Michael O'Sullivan

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For 1,313 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael O'Sullivan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Turtles Can Fly
Lowest review score: 0 Tomcats
Score distribution:
1313 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 76 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In the end, Marguerite isn’t a comedy so much as a love story. True love, it seems, isn’t just blind; it must be deaf, too.
    • 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.
    • 73 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Peace Officer piles up evidence of outrageous excess, provoking what is likely to be a response, from its audience, that is far less measured than that of its main subject.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s hard to say what is most difficult to digest about Prophet’s Prey.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    By looking closely, clinically and ultimately compassionately at one eccentric practitioner of a dying way of life...Peter and the Farm nevertheless manages to harvest not just understanding of one peculiar, broken little man, but a broader wisdom about the cycle of seasons that we all must endure on this planet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Garrone has created a world of both rich and ugly textures — visual, narrative and imaginative — that transports, delights and imparts disturbing lessons.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    It isn’t easy to explain the appeal of the “John Wick” movies, and they are inarguably not for every taste, but there is a purity to them that transcends their barbarity and has something to do with the central character.
    • 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.
    • 66 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    You’ll be glad that A Hard Day isn’t happening to you, but you won’t regret observing it all from a safe distance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Like the best ad man, he makes his point by making us laugh.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    [A] well-told tale.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    By the standards of the traditional ghost story, A Ghost Story isn’t much of one. By the standards of the moody art-house meditation on love, loss, memory, forgetting, attachment, letting go and the nature of eternity, it’s pretty darn great.
    • 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
    The most interesting parts of this conversation come when Dorf­man talks about the art of portraiture.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    Horror works — or it doesn’t — in the flickering, moving images of the screen, not the page. Sandberg knows that. His artistry, for that’s what it is, is like that of the dollmaker Sam Mullins: to take inert material and create a living, breathing thing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    The filmmaking, by first-time feature director Dan Trachtenberg, is suitably claustrophobic and suspenseful, working up to a level of stress that may be unhealthy for anyone with a weak heart.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael O'Sullivan
    In addition to presenting a parable about the collapse of society, Amirpour’s film is also a kind of postmodern Adam-and-Eve story.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    When it comes right down to it, the talking animal thing is sort of secondary to what is, at heart, just a simple but perfectly satisfying little story about a boy who wants to keep his dog.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Mind you, there's lots to like, if not love, in this London-set, star-studded comedy. Unfortunately, there's a little bit to hate, too.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A chick flick for guys, with a pH balance in perfect equilibrium between the crass and the sweet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A gorgeously photographed storybook.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's French. It's sexy. It's got a killer soundtrack.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's always nice to see Clint, and especially nice to see him play someone whose humanity -- no, whose mortality -- is all too apparent.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sobering yet faintly optimistic documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's actually quite satisfying, in a weird, magical-realism sort of way that manages to disturb and confound as much as it appeases the romantic.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Honest because it gets a paradoxical truth: There's more to life than football, even when there isn't.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Yes, The Yes Men is funny, but it's humor that hurts.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    A parody of B-movies stupid enough -- and yet with just enough brains -- to appeal to the most discriminating fans of the genre.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Will probably win over as many fuddy-duddy fathers as fillies with its mixture of sweetness tempered with genial cynicism.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The Irish independent feature I Went Down is an elusive leprechaun of a film that doggedly resists being pigeonholed. Once caught, however, it yields a small pot of gold in its droll performances and deadpan wit. [3 July 1998, p.N46]
    • Washington Post
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The path taken by the film is somewhat labyrinthine and obscure, but it offers enough rewards to counterbalance its frustrations.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Thanks mainly to Bell's abundant charisma, Hallam makes for a strangely likable antihero.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    The words more than hold their own against the pictures.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    One rousing, if rote, adventure.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Its egotistical, wishy-washy and otherwise flawed protagonists are no less heroic because they look -- and act -- like you and me. On the contrary, they are more so.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Michael O'Sullivan
    Eavesdropping on the glib conversations of witty urbanites can be a pleasant diversion, but after so much volubility, you might find yourself wishing that they would all just shut up and dance.

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