Michael Atkinson
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For 856 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 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 A Mighty Wind
Lowest review score: 0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Score distribution:
856 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Atkinson
    As a portrait of a man barely qualifying for a cinematic portrait, Benjamin Smoke is a trifle, but when Sillen and Cohen turn their cameras on the weedy, workaday, hellhole America that Benjamin calls home, the movie comes alive.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's a TV show and a facile one at that.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Beauvois, who co-wrote, seems hellbent on making the most realistic cop film of all time, shruggingly consumed with downtime, small talk, minor incident, and dead ends, and he's succeeded--the narrative wouldn't have cut it in a Kojak story meeting.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Though at times it threatens to meander off, Penn's movie fulfills its destiny as an alienated fable of justice and luck, personified by Jack in the twilight of his iconicity, babbling to himself at the crossroads of nowhere.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Overbay's palette is carefully lyrical, at a benumbed Martha Marcy May Marlene pitch, he pays attention to the verdant landscape and keeps his cast at a pensive and watchful low boil.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Dead flesh is a ruling motif, but Gleize's airy, observant personality makes even the graphic dismemberment of the bull, scored with flamenco stomps, buoyant and fascinating.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Michael Atkinson
    It is only once the movie has exhausted its roster of "weird" notions and contrived images that it finds its emotional footing, leaving you with one half of a lovely, woebegone film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 84 Michael Atkinson
    Might be the most original film of the year.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's tempting to read Abu-Assad's view of his ostentatiously wealthy heroine and her debutante narcissism as satirical of a certain cross-section of modernized Palestinians amid the occupation, but the placid, earnest way her dilemma takes up emotional space in his film suggests half-bakery.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The nerviest, oddest, most outlandish and idiosyncratic American indie debut since "Buffalo 66," Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko defies description.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    The Motel, Michael Kang's modest Sundance applause reaper, doesn't deserve to be shotgunned for the sins of 30 other movies. But the underwhelming syncopation of make-nice clichés is too familiar.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Nolan and his co-screenwriter David Goyer can only press the big buttons so hard—it's still an old-school superhero summer movie, the plotting tortuous, the characters relegated to one-scene-one-emotion simplicity, the digitized action a never ending club mix of chases and mano a manos.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 20 Michael Atkinson
    Shear away the film's pretensions, and it's a soap opera of assholes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Michael Atkinson
    A cute, clichéd, coming-of-age comedy.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 70 Metascore
    • 65 Michael Atkinson
    A vapor trail of a comedy, comfortable as an old chair (and deliciously photographed in shades of melon and banana by Chinese vet Zhao Fei), but ultimately quaint and unchallenging.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Hardly a scene goes by without a digitally fractured flashback or spasm of editing punctuation, rupturing the movie's otherwise carefully wrought sense of authenticity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 92 Michael Atkinson
    Normal ideas of truth, illusion, and representation are sent into the meat grinder, and the result is consistently disarming and beautiful.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    The film's blast of self-mocking overkill can be charming.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    There's enough rosy-cheeked drama, triumph, and sacrifice for a ready-made Hollywood remake.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 48 Michael Atkinson
    A modest project with an agreeably modest point of view, but it cries out for a sharp, believable naturalism Kusama simply doesn't supply.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Electric Shadows is committed to movies-as-escape swoonery, but the script's late disasters are also predicated on cinema and filmgoing, suggesting an ambivalence the rest of the film seems oblivious to.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Elling is nothing if not carefully controlled hokum -- both actors, the director, and screenwriter all worked it through first as a stage adaptation of a novel by Ingvar Ambjornsen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Resnais's lightheartedness is infectious as he dispenses with the cinematic "reality" he never quite trusted, shooting the six-person farce on obvious sets, with curtains for doors and flat theatrical lighting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    This shadowy film may ooze with espionage enigma, but Darby’s real-life role finds him casting himself as a crusader; he’s like a hipster Zelig, lost among media appearances, evasive social principle and TV-propagated naïveté.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    By way of a tragic left hook, Haroun's relaxed movie climaxes back where it began, on the devastated home ground. The journey, however pessimistic, is like a gentle handshake.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Seasonally it's more appropriate as a May Day bacchanal, but in any month Demy's movie makes for an evocative globe-paperweight tableau of its place and time, and a concise demonstration of the disquietude inherent in classic fairy tales.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Ostensibly factual, helplessly self-conscious -- Adanggaman is being touted as the continent's first film about slavery as it was experienced on African soil—where the victims and enslavers were both native peoples.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 61 Michael Atkinson
    From the beginning of his career a fervent, epic documentarian, Herzog is a personal filmmaker as well, and My Best Fiend is certainly his most intimate and introspective film.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Full of well-observed supporting riffs, Crash might've accumulated more frisson had it cast a clearer eye on how social tension actually plays.

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