Michael O'Sullivan

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For 1,281 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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael O'Sullivan's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 When Marnie Was There
Lowest review score: 0 Tomcats
Score distribution:
1281 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    All foreplay and no climax.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    As far-fetched as it sounds, such torque-y plotting works, catching the audience off guard, even if the quasi-feminist payoff is less satisfying than it should be, thanks mostly to the film’s puerile fascination with girl-on-girl action.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's hard not to feel a certain affection for a tale that is so unapologetic about just that: affection.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Your Name is still highly watchable, even when this mystical Young Adult love story cloys — or confounds.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The insecurities that seem to feed Rivers's often angry humor -- and that have left her face looking like a mask frozen in horror -- are left unexamined.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Aficionados of gore and guts may not mind the comfortably lived-in feel of this blood-spattered Green Room. But anyone looking for the ferocious originality, and unexpected humanity, of “Blue Ruin” will be disappointed by Saulnier’s uninspired cover version of a song we all know.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Let Me In wants to make your flesh crawl, and it probably will. But it's unlikely to ever get under anyone's skin, the way "Let the Right One In" did.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's an infusion of zip that's sorely needed, because the chief deficiency of A Bug's Life so far is its blandness….The film's other weakness is the low-octane vocal performances of its leading cast.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    The kind of stunning and contentious work of art that will leave a lot of folks speechless.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    A well-crafted story with a unique voice. But its literary gifts are outweighed by its pictorial prosaicness. Dimming the screen in every shot is the unmistakable shadow of the page.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    While not exactly a cop-out, Virgin may leave some viewers who crave traditional closure with the same hollow ache described by the narrator as follows: "What lingered after them was not life but the most trivial list of mundane facts."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Plays like a piece of mediocre music, gorgeously rendered.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Strikes several beautiful and lingering chords about the human condition, but the notes of the music ultimately never come together to form a coherent song.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    They're enough to elevate the film above its somewhat by-the-numbers plot and add a little juice to its slightly sluggish forward momentum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's tasty enough, and probably good for you, but at 73 minutes, the film is hardly a very filling entree.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    I remained strangely dry-eyed up to the final shot.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    There's actually a lot going on in this little movie, and first-time feature director Stephen Daldry, turning his talents from the theater, handles all of it deftly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The relationship is the best thing about the film, which otherwise feels hopelessly sad and tawdry.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Like Father, Like Son grows on you, subtly and over time. Just as with the unexpected realignments forced on its characters, it may be difficult to fall in love with the movie, but eventually you do warm up to it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    This slight but insinuating documentary by Abbas Kiarostami...will do nothing to advance or detract from the reputation of the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Sunset Song is a gritty and gorgeous film. Perhaps a little too gorgeous, in fact, and not gritty enough.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It does exactly what its subject didn’t do: toe the line.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    A great performance does not necessarily make for great tragedy, and Christine remains mired in the minutiae of its portrait of a doomed, bitter young woman.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Emphasizes action and eye-popping visuals over emotion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Smashed never really rises much above the level of a dramatic public service announcement. That's not so much because of its tone, but because what it's announcing isn't exactly news. Alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholics aren't bad people. Quitting is hard.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Land of the Dead is fairly intense. Intensely gory and violent, that is, as has come to be expected from the genre. It's just not very frightening. Not half as frightening as, say, last year's "Dawn of the Dead."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    And that's the moral of this story. Or one of them, anyway. Clash's success is shown as the result of a combination of talent, gumption, pluck, misadventure, supportive parents, following your dreams, luck and, yes, love.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Despite the vastly improved visuals, the new film is just as soft-hearted — and, unfortunately, just as mush-headed — as the earlier one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Cares not a whit for such arbitrary concepts as justice, crime or punishment. It understands the relativism of right and wrong and takes a kind of perverse pleasure in reminding us that there are some things we'll never know.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    There remains a maddening emptiness where the film's ostensible subject should be.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    The smart but slight film implodes under the weight of its own "excessive linguistic pressure."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Charming but slight comedy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Plays less like a conventional medical thriller - think "Outbreak" - than like a dramatic reading of a "Nova" episode, performed by Hollywood's elite.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    If these repugnant people were really your friends and neighbors, your time would be more profitably spent reading the real estate listings than the movie reviews. But for 1 1/2 hours in a darkened theater, the derailment of their unhealthy emotions makes for one compulsively watchable train wreck.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    There's a visceral, albeit somewhat goofy, satisfaction to this stuff.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    As exhausting as it is exhilarating to watch, the film in the end is less than fully satisfying.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Fitfully amusing and ultimately kind of heartwarming in a twisted sort of way
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Still, what separates Walking With Destiny from a run-of-the-mill war documentary isn't necessarily its insights into its main subject but its tangential stories about fascinating nobodies.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Despite this tale's surface sheen and propulsive momentum, it never transports one very far.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Now for the bad news. The filmmakers seem to have spent so much attention and, presumably, money on getting the primates right that they completely forgot about the people.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film’s steady accumulation of little quirks... soon grow tedious. After a while they’re less delightfully oddball touches with a promise of more to come than dead weight with no payoff.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    A jaundiced view of litigation, however authentic, is not necessarily the stuff of great drama, even of the legal-thriller variety, which by definition is confined to a claustrophobic courtroom.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Does it matter that Maggie might be a charlatan if she's truly capable of helping people? That's the film's most intriguing, and open-ended, question - not the more gimmicky one that will leave you hanging, and probably disappointed, at the end.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    A compelling if singularly sour tale.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Plays more like a philosophical debate than a war drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Although laced with adrenaline and flavored with noirish seasoning, John Frankenheimer's Ronin is a disappointingly conventional thriller.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    And, yes, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a little darker and a little more intense than the first film, especially for very young viewers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film is full of quiet little truths.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    Wastes no time getting very loud and very silly and never really lets up.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's just that, in this world of clanking, hissing machines, even the people seem like robots.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Disorder is, in other words, more of a technical achievement than an artistic one. The movie is at its best when it recreates what it must feel like to be in a constant state of paranoia and pain. If only that feeling were accompanied by one or two other emotions.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Feels like a hazy high that takes too long to shake.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    As large as Earth Two looms - literally - in the frames of Mike Cahill's film, so do its implications. It's one big, honking metaphor, as much as a special effect. As a symbol of second chances, it's as intriguing as it is frustratingly obvious.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Without at least the tawdry pleasure of a little bodice ripping, the film moves along sluggishly, even though it is well acted and handsomely shot.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Even if you agree with the film’s argument that teenagers shouldn’t be locked up for life when there are other ways to save them, “Monsters” doesn’t offer a convincing argument that a screenwriting class is that lifeline.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    In trying to compose a poetic love letter to a time of liberation and freedom, Haynes has merely conjured up memories of druggy excess, egotism and tight trousers. The only mementos worth saving from the experience are available on the soundtrack.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    There's plenty to scratch your head about here. Is it a drama? A comedy? And if it's a farce, what's it making fun of?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    One half of a very funny movie, and half a funny movie is better than none.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The overly schematic nature of High-Rise does not entirely diminish its pleasures as a story, which include, in addition to Wheatley’s richly lurid visual sensibility, an effective metaphorical tool in Laing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It's a rousing, fast-paced tale, told with a modicum of verve and packed with colorfully flawed, occasionally heroic and even tragic characters. It also feels disappointingly bloated and too fast-paced by half.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    In the end Monsieur N. could use a little less cloak-and-dagger and more of what made "The Emperor's New Clothes" work, i.e., heart.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    This is a sophisticated movie, but one whose sophistication is surprisingly simple-minded.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    As a rule, the drawn and computer-animated imagery is top notch and seamlessly integrated, but the central characters' tawny complexions and the often chiaroscuro lighting sometimes obscure all but the whites of their eyes and their pearl-perfect teeth.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The question isn't whether Toys in the Attic is any good. The question is: good for whom?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    What little grace there is in Living Out Loud (and there isn't much) is all in LaGravenese's script, not on the screen.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    There is still a self-consciousness and a forced quality to much of the humor that this TPT redux just can't shake.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    All in all, Jack Goes Boating is an auspicious -- if slightly ostentatious -- debut by Hoffman, one of today's greatest actors. Maybe next time his performance in front of his camera will be as subtle as his performance behind it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Its one-sidedness flirts with propaganda.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The problem, sadly, is that the whole amounts to less than the sum of its parts.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    For all the outrageousness of Kevin’s alters, the movie falls oddly flat: less tantalizingly enigmatic “et cetera” than “blah blah blah.”
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Director James Watkins knows how to make a body jump out of its skin, even if he does use the face-reflected-in-the-mirror/window trick once too often. At the same time, the film is kind of, well, silly.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Even as Brick Lane manages to sidestep one formula, it falls prey to another.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    A mediocre production that nevertheless will strike a deep and resonant chord with viewers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The humor is generic. And the film’s most obvious comparison — it’s been called “Toy Story” with animals — only points up the one thing “Pets” lacks, and that any animal lover will tell you their furred and feathered friends have, in spades: personality.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It never really feels like we've gotten to know the man himself, leaving the figure at the heart of I'll Sing for You a cipher.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    There’s a little too much happening in the film’s violent, frenetic conclusion, which involves the retrieval of fractured memories, the confession of betrayals and so many narrative loops within loops that the film’s big reveals never make perfect, deeply satisfying sense. Maybe it’s not supposed to.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The odd and disturbing thing about the film is just how comfortable [Mancini] — and we — have become putting moments on camera that, once upon a time, were meant to be shared between two people.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Charming but slight.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Preaches most effectively to the converted.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The film's title suggests the wry irony of hindsight: We've come a long way, baby, but we're not there yet. Any Day Now could do with a little more of that astringent humor and a little less sap.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    Unfortunately, the actors seem overqualified for their parts, delivering earnest monologues that come across as clumsy transplants from the proscenium stage.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    It is also, despite the all-too-rare focus on the Filipino American community, a creakily familiar take on an age-old family dynamic.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    A misbegotten marriage of sweet and sour.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Life of Crime feels like a rambling car ride through the countryside with friends. The scenery is great, and the passengers are diverting, but you keep wondering where the driver is headed.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Crafted by writer-director Jill Sprecher and co-writer sister Karen - a filmmaking duo who are sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Coen sisters" - it will erase any lingering memories of "Fargo."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Cranston is consistently watchable in the title role, although Howard’s journey into — and, at least potentially, out of — madness is a tough one to keep up with.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Despite some cool camera work and the kind of noir-lite moral ambiguity that barely gets your shoes dirty (courtesy of a shallow script by Brad “Out of the Furnace” Ingelsby), the movie is the cinematic equivalent of junk food. It satisfies the craving for the sensation of nihilism, without its substance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Michael O'Sullivan
    Really nothing more than "Clueless" redux but without the edgy, knowing wit.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    When Miss You Already works, it’s because of the cast.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Overlong, unnecessarily sex-obsessed and downright nasty at times, This Is 40 feels haphazard and unfinished, despite a few moments of laugh-out-loud humor.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    As messages go, I've certainly heard worse. As movies go, Wimbledon is a generally painless float down a lazy river.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    It’s a movie about exploring the vast, “dark continent” of the ocean’s deepest places (to quote Cameron, who produced and narrates the film) that ends up feeling claustrophobic. Much of it was shot inside a metal sphere the size of a fitness ball.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Jason Bourne belongs to Damon and Greengrass, whose admirable — and entirely appropriate — goal of playing it for kicks comes across, this time around, as an oddly joyless chore.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    Overwhelmingly predictable despite its cute surprise ending, Tortilla Soup is a filling but unoriginal dish.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    Goes beyond interesting, though, to moderately annoying.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The derriere-flashing, dope-smoking, potty-mouthed antics of this antisocial E.T. justify every bit of the rating that the MPAA has slapped on him.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael O'Sullivan
    A blackhearted little film. What's being marketed as a frothy French confection about jealousy (specifically the jealousy of a regular guy married to a famous movie star) also just so happens to be a portrait of a marriage going down the toilet.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The lens through which the The Intouchables was filmed may be too rose-colored for some people's taste, but the window that these talented performers throw open -- a window onto the strange and touching friendship between two very different men -- is crystal clear.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    The effects are effective. The humor is humorous and just self-referential enough to let you know the film doesn't take itself too seriously.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael O'Sullivan
    This adaptation of Agota Kristof’s 1986 novel is impossible to take literally, yet too obscure to read between the lines.

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