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
Lowest review score: 0 Strippers
Score distribution:
878 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    While the line-readings are often dead-on, Fishburne's movie suffers from the usual one-room claustrophobia and Mametian repetitions.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.)
    • 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.
    • 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
    A modest, formulaic day trip from Kazakhstan.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Just another basketcase with a blade.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A pre-programmed mediocrity, a slave to its clichés.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    But Monsters, Inc. -- directed by Pixar soldier Pete Docter, not by master digital comic John Lasseter -- turns out to be stingy on context, commentary, and the prism-ing view of pop culture that made the earlier films mint.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Though rife with incidental plot holes, Foote's movie feels right even when nothing important is happening...which is much of the time.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Dramatically lopsided, Assassination Tango is a spontaneous life-slice in which John J. (standing in for Duvall) fumbles like a besotted granddad toward empathic connections. That it doesn't "work" is a measure of its sincerity.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    When it isn't TV-movie familiar, Egoyan's film is bughouse crazy, mixing in campy pulp elements that bleed pressure away from the story.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Lonesome Jim has the import of a deliberately squelched sitcom, or a home movie that's poisoned by unhappiness but shown anyway for stray laughs.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Plays best as a dry exercise in historical doublespeak and rationalization.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    It's too bad that the film is sporadically crude (a moment of suicidal angst is illustrated with a shove-zoom to the pavement), prone to mega-Italian extroversion, and far too in love with stupid pet tricks.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    First and foremost a trial run for a Universal Studios ride.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    No matter how quotable the one-liners, the movie remains a far stretch from truth or insight.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The techies still can't manage to make two characters look convincingly into each other's eyes -- it's like watching Disney World animatronic figures do soap opera.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Brothers emerges as no less or more than Bier's claustrophobic compositions and unimaginative choices.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Funahashi's visual mood-making is an object lesson in how to create a sense of intimate anomie with next to nothing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Musters gobs of atmosphere and touristy menace without attending much to story or character.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The characters talk like smart, unpredictable people, and Kelly Ernswiler is one of a kind.
    • 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.

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