Michael Atkinson

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For 878 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 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 53
Lowest review score: 0 Branded
Score distribution:
878 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's.
    • 95 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Takes us through reams of fascinating drama, from the first heroic forest-saving protests to the reactive police violence and resulting dead-of-night firebombs to the core group's implosion after the FBI tightens the net.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It's a uniquely lonely film, and one of the year's most memorable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Keane is a painfully specific figure but at the same time a totem, lean and frightening, for a morass of modern anxieties. That might be this phenomenal film's emergent achievement: Its raw hopelessness is its universality.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Beehive is a graceful and potent lyric on children's vulnerable hunger, but it's also a sublime study on cinema's poetic capacity to reflect and hypercharge reality.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Yamada shoots his movie with a grandfatherly expertise, never squeezing the drama for juice or distancing us too far from the characters -- it's a pleasure to see a movie that makes every shot count, narratively and emotively.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It seems easily the most valuable piece of film to emerge about the war in all of its three-plus years.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Mood is everything, trumped up by a score so rich with pop songs, bossa nova drama, and symphonic mournfulness it's almost a movie on its own. 2046 may be a Chinese box of style geysers and earnest meta-irony, but that should not suggest there aren't bleeding humans at the center of it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Suzuki has made the ultimate meta-movie, a self-parodying, surrealist gangster daydream as intoxicating and insubstantial as an absinthe swoon.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It's an altogether remarkable piece of work, deepening the genre while whipping its skin off, satirizing an entire nation's nearsighted apathy as it wonders, almost aloud, about the nature of truth, evidence, and social belonging.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    It might be the scariest movie ever made.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 61 Metascore
    • 89 Michael Atkinson
    Easily the year's most trying, tormented, and thrilling movie ordeal.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 84 Michael Atkinson
    Might be the most original film of the year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 81 Michael Atkinson
    Lacks scope and doesn't resonate grandly as a portrait of an American underbelly like Morris' earlier works do. But it still packs a wallop.
    • 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.

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