For 633 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 25% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 72% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Almayer's Folly
Lowest review score: 0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Score distribution:
633 movie reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Laughton understood Agee's proximity to Grimm vaudeville, and fashioned the most intensely expressionistic movie of its day.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable, Warm Water may well be the year's best and most unpredictable comedy.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Achieves an abrading, intimate, primal force his later films only hint at. It's difficult to imagine the Euripides original ever being more eloquently adapted.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    The hard-charging originality of the screenplay—the equivalent of turning "The Hot Zone" into a Farrelly comedy—suggests a deficient legacy of credit to Terry Southern's corner.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    It remains a stunning achievement, if nearly as exhausting and frustrating as the Tex Avery bureaucracy it roasts, but Gilliam's stylistic dysfunctionalities, art-directed out of junkyards, are what still percolate in the forebrain.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    You either love it or you love it; in any case, Martin Scorsese's history-making scald is truly a phenomenon from another day and age.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    An organic, childlike wonder, fabulously unpredictable and seethingly inventive.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Bertolucci's masterpiece--made when he was all of 29--will be the most revelatory experience a fortunate pilgrim will have in a theater this year is a foregone conclusion.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    One of the year's best films.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is more than just another bid for respectability, like "13 Assassins" -it may well be Miike's best film, a patient, ominous piece of epic storytelling that conscientiously rips the scabs off the honorable samurai mythology.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    One of the year's most hypnotic and fascinating films.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    It might be the most lonesome film about a tropical vacation we've seen, and the greatest film ever made about the weird socioeconomics of tourism.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Voyage to Italy is close to watching actual strangers suffer loneliness despite being together. It can leave an aching bruise, but only if you're paying attention.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    There's little sense in trying to resist the film's relentless boogie-woogie party vibe, its tumultuous visual banquet, its unpredictable sense of switchblade satire, its fools' parade of modern grotesques, or its river of startling melancholy, turning from a wary trickle to a flash flood by film's end. Sorrentino's vision is the size of Rome itself, and his confidence is dazzling.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    However familiar, it delivers like a shorted slot machine.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The sense of continuing life is quietly remarkable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Suzuki has made the ultimate meta-movie, a self-parodying, surrealist gangster daydream as intoxicating and insubstantial as an absinthe swoon.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It's a uniquely lonely film, and one of the year's most memorable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    I've seen only a few films in my lifetime that so potently express the golden hopes of childhood and parenthood, as well as the inevitable decimation of that hopefulness -- that forward-looking bliss -- at the hands of catastrophe, or merely age, spite, and exhaustion. Or, as for the Friedmans, all of the above.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Compare it to what passes for sophisticated filmmaking in this country and the movie becomes a living instrument of cinematic humanism: lovingly intent on observing, not judging; concerned with sympathy, not control; accepting the inevitable ambiguities, not denying them.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    A prototype of news-footage realism, the film makes shrewd use of handheld sloppiness, misjudged focus, overexposure, and you-are-there camera upset; the payoff is the scent of authentic panic.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    If Otar is, finally, a mite thin and predictably structured, that takes little away from the filmmaker and her cast, who work hard at fashioning the most outlandish special effect of all: believable human life.
    • 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.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Bergman locates a generosity and élan that make F&A feel like his youngest film.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Saleem, a Paris-based Kurd, displays the visual confidence and subtle screwball rhythms of a master, exploiting offscreen space, deadpan compositions, and deft visual backbeats, as well as attaining a breathtaking fidelity to real light and landscape.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Whatever its oversteps and excesses (I do think Park ran a little amok with the computer gimcrackery), Oldboy has the bulldozing nerve and full-blooded passion of a classic.