritual searching of many of his characters. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 4, 2008
64% Traitor (2008) Traitor traffics in the cliches of the terrorist chase film -- including the usual stereotypes of Muslims -- while trying not to succumb to outright bigotry. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 27, 2008
62% Hamlet 2 (2008) [A] dazzling little comedy. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 22, 2008
43% Death Race (2008) If a movie could drag its knuckles on the ground, Death Race would leave eight little tracks in the sand. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 21, 2008
39% Henry Poole Is Here (2008) A few smart turns in a forest of stupid doesn't make a film smart. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 14, 2008
94% My Winnipeg (2007) An unhinged, utterly delightful 'documentary'. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 26, 2008
98% Diva (1981) Diva, as a lifestyle, a fantasy, a model for alienation and solipsism and eccentricity, has gone deep into all of us. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jan 24, 2008
80% Manda Bala (Send a Bullet) (2007) Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), a documentary about corruption, crime and human adaptation during difficult circumstances, is a slick, sly and beautifully shot documentary. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 27, 2007
96% A fost sau n-a fost?, (12:08 East of Bucharest) (2007) It's easy to end a film with the idea that life goes on. It's extremely difficult to make the cliche the only possible, necessary and satisfying ending. Porumboiu's film does that. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 19, 2007
88% ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway (2007) It is filled with neurotic people in greasepaint, some charming, most amusing, and by the time you've spent an hour and a half with them, you're more than invested in their lives and cares. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 21, 2007
74% La Vie en Rose (La Mome) (2007) Olivier Dahan's film is both faithful to and freewheeling with the facts of Piaf's life. Much is left out, but the essentials are there. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 14, 2007
73% In the Pit (2007) Like the highway these men are building, Rulfo's film sails above the larger context that would actually bring emotional meaning to the lives he wants to celebrate. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 23, 2007
83% The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (2007) The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair, a documentary with a tiny cast of characters and a modest budget, is a microscopic view of a big and ugly war. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 22, 2007
85% Hurricane on the Bayou (2006) The narrative is built one happy cliche at a time until the story of Katrina ceases to be about appalling environmental neglect, or the colossal failure of the federal government to manage a disaster. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 22, 2007
84% This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) For a film with this much argument in it, This Film is remarkably entertaining. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Sep 15, 2006
76% Time to Leave (2006) Sumptuously filmed but rather distant. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 17, 2006
93% The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2006) A tour de force of cinema verite with astonishing performances by a huge cast of small players. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jul 13, 2006
81% Sketches of Frank Gehry (2006) The parameters of Gehry's genius, as suggested by Pollack, are essentially the same as those captured in generations of cliched artist biopics. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 2, 2006
57% Drawing Restraint 9 (2005) Doesn't advance the Barney oeuvre an inch past where he left it with his massive, megalomaniacal opus known as the Cremaster series. ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 25, 2006
93% Duma (2005) Visually panoramic, a film that revels in making the expanse of a beautiful place palpable. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 30, 2006
50% Manderlay (2006) Even the basic look of the film -- it was filmed on a stage with every shot set against a bleak, dark backdrop -- underscores the filmmaker's position as master manipulator, in a laboratory, looking down at his mice running through his maze. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 16, 2006
77% Music From the Inside Out (2005) Among the dull passages there are moving stories, and a very loving sympathy for the people it profiles. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Feb 2, 2006
87% 3-Iron (2004) Kim works with the barest of materials but returns the viewer's attention to the pure visual pleasure of filmmaking. ‐ Washington Post
Posted May 20, 2005
72% William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2004) For lovers of the play's language ... the losses will hurt. But as cinematic storytelling, it works. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jan 28, 2005
87% Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004) A case study in cultural analysis that aims at too much and achieves too little. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 31, 2004
32% The Phantom of the Opera (2005) The movie version of Lloyd Webber's smash hit does to the music what the music did to the words and story: It distracts the mind and cajoles the eyes to the point that one doesn't really care that everything the ears are hearing is pure nonsense. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 22, 2004
42% Callas Forever (2004) Goes far deeper into one man's opera-diva fetish than most people will want to follow. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 29, 2004
11% Celsius 41.11 (2004) There's really nothing more here than you can find watching dreadful political advertisements and dreadful political talk shows. ‐ Washington Post
Posted Oct 22, 2004