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 A Most Wanted Man
Lowest review score: 0 Tomcats
Score distribution:
1,053 movie reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Powerful yet ambiguous.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sorry, stinging fire ants couldn't make me reveal the outcome of this witty and, yes, surprisingly suspenseful adventure.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Personal and private almost to the point of self-absorption, the film is ultimately saved from neurotic narcissism by the director's self-deprecating humor and unapologetic honesty about his own dysfunction.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    May, at times, be deadpan to the point of stiffness, but it's far from dead.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The strongest magnet in this psychedelic morass is Johnny Depp who, as the story's antic, disgusting and seductive spirit guide, is impossible to look away from.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A handsome and effective-if over-long-tear-jerker about thwarted love between grown-ups who should know better.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Shot with a shaky hand-held camera, Wonderland is a sentimental fairy tale with a gritty documentary feel.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Is Spartan a perfect, or even a great, movie? Probably not. But in its prickly irascibility and deeply unsettling intelligence, it makes for a very, very good one.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's just more wry than funny, more a gently subversive comedy of modern manners than the simpering date movie it seems to be masquerading as.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Yes, it's essentially a remake of a sequel, albeit a sequel that happens to be one of the greatest horror movies ever made, but it more than surpasses the original.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Very, very funny, thanks to a lively first script by Mark O'Rowe, who has a good ear for earthy dialogue and a sense of life's absurd little synchronicities.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A compelling, exquisitely acted drama about the shock waves emanating from -- and toward -- a single act of almost inexplicable violence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Deliberate disorientation keeps the audience constantly off balance, and it's brilliantly effective.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The comedy is funny as hell. And yes, I mean hell, not heck.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Super Size Me is an anti-junk-food screed that manages to entertain even as it informs and alarms.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is Carandiru's ability to humanize its central characters ... that gives the movie its wrenching, tragic power
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Jarmusch's use of yin/yang, dark/light and good/evil symbolism makes glorious if goofy sense.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Modest but nonetheless devastating documentary.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Strangely moving film.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The spare and unsparing tone of I'll Sleep When I'm Dead makes it as existential -- and as original -- a whodunit as they come.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Like the TV show, The X-Files movie is stylish, scary, sardonically funny and at times just plain gross.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's also sweet, sentimental, rather funny and, as John Waters films go, surprisingly gentle.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The movie may leave its audience feeling a little battered (some might say betrayed) as well. Still, the film's honesty, along with its refusal to pander to Hollywood happy endings, is well worth the beating.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Never preachy, never sanctimonious nor touchy-feely.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A complex film about the minefield of loyalty and betrayal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Returns to the wicked mix of transgression and positivity epitomized by "Pecker" and "Hairspray."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a love letter to the myriad ways, large and small, that mail handlers change lives the world over.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    This is high-carb filmmaking at its finest. When it's all over, you'll have a knot in your stomach.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sweet without being saccharine, sad without being maudlin and funny without being forced.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a film about culture clash, the generation gap and the loss of tradition that inevitably accompanies the arrival of anything new.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Hilarious.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The dynamic between Channing and Stiles is as compelling as a freeway wreck.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    More tasteful, sensitive and original than you might imagine.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    More love story than thriller, with the mystery providing only slack tension and the December-December romance that ultimately develops between Regina and Camargo crackling with drama and sexual tension aplenty.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Haunting little film, whose chaotic universe is churned up by the conflict between the haves and the have-nots.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Works as both historical allegory and moving family drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Visually stylish surrealist drama.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sternfeld has created a garden on film that opens up its blooms for us, not in the dark of the movie house, but long after we've left the theater.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a story of jaw-dropping chutzpah, grim, mostly hindsight-based humor and more stomach-churning drama than you could find in 10 screenplays.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film is a small study in the dignity of letting go.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Good old-fashioned movie storytelling that steadily builds, over the course of nearly three hours, to a white-knuckle conclusion that satisfies on nearly every level.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sweet and wise little film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A sweet, true and, at times, universal love story it is.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A blend of gentle comedy and poignant drama.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    A kicky, twisted thrill ride, with enough laughs to leaven what can be read, at heart, as a metaphor for the modern marriage.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    5x2
    Plays a little like a mystery, the central question of which is not whodunit but why.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Startlingly erotic and surprisingly moving.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    Under normal circumstances, nothing kills a joke faster than trying to explain it. Yet here, such examination is the film's strong suit and provides much-needed respite, quite frankly, from the exhaustion of constant laughter.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    With its wise understanding of the magnetic pull (and invisible polarities) of family, Junebug is an auspicious debut for Morrison.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    What keeps The 40-Year-Old Virgin out of Rob Schneider territory, however, is: 1) the fact that it's pretty darn funny, and in a way that feels consistently real, and 2) the fact that it's actually an excellent date movie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    In this modern retelling of the well-known fable, she is one princess-in-waiting who does not need rescuing by any knight in shining armor. [31 Jul 1998, Pg. N.47]
    • Washington Post
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The sprawling cast, the naturalistic, overlapping dialogue (here by screenwriter Jenny Lumet, daughter of director Sidney) and the swirling action: it seemed pure Robert Altman.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's in this final chapter that the director states his message, which is handled so lightly, almost incidentally, you might miss it. But it's a profound one. For what the girls learn is that the way to get what they want -- no, need -- isn't by hoarding something, but by letting go.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Michael O'Sullivan
    The line between madness and genius is thin. Not to mention more than amply explored in any number of films about tortured artists. But to look at the almost religious ecstasy on Moreau's face is to feel the artist's passion and be inspired by it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," Flame and Citron is the story of handsome rogues with guns. It's fast-paced, stylish and thrilling.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It does take half the movie before the story --really kicks in. When it does, it'll knock the air out of you.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    If you didn't know that it was based on a true story, Skin would be a little hard to believe.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Together, under the assured direction of first-time feature filmmaker Oren Moverman, these three actors tell a story that is at once hard-hitting and bizarrely gentle.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    A tale so raucous, raunchy and punch-drunk with love for the rebellious spirit of rawk -- and so disdainful of those who have tried to squelch it -- that it pretty much negates any claims to objectivity, let alone factuality. In other words, it's not a documentary.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In addition to McKay, Danes makes a sassy, sexy Sonja. And Efron more than gets by in his role as the sweet, plucky, starstruck newbie. It's a part that doesn't require much heavy lifting, though.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    This trio of losers somehow forms a kind of loony family. Like the one in "Little Miss Sunshine," which also used the metaphor of a broken-down car to drive home its point, the interpersonal dynamics are out of whack, but not unworkable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's the rare 2 1/2 -hour film that doesn't make you look at your watch once. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is such a film.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Regardless of the silliness of the situation -- or, in truth, because of it -- they're a joy to watch.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Believe it or not, there's life in the old boy yet. After a disappointing third outing, this "Shrek" brings the cycle of fairy-tale-themed films to a fine finish.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's both straight-faced spy film and sly spy spoof. That's a difficult balancing act, but director James Mangold gets it exactly right.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sometimes a movie makes a point that's been made before, but makes it so beautifully and so quietly that it feels like you're discovering it for the first time. Hideaway does that, with the obliqueness of an off-hand comment. The glancing touch makes it all the more hard-hitting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In addition to all the rollicking, ribald humor, Tamara Drewe also has a couple of flashes of darkly comic violence. In a literary sense, it's poetic justice, really. Punishment meted out for bad behavior.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The final, deeply satisfying conclusion to the trilogy of Swedish thrillers based on Stieg Larsson's bestselling novels.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    A lean and hungry thing. With the sparest of storytelling, the French filmmaker ("35 Shots of Rum") devours her audience, swallowing us up in a yarn that is as enigmatic as it is engrossing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    After all, it isn't every kid's movie that wrestles with the subject of faith in a higher power, or sin, or the afterlife. And it isn't every kid's film that can do it so entertainingly. Sure, that's heavy stuff if you're looking for it. But it doesn't spoil the great, great fun to be had in Narnia - or the magical spell it casts - if you're not.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Rolls straight over silly, smashing through stupid without stopping and then barreling into a kind of insane comic brilliance without so much as a speed bump to slow it down.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The most compelling thing about Winter in Wartime, the Netherlands' official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Oscars, is not the story. And the story is pretty darn compelling.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Like the best ad man, he makes his point by making us laugh.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Bad role models sometimes make the most interesting movie characters. The ill-mannered, unkempt, foulmouthed and hot-tempered title character of Hesher is just such a walking contradiction.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a muscular, physical movie, pieced together from arresting imagery and revelatory gestures, large and small.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The real value of poetry - of the contest itself - is not revealed until the closing credits, when we see the impressive list of colleges that the movie's four subjects have gone on to.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It isn't as sad a movie as "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," another behind-the-mask documentary. It's funnier. But it's just as illuminating.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    What is their passion for? Not newspapers, or even a single newspaper, per se, but for journalism itself, the practice of which is nowhere stronger than at the Times. That, at least, is how Page One argues it. It's a compelling argument.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    A movingly told tale of tragedy and its consequences, not just for the players in the original tragedy but also for those touched by their actions, in an ever-widening circle of aftershocks.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The Hedgehog is a treat: a movie that's smart, grown-up, wry and deeply moving. Best of all, this is accomplished with the lightest of cinematic strokes. It sneaks up on you, without grandstanding, melodrama or outright jokes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The movie is called Love Crime. But its hidden message has more to do with business than with passion. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Especially one in a power suit, who knows how to work a room.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's uncompromisingly steamy, in a way that seems designed to make people who are uncomfortable with a physical relationship between two men even more uncomfortable.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    For a kids' movie, the humor, at times, strays a bit too far into grown-up territory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    A worthy addition to the Christmas movie canon. It's funny and good-looking, with an impeccable voice cast of U.K. actors. It's also unexpectedly fresh, despite the familiar-sounding premise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film suggests that it doesn't really matter whether Harris ever gets back in uniform. He's forever carrying around a piece of unexploded ordnance in his head.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Boy
    A funny and touching coming-of-age story.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    An invigorating blast of cinematic adrenaline.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    As happens with many time-travel films, this one ultimately paints itself into a bit of a narrative corner.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The only artwork by Ai that Klayman's film dwells on at any length -- aside from the iconic "bird's nest" stadium he helped design for the Beijing Olympics, and then denounced as tasteless -- is "Sunflower Seeds." Created for a 2010 exhibition at London's Tate Modern, the installation featured 100 million hand-painted ceramic sunflower seeds spread out on the floor.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    By the time it glides -- not lumbers -- to the closing credits, it's also amazingly moving.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    10 Years doesn't completely avoid the road-not-taken theme. It does, however, neatly navigate around many of the potholes, finding a novel and nuanced approach to addressing the ways that our mistakes make us better, wiser and more human.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's the story of changing chefs and changing seasons. It looks at food as not just something that nourishes our bodies, but as something that enriches our lives and our relationships.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    For the most part, it works brilliantly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's great fun.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Moving without being melodramatic, War of the Buttons is a tale of the worst -- and the best -- that people of all ages are capable of.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Chasing Ice aims to accomplish, with pictures, what all the hot air that has been generated on the subject of global warming hasn't been able to do: make a difference.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Thoughts become things. That's the message of Rise of the Guardians, a charming if slightly dark and cobwebbed animated feature about how believing in something makes it real, or real enough.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    There's a powerfully creepy sensibility to Deadfall. But the way it handles the messiness of families -- a universal message given vivid metaphorical life in the blood and guts it leaves in its path -- is finally rewarding.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film is studded with many tiny, lovely moments.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In writer-director David Chase's heartfelt delivery, this same old tune somehow comes out sounding fresh.

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