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 Almayer's Folly
Lowest review score: 0 The Cat in the Hat
Score distribution:
850 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Gaby Dellal's cynically mushy film, like "The Full Monty" and its ilk, is best savored only by its target demo: middle-classers who see one imported film a year, the selection in question requiring working-stiff melodrama and leprechaun burrs gently and lovably mangling the English dialogue.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    A bone-tired tale underneath.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The film makes no more or less sense than Ridley Scott's Legend or Jim Henson's Labyrinth, and in fact has a creaky, blue-gel '80s-ness to it, but for many, keeping up with Miike's cranked output is an end in itself.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    If the title, knee-jerk cast, pop-song intro, and schmaltzy plotline of his new film Changing Times is any indication, he's (André Téchiné) now the French mainstream, the premier Gallic pilot of high-toned soap opera.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Man Push Cart is a diminutive film, finally--vying for a neorealist vibe, it lacks the Italian history makers' narrative urgency, and the sociopolitical conflict at the heart of the immigration "issue" is hardly engaged.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    The details are eye-opening (or ear-opening, in the case of marching songs taught to the new Marines about slaughtering Arab schoolchildren), but soon Foulkrod's film backs itself into a Support Our Troops corner.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Monahan's debut has verve and charisma, but, in the end, the tension of a late-night pub shrug.
    • 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.
    • 61 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.
    • 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