Michael Atkinson

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For 878 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 29% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 68% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Play
Lowest review score: 0 The Cat in the Hat
Score distribution:
878 movie reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 39 Michael Atkinson
    An orgy of bad decisions and cheap ideas.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Michael Atkinson
    The characters aren't convincingly written, rarely if ever behave like believable humans, and consequently don't matter to us in the least.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 36 Michael Atkinson
    Pushes the standard tropes of gay romance movies a few more steps toward full-blown cliché-dom.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 34 Michael Atkinson
    To say that it's dull barely scratches the surface.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 56 Metascore
    • 33 Michael Atkinson
    A ponderous stage adaptation that expends only the mildest effort to overcome its staginess.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 34 Metascore
    • 32 Michael Atkinson
    A tepid, pretentious indie that flies from the memory like a tissue in a twister.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 32 Michael Atkinson
    Joffe's latest is a formless, inanimate lump.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 31 Michael Atkinson
    One of our very few consummate movie star actors, Washington can't quite elevate this dismal material as he's been able to do in the past, but he retains his dignity.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 11 Metascore
    • 31 Michael Atkinson
    It's a chilling piece of legal hysteria, and ripe for nasty farce. But Pooh plays it all for buffoonish pratfalls and fart jokes.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 31 Michael Atkinson
    An earnest but fatally amateurish and stereotypical melodrama about fraternity hazing.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 31 Michael Atkinson
    Oak-stiff and witless, but a few scenes muster up embarrassed chuckles.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 31 Michael Atkinson
    Flows like day-old cement.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 43 Metascore
    • 31 Michael Atkinson
    The movie is so slovenly in its animation and graceless in its writing that few viewers over the age of 9 are likely to notice.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Every other line is a coy Oirishism, and Brosnan, despite being Irish, isn't any more convincing than twinkly-eyed barmaid Julianna Margulies.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Eisenstadt has nowhere to go with her catalogue of relaxed urban crazies, and at 79 minutes, the movie is padded out by four song interludes too many.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Director Vicente Amorim's dramatic instincts evoke after-school specials (most of the drama entails the clan's brooding teenager chomping at the parental bit), and his visual ideas are restricted to aping "City of God's" fish-eye ambience and hectic editing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Not only is the dialogue endless...it's like driving behind a 15 mph geezer on a one-way street.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Schmaltz served in a hand-painted cup, Happy Times culminates in a Chekhovian complement of two narrated letters that have a mutually corresponding force the rest of the film only hints at. By then, our hopes have fatally diminished.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    xXx
    Diesel himself has the personality of a golem and a knack for dialogue delivery that suggests recent oral surgery.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The carload of codgers in Fred Schepisi's Last Orders merely bellyache, philosophize, crack unfunny jokes, and ruminate simplemindedly about Death.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Vacillating between free-associative shtick and complete inertia, Lord Byron is lost in thought and allergic to reason.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    It's a campy, juiced-up ker-splat, busy with clumsy pyrotechnics and never nearing the vicinity of satire.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Unoriginal and mired in bad jokes.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    It's not easy to endure, despite -- or due to the embarrassment of -- an all-star cast.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Garcia's tale bemoans the loss of easy wealth for a precious few. Poor people are absolutely absent; Garcia and Infante seem to have thought that peasant revolutions happen for no particular reason--or at least no reason the moneyed 1 percent should have to worry about.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    If you're considering the scenario via Japan's ubiquitous pedo-porn tendencies, you're too educated for this exhaustive, manga-based bloodbath, which trails after these angsty teenyboppers on a scorched-fake-earth path through hundreds of growling baddies of every genre size and type.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    This all-digital indie is, by genre standards, either a misfired doodle or an attempt to Lovecraft-ize the popular movement. Or both.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Gardos, an experienced film editor, has little narrative sense, and decent performances (except from Kinski, who just worries and huffs around) are left out to dry.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Ivey hits the turf pitching and catching dialogue like a pro, but nothing could have saved What Alice Found from a fundamental cinematic illiteracy.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Despite exposition delivered so redundantly and witlessly you think you're in a Kaplan class, Stigmata manages to be incoherent.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Throughout, Tykwer reaches for mysteries he has no idea how to evoke, relying instead on his actors' empty stares.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    85 percent explosions and editing idiocy (a window can't break without director Peter Hyams cutting between five different angles) and 15 percent Arnold trying to grow a third dimension. Seeing him try for "sad" is like watching a dog try to talk.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The movie neither inspires us to pine for what might've been nor makes Gilliam-style filmmaking seem like a noble pursuit.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Essentially a reheating of 1982's "First Blood" -- a psychologically wounded warrior-vet pits himself against civilized America -- but the fallout this time is simultaneously more ruthless, less emotional, and duller.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Offers director Roger Spottiswoode a chance to have the worst actor in Beverly Hills play scenes with himself.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    At its most indulgent and posturing, Piñero plays like a movie the man himself might've made, between scores.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Yim's film is kneecapped by its soundtrack twice over.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Allegiance to Chekhov, which director Michael Cacoyannis displays with somber earnestness in the new adaptation of The Cherry Orchard, is a particularly vexing handicap.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Requiring an enormous amount of suspended disbelief, the original Rings may be a culture-specific phenom; despite strenuous efforts to Americanize Nakata's field of bad dreams, the preview audience did a lot of cackling.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Watching it is a smidgen like listening to the same monkey-walks-into-a-bar joke for the 105th time, but for the Spierig brothers, it is clearly a demonstration of fast-cheap capabilities and a one-way ticket straight out of Queensland.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    So feel-sniffly-good it could make you revisit lunch.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    An utterly empty-skulled genre mechanism and nothing more.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Far from engaged, the film practically surrenders in an arthritic faint.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    An overwhelming portion of Saved! is wall-to-wall Jesus-Jesus-Jesus talk, closer to dead air than social spoof. At times, the screenplay (including Mary's voluminous narration) has the monotonous cadence of a recruitment sermon.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Although inexplicable brogues and burrs appear and disappear, and although Stone post-produces the dickens of his movie trying to generate the maximum spit-fog of sound and fury, Alexander manages to be as dull as the Victor Mature films of the 1950s, which barely moved at all.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Gigli berates, insults, dismisses, throttles, and bellows at Bartha's meticulously aped retard, and then turns sensitive and warm—it's hard to decide which attitude is more insulting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Cannot help but be merely another debacle that Tammy Faye will survive, eyelashes and integrity intact.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Fawzi shoots the proceedings in clumsy, gotch-eyed spurts, and the level of incoherence is impressively high.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Amy Goodman's narration, though correct, has a petulant, Spanish Inquisition ring to it, only made more childish by the film's cheap idealization of the senator from South Dakota as some kind of pacifist Savonarola, overdue for canonization.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    As filmmaking it's drearily anonymous — proof, if we needed it, that writing a screenplay via referendum is not a great idea.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    An overproduced, video-director remake, slick and grue-marinated and loud as a sonic boom.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    It'll make you cyberlaugh, it'll make you cybercry, just like cyberlife -- One thing is certain: your boredom
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    15 Minutes settles into Richard Donner-style goulash.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    First-timer Dylan Kidd's film isn't Molièrian in its misanthropy, but rather as boneheaded as an hour of talk-radio hobgoblin Tom Leikis.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Soft-boiled blarney so sluttish with Hollywood clichés it could've been made in Burbank.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    13
    Lumbers, stumbles, and blows all its secrets at the outset.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Dorff's mannered Bruce Willis affect seems as insincere as the script, which helplessly loses credibility as info accrues and the narrative unpeels.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The dead-end social points Gonick is making are so blunt they're hardly points at all anymore, but the galleon anchor that's weighing down this well-intentioned homey is the amateur acting.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Brown's saga, like many before his, makes for snappy prose but a stumblebum of a movie.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Remains simplistic and gimmicky in the context of Iranian cinema.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Smartly written, unevenly executed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    A laughable disaster: an agonizingly long, perversely dull, childishly conceived fantasia on marital sexual angst that could only have been made by someone (like Kubrick).
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The story is little more than overdetermined trials and triumphs. Kids won't care, but they won't fall for it either; unsurprisingly, it doesn't stand a chance of providing them with the memories the book provided their parents.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The screwiest yarn yet from Shyamalan's metaphysical-Limburger career project, a non-horror horror film.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    There is an odd cognitive dissonance at work between the obvious ingenuity dedicated to the film's visual details -- alien anatomies, industrial machinery, technological minutiae -- and the retarded intelligence quotient evident in its content.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The entire matter of totemistic home-team dementia is roasted on a spit and then embraced for all its sorry pointlessness.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The film exists in a humid meta-movie ether all its own.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Hardly a project worthy of grown men and women.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Indiana Jones has never been so missed, but instead this shaggy God story hones in on the faith dilemmas of Banderas and a sputtering Derek Jacobi, so Sunday-hammy you want to rivet him with cloves.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The notion of grievingly happening upon your dead beloved, young and lovely again, is simple and potent, but the film's airless amateurism, belabored ethnicism ("Oy gevalt!"), and trite dialogue kill it in the water.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Kate Plays Christine is a documentary, but often a totally fake one, cheekily defining itself as its own making-of DVD supplement and documenting its own evaporation into near-nothingness. Every scene cries — or whines — about the entire project's inherent impossibility.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The actors all function as best they can as glowering clichés, though the narrative's temporal jump presents difficulties.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Agazzi's movie rather provincially hints at sexiness, humor, and satire without actually manifesting them.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Washington directs with proficient blandness charged only occasionally by organic acting moments.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Beautifully shot and littered with disquieting character business, the film is hog-tied by its own bad Big Idea.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    A decked-out mediocrity with a high-octane cast.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The director knows how to apply textural gloss, but his portrait of sex-as-war is strictly sitcom.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The film is stale Chinese popcorn from the get-go, with only Chen's wiry guilelessness and wicked athletic skills to keep it remotely edible.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Less Bollywood than Generic Asian Family Drama Lite, when it's not a flat-out sunset-choked infomercial for Ahmedabad and its annual rooftop kite-flying festival.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    It's the kind of indie in which shrugging naturalism means nobody has a distinctive personality or energy, and the claustrophobic sense of young Industry workers collarbone-deep into their own navels is hard to shake.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Something does have to give, and that's the nine-figure public patronage of this kind of anemic, wit-free entertainment. Meyers's shakin' moneymaker isn't the worst film of 2003 -- no cat suits, for one thing -- but something scarier: a standard-issue bog of glossy idiocy and audience disrespect.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The movie hardly has enough beef on its bones to make a meal. The very notion that movies about torture are considered "horror," and are more profitable now per foot of celluloid than any other type of independent film, is what's qualmy.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The migraine of a story arc needed sharp comedy reflexes or, at least, a live-wire/slummy star turn and got neither.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Logic, motivation, suspense -- anything that might make the film frightening or resonant -- is buried under Dolby blams, medulla-shaming dialogue, and a rain of overdubbed hunting-knife schwings that grate like a 3 a.m. car alarm.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The story -- is just what fills in the gaps between slow-motion fireballs, Matrix-style frozen mayhem, and Halle Berry's notoriously undraped breasts.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Tries to show the oh-so-human side of Gospel-hawking, His Word, the Path, and so on.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Scene-by-scene, things happen, but you'd be hard-pressed to say what or why; occasionally, a poetic moment leaps out of the soup.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Despite this ripe framework and the talent on deck, ILYW is not a satire...Rather, it becomes a cold-serious, dead-air brood about how tough, lonely, and desolate it is being a celebrity.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    If you see it, the sequel will be your fault.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The even faintly informed will see only a cut-rate vision of flabby white men defending their own bloodthirsty opportunism.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 29 Michael Atkinson
    A drearily over-cynical farce.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 27 Michael Atkinson
    If Lee's intention was to cement our loathing of blackface comedy, he's succeeded all too well.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 44 Metascore
    • 26 Michael Atkinson
    You'd think creating confusion during something as woodenly simpleminded as Dudley Do-Right is no easy task, but you'd be wrong.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 51 Metascore
    • 23 Michael Atkinson
    Hamilton's quasi-Luddite tale doesn't make a coherent movie under the best of circumstances, and these were, apparently, something substantially less than that.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 55 Metascore
    • 23 Michael Atkinson
    An aimless, pointless dawdle.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 43 Metascore
    • 23 Michael Atkinson
    A shovelful of silly manure from the get-go.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 22 Michael Atkinson
    A swamp of clichés, contrivances, and cheap ham-and-cheese hero sentimentality.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 21 Michael Atkinson
    There's nothing wrong with Down to You that a smart script and savvy direction couldn't cure.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Michael Atkinson
    Has nice, pearly, black-and-white cinematography, but it also has the shocking temerity to run over 100 minutes. Sweet air is required.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Michael Atkinson
    So pandering and pebble-brained you'd guess it had been test-screened on barnyard animals.

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