Philip Kennicott

Philip Kennicott

Agrees with the Tomatometer 75% of the time.

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

Movie Reviews Only

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Anybody There? (2009)

"Caine is magnificent, and the film is worth a look for his contribution alone." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Apr 30, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Marley & Me (2008)

"Not every book has a movie lurking in it." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 29, 2008

Valkyrie (2008)

"Valkyrie is a brutally efficient bit of storytelling, and it makes no unforced errors." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Dec 29, 2008

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

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

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

"The acting is magnificent, especially Hoffman's anguished, distracted, solipsistic portrayal of Cotard." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Nov 7, 2008

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

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

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

Hamlet 2 (2008)

"[A] dazzling little comedy." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 22, 2008

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

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

My Winnipeg (2007)

"An unhinged, utterly delightful 'documentary'." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Jun 26, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to Leave (2006)

"Sumptuously filmed but rather distant." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Aug 17, 2006

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

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

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

Duma (2005)

"Visually panoramic, a film that revels in making the expanse of a beautiful place palpable." ‐ Washington Post
Posted Mar 30, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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