Michael Atkinson

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For 881 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 The Night of the Hunter (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Bewitched
Score distribution:
881 movie reviews
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Artless but seductive.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Even though Gray is no raw-boned rookie-he has made TV movies for decades, plus, back in the day, a single Steven Seagal floater-his movie is rather inexcusably obvious, going for "troot," but recycling dese-dose-dem clichés already pressed into plastic lumber 25 years ago.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The Aviator could've been a "Raging Bull" brother film, given that masterpiece's crystalline purity of purpose and humiliated courage. But it brakes far short.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Hardly gay camp for nothing, sword-and-sandal epics cannot help but teeter on the brink of self-mockery, and Troy, for all its grim seriousness, embraces both the clichés and the beefcake.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's a small movie trying to seem epic, or a bloated monster trying to seem lean (real B movies don't have 14 producers), but it's clear that at 99 minutes, 16 Blocks should've been at least 20 minutes shorter still.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    If this silly retread works at all, it's because of Coogan, who comes at the creaky premise with almost Streepian commitment and who is destined, it would seem, for better things.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    For all of its careful realism, Lan Yu is constructed around clichés, plummeting toward a modestly heroic sacrifice and a tearjerking act of fate. But Kwan is a master of shadow, quietude, and room noise, and Lan Yu is a disarmingly lived-in movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Shot in silvery black-and-white, Duck Season is not charmless, just insubstantial.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The film makes no more or less sense than Ridley Scott's Legend or Jim Henson's Labyrinth, and in fact has a creaky, blue-gel '80s-ness to it, but for many, keeping up with Miike's cranked output is an end in itself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    However misjudged and evidently cobbled together in the editing room, Dark Blue does have the nerve to drive right through the riots with Russell's saber-toothed bigot, implicitly linking the two phenomena and not being shy about the suffering on either side of the combat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Quindlen's book is wry and deeply sad in its prose, but watching actors run this very simple maze is significantly less entertaining, or convincing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's a TV show and a facile one at that.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The film slowly sheds its convincing identity as nonfiction and becomes a cruel parody of making-of docs, studio-movie pandering, and showbiz egomania.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A Matter of Taste's largest handicap is restraint: It's too tasteful. The climactic crisis is a broken leg, and the off-screen denouement is unimaginative.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    When he isn't overreaching for absurdity, Curtis can write bouncy patter, but each character gets about 60 seconds before the movie jumps deck to the next love-seeker and the next moony pratfall.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Another break in the tension is the inescapable fact that every Holocaust movie, however hair-raising, essentially thrums the same self-sacrifice-versus-self-preservation chord. It's not fair, but there it is: We've been here before.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    As it is, Duris, capable and dull, is no Keitel, 2005 is no 1978, and The Beat That My Heart Skipped is no "Fingers."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It might be worth enduring the Limburger to see Fraser morph from freckled-faced Rod McKuen dweeb to seven-foot albino ball star and never miss a beat.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Cursed--but ironically!--with stomach-churning '60s decor, Slevin might round off in Park Chanwook country, but the lingering sense of it is as an amusement park for the actors, who are as infectiously overjoyed for the bouncy badinage as preschoolers on Christmas morning. Like tired parents, our enjoyment is primarily vicarious.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Michôd wants a Greek epic but doesn't have the material. Animal Kingdom is a work of obvious ambition, and seeing a debut filmmaker swing for the fences like this is its own kind of moviehead satisfaction.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Wastes a ton of potent material.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Would that Harris had simply let the images and their historical context speak for themselves. His narration is simplistic and narcissistic... and the textual ideas he and his interviewees present about the intersection between race and imagery are hardly fresh.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The film will come to share the video store shelf with Harlin's infinitely stupider rendition soon enough, but it's a shame they couldn't have been released theatrically head-to-head -- a death match-cum-clinical trial that might've supplied some objective stats on how much condescension the American moviegoer actually enjoys.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Director John Irvin, whose hapless 40-plus-year résumé runs from early Schwarzenegger to late Harold Pinter, never gets in the way, but the resulting sangria cocktail is mild, unchallenging, and kinda dull.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    As the full-length sorta-satire it has become, Edmond is all sizzle and little meat, a veritable tangent act dropped from "Glengarry Glen Ross" because it was several marks too silly.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The glacial pace is only quickened for seconds at a time with evocative ideas and hints of satire.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    What's abundantly clear is how far this kind of moviemaking has come from any knowledge of real criminal life; it's a geek's ineffectual daydream of mayhem.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    All of the filmmaker's fine work and good intentions cannot make this repetitive and finally tiresome saga fly.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Mychal Judge, the popular gay FDNY chaplain who perished in the fallen towers and was the day's first official casualty, has been so designated by this treacly, worshipful doc, something he would surely have deemed ridiculous.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    All of the stories are conceived as ongoing plights, and have no third act. Which would be an improvement on Haggis's hyperbolic civics lesson if Avelino had the chops to master realism and embrace ambivalence. The acting is pro enough to keep your blood up, but the reverb is minimal.

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