Michael Atkinson
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For 850 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 6.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
Lowest review score: 0 Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back!
Score distribution:
850 movie reviews
    • 59 Metascore
    • 55 Michael Atkinson
    It's a polished, beautifully made movie with a rotten heart.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 44 Metascore
    • 55 Michael Atkinson
    The film has a standard trajectory, but the details are unpredictable: Kitano fluctuates between goofy pratfalls. . . and elliptical pathos.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 54 Michael Atkinson
    If you're expecting an experience approximately as dumb, badly acted, and childish as a pro wrestling match, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 53 Michael Atkinson
    Might be structured like a soggy house of cards, but it's shot beautifully and acted expertly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 53 Michael Atkinson
    Showing the sex seems to be the film's raison d'etre, which gets you only so far.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 52 Michael Atkinson
    As fascinating as the case is as history, however, Scottsboro: An American Tragedy is a TV show, not a movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 52 Michael Atkinson
    Likable, but frustratingly lazy, Ghost Dog has coolness running all through it, but little substance.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Foer's ironic ideas have a lovely roundness to them, and somehow the film achieves Holocaust-fiction balance without much ado or melodrama. It may be substantially less ambitious than its source material, but that may be what saves it from implosion.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A modest, formulaic day trip from Kazakhstan.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    What rescues Major Dundee in the end from its many conflicts and unresolved passions is Heston.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Brothers emerges as no less or more than Bier's claustrophobic compositions and unimaginative choices.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    What's abundantly clear is how far this kind of moviemaking has come from any knowledge of real criminal life; it's a geek's ineffectual daydream of mayhem.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The film will come to share the video store shelf with Harlin's infinitely stupider rendition soon enough, but it's a shame they couldn't have been released theatrically head-to-head -- a death match-cum-clinical trial that might've supplied some objective stats on how much condescension the American moviegoer actually enjoys.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Plays best as a dry exercise in historical doublespeak and rationalization.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    As it is, Duris, capable and dull, is no Keitel, 2005 is no 1978, and The Beat That My Heart Skipped is no "Fingers."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Hardly the kids'-sports movie we need, but maybe it's as much as we can handle.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Winterbottom never provides the empathic connective tissue we expect. Love it or not, 9 Songs amounts to a common human rite fastidiously caught in amber, giving off no heat or joy but crystallized for the future.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    What results is unremarkably schizophrenic--half gritty sojourn into the inner-city furnace, half Hollywood brain death.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    If this silly retread works at all, it's because of Coogan, who comes at the creaky premise with almost Streepian commitment and who is destined, it would seem, for better things.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Taylor traipses around after Zizek on a continent-hopping lecture tour, and we get a face full of the man's tireless analysis, in a style that can only be characterized as hyperactive grizzly bear, complete with spit-spewing speech impediment.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The Libertine's trouble lies precisely in its efforts at conjuring the historical past: No one in the film seems much more convinced than I am that because playwrights and authors wrote in clever, high post-Elizabethan diction, then everyone spoke that way every day, in the pubs, with whores.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A modest and mildly pretentious mediocrity in the Woodman canon.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    You can't help wondering how the same Fifth Gen filmmaker who made "Yellow Earth" and "Life on a String" could've fallen on such hard times, or justified such goofiness to himself.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Tognazzi's use of public spaces, streets, and offices is three-dimensional and exciting in a Michael Mann–ish way, and Ennio Morricone's all-bass-register piano score keeps things nervous. But La Scorta suffers from an anemic plot pulse-you could say the judge's bodyguards did their job too well, because nothing much happens-and the anticlimax is as dull as it is pessimistic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's a small movie trying to seem epic, or a bloated monster trying to seem lean (real B movies don't have 14 producers), but it's clear that at 99 minutes, 16 Blocks should've been at least 20 minutes shorter still.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Shot in silvery black-and-white, Duck Season is not charmless, just insubstantial.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    As is typical of contemporary Italian movies, every one of Comencini's women seems on the verge of a hysterical collapse.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's "Broken Flowers" with bourbon and ten-gallons and meta-country soundtrack warbles.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    All of the stories are conceived as ongoing plights, and have no third act. Which would be an improvement on Haggis's hyperbolic civics lesson if Avelino had the chops to master realism and embrace ambivalence. The acting is pro enough to keep your blood up, but the reverb is minimal.