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 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 The Terrorizers (1986)
Lowest review score: 0 Bewitched
Score distribution:
881 movie reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Desperately avoiding the risk of even a half-second of boredom, the movie is wall-to-window-to-door noise, babbling, and jokes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 93 Michael Atkinson
    So breathtakingly textural, so empathic in its images, that it transcends its context and achieves timelessness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Because stateside newspapers aren't enough, "The Battle of Chile" (possibly the most riveting and vital historical document ever put on celluloid) should be a prerequisite to Guzmán's new doc, The Pinochet Case.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    A delicacy for mature filmgoers who are able to derive as much pleasure from a perfectly, sympathetically crafted essay as from a well-spun yarn.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Its sluggish, amateur-Kiarostami character would be off-putting if the material weren't so powerful.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Corpse Bride never skimps on the sass (as a good folktale shouldn't). And the variety of its cadaverous style is never less than inspired; never has the human skull's natural grin been redeployed so exhaustively for yuks.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Exactly the sort of mysterious and almost holy experience you hope to get from documentaries and rarely do, Jeff Malmberg's Marwencol is something like a homegrown slice of Herzog oddness, complete with true-crime backfill and juicy metafictive upshot.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    By now, grandchildren are ever-present, and stasis has set in. Apted's entire project is awesome in scale but subject to inevitable diminishing returns.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Binoche and Auteuil are both quietly sensational in their fracturing personae, but the film is Haneke's premier postmodern assault--less visceral, perhaps, than "Code Unknown" and the criminally underappreciated "Time of the Wolf," but more thoughtful and, in the end, deeper in the afterplay.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Amid the chaos of this marvelous, uncategorizable film squirms one of the year's best performances.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Having emerged from his new German cinema heyday as one of the world's most guileless and original documentary filmmakers, Herzog has slowly been crafting a four-dimensional fresco of the planet, its most human-resistant landscapes, and our dubious dramas in confronting the chaos.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    In effect, [Guerín] seems to be making Pinto's case — the intellectual necessity of passion and Muse-force, in order to compel men toward Art — while utterly enjoying the messy, unpredictable, real-world tumult the women make of it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Safe Conduct -- a rangy, irreverent, episodic odyssey through French filmmaking during the Occupation -- is one of the very best movies ever made about the life of moviemaking.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Although le Carré's story may seem predictable and unduly focused on the plight of a pale, wealthy Old Worlder adrift in a sea of needy East Africans, the movie's human material is masterfully manipulated.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Michael Atkinson
    For the discouraged filmgoer, Erice's tone poem will be a ray of hope itself.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Jacques Perrin's Winged Migration is merely about birds, and though you learn less about the various species Perrin circled the globe to document than you might from an afternoon with Animal Planet, you become intensely chummy with the process and labor of flying.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    A mild upkick in pacing and texture can be credited to director Alfonso Cuarón (more Little Princess than Y Tu Mamá), who avoids Chris Columbus's mastodon-like setups and knows a bit more about whipping up atmospherics.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Slowly evolves into an oddly affecting mood piece.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It's an altogether remarkable piece of work, deepening the genre while whipping its skin off, satirizing an entire nation's nearsighted apathy as it wonders, almost aloud, about the nature of truth, evidence, and social belonging.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Like being jacked directly into Linklater's alpha waves, and the experience is bracingly new to movies.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Yamada shoots his movie with a grandfatherly expertise, never squeezing the drama for juice or distancing us too far from the characters -- it's a pleasure to see a movie that makes every shot count, narratively and emotively.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The movie is itself a rat-maze of one-sided mirrors, windows upon windows, anonymous hallways, compartmentalized instances of watching, being watched, seeing and not-seeing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Another unforetold career acme: Christopher Guest's seductive and brilliantly modulatory A Mighty Wind, which trains its laser-sight on the decaying legacy of Peter, Paul and Mary-style pop-folk.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 78 Michael Atkinson
    The summer's best cinematic equivalent to a lazy afternoon in the shade with a cool drink.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Juliet is never less than eye-catching, but is rarely more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    It's the rare contemporary film that's as majestically and gruelingly rigorous in its form as in its thematic interrogations.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    In the end, this morphing of ideas and styles is more deadpan romantic than sociocritical, and sweeter for it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Camus's film remains a revivifying experience - and a mid-winter oasis. Born and bred in France, Camus made other films, and lots of French TV, but Black Orpheus may still be the greatest one-hit-wonder import we've ever seen.

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