Michael Phillips Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/4 91% The Nest (2020) A less predictable emblem of '80s excess and blinkered avarice might've turned a good drama into an excellent one. This one's still worthwhile.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2020
3/4 86% The Way I See It (2020) Souza comes off as a genuine and genuinely humble talent.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
3.5/4 98% Nomadland (2020) Here's a beaut.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2020
3/4 65% The Devil All the Time (2020) It's worth seeing for an intriguingly cast ensemble, authenticating the milieu as much as possible.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2020
3/4 56% Coastal Elites (2020) It is very difficult... to make such politically toxic recent history work as comic truth with a serious dimension. "Coastal Elites" manages it just enough.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2020
3.5/4 75% Mulan (2020) Not everything works, but the crucial element - Mulan's relationship with her father - works wonderfully well.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2020
3.5/4 96% Class Action Park (2020) Everything about Action Park could kill you. And it sometimes did, as the wittily appalling HBO documentary "Class Action Park" makes clear.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
3/4 81% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Cheesy, yes, hit-and-miss, maybe, but the bits that work really do work.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
3/4 83% I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020) The actors couldn't be better attuned to the nervous system of this universe.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
2/4 73% Tenet (2020) I wish "Tenet" exploited its own ideas more dynamically. Nolan's a prodigious talent. But no major director, I suppose, can avoid going sideways from time to time.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2020
3.5/4 93% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) Despite some longueurs around the two-thirds point, as there often is with well-worn episodic adventures, "The Personal History of David Copperfield" is a tonic with a genuinely moving coda.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2020
2/4 47% Unhinged (2020) [A] sadistic yet middling road-rage thriller...‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 18, 2020
3/4 100% Represent (2020) Regional politics is local politics is national politics. It's revealing to see how the sausage gets made, and who gets to make it.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2020
3/4 88% Sputnik (2020) The clever and nicely gory "Sputnik" comes from Russia with love, slime, and an impressive lesson in efficient, low-cost pulp filmmaking.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
3/4 No Score Yet One Vote (2020) "One Vote" gives every imminent 2020 voter a lot to absorb and to admire, and does so with tact and concision.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2020
3.5/4 95% Howard (2020) Anyone who had the wit and the cheek to write the lyric "I use antlers in all of my decorating!" for the muscle-bound antagonist in "Beauty and the Beast" plainly deserves to have his story be told in a documentary.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2020
3/4 73% An American Pickle (2020) While "An American Pickle" is a different sort of comic fable than Rogen's best-known work, there's enough of an edge to make it stick.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2020
3.5/4 91% Rebuilding Paradise (2020) It's frequently gripping and finally very moving.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2020
3/4 85% I Used to Go Here (2020) The lightly carbonated fizz of "I Used to Go Here" has everything to do with Rey's deftly chosen ensemble.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 28, 2020
2.5/4 75% The Rental (2020) It starts out good and turns out dumb, ditching a promising, nicely suggestive first half for second-half payoffs... taking director Dave Franco's feature directorial debut into lame and lamer slasher-film territory.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2020
3.5/4 94% Yes, God, Yes (2020) One of this summer's worthwhile comedies: small but very sure, and guided beautifully throughout by Natalia Dyer of "Stranger Things."‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 22, 2020
1.5/4 18% Fatal Affair (2020) One word into a typical line of dialogue, and the audience can mouth the rest of it along with the characters.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2020
2/4 32% Lake of Death (De dødes tjern) (2019) It's hard to shake the familiarity of the premise and the set-ups in "Lake of Death."‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 14, 2020
3/4 92% Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (2020) This movie creates illusions of truth out of artifice that happens to look, act, smell and taste like its own indelible reality.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2020
3/4 91% Relic (2020) Mortimer, in particular, fills "Relic" with a quiet, tense presence that is entirely human.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
4/4 96% First Cow (2020) I've said this before about Reichardt's films, and for whatever reason I feel the need to say it again. "First Cow" will strike some viewers as too little in terms of dramatic machinery. Whatever.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
79% Greyhound (2020) Like the canine, it's trim, narrow of scope, and it runs efficiently and well despite a barrage of on-screen time stamps and vessel identification markers.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jul 6, 2020
100% The Killing Floor (1985) Chicago film history remains the richer for its existence and its recent digital restoration.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2020
3.5/4 100% The Grey Fox (1982) As drama, the story is genteel to a fault, with nothing provocative or troubling to disturb our enjoyment of the scenery. This limits the achievement. And yet it casts a spell.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2020
3/4 94% Lucky Grandma (2020) "Lucky Grandma" affords Chin a leading role she clearly relishes.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 20, 2020
3/4 87% The Trip to Greece (2020) It's probably best to call it after this one. But I remain astonished at the rewatchability of these "Trip to" films.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 20, 2020
3.5/4 98% Fourteen (2020) What I love about the film, among other aspects, is how the wry verbal wit of the early conversations suggests a mordant comedy, almost a working-class variation on the films of Whit Stillman.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 15, 2020
2.5/4 49% Scoob! (2020) Pre-sold fans - especially fans with kids - of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and the thud named Fred are in the bag. I don't know what to tell the rest of you.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 15, 2020
4/4 100% Driveways (2020) By the end of "Driveways" the feelings of the characters spill over into your own experience of watching a small, very quiet, very powerful 83-minute short story of a movie.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 7, 2020
3/4 93% Working Man (2020) You put up with lines such as "Last thing the company needs is some broken-down geriatric getting left behind!" if performers as canny as Gerety, Brown and Shire are there to humanize the characters on screen.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 7, 2020
2.5/4 93% Becoming (2020) Set your expectations accordingly, and you'll... get a lot out of "Becoming."‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted May 4, 2020
3.5/4 99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) The movie is issue-driven, but it gets where it's going through its characters' behavior, not through a screenwriter's polemics.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
3/4 91% Bacurau (Nighthawk) (2020) For a fascinating hour or so, "Bacurau" ushers us into this strange, forbidding yet vibrant part of a world gone to hell.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
3/4 98% Blow the Man Down (2020) It serves handily as a staycation inside whatever walls currently proscribe your field of vision.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2020
1.5/4 56% The Hunt (2020) It's a lame and weaselly thing, made strangely more frustrating by some excellent performers.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
2.5/4 88% Onward (2020) I liked the movie all right. It's just that "all right" shouldn't be the goal here.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
3/4 91% The Invisible Man (2020) Whannell lights a slow fuse in "The Invisible Man," and Moss follows it every step of the way.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
3/4 87% Emma. (2020) The movie strains at the outset; the early scenes are dominated by a brisk procession of tidy, somewhat static shots, set into motion by some intrusive music and editing. Then, rather miraculously, it starts getting better and better.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2020
4/4 98% Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) The sheer beauty of the storytelling would be remarkable even if the performances, which are both period-apt and urgently contemporary, weren't just as remarkable.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2020
1.5/4 8% Fantasy Island (2020) Four intertwining fantasies, four stories' worth of lame ideas, poorly executed. Call it "De-Plane Crash." Call it "The Island of Dr. No-Thank-You." Call it "Worstworld."Call it "The Butterfly Effect," with a dead butterfly and no effect. ‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
3/4 74% The Photograph (2020) "The Photograph" treats all its characters with some decency and understanding, in a genre where straw villains and cardboard adversaries typically run rampant.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2020
3.5/4 92% The Assistant (2020) The movie's a sleek, icy variation on "Alien vs Predator," with the predator off-screen, and the alienated woman depicted in nearly every frame, in a state of dread and wonder.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2020
2.5/4 50% Marcel Duchamp: The Art of the Possible (2020) Duchamp deserves better.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2020
2/4 28% The Rhythm Section (2020) The movie is made well, if you're buying what it's selling, and if you don't consider a story or a script as crucial to the quality of a thriller.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 29, 2020
1.5/4 14% Dolittle (2020) I wouldn't say I prefer the clunky 1967 musical to the frenetic mechanical bull of this version. But I wouldn't say I don't.‐ Chicago Tribune
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2020