Michael O'Sullivan
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For 1,100 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 2.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael O'Sullivan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Shrek 2
Lowest review score: 0 Lethal Weapon 4
Score distribution:
1,100 movie reviews
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    At its core, The Company You Keep is a good, solid thriller about a fugitive trying to clear his name. But it’s a much more interesting movie at the edges.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The first half of Cold is tense and suspenseful, albeit in a conventional way; the second half is sickeningly compelling. It’s hard to watch and hard to look away from.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Puenzo has a knack for plumbing the heads and hearts of teenage girls. The director coaxes a mesmerizing, unmannered performance out of Bado, who is making her feature-film debut.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Trinca delivers a marvelously unfussy performance, rendering her complex character gradually, along with the effects of the opposing forces that tear at her.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film’s patina of richly textured grime lends the film a gloomy, claustrophobic beauty that serves its mood, as well as its satisfyingly misanthropic message: Greed isn’t good, and most people aren’t either.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The Book of Life may use state-of-the-art animation, but it derives its strength from the wisdom of antiquity. It only looks new, but it’s as old as life (and death) itself.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    An invigorating blast of cinematic adrenaline.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Violette mostly avoids the pitfalls associated with movies about writers by limiting the scenes of Violette scribbling furiously in a notebook.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Tim’s Vermeer makes a convincing case that Vermeer could have painted the way Jenison says he did. It also makes a pretty powerful ancillary point: that some people are both geniuses and geeks.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Listen Up Philip makes literary talent seem less like a blessing than a curse.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    For No Good Reason rambles too much for its own good, compared to more traditional documentaries. The most rewarding parts of the film feature Steadman simply talking about his influences (Picasso, among others) and his youthful goal of changing the world through art.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes works both as allegory and action-adventure film. The internecine conflict between apes mirrors the troubled history of our own race.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    By the end of this troubling film, the cognitive dissonance that it highlights — between the theoretical glorification of the illegal Mexican drug industry and its actual cost in blood — is jarring. It’s an important film, but Narco Cultura is also maddeningly hard to watch.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    As incomplete as the narrative is, The Maze Runner delivers on almost every other level.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Franco’s hand-held camerawork draws the story forward as unfussily as a shepherd leads a sheep, and yet with a kind of ghastly grandeur. This is functional filmmaking more than it is flashy. But there is, at its heart, a single virtuosic performance.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Admission is not especially funny. The trailer can’t seem to make up its mind. On the one hand, it looks like a satire of academia. On the other hand, it could be a gentle rom-com. In truth, it’s neither.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The fate of these birds, which, the film tells us, could live into their 40s, becomes as engrossing as many a human drama.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Fed Up isn’t so much a warning to the ignorant shopper or a tip for the unimaginative chef as it is a rallying cry. It succeeds in firing up the choir. Whether it will convert the complacent is an open question.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s an informative, if slightly unstructured, narrative, yet it plays more like a horror story.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a haunting story of love between two misfits who shouldn’t be together. In its doomed yet somehow hopeful spirit, it’s closer to the noir sensibility of “Let the Right One In” than the pop-horror of “Twilight.”
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Whatever your belief system, this much is gospel: Movies like The Conjuring are less about the battle between God and Satan than the battle between the silly and the scary.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's great fun.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The story of The Boxtrolls, in lesser hands, might have turned out only so-so. Under Laika’s loving, labor-intensive touch, it takes on a kind of magic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film’s writers, directors and stars lovingly impale bloodsucker mythology with the sharpened wooden stick of comedy. As with “Shaun of the Dead,” their satire is a crude but effective tool.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Despite the story’s familiarity, its star manages to turn its many tropes into a winning formula.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    For the most part, it works brilliantly.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    As a storyteller, Amalric is a master of manipulation, first leading the audience in one direction and then another. The Blue Room is a hall of mirrors, reflecting every detail but making it hard to know where you stand.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Days of Future Past is, in itself, as intoxicating as a shot of adrenaline. It’s what summer movies are meant to be.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The films are highly entertaining and highly disturbing, in the latter case for both the right and the wrong reasons. While admirably delineating moral decay, which eats away at one character like a virus, the movies never really get at the seed of evil.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Elaine Stritch’s strength, along with the film’s, comes from her honesty. She is herself, even when — maybe especially when — she knows she’s being watched.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In writer-director David Chase's heartfelt delivery, this same old tune somehow comes out sounding fresh.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    [A] meandering, deliberate and tearless — yet oddly moving — western vehicle.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    That we almost don’t question the plausibility of this oddest of odd couples is a tribute to the sensitive direction of French Canadian filmmaker Maxime Giroux, who wrote the relatable yet keenly observant script with Alexandre Laferrière.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The second part of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy goes a long way — and at 2 1/2 hours, I do mean long — toward righting the wrongs of the first movie, which was even longer.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Like the best ad man, he makes his point by making us laugh.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    God Loves Uganda clearly lays the blame for it at the feet of the American evangelical movement. The movie doesn’t really argue its case, preferring to stand back, in quiet outrage, as the representatives of that movement are shown with the match in their hands.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Boy
    A funny and touching coming-of-age story.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a story of standing out and blending in, sometimes at the same time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film is studded with many tiny, lovely moments.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In the end, An Honest Liar becomes a far more layered tale than it starts out to be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The battle scenes are alternately tense and thrilling, especially during one climactic sequence.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    As usual, Marling is a pleasure to watch for the psychological complexity and contradictions of her character. This time, the story almost lives up to the performance.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    As the movie makes clear, none of these conditions are reversible. Music isn’t a cure for anything. But it does seem to be a key to unlocking long-closed doors and establishing connections with people who have become, through age or infirmity, imprisoned inside themselves.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Offers up the kind of pleasures that only a summer movie can...The cast is good-looking, the soundtrack is loud, the plot is stupid.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Keys isn't given much to do except look as though she's posing for an album cover, but Okonedo's face is a marvel. Every thought, every emotion flickers across it like clouds obscuring the sun.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Delivered with the kind of English aplomb that PBS audiences around the country have come to know and love. It must be the accent.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Satisfies a hunger for the basics: a decent mystery to chew on, a bit of juicy suspense, maybe a plot twist as garnish. The fare is all on the standard menu, but it goes down well just the same.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    At least it's a pleasant walk, with attractive people and nice conversation
    • 26 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    I will admit that this TV skit stretched out to a filament-thin 83 minutes is idiotic, but I mean that in a good way.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a sweet but slight film whose undeniable appeal is largely due to the performances of its flat-out adorable leads.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Maybe not wonderful, but still pretty darn good.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The frequent, mundane talks -- which Alexandra engages in with her grandson, Malika and the base camp's enlisted men -- are not so much about politics as they are about people.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Complicated? Yes. Potentially heavy? Sure. But it's also highly engrossing and, in a dark way, ultimately rather sweet.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Very funny in a way reminiscent of "Babe: Pig in the City."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The disparity between Cindy and Jerry is itself obscene, but less so than that illuminated by the customers of Farewell Cruises, whom Yung shows to be almost parasitic in the way they feed off the misery (albeit without knowing it) of those who serve them.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    As is his wont, Spielberg can't resist stuffing the ending of the movie with a bit too much cheese and baloney. Despite those quibbles, War of the Worlds is taut, gripping and surprisingly dark filmmaking.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Enriched by a strong and unforced supporting cast, "Bread" nourishes the heart, even if its fairy-tale ending feels tacked on and unnecessary.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    In a role that challenges our very notion of morality, Cox comes across as both predatory and fatherly, sometimes at once, in an acting turn as astonishing as it is stomach-turning.
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Monument Ave. is a cinematic dead-end street that is not without its gloomy, gritty thrills -- assuming, that is, that you're not in the market for a hero or even the slightest feather of that thing called hope. [09 Oct 1998, Pg.N.49]
    • Washington Post
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Starting out as a wacky little comedy about a mousy Spanish couple who become unwitting porn stars, Torremolinos 73 suddenly morphs, during the third act, into a far more sober and tender story about the lengths to which a man will go to give his wife what she wants.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A turbo-charged remake that should alienate no fans of the adrenalized 1975 original.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Much to my surprise and delight, the movie is nothing like its marketing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Admirably restrained melodrama.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Within this overly familiar trope, there's plenty of room for small surprises, not the least of which are delightful, understated performances all around.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The acting of the main cast is uniformly nuanced, and, except for some bad makeup on Mendy's father, the film never looks as low-budget as it must have been.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a thoughtfully constructed story, with nuanced performances all around and even a mild surprise thrown in, but the whole thing feels ever so slightly enervated, like a game of chess between codgers in the park.
    • Washington Post
    • 33 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    54
    An entertaining and surprisingly serious look at the infamous New York discotheque, with a genuine nostalgia for the late '70s and early '80s.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    If you saw the French version, well, here it is, in Disney language, with John-Hughes-style slapstick.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Zahn is the single biggest reason why Management is a delightfully screwball romantic comedy and not a crazed-stalker film. And why it works. Like watching a puppy chase its own tail, it's a pleasure watching Mike try to win Sue over.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Upon this fine mess shines Janeane Garofalo like a ray of sarcastic sunlight as FBI agent Shelby...With her gift for sweet bile, the sardonic Garofalo makes every second on screen a treasure to be cherished.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Jim de Seve's cogent pro-gay-marriage argument appeals equally to emotion and reason.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    By equal measure tragic and hopeful, it is both a love song to escapism and a warm embrace of the real world.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    It might make you tense, it might make you nauseous, and its clangorous roar could well give you a migraine headache.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A bodice-ripper for intellectuals.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The real question is whether the film moves the "Brideshead" ball down the playing field in any meaningful way since the acclaimed miniseries. And I'd have to say that it doesn't so much advance it as it shrinks it into a golf-ball-size nugget.

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