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 8.5 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 The Cat in the Hat
Score distribution:
881 movie reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Perhaps little more than an object lesson in the end, the movie's nevertheless a sobering day trip, more for its hints of a forgotten history of culture collision than its sensible but rote socioeconomic sympathies.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Possibly the Iranian new wave's last meta-man, Panahi is in an ideal position to make the unique methodology of his filmmaking merge with its substance. But he's always been fascinated by how a film's bell-jar bubble can be punctured, leaving a viscous interface between real and cinematic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Leon’s grungy resume indie is a conscientiously modest deal in the end, with a sweet, mumblecoresque ending, but it glows with unmistakable star power.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It might be the scariest movie ever made.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    There's something dull and evasive at the film's center--for one thing, contrary to its festival buzz, Bad Education tiptoes around the issue of priesthood pedophilia; lovelorn gazes are as desperate as it gets.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    An earnest, roughshod document, it serves as a workable primer for the region's recent history, and would make a terrific 10th-grade learning tool.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Like a Hollywood dolt, Majidi strives to overwhelm us with emphasis, but it's the reality he was savvy to load his movie with that's touching.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Has a customarily jovial air but a deficit of flim-flam inventiveness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Saraband doesn't ask to be considered prime-cut Bergman, and it isn't, although its slightness may not matter to the art-film starving class.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    As the miners make clear, workers have no rights in this democracy that they don't fight like dogs for, and the film has no conclusion--the combat will always continue.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Based on a memoir by a grown daughter of the eldest girl and rarely digressing from the journey itself, the movie is a dusty, calloused, primal Odyssey, as forceful and single-minded as a bullet train.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Like the film, Pai's character is muddily conceived and ill-focused, but the coltish, tremulously delicate Castle-Hughes is a hypnotic camera subject.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    An organic, childlike wonder, fabulously unpredictable and seethingly inventive.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    As news, it smokes CNN.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Berberian may sound like it's more fun to pick over afterward than watch, but it's also masterfully crafted.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Good Night, and Good Luck's primary handicap is history itself -- the toe-to-toe televised dialogue between McCarthy and Murrow was, however arguably vital to the Wisconsin senator's eventual retreat, brief and less than epochal. Even so, the wonderfully mustered context wins out.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Michael Atkinson
    Maddin's movie is, frame for frame, the densest and most spectacular (albeit cardboard-cheap) film playing anywhere.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The Central Park Zoo is cheaper, you can walk away from the penguins after 10 minutes, and it has snow monkeys and beer.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The sense of continuing life is quietly remarkable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The cast never skips a beat, particularly Mark Margolis as the most obnoxious dinner customer in cinema history and Summer Phoenix as his unfazed waitress.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Nothing if not confrontational.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    It's a gut-twisting story handled, largely and predictably, with asbestos mitts.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Im's movie approaches a seething, primitivist beauty that evokes Makhmalbaf and parallels the contrapuntal textual investigations of Resnais.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    Remains simplistic and gimmicky in the context of Iranian cinema.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Confident, mature, deeply conceived, and convincingly inhabited, it's a surprisingly humane film -- despite the close-range shotgun spray.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Continuing the autobiographical torrent begun nearly 30 years ago, Bright Leaves is an utterly mundane miracle, a sampling of gentle insight and poetic retrospection quietly at odds with the exploitative culture around it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Little in a Jaoui film is particularly original, but it's all perfectly convincing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Much of what Faithless contains happens off-screen, told and retold as stories within stories, and so the actors typically work like oxen.

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