Michael Atkinson

Select another critic »
For 877 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 7.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Taxi Driver (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Score distribution:
877 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    There are trifling signs of freshmanship, but also a steady observant eye, and in the end Leap Year bears heartbreaking witness to hopeless depression, isolation, and the failure of sex as few movies ever have.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Man Push Cart is a diminutive film, finally--vying for a neorealist vibe, it lacks the Italian history makers' narrative urgency, and the sociopolitical conflict at the heart of the immigration "issue" is hardly engaged.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Has an intemperate vitality that's hard to resist.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    In today's digital bog of empty light and marketing deceptions, this is what early-millennium Euro art-film masterpieces feel like--lean, qualmish, abstracted to the point of parable but as grounded as a gravedigging.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    A successful novelist and restrained actor's director, Carrére makes the transformation of a silly marital argument into a cosmic upheaval look easy, and profound as well.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Instead of hitting the gas and allowing the scenario to rock 'n' roll with g-forces, Reitman keeps his movie small, unvaried, slack, and deliberately and oddly, completely smoke-free.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    May be the ultimate paradigm of self-reflexive cinema, eating Godard's tail for him and one-upping the classic anti-cartoon Duck Amuck by submitting to a cunning entropy and a self-inquiry so relentless the movie never moves from square one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Zeta-Jones is merely ravishing, but Clooney owns the film. Ordinarily best at sardonic, man's-man confidence, he strides through Intolerable Cruelty with fantastic screwball zest. To see Clooney tenderize, season, grill, and serve this ham hock of a role is to see an old-fashioned virtuoso in perpetual motion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    A decent little exercise in nativist outrage, Rolf de Heer's The Tracker, with its dynamic between indigene and colonial oppressor, could've easily been a western.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Dolls risks the bank on symbology as gaudy as teen anime and as heavy as a stone temple.
    • 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
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    If anything, Na's film is too much of a good thing, exceeding credibility too often (the punching-bag hero is far too lucky - good and bad - and absorbs a hilarious amount of punishment) in its pursuit of despairing violence. But that's the Korean way, and Na nails down the bottom feeder realism while slouching toward video-game hyperbole.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    You don't watch prolific doc-master Wang Bing's new film about a Chinese mental hospital so much as get imprisoned within it, pacing its dingy corridors and rooms like a zoo animal.
    • 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.

Top Trailers