Michael O'Sullivan
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For 1,053 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael O'Sullivan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Ernest & Célestine
Lowest review score: 0 Lethal Weapon 4
Score distribution:
1,053 movie reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a soaring achievement, without ever leaving the ground.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    With elegant, clockwork construction, Smith has transplanted his novel of greed, betrayal and getting what you deserve to the screen, where it is told by director Sam Raimi with a spareness befitting the whiteness of its snowed-in setting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    As quintessential a story of American ambition as Welles' own "Citizen Kane."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Paltrow and Fiennes are so good and the script, referencing not only "Romeo and Juliet" but "Twelfth Night," is so consistently intelligent that seduction is inevitable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a comic book at heart, albeit a thoroughly, grandly romantic one in the end.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    That rare cinematic experience-a movie so close to pure perfection that it seems a shame to spoil it by even reading a review beforehand.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sure, the animation work is great, but it's the actors and their subtle, complex vocal performances that make us care about these fairy-tale characters. Shrek 2 is all about fantasy, but its characters are rousingly, affectingly real -- not to mention real, real funny.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It knocks you off your feet and leaves you shaken.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It manages the trick of being both an unironic sci-fi action-adventure flick and a zippy parody of one. It’s exciting, funny, self-aware, beautiful to watch and even, for a flickering instant or two, almost touching.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sean Penn makes a striking screen presence in This Must Be the Place, a smart, funny and original road movie by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino ("Il Divo").
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Many thematic ingredients come together in Farhadi’s rich stew of a story: jealousy, resentment, betrayal, forgiveness, healing. The filmmaker stirs them, with the touch of a master, into a dish that both stimulates and nourishes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a richly engrossing drama, so long as you understand that it’s aiming for the head, not the gut.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Van Dormael has crafted a saga that, even at two-plus hours, is endlessly, enormously watchable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Joe
    Nicolas Cage delivers what may his best, most nuanced performance yet in the gritty, hypnotic and deeply moving Joe.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    As haunting as it is haunted, The Missing Picture leaves viewers’ heads rattling with ghosts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Its charms, and they are both subtle and many, emanate like perfume.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Although the cast is uniformly fine, Hoffman shines in a role that demands not showmanship, but a kind of complexity and contradiction that can be rendered only through the kind of dull character details that he excelled in, accumulating them from the inside out.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    Rich Hill doesn’t just make you feel like you know these boys; it makes you care about them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    The shadow of its past informs the latest incarnation of “Rigby,” a deeply moving, beautifully acted and ultimately mournful meditation on the gulfs that open between people, especially when tragedy falls like a cleaver.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael O'Sullivan
    The tale, from Brazilian writer-director Daniel Ribeiro, is told with such tenderness, such intelligence and such aching honesty that it takes on the weight of something far more significant than puppy love. Like its subject, first kisses and best friends, it’s hard to forget.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Spielmann doesn't move his camera much, but he doesn't have to. The uniformly crackerjack cast keeps things electric, yet always believable, even when behaving in ways that are shocking.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Will keep you awake, jittery and perched on the edge of your seat for pretty much the entire flight.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Their characters' desire (Scott Thomas and Zylberstein) -- no, need -- to repair their fragile bond feels as achingly real as the mother lode of hidden pain that gets exposed by the work of these two great actresses.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Mostly, though, it's a film about that hollow feeling that hits you when the tears have all dried up and your face hurts way too much to even crack a smile.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Troubling and powerful film, lingering on screen well into the final credits and in the minds of its audience long after the house lights have come on.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is through the genius of Frears, screenwriter Jimmy McGovern and this talented cast that Liam lets no one off the hook, least of all the audience.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    An elegant drama about power and its frightening uses, The Cat's Meow is the bee's knees.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Wise, funny, sweet, sexy and kind.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Filmmaking at its purest and most visceral – a tale full of sound and visual fury, signifying, if not exactly nothing, then something not so readily articulated in words.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    One truly, madly, deeply satisfying creep-out.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Although the cast is uniformly strong, the real revelation here is "The X-Files' " Anderson, who plays Lily with subtle gradations of emotional depth unexpected from someone who has made a career out of deadpan.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    A gift for those already in the fold, for those who get the joke and just want to savor it with other like-minded fans.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The plot is far from intricate, but Waking Ned Devine more than makes up for its narrative simplicity with a uniformly engaging cast of Hibernian oddballs.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The nail-biting quality of Shackleton's true story outdoes any dramatic fiction on the market.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Old-fashioned moviemaking at its best.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Jack is just one of a dozen enormously appealing personalities in Out of Sight.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Maybe Thomas Wolfe was right: You can't go home again
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    In almost every way that I can think of, L'Auberge Espagnole is a perfect movie... It is a film that feels alive.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    With a cast of actors playing some of England's smartest people and with a crackling script by Stoppard -- no slouch in the brains department -- it pays to stay awake.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    A portrait of a sometimes surly, often foulmouthed, always brilliant artist that is at once humane, horrific, hilarious and deeply moving.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's part sugar, part spice (cayenne, not nutmeg) and all-around brilliant.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Wickedly funny, jarringly transgressive, obdurately unpigeonholeable and startlingly moving.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Part of this success is due to the exquisitely cast ensemble-composed of actors, not movie stars. To a man, woman and child, the unforced performers are spot-on.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The fantastic and at times deliciously nihilistic world of X2 is fully, believably three-dimensional.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    An extraordinary film in many ways, the least of which is its unorthodox casting.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a kind of 18th-century "Dead Man Walking" but with that earlier film's foreground arguments against capital punishment pushed to the background here.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Really, really good -- Yes, it's over the top, giddy and parodistic (God bless it). But it also takes a thoughtful, if surreptitious, look at what eight women might act like when men aren't around.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Go
    One of the most exhilarating movies ever made about absolutely nothing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    You'll likely come away from this astonishing encounter between the three corners of a lovers' triangle not just amused but enlightened about such not-so-simple issues as fidelity, betrayal, lust, possessiveness, honesty and forgiveness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Wickedly clever drama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    A small film of surpassing beauty and sadness. Yet its bittersweet flavor isn't artificial, but rather the product of the slow ripening of character.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is difficult to watch, but it's also impossible to take your eyes off the screen. It does not blench at the things that Hollywood routinely blenches at: substance abuse, dying, family dysfunction, love.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Fascinating and transgressive love story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Aniston delivers an utterly un-Rachel-like performance. It's neurosis-free and unmannered, by turns funny, sad and profound.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    His story is sad, compelling and morbidly, tragically watchable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Gorgeously animated and stirringly told, Disney's Mulan is a timeless story that will delight kids and divert adults with its sweeping scope, emotional intimacy and screwball humor.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Cogent, scary and, at times, sickening.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    All about undertones, obliqueness and expectancy, about the scent, if you will, of something no one can stop
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The disturbing ideas it plants in the soil of the soul need time and darkness ? not light ? to germinate.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Where Elizabeth really triumphs over its dusty source material is in transforming all this boring history into a real, rip-roaring adventure tale.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Part of the spell cast by this magical film is its ability to make an unvarnished political statement about economic reality and social alienation while, at the same time, seducing its audience into believing in the transformative power of love and the almost supernatural beauty of the everyday.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The Matrix Reloaded is about sensation, not logic. As such, it delivers, in spades, exactly what you should expect from a popcorn flick -- thrills, chills and spills -- plus a little more for good measure, just to keep anyone from whining who might want a beginning, a middle and an end.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is incomplete, contradictory, as multifaceted (and as brilliant) as a diamond.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Works on two levels. First, it's a pure celebration of riding the waves. -- Second, Blue Crush is a clear-eyed portrait of the unique kind of power that women possess, a power that shows us that victory doesn't always mean vanquishing someone else. Either way, it's thrilling.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Tells a tale of fortitude that comes not from muscle but from the ineffable, bungee-like sinew that is the human spirit.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    What the movie may lack in "Saving Private Ryan"-style gloss, it more than makes up for in authenticity, or, in other words, heart.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    One thoroughbred of a movie. Sleek, well-muscled and brisk, director Steven Soderbergh's newest offering delivers just about everything anyone could possibly want from filmed entertainment -- except deep thought.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Scorsese creates a film so resonant that it is both a work of great art and an anthropological document.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Psychological suspense at its finest.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    May be a fish tale, but its story of the paradox of love -- knowing when to hold on means knowing when to let go -- is profoundly humane and human.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    It plays like a baldfaced, brazen insult, but it is a stunningly accomplished one.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    Neither wholly cynical nor wholly romantic, Kaufman's story is a balance of smarts and sentiment. It's the most fully realized working out of his two favorite obsessions: the subjective nature of experience and the psychological mysteries of pair bonding.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    With unsurprising irony, the "Sixteen" of the title foreshadows Liam's birthday and even worse calamity, which makes a grim and gripping story all the more heartbreaking.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    By land or by sea, there aren't many movies that can move you like that.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Michael O'Sullivan
    The events of the movie are filament-thin and insubstantial but, like fine silk threads, they weave together a fabric of surpassing warmth and texture. [25 Sep 1998, Pg.N.63]
    • Washington Post
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The romantic comedy about a divorced couple having an affair manages to be both light on its feet and heavy enough to deliver something of a message.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Megamind has presentation in spades. But it also has something even rarer than that. It's got heart.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim's scathing, moving critique of American public education, makes you actually want to do something after you dry your eyes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The Muppets is both a delightful family film about the Muppets and a winking, self-referential satire about how lame the Muppets are.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Chandor's film goes a long way toward making understandable - in vivid, cinematic terms - what exactly happened to make that first big domino fall over.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Known for comedy, Rogen and Silverman are the film's most delightful surprises, and their performances shine.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a kid's Cirque de Soleil, for a lot less money.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    McKinney, a woman whose spellbinding and baffling presence - nay, performance - in Tabloid more than lives up to her recent off-screen antics.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Life in a Day is, without exaggeration, a profound achievement.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Movie 43 is a near masterpiece of tastelessness. The anthology of 12 short, interconnected skits elevates the art form of gross-out comedy to a new height.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's powerful, gut-wrenching stuff, and it doesn't need tarting up.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a thriller that feels like a documentary.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    By turns sweet, sad, funny and poignant, We Have a Pope is the story of a man who doesn't want to be God's representative on Earth.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    A refreshing summer cocktail of action-movie staples, The Wolverine combines the bracingly adult flavor of everyone’s favorite mutant antihero — tortured, boozy X-Man Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine — with the fizzy effervescence of several mixers from the cabinet of Japanese genre cinema: noirish yakuza crime drama, samurai derring-do and ninja acrobatics.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Polisse is hard to watch at times, but it's also hard not to.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    There are so many things to like about The Lego Movie: a great voice cast, clever dialogue and a handsome blend of stop-motion and CGI animation that feels lovingly retro, while still looking sharp in 21st-century 3-D. But the best thing about this movie... is its subversive nature.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The screenplay by John Aboud, Michael Colton and Brandon Sawyer has a fizzy, pop-culture pizazz, tempered by a distinctly vaudeville sensibility. It’s smart, but not brainy; dumb, but never inane.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Simon and the Oaks is not merely the story of two boys from opposite sides of the tracks. It's also a larger meditation on life's hardships and what endures: love, art and civilization.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    A quietly brilliant study in cognitive dissonance, The Flat is a documentary look at Holocaust denial, but not the kind you might think.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The problem, as “Table” shows, isn’t that the next meal never comes. It’s that when it arrives, too often it is filled with empty calories.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist will likely make some people mad because of the way it holds the United States responsible for the repercussions of its actions in the world. Like Changez himself, the film has a complicated relationship with the superpower.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    Part drug comedy, part psychological drama, the movie is slight, but only superficially so. As the closing credits role, we’re left not with a sense of a day at the beach, but of what might be swimming out there, in the dark of the abyss.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a wonder how Cutie and the Boxer, in less than an hour and a half, manages to say so much about love, life and art. Movies twice as long are often half as eloquent.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a movie that’s as fun to watch as it is funny. But the real appeal of Big Hero 6 isn’t its action. It’s the central character’s heart.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film is a documentary, pure and simple. But the movie, by director Rick Rowley, plays out like something of a murder mystery.

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