For 639 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 7.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Safe Conduct
Lowest review score: 0 Mr. Deeds
Score distribution:
639 movie reviews
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    If the movie works on its own insipid level, it's because of high-gear star power -- 50 times the captivator Dennis ever was, Theron is terrific at creating adorable intimacy with little help from the script or director and exudes more guileless élan than any of the film's many puppies.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    First and foremost a trial run for a Universal Studios ride.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Complain all you want about Willis's posturing and the rabbit-in-the-hat ending (predicated as it is on a vast plothole), the film is still a rarity, a studio horror movie focused on a child's traumatic stress.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Nolte's exploding patriarch jacks up the story's antisocial wish fulfillment into a Nietzschean-anarchist's wet dream, but one can only vainly hope that the preordained sequel will head in that dastardly direction.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    For better or worse, Vanilla Sky is a genuine, albeit jejune, statement of star consciousness -- blustery with self-awe and feverish with cataclysmic self-doubt.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Today, the movie doesn't portend Altman's subsequent tailspin into irrelevance as much as it suggests a restlessness with the comic realism he had mastered.
    • 79 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Not nearly enough time is spent in court--that is, on the movie's ostensible subject. (Besides, the down-to-the-wire deliberation scene is risibly unconvincing and abbreviated.)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    When he isn't overreaching for absurdity, Curtis can write bouncy patter, but each character gets about 60 seconds before the movie jumps deck to the next love-seeker and the next moony pratfall.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    However bogged down by predictable story rhythms, banally assembled shoot-outs, and climactic mano a mano, The Missing has an acidic period tone, a respect for the reality of violence, and a refreshing dearth of superhuman heroics and easy triumph. For that much, we should be grateful.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Still, the vapor traces of farce and policier that waft from this terribly earnest film never coalesce -- perhaps our own cultural remove allows what plays straight at home to be experienced as slightly daffy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Ends up second-guessing its own high-minded strivings, not trustful enough of its audience to be sophisticated about history and ethics, and not pulpy enough to keep us awake.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Not a farce, or comedy or drama, but essentially a doodle interrupted by nouveau ballet performances, the entire contraption assembled to please the ego of Neve Campbell.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    David Mamet takes on the digi-tech, hard-Clancy-core intel thriller most often inflated by Tony Scott and like-minded plodders, and typically he elevates it, botches it, and exploits it for searing political comment.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Hardly gay camp for nothing, sword-and-sandal epics cannot help but teeter on the brink of self-mockery, and Troy, for all its grim seriousness, embraces both the clichés and the beefcake.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Everything is pre-medieval and unwashed, but with Antoine Fuqua at the steering wheel King Arthur is still a comic book, if a little more "Classics Illustrated" in tone than we'd have the right to expect.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Quindlen's book is wry and deeply sad in its prose, but watching actors run this very simple maze is significantly less entertaining, or convincing.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    As obvious in many ways as its title (and its poster), Mean Creek retains a gritty working-class ambience, but it feels over-rehearsed.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The film slowly sheds its convincing identity as nonfiction and becomes a cruel parody of making-of docs, studio-movie pandering, and showbiz egomania.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Authentic ethical dialogue is conspicuous for its absence, as is the potentially disturbing view of a normal, working-class corner of American society going not-so-quietly cuckoo.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Ray
    Hackford's movie falls into a meandering saunter. As the music grows dull, so does the movie.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The Aviator could've been a "Raging Bull" brother film, given that masterpiece's crystalline purity of purpose and humiliated courage. But it brakes far short.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Dolls risks the bank on symbology as gaudy as teen anime and as heavy as a stone temple.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    In its details, though, Juan José Campanella's movie works beautifully: The actors are all superb when the florid demands of the story allow them elbowroom.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    For all of its careful realism, Lan Yu is constructed around clichés, plummeting toward a modestly heroic sacrifice and a tearjerking act of fate. But Kwan is a master of shadow, quietude, and room noise, and Lan Yu is a disarmingly lived-in movie.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Visconti's film remains a Euro-culture touchstone, though not nearly as convincing or visually stunning as its reputation insists.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A pre-programmed mediocrity, a slave to its clichés.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's a sprightly, low-fiber comedy while the comedy lasts.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A modest, formulaic day trip from Kazakhstan.