Michael Atkinson

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For 884 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 9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 The Circle
Lowest review score: 0 Stripped
Score distribution:
884 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    The film's blast of self-mocking overkill can be charming.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Resnais's lightheartedness is infectious as he dispenses with the cinematic "reality" he never quite trusted, shooting the six-person farce on obvious sets, with curtains for doors and flat theatrical lighting.
    • 64 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Overbay's palette is carefully lyrical, at a benumbed Martha Marcy May Marlene pitch, he pays attention to the verdant landscape and keeps his cast at a pensive and watchful low boil.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    The Rod Serling tension Byrkit is angling for never quite arrives, nor does any real Borgesian frisson. But thanks to its social setting, it does offer a vivid and perhaps intentional satirical portrait of L.A. culture.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    A dead-eyed, lyrical art film that kicks you in the throat.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Its realism is patient and inclusive.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    The movie is so brisk, even-handed, and realpolitik you're never quite sure if it has anything to say.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Seidl's visual style -- bitter-comic three-walled tableaux -- makes the scenario's tension between desire and reality almost unbearable, but Melanie offers hope by simple virtue of her youth, her unformed romantic folly, and her guileless courage.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    There's little sense in trying to resist the film's relentless boogie-woogie party vibe, its tumultuous visual banquet, its unpredictable sense of switchblade satire, its fools' parade of modern grotesques, or its river of startling melancholy, turning from a wary trickle to a flash flood by film's end. Sorrentino's vision is the size of Rome itself, and his confidence is dazzling.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Faust is not your great-granddaddy's selling-your-soul fable, but something new, a dreamy immersion into the messiness of myth, where hubris and desire can get lost in the chaos of time and retelling.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The film is stale Chinese popcorn from the get-go, with only Chen's wiry guilelessness and wicked athletic skills to keep it remotely edible.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Not exactly a hagiography, Polish's film isn't a tragedy, either -- it's just an uneventful afternoon spent with a dozing rummy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Kill Your Darlings is an undernourished and over-emphatic film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    One of the year's thorniest releases.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    This shadowy film may ooze with espionage enigma, but Darby’s real-life role finds him casting himself as a crusader; he’s like a hipster Zelig, lost among media appearances, evasive social principle and TV-propagated naïveté.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    White’s revelation-free, nostalgia massage of a film works the archivals with genuine fondness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Though we're never allowed a close-up, Hofstätter's performance comes off as an unselfconscious tour de force, painfully real and culturally lost.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Documentarian Anailín Lucy Mulloy’s eye for the decaying textures of modern Cuba on the ground is sharp, and there are passages—as the dull characters mope and kill time and work up snits—in which you wish the movie were simply nonfiction. As it is, everything feels fake except the Centro Habana barrios themselves.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Produced by veteran Chicago doc outfit Kartemquin (and correspondingly bullshit-free), Siegel’s archive-and-talking-heads narrative revels in forgotten details—like Ali, during his suspension from boxing, appearing in an Off Broadway musical about slavery, the taped footage from which is eye-popping.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Though bourgie audiences looking for a sun-warmed romance will be slapped; the movie may look pretty and may plod, but it also leaves a bruise.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Years of HBO seasoning has given Garlin and his cast a sure touch and great timing...but the whole project is mean-hearted and lazy, and it dawdles in repetition and dead air as if it's got a 14-show TV season to spin out.

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