Michael Atkinson

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For 884 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 30% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 67% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Atkinson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 54
Lowest review score: 0 Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back!
Score distribution:
884 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    The cast never skips a beat, particularly Mark Margolis as the most obnoxious dinner customer in cinema history and Summer Phoenix as his unfazed waitress.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    The sense of continuing life is quietly remarkable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Nothing if not confrontational.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    It's a gut-twisting story handled, largely and predictably, with asbestos mitts.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Im's movie approaches a seething, primitivist beauty that evokes Makhmalbaf and parallels the contrapuntal textual investigations of Resnais.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Confident, mature, deeply conceived, and convincingly inhabited, it's a surprisingly humane film -- despite the close-range shotgun spray.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Continuing the autobiographical torrent begun nearly 30 years ago, Bright Leaves is an utterly mundane miracle, a sampling of gentle insight and poetic retrospection quietly at odds with the exploitative culture around it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Little in a Jaoui film is particularly original, but it's all perfectly convincing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    At its most contemplative, The Trilogy is a stirring and shrewd portrait of lives lived in oblivious parallel. [Note: From a review of the entire trilogy.]
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Atkinson
    Obsessives can be seductive, and Toback is interesting for the same reasons his films are often unendurable: He's not an artist so much as a giant pop-cult testicle pumping absurd energy in a rampaging, self-justifying gout.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Much of what Faithless contains happens off-screen, told and retold as stories within stories, and so the actors typically work like oxen.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Keane is a painfully specific figure but at the same time a totem, lean and frightening, for a morass of modern anxieties. That might be this phenomenal film's emergent achievement: Its raw hopelessness is its universality.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The actors all function as best they can as glowering clichés, though the narrative's temporal jump presents difficulties.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Atkinson
    Hilary and Jackie tries far too hard to dictate emotional involvement right out of the gate, and you're left counting off the doom-laden cues for things that are sure to return full circle.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    But Monsters, Inc. -- directed by Pixar soldier Pete Docter, not by master digital comic John Lasseter -- turns out to be stingy on context, commentary, and the prism-ing view of pop culture that made the earlier films mint.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    While the astonishing street footage of "l'affaire Langlois"--perhaps more familiar to the French than to us--is where this exhaustive talking-heads portrait becomes beautifully, bafflingly surreal, the whole project, however conventional, has the allure of a communal embrace, a home movie of a motherland left irrevocably in the past.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Atkinson
    One of the year's best films, and certainly its most challenging so far: At more than three hours, watching it is less like consuming entertainment and more like living.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    This is what Woody Allen movies might be like if they were not ruled by narcissism, pretentious point-scoring, cheap observations, and Woody's peculiar speech patterns.
    • Mr. Showbiz
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    In the Fog has the inevitability of an avalanche, and only our overfamilarity with Nazi-tribulation scenarios, and perhaps its excessively punctuated ending, could slow it down. A better anti-summer blockbuster is hard to imagine.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 84 Michael Atkinson
    Might be the most original film of the year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    My Joy is a maddening vision and one of the year's must-see provocations.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Sweet and fiercely humane, Song’s layered family portrait is decidedly Buddhist: silent when it needs to be and steadfast about approaching inevitable tragedy with care and patience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Atkinson
    Innocence is not merely the year's best first film, but one of the great statements on the politics of being 'tween.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Atkinson
    Without the intrusion of voice-overs or interviews, Mylan and Shenk attained a remarkable intimacy with the strapping, earnest, startlingly beautiful teenagers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Atkinson
    Though Maclean uses every trick available to make up for the missing inner voice, we never get into Crudup's mellow loser like we should. Maclean's got an incisive eye, but it's poised on the outside of the terrarium looking in.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 81 Michael Atkinson
    Lacks scope and doesn't resonate grandly as a portrait of an American underbelly like Morris' earlier works do. But it still packs a wallop.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Atkinson
    The carload of codgers in Fred Schepisi's Last Orders merely bellyache, philosophize, crack unfunny jokes, and ruminate simplemindedly about Death.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Dynamic but preachy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Atkinson
    Seidl's visual style -- bitter-comic three-walled tableaux -- makes the scenario's tension between desire and reality almost unbearable, but Melanie offers hope by simple virtue of her youth, her unformed romantic folly, and her guileless courage.

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