Michael Atkinson

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For 879 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Lowest review score: 0 I Am Sam
Score distribution:
879 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    What's not recognized enough is the indelible, self-sickened performance of William Holden as Desmond's boy-toy/hired hack.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Good Night, and Good Luck's primary handicap is history itself -- the toe-to-toe televised dialogue between McCarthy and Murrow was, however arguably vital to the Wisconsin senator's eventual retreat, brief and less than epochal. Even so, the wonderfully mustered context wins out.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Because stateside newspapers aren't enough, "The Battle of Chile" (possibly the most riveting and vital historical document ever put on celluloid) should be a prerequisite to Guzmán's new doc, The Pinochet Case.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The bubble-kid moms can whine all they want, but Bubble Boy is a liberated movie --liberated from tastefulness, of course, but also from logic, suffering, consequence, and temperance.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    With Child's Pose, the Romanian tide enters its Cassavetes phase, where the thin ice of haute bourgeoisie life cracks and opens wide.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Its sluggish, amateur-Kiarostami character would be off-putting if the material weren't so powerful.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Bani-Etemad's generational melodrama observes a blue-collar dynastic collapse worthy of Lillian Hellman, but stays steadfastly fixed on the quotidian of Tehran life.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    In a manner so sly you could overlook it, Porumboiu invests this tissue-thin premise with the shadows of Romanian history.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Broad and pleasantly idealistic, and the evident ardor for 150-year-old graphics (especially Dore's Ancient Mariner masterstrokes) is hard to argue with. But is it a movie or the best-designed episode of "Nova" ever?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    In a culture clogged with appropriated effluvia and remake cop-outs, Willard is wittier and nastier than we deserve.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Zeta-Jones is merely ravishing, but Clooney owns the film. Ordinarily best at sardonic, man's-man confidence, he strides through Intolerable Cruelty with fantastic screwball zest. To see Clooney tenderize, season, grill, and serve this ham hock of a role is to see an old-fashioned virtuoso in perpetual motion.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It's a simple pleasure watching an American movie that respects genre, knows its limitations, and genuflects at the memory of Don Siegel in the age of Spielberg.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Based on a memoir by a grown daughter of the eldest girl and rarely digressing from the journey itself, the movie is a dusty, calloused, primal Odyssey, as forceful and single-minded as a bullet train.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Leon’s grungy resume indie is a conscientiously modest deal in the end, with a sweet, mumblecoresque ending, but it glows with unmistakable star power.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Intimations of infection loom (ships pass waving polio quarantine flags) and sexual games are played, but Antonioni was then the most obsessively compositional filmmaker alive, and the movie is all about the scary, foggy, metaphysical negative spaces.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    In the end, this morphing of ideas and styles is more deadpan romantic than sociocritical, and sweeter for it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Having emerged from his new German cinema heyday as one of the world's most guileless and original documentary filmmakers, Herzog has slowly been crafting a four-dimensional fresco of the planet, its most human-resistant landscapes, and our dubious dramas in confronting the chaos.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Confessions keeps its cards close, and Kaufman is perfectly capable of starving his screenplay to save it, and perfectly happy with being misunderstood.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Without the intrusion of voice-overs or interviews, Mylan and Shenk attained a remarkable intimacy with the strapping, earnest, startlingly beautiful teenagers.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Brilliant, mind-boggling.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Kim's movie rocks -- I saw it cold a year ago, and I don't think I've been as entranced and appalled by an Asian film since Shinya Tsukamoto's "Iron Man."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Emblematic of the man's (Oshima) career: ironic, ambiguous, sublime.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    At its most contemplative, The Trilogy is a stirring and shrewd portrait of lives lived in oblivious parallel. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It's a heart-sundering vision of preadolescent helplessness that rivals passages of "Landscape in the Mist" and "Ponette."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    All the same, Eastwood's point of view has been seasoned enough to locate poignancy and respect for his protagonists where you least expect -- saying it's an old man's movie is a serious compliment.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The new film is more informational than resonant. But you can still sense a vacuum, a rat pit of stories waiting to be unearthed. The dark something that triggered the whole ordeal in West Memphis is still out there.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Skolimowski's Eastern Bloc–existentialist chops finally emerge in the last act, as the futility of looking for a diamond in the snow evolves into a sex-death underwater ballet.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Involuntary doesn't simplify its stories into a single point of view or idea; rather, Östlund is merely visiting these high-pressure moments in which Swedish culture frays, melts down, and betrays its ultra-civilized idea of itself.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Predictably, the holes in the narrative set us up for a twist or three, but, in balance, it's a pleasure to be back in the wet alleys and spy-patrolled streets of the GDR, however vague they seem without '60s black-and-white cinematography.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    A successful novelist and restrained actor's director, Carrére makes the transformation of a silly marital argument into a cosmic upheaval look easy, and profound as well.

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