Michael Atkinson

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For 881 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Under the Sand
Lowest review score: 0 The Cat in the Hat
Score distribution:
881 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The best film ever made about competitive surfing in Papua New Guinea (and Best Documentary of the year as per Surfer Magazine).
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Calling the movie simply Buddhist, in form as well as context, might be just another way of saying it's awesome, as in it inspires legitimate awe.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Garrone's film grows in your head afterward, making royal hash out of a cultural paradigm we'll be loath to remember years from now—if, by then, everything hasn't become "reality."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Drug War might arguably be [To's] best film for this reason—it doesn't attempt to raise the stakes on its genre, but instead fully exploits what's there, piecing together an elaborate narc campaign tale out of classic clichés and tight-knot plotting, and letting the disaster of balls-out crime make its own statement.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The Dance of Reality may be Alejandro Jodorowsky's best film, and certainly, in a filmography top-heavy with freak-show hyperbole and symbology stew, the one most invested in narrative meaning.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    A dead-eyed, lyrical art film that kicks you in the throat.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Possibly the Iranian new wave's last meta-man, Panahi is in an ideal position to make the unique methodology of his filmmaking merge with its substance. But he's always been fascinated by how a film's bell-jar bubble can be punctured, leaving a viscous interface between real and cinematic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The lovely ball-&-socket meeting of the two artists' sensibilities is what makes the doc sing, even if it is a chronicle of a death foretold.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Textually, the setting's brutalist conflation between the far future and the distant past makes the film timeless, an elusive fable told with the viscous immediacy of a life on the diseased edge of civilization.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Marquise is almost ironically uninflected, like a tense game of chess. But soon the no-nonsense two-shots and scarlet-satin self-consciousness let the story build to genuine fireworks. No costume-drama escapism here, just distilled social warfare.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The movie is itself a rat-maze of one-sided mirrors, windows upon windows, anonymous hallways, compartmentalized instances of watching, being watched, seeing and not-seeing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Quite possibly the only film ever made focused on the centuries-long enslavement of the Romani in Eastern Europe, Aferim! plays like a sleight of hand, amusing us at a distance with vulgarisms and entrancing us with countryside while the bloody work of civilization grinds on out of the corner of our eye.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    In effect, [Guerín] seems to be making Pinto's case — the intellectual necessity of passion and Muse-force, in order to compel men toward Art — while utterly enjoying the messy, unpredictable, real-world tumult the women make of it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It's a film, a rather gorgeous one, of glances and ephemera and delicate metaphors.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Just as in the best old-school, Cain-style noir, Fukada’s film is eloquent about the fragile privileges of modern urban life and the hidden lies it can be built upon.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Her (Cheung) gorgeously sad face and slow, lithe frame are the movie's hammer and chisel. One shot of her walking away from a rented room down a hallway is, all by itself, twice the movie of anything else currently in theaters.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    This is what Woody Allen movies might be like if they were not ruled by narcissism, pretentious point-scoring, cheap observations, and Woody's peculiar speech patterns.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The ride is remarkable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It might be the scariest movie ever made.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The Truman Show is one of the films for which the '90s will be remembered, and it is not to be missed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Easily the best directorial debut of the year, and possibly the most mature and haunting film to ever come out of Scotland, Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher is a throat-catching masterpiece of lyricism, observation, and stone-cold realism.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Michael Atkinson
    Maddin's movie is, frame for frame, the densest and most spectacular (albeit cardboard-cheap) film playing anywhere.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Michael Atkinson
    Suzhou River might be more pulpy than profound, but it still sings its old song better than we've heard in years.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 89 Michael Atkinson
    Easily the year's most trying, tormented, and thrilling movie ordeal.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Michael Atkinson
    An ingenious, incredibly entertaining, Rorschach-blot meta-comedy based on a spec script (by first-timer Charlie Kaufman) that is completely unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 77 Metascore
    • 87 Michael Atkinson
    Lusts for a feel-good ending the material doesn't comfortably provide. One can't help wondering how dismal Jerry and Dorothy's life together will be after the credits roll.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 86 Michael Atkinson
    A superb, wise, and witty Taiwanese film about being single and what to do about it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 84 Michael Atkinson
    Might be the most original film of the year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 84 Michael Atkinson
    Dumont's movie has virtually nothing wrong with it -- aside from the fact that it drives people crazy. Take the leap, but expect no answers. Just like life, as they say.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 84 Michael Atkinson
    An explosive experience...and you have to love the movie's rabid energy and lust.
    • Mr. Showbiz

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