Michael Atkinson
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For 849 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 28% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 69% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 Apocalypse Now
Lowest review score: 0 Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back!
Score distribution:
849 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Voyage to Italy is close to watching actual strangers suffer loneliness despite being together. It can leave an aching bruise, but only if you're paying attention.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Bertolucci's masterpiece--made when he was all of 29--will be the most revelatory experience a fortunate pilgrim will have in a theater this year is a foregone conclusion.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Bergman locates a generosity and élan that make F&A feel like his youngest film.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    Laughton understood Agee's proximity to Grimm vaudeville, and fashioned the most intensely expressionistic movie of its day.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    However familiar, it delivers like a shorted slot machine.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    The hard-charging originality of the screenplay—the equivalent of turning "The Hot Zone" into a Farrelly comedy—suggests a deficient legacy of credit to Terry Southern's corner.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Like nearly every other Kiarostami film, Close-Up takes questions about movies and makes them feel like questions of life and death.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    A prototype of news-footage realism, the film makes shrewd use of handheld sloppiness, misjudged focus, overexposure, and you-are-there camera upset; the payoff is the scent of authentic panic.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    In one movie, at least, the ethical baseline (heisted, you could argue, from "Sweet Smell of Success") gave Fellini's roaming, cluttered mise-en-scène a chilling gravity he could never genuinely locate again.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    You either love it or you love it; in any case, Martin Scorsese's history-making scald is truly a phenomenon from another day and age.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It seems almost incontestably...the most gorgeously photographed film ever made. [23 March 1999]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 94 Michael Atkinson
    The one movie so far this year that every filmgoer should see, if only to get a big dose of what we've been missing from Hollywood.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    One of the year's most hypnotic and fascinating films.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    The movie's shake-and-bake mix of "reality" and crumbling subjectivity is too deliberate to be about character--it is, rather, a game of movieness, a masquerade of Grand Guignol–as-psyche, virtually a parody of the surrealist's notion of consciousness bagged and tagged on celluloid.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 66 Michael Atkinson
    The characters are barely characters, the story barely a story, and the elliptical filmmaking style that so besots Denis' many fans could drive you to drink.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The ride is remarkable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    All told, and in giant widescreen, it's only blood-red adolescent fun, but it blooms like Douglas Sirk with a Gatling gun compared to the teenage demographic's current fare. Matrix, schmatrix: This is the season's supreme party movie.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    No other movie released this year is as much of a filmgoing necessity as Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now Redux.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 90 Metascore
    • 81 Michael Atkinson
    Topsy-Turvy is flawless, borne along by a savagely witty screenplay that Leigh directs like the gears of a clock.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    I've seen only a few films in my lifetime that so potently express the golden hopes of childhood and parenthood, as well as the inevitable decimation of that hopefulness -- that forward-looking bliss -- at the hands of catastrophe, or merely age, spite, and exhaustion. Or, as for the Friedmans, all of the above.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    If only this epic had enough substantial melodramatic hooks to hang this woman's beauty on; emotional traction is most often buried under acres of carefully coordinated vistas and CGI-hued flora.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Possibly the most Rorschachian film of all time, a symbol-only text that effortlessly conforms to any political present, and finds a foothold in your social sphere whether you're a free radical or reactionary wing nut.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    It remains a stunning achievement, if nearly as exhausting and frustrating as the Tex Avery bureaucracy it roasts, but Gilliam's stylistic dysfunctionalities, art-directed out of junkyards, are what still percolate in the forebrain.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It's still a feat of period filmmaking. More than that, Overlord's revivification of a wasteland Europe offers up a powerful whip lesson for the postwar complacent: that the waging of war, even this most romanticized of conflicts, means bringing a corpse-mountain hell to someone's home neighborhood.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Dietrich is the movie's primary cannon: Her amused eyes, open face, and relaxed sensuality monopolize our sympathies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The kitsch is back in full bloom.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It's a heart-sundering vision of preadolescent helplessness that rivals passages of "Landscape in the Mist" and "Ponette."