Michael Atkinson Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
No Score Yet The Mist in the Palm Trees (2006) Proves what many filmmakers, particularly Ozu and avant-gardists such as Warhol and James Benning, always knew - that the more you look at a single image, in one long viewing or in returning glimpses, the more mysterious it becomes.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2018
76% Invictus (2009) Invictus is Eastwood in full Stanley Kramer/Richard Attenborough mode, playing down to the Americans who love cheesy triumphant-sports movies but who generally know little about South Africa and care even less.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2018
65% The American (2010) The American is in fact a double-stunner - a retro-ish Euro-espionage thriller that's written, acted and directed as if it were still 1974.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jul 10, 2018
93% Araby (Arábia) (2018) It's a soft bolero of a film, painting a searing portrait of life for developing-nation laborers but coming around in the end to touches of loveliness and humanity we didn't see coming.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Jul 5, 2018
91% Junior Bonner (1972) [Steve] McQueen's reticent personality and hypnotic physical grace are in perfect service, and the air of authenticity is stinging.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted May 30, 2018
95% Zama (2018) It's already one of 2018's best and most haunting films, and a lashing indictment of colonialist hubris.‐ The Progressive
Read More | Posted Apr 27, 2018
55% Marie Antoinette (2006) Inadvertently, Coppola has painted a pathetic portrait of a spoiled kitten not unlike herself, born into unlimited resources and without a thought in her pretty head, before she lost it entirely.‐ The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2018
96% Foxtrot (2018) Samuel Maoz's moody movie, his third, leaves you guessing its intentions scene by scene, but by the end you're faced with a carefully etched portrayal of an absurd society eating itself alive.‐ The Progressive
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
72% Double Lover (L'amant double) (2018) It's a buffet of psychosexual delicacies, borrowed and otherwise, all staged with hot-blooded, straight-faced vigor.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2018
95% 24 Frames (2018) 24 Frames won't create any new Kiarostamians, but it will be a salve for those of us who wanted to sit beside him one more time, following his gaze.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2018
69% Happy End (2017) You have to assemble this portrait on your own; Haneke's style is cool and elliptical, and he conscientiously leaves out a lot of connective narrative tissue and exposition, making you lean in, searching for secrets.‐ The Progressive
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
90% Rat Film (2017) Anthony's film is another brand of thing altogether, a weird and idiosyncratic tour through neighborhoods, actual and metaphoric, we thought we knew well.‐ The Progressive
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
89% Marjorie Prime (2017) Instead, it is one of those prize indies that spools out and grows in your head for days afterwards.‐ The Progressive
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2018
100% A Gray State (2017) Nelson's film is a fairly straightforward police-file-and-talking-heads affair, energized by the use of Crowley's own storehouse of footage, and in essence positing him as a co-director.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2017
100% La Belle Noiseuse (1991) In its own way this sensual, granular experience is just as pure and obsessive as Rivette's less hospitable masterpieces, and almost as mysterious.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2017
100% Daughter of the Nile (Ni luo he nu er) (1987) It's a quintessential modern family tragedy we walk into like uninvited and invisible guests.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Oct 24, 2017
95% Spettacolo (2017) Certainly, it will be difficult for many American viewers to resist not only the vacation porn, but the vision of a village so intimately bonded by its years of collective self-expression that it's nearly a social ideal.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2017
91% A Ghost Story (2017) I was still knuckling my forehead in skepticism through to the last few minutes. But that's when the film's mournful ache abruptly feels earned, and its mysteries become tangible. Days later I was still thinking of Lowery's inspired imagery‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2017
86% Okja (2017) For someone whose films are bursting with outrageous computer imagery, and whose sensibility could be characterized as hyperviolent satiric pulp, Korean director Bong Joon-ho sure is a gung-ho Captain Planet. ‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2017
77% The Little Hours (2017) Goofy as it is, Baena's film has a lovable humility to it. It doesn't try to be the definitive anything, even as it stands as arguably the savviest Decameron adaptation ever made. ‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2017
100% Harmonium (Fuchi ni tatsu) (2017) Just as in the best old-school, Cain-style noir, Fukada's film is eloquent about the fragile privileges of modern urban life and the hidden lies it can be built upon.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2017
91% A Quiet Passion (2017) As the sisters' lives slide into an autumnal dark age, Davies' artificiality gives way to emotional nakedness that's at times hard to watch.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2017
89% By the Time It Gets Dark (Dao khanong) (2017) You could be forgiven for thinking that while all this is going on, nothing at all seems to happen - it's a film, a rather gorgeous one, of glances and ephemera and delicate metaphors.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2017
91% Raw (2017) Some people like their movie meals straight up, steak and potatoes and no funny business. But from where I'm sitting, there's nothing quite as tasty and chewable as a film with layers and secrets.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Mar 16, 2017
87% Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) (1988) Pelle itself, rather surprisingly, is a natural, organic epic, and one that opens a window on a meticulously detailed bygone world that, by film's end, you might feel as though you've visited.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2017
96% The Salesman (Forushande) (2017) It's clear by now the Iranian director is something of a master, from whom every narrative filmmaker should take a crash course in complex and resonant storytelling.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Feb 3, 2017
93% Toni Erdmann (2016) Movies this inventively generous and organically unpredictable should be, in a proper world, produced dozens of times a year, as a matter of routine.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2016
94% Neruda (2016) The past is hardly past: Neruda is a vintage figure, but his story is made fresh by both the filmmakers' imaginative will and by the oppression-stalked century we find ourselves in.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2016
No Score Yet The Terrorizers (Kong bu fen zi) (1986) Yang keeps all of the balls in the air, resisting definitive answers and conjuring a lean-in sense of intimate dread.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2016
78% The Apostate (El Apóstata) (2016) Like Gonzalo, The Apostate is so dry and calm and reflective you can practically hear the director thinking, not too much, that's enough.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2016
86% The Academy of Muses (La academia de las musas) (2016) [Director José Luis Guerín is] a meta-narrative, semi-doc mad scientist, and his new film is not only both fish and fowl, but a rarefied gender provocation of a kind that could make fourth-wave feminists' heads spin.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2016
100% Ixcanul (2016) Touching on multiple feminist issues as it goes, and even venturing, gallingly, into the matter of baby trafficking, Ixcanul can suffer from predictability... But the film's rhythms, details and visuals, particularly that volcano, are vivid and unique.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2016
85% In Order of Disappearance (2016) Skarsgård mopes around throughout, largely ceding the film to the zoo of supporting actors, all of whom are TV-type crooks in the familiar post-Coen/Tarantino style and do not help the story's lack of conviction.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2016
92% I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016) The idea of witnessing a killing spree from the p.o.v. of a town's funeral home is full of rich discomfort. It's the stuff of the sub-subgenre itself that gives you a boregasm.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Aug 24, 2016
81% Kate Plays Christine (2016) Greene's strategy is to be ironically inept: His nonfiction wanderings with Sheil feel halfhearted, but the attempts at scenes dramatizing Chubbuck are intentionally awful, staged like amateur soap opera and written in cheap clichés.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2016
94% Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016) [Herzog's] new film, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, is a new order of business, an awed tour of human life shaped by the internet, from a filmmaker whose passions have always sought out the primordial and pre-technological.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2016
83% Les Cowboys (2016) The terrain traversed by Thomas Bidegain's Les Cowboys is so familiar in European movies it could be cliché by now. That is, if it weren't also the undeniable, postmodern State of Things, the new global normal.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2016
80% The Other Side (Louisiana) (2016) Minervini's movie is a reality show, but one busy challenging our presumptions, not validating our isolation.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Jun 22, 2016
No Score Yet Call Her Applebroog (2016) Amid the familiar pack-up-and-set-up gallery installation scenes, the film is a vehicle for Applebroog-appreciation, daughterly and otherwise.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2016
100% Feng ai ('Til Madness Do Us Part) (2013) Heavy on routine and light on context (how each man arrived to where he is usually remains a mystery), Wang's film certainly makes you feel the time and place, with a vengeance.‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Jun 8, 2016
87% Dheepan (2016) The performances are more than just immaculately convincing; this is a movie structured by the hidden fury and fear behind wide-open gazes.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted May 2, 2016
No Score Yet Pearls of the Deep (1966) Generally anarchist and scaldingly farcical, the films look totalitarian life square in the eye, but they're also living testaments to the era's lovable, grungy Euro-slacker esprit. ‐ Village Voice
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
96% No End in Sight (2007) Ferguson's film is intelligence-report methodical, providing a primer on how we got into Iraq and what screw-ups have made the situation spiral out of control.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
79% Standard Operating Procedure (2008) Morris' manic devotion to detail ultimately does the film in.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
28% Slacker Uprising (2008) Slacker Uprising is empty as protest satire goes, and it lends a cudgel to those who think Moore does what he does for the sheer sake of ego and power.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
96% Waltz with Bashir (2008) Waltz with Bashir brilliantly echoes its cultural investigations with its formal contradictions.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
68% Life During Wartime (2010) There's a creepy torque to Life During Wartime that is uniquely Solondz, and the high probability of viewers' unease is part of his program.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
88% Budrus (2010) Morrar is the kind of man who pursues collective social progress rather than headlines or offices. He is the governor or congressman we wish we all had but never do.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
96% The Social Network (2010) A zesty advertisement for the further meaningless Facebookization of our daily routines, and the further squandering of our free time.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016
72% Monsters (2010) The best American film about our political reality of 2010.‐ In These Times
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2016