Michael Atkinson

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For 878 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 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 The Night of the Hunter (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Score distribution:
878 movie reviews
    • 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
    It's a TV show and a facile one at that.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A Matter of Taste's largest handicap is restraint: It's too tasteful. The climactic crisis is a broken leg, and the off-screen denouement is unimaginative.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It might be worth enduring the Limburger to see Fraser morph from freckled-faced Rod McKuen dweeb to seven-foot albino ball star and never miss a beat.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Cursed--but ironically!--with stomach-churning '60s decor, Slevin might round off in Park Chanwook country, but the lingering sense of it is as an amusement park for the actors, who are as infectiously overjoyed for the bouncy badinage as preschoolers on Christmas morning. Like tired parents, our enjoyment is primarily vicarious.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Wastes a ton of potent material.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Would that Harris had simply let the images and their historical context speak for themselves. His narration is simplistic and narcissistic... and the textual ideas he and his interviewees present about the intersection between race and imagery are hardly fresh.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    As the full-length sorta-satire it has become, Edmond is all sizzle and little meat, a veritable tangent act dropped from "Glengarry Glen Ross" because it was several marks too silly.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The glacial pace is only quickened for seconds at a time with evocative ideas and hints of satire.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    All of the filmmaker's fine work and good intentions cannot make this repetitive and finally tiresome saga fly.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Mychal Judge, the popular gay FDNY chaplain who perished in the fallen towers and was the day's first official casualty, has been so designated by this treacly, worshipful doc, something he would surely have deemed ridiculous.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Though Maclean uses every trick available to make up for the missing inner voice, we never get into Crudup's mellow loser like we should. Maclean's got an incisive eye, but it's poised on the outside of the terrarium looking in.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Metropolis is "A.I." without tears.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's all fascinating, but must Kalatozov's careening angel of cinema be laid bare?
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    What rescues Major Dundee in the end from its many conflicts and unresolved passions is Heston.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    By far the most independent independent-genre flick to grift screen space in Manhattan since Douglas Buck's "Family Portraits," James Bai's Puzzlehead has only its ideas and speculative frisson to sell it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A bone-tired tale underneath.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A watchable mediocrity at best.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Visconti's film remains a Euro-culture touchstone, though not nearly as convincing or visually stunning as its reputation insists.

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