For 638 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 Secret Sunshine
Lowest review score: 0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Score distribution:
638 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    If I were 13, I might be sufficiently entranced by the movie's bicycle stunts (down stairs! across countertops!) and wouldn't be wondering why ideas for science fiction films haven't progressed very far from "Star Trek's" first seasons all those decades ago.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The comedy is somewhat doused by posture and repetition, and the characters' whimsical behavior is endearing and irritating in turn. Which still makes it the absolute best neo-samurai judo farce in town.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's all fascinating, but must Kalatozov's careening angel of cinema be laid bare?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    All in all, the movement turned out to be a godsend for Rio natives, but the film is merely a pep rally.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Promised Lands is the only western documentary made about the war, but today, the movie seems more remarkable as a Sontag artifact than as political filmmaking.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Michôd wants a Greek epic but doesn't have the material. Animal Kingdom is a work of obvious ambition, and seeing a debut filmmaker swing for the fences like this is its own kind of moviehead satisfaction.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Director John Irvin, whose hapless 40-plus-year résumé runs from early Schwarzenegger to late Harold Pinter, never gets in the way, but the resulting sangria cocktail is mild, unchallenging, and kinda dull.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Monahan's debut has verve and charisma, but, in the end, the tension of a late-night pub shrug.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Even though Gray is no raw-boned rookie-he has made TV movies for decades, plus, back in the day, a single Steven Seagal floater-his movie is rather inexcusably obvious, going for "troot," but recycling dese-dose-dem clichés already pressed into plastic lumber 25 years ago.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's decent, exoticized pulp with a porcelain veneer, and should be consumed idly.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Fox's briskness leaves certain questions gaping open. As in, how cynical and derisive is she deliberately being of Rinpoche's teachings, since all we get are trite homilies and vague advice?
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Women of a certain age will kvell, but the point might be better made for the rest of us by rewatching the autumnal Rampling in Ozon's "Under the Sand."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Another break in the tension is the inescapable fact that every Holocaust movie, however hair-raising, essentially thrums the same self-sacrifice-versus-self-preservation chord. It's not fair, but there it is: We've been here before.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The glacial pace is only quickened for seconds at a time with evocative ideas and hints of satire.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Left with barely any there there, Morley compensates with long reenactments starring look-alike Zawe Ashton that are never quite convincing but instead suck more air out of the haunting vacuum left behind in Vincent's wake.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Dano, with his remarkably guileless meta-teen puss, is thoroughly convincing, which is more than can be said for the film's shameless climactic steal from "Five Easy Pieces."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Tiresomely simple, the film introduces a subplot involving betrayal and political informants in the eleventh hour, but by then you're either smitten by these guileless Zulu lads experiencing "freedom" on the waves or you've checked out.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    All the same, The Rider Named Death is curiously anemic; rather than passion, outrage, and danger, we're contemplating the sotto voce conspiracy love of a quaintly distant age, when results weren't quite as emotionally important as commitment and camaraderie.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Derrickson's flick can sour your stomach with piety, which is a shame -- its moments of jolt wattage rate with many J-horrors.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    The film galumphs along in static panels, prioritizing flash over thought, hyperextending a story that would barely sustain a children's picture book.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Shot in DV by Lisa Rinzler, Joseph Castelo's modest drama struggles for verisimilitude, but it wears clichés like concrete boots, down to the cycle-of-intolerance-and-violence message that we hear every day on NPR.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Land of Plenty is a woozy fantasia on California dreaming, all agog at urban strife and blabby with redundant voiceover.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Only Nthati Moshesh, as a single black mother working as a housekeeper wooed by a displaced Congolese (Eriq Ebouaney), makes a dent in white-American-expatriate Mark Bamford's toothless scenario.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Gone are Chung's willfully irrational non sequitur surrealisms, vertiginous designs, dry humor, and physiological weirdness; now we have Charlize Theron trying to look icy, leaping about in resistance to a future dystopia that looks a lot like an overlandscaped European Union industrial park.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    The ambitions are so paltry that our response should be too: Wolf Creek is unimaginative, light on the grue and heavy on the faux-serious desperation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    The three stars are all perfectly naturalistic, but their roles are too bloodless and their patter too dry.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    As used cars go, the latest and possibly last Harrison Ford thriller, Firewall, is no deal: It runs rough, stalls frequently, smells like the stale sweat of four dozen older movies, and handles like a blind mule.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    The net effect would be doze-inducing if in fact the Dolby didn't attempt to wake the dead.