Michael Atkinson

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For 879 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 Under the Sand
Lowest review score: 0 I Am Sam
Score distribution:
879 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Collateral is a slim drink of thin beer, remarkable only as evidence that Mann might have a modern masterpiece in him if he were cut loose and allowed to roam around in his own obsessions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Though Maclean uses every trick available to make up for the missing inner voice, we never get into Crudup's mellow loser like we should. Maclean's got an incisive eye, but it's poised on the outside of the terrarium looking in.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Still, the vapor traces of farce and policier that waft from this terribly earnest film never coalesce -- perhaps our own cultural remove allows what plays straight at home to be experienced as slightly daffy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Metropolis is "A.I." without tears.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's all fascinating, but must Kalatozov's careening angel of cinema be laid bare?
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    What rescues Major Dundee in the end from its many conflicts and unresolved passions is Heston.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    By far the most independent independent-genre flick to grift screen space in Manhattan since Douglas Buck's "Family Portraits," James Bai's Puzzlehead has only its ideas and speculative frisson to sell it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A bone-tired tale underneath.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A watchable mediocrity at best.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Visconti's film remains a Euro-culture touchstone, though not nearly as convincing or visually stunning as its reputation insists.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    While the line-readings are often dead-on, Fishburne's movie suffers from the usual one-room claustrophobia and Mametian repetitions.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Fox's briskness leaves certain questions gaping open. As in, how cynical and derisive is she deliberately being of Rinpoche's teachings, since all we get are trite homilies and vague advice?
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    You can't help wondering how the same Fifth Gen filmmaker who made "Yellow Earth" and "Life on a String" could've fallen on such hard times, or justified such goofiness to himself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Not nearly enough time is spent in court--that is, on the movie's ostensible subject. (Besides, the down-to-the-wire deliberation scene is risibly unconvincing and abbreviated.)
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Tiresomely simple, the film introduces a subplot involving betrayal and political informants in the eleventh hour, but by then you're either smitten by these guileless Zulu lads experiencing "freedom" on the waves or you've checked out.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The comedy is somewhat doused by posture and repetition, and the characters' whimsical behavior is endearing and irritating in turn. Which still makes it the absolute best neo-samurai judo farce in town.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A modest, formulaic day trip from Kazakhstan.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Just another basketcase with a blade.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A pre-programmed mediocrity, a slave to its clichés.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    But Monsters, Inc. -- directed by Pixar soldier Pete Docter, not by master digital comic John Lasseter -- turns out to be stingy on context, commentary, and the prism-ing view of pop culture that made the earlier films mint.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    In its details, though, Juan José Campanella's movie works beautifully: The actors are all superb when the florid demands of the story allow them elbowroom.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Though rife with incidental plot holes, Foote's movie feels right even when nothing important is happening...which is much of the time.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The Libertine's trouble lies precisely in its efforts at conjuring the historical past: No one in the film seems much more convinced than I am that because playwrights and authors wrote in clever, high post-Elizabethan diction, then everyone spoke that way every day, in the pubs, with whores.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Dramatically lopsided, Assassination Tango is a spontaneous life-slice in which John J. (standing in for Duvall) fumbles like a besotted granddad toward empathic connections. That it doesn't "work" is a measure of its sincerity.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    When it isn't TV-movie familiar, Egoyan's film is bughouse crazy, mixing in campy pulp elements that bleed pressure away from the story.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Lonesome Jim has the import of a deliberately squelched sitcom, or a home movie that's poisoned by unhappiness but shown anyway for stray laughs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Today, the movie doesn't portend Altman's subsequent tailspin into irrelevance as much as it suggests a restlessness with the comic realism he had mastered.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    However bogged down by predictable story rhythms, banally assembled shoot-outs, and climactic mano a mano, The Missing has an acidic period tone, a respect for the reality of violence, and a refreshing dearth of superhuman heroics and easy triumph. For that much, we should be grateful.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Plays best as a dry exercise in historical doublespeak and rationalization.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's too bad that the film is sporadically crude (a moment of suicidal angst is illustrated with a shove-zoom to the pavement), prone to mega-Italian extroversion, and far too in love with stupid pet tricks.

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