Michael Atkinson

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For 868 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 6.9 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 The Cat in the Hat
Score distribution:
868 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    A minor triumph of atmosphere and nightmare imaginings.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    What a world we'd live in if Argento's Hollywood counterparts -- say, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or even Christina Ricci -- had this much imagination and nerve. Few of them, at any rate, have Argento's reserves of lonesome passion and unspigoted woe.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    While the astonishing street footage of "l'affaire Langlois"--perhaps more familiar to the French than to us--is where this exhaustive talking-heads portrait becomes beautifully, bafflingly surreal, the whole project, however conventional, has the allure of a communal embrace, a home movie of a motherland left irrevocably in the past.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Damon and Kinnear are both pitch-perfect, inhabiting their ingenuous, codependent little universe together with the commitment of eight-year-old best friends. True to form, the Farrellys toss sophomoric spitballs at us, but nothing stems the rise of big-hearted generosity.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Never takes off, and much of the time Pool seems lost herself, resorting to clichés, redundancy, and dead-end allegory.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Michael Glawogger's rather majestic Workingman's Death takes a symphonic structure to document some of the ugliest and most dangerous shit work on the globe.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Like being jacked directly into Linklater's alpha waves, and the experience is bracingly new to movies.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Resuscitates the filmgoing summer with a vital jolt of pure piss and vinegar.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Full of observed life, the movie is also a bit of a vacuum, and once we register our admiration for Lopez, we can hardly help contemplating the cold equations of the students' futures, their uneducated families, and the rapturously desolate farmland around them.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Buoyant with quiet smiles and unpretentious fondness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Confident, mature, deeply conceived, and convincingly inhabited, it's a surprisingly humane film -- despite the close-range shotgun spray.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Although le Carré's story may seem predictable and unduly focused on the plight of a pale, wealthy Old Worlder adrift in a sea of needy East Africans, the movie's human material is masterfully manipulated.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    On one hand a seat-o'-pants digital-video quickie designed for blunt trauma, and on the other a veritable index of classic genre-stuff, Boyle's film creates an acute sense of movie-viewing danger.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The kitsch is back in full bloom.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Far from a maxim-expounding sermon, the film is a fresh spring of irrational visual pleasure.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It's a small, unassuming movie grasping at whole-hog homo psychopathicus, with its feet planted squarely in Texan grave dirt and its head lost in the ether of Christian derangement.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Something of a wonder, a palm-size ball of banter and irony and earnestness that never stops rolling and almost never misses the sweet spots.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The cast never skips a beat, particularly Mark Margolis as the most obnoxious dinner customer in cinema history and Summer Phoenix as his unfazed waitress.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Dietrich is the movie's primary cannon: Her amused eyes, open face, and relaxed sensuality monopolize our sympathies.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    A rambling daydream that aims literally to supplant your life, it's in effect a serial, in eight ninety-plus-minute chapters, TV-ready but defined by Rivette as a consuming theatrical experience. It consumes, all right, like a drug that won't fade, but it's also a lark, a metafiction without any reality, a magnificent irrelevance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Yamada's decidedly undazzling yet expressive filmmaking approaches classicism, from a sensei training session captured in one lengthy shot to the final showdown, seen with shifting points of view that suggest a relativist unease with the cut-and-dried judgments of war culture.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It's easily the most disarming and inventive movie made for genre geeks in years.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    It seems almost incontestably...the most gorgeously photographed film ever made. [23 March 1999]
    • 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.

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