Michael O'Sullivan

Michael O'Sullivan
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3.5/4 95% The Souvenir (2019) It's hard to shake "The Souvenir." - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
3/4 88% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" is neither subtle nor thoughtful. It is, arguably, a nasty piece of work. But, like its hero, it knows what it does best, and it does it - however paradoxical this may sound - beautifully. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
2/4 59% Trial by Fire (2019) "Trial by Fire" never really stirs up much outrage or sadness, although it tries. It's a good story, not a great one, that generates fire, but no heat. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
2/4 78% Photograph (2019) Sometimes, less isn't more, but - as in this case - not quite enough. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
2/4 50% Tolkien (2019) "Tolkien" is anodyne enough that no one should be terribly upset by it, let alone deeply moved in any other way. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
2.5/4 94% Shadow (2019) In the end, "Shadow" suffers from a kind of shallow narcissism. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2019
2.5/4 30% UglyDolls (2019) UglyDolls are already adorable. You don't have to work that hard to convince anyone. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
0.5/4 30% The Intruder (2019) There is a faintly greenish fuzz of bread mold at the edges of every frame of this stale exercise in psychological horror. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
4/4 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) In a sense, "Endgame" is an example of the MCU cannibalizing itself, but it has always done so. And it does so here in a fresh way that is closer to homage than lazy appropriation. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3/4 72% Teen Spirit (2019) It's not the slickness that sells "Teen Spirit" anyway, but its strangeness. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
2/4 85% Her Smell (2019) But by opening at rock bottom, instead of the heights, Perry makes it difficult to care about Becky's fall from, and slow crawl back to, grace. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 16, 2019
1.5/4 61% The Public (2019) It's hard to disagree with anything in "The Public." Estevez is fighting the good fight. But it's also hard to swallow an argument, however well-reasoned and emotionally compelling, when it feels like it's being shoved down your throat. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
54% Blade (1998) Blade's stomach-turning special effects, bone-crunching martial arts and cynical humor will more than satisfy any action-film addict's need for a fix of eye-popping escapist adrenaline. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2019
3.5/4 47% Dumbo (2019) To paraphrase Keaton's V.A. Vandevere, upon witnessing an elephant take flight, "Dumbo" will make you a child again. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
3/4 76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) "Hotel Mumbai" is a clockwork thriller, but man, is it hard to watch. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2019
1.5/4 52% The Hummingbird Project (2019) It all feels a bit contrived. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
3.5/4 57% The Highwaymen (2019) [A] straightforward tale of cops and robbers, one in which the lines between good and evil are so sharply drawn, into a richly nuanced morality story. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
2/4 54% Five Feet Apart (2019) Richardson may be the best thing about this Velveeta-slathered heap of lukewarm cliche, but she is merely a vicarious vehicle for thwarted teenage longing directed at the bad-boy dreamboat heartthrob of countless high-school-girl fantasies. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
2.5/4 54% Yardie (2019) What sets Elba's movie apart is the distinctive world he creates, in the rhythm of the music, in the raw, gritty poetry of the language, and in the powerful mythology it mines. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
3.5/4 94% Styx (2019) Wolff is never less than mesmerizing in this role, which demands a performance that is, at times, more physical than emotive. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
3/4 42% The Wedding Guest (2019) [A] satisfyingly unpredictable meditation on female agency, in a culture in which women are too often treated as a man's possession. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
3/4 96% Transit (2019) It's a story whose fatalistic ending has the impact of something that, like a repetition of the Holocaust, feels simultaneously unexpected and, devastatingly, preordained. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
3/4 95% Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019) [A] fascinating portrait of moral decay, if also as far from a documentary as you can get. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
3.5/4 78% Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) Is "Everybody Knows" as searing and devastating a film as Farhadi's best work? Probably not, but it is surely one of his most relatable. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
2.5/4 88% To Dust (2019) [T]here's something in the relationship between these two partnerless men - their yearning for connection - that feels, beneath the jokes, very real and very recognizable. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
2.5/4 85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" is at times enormously fun... But like a forced marriage between a Lego minifig and a Duplo character, its parts don't fit together seamlessly. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
4/4 100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) For whatever reason, "They Shall Not Grow Old" has the effect of a window that has never before been thrown open so wide. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
0.5/4 19% Serenity (2019) All will be revealed in the fullness of time - assuming you don't get so annoyed that you walk out after 15 minutes and slip into a screening of, say, "If Beale Street Could Talk." (If it could, it might say, "Don't watch 'Serenity.' ") - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
1/4 38% Glass (2019) "Glass" is a movie so muddled and so meta that it not only seeks to remind you - implicitly, and every five minutes - how movies work, but it includes a character who explicitly comments upon the action. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
60% Rush Hour (1998) A misbegotten marriage of sweet and sour. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
2/4 20% The Aspern Papers (2019) The film is smart, literary, nuanced, slightly stagy - and pedigreed to within an inch of its life. It practically reeks of dusty, yellowed pages and engraved-leather bookbinding. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2019
54% The Object of My Affection (1998) The viewpoint may not be exactly fresh, but [screenwriter Wendy] Wasserstein... delivers the heartfelt message that, male or female, gay or straight, black or white, old or young, the important thing is to pick some one person and make it work. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2018
1.5/4 65% Aquaman (2018) At times, the plot feels like the 12 Labors of Hercules, with a couple of extra labors thrown in just for the heck of it. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2.5/4 33% Welcome to Marwen (2018) A sometimes jarring but ultimately effective extended metaphor for healing... - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
1.5/4 63% Bird Box (2018) The film essentially begins at its climax, and then backtracks, via flashback, to the onset of the crisis, hopping forward and back repeatedly over a five-year gap. This has the effect of destroying momentum. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
1.5/4 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) I mean, homage is one thing, but this reeks less of nostalgia than sweat. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
1.5/4 26% Mortal Engines (2018) The story is bloated and, despite flashes of imagination, overly familiar. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
2/4 61% Vox Lux (2018) "Vox Lux"... never does anything with its most intriguing themes: the commodification of tragedy and the hollowness of fame. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
3/4 90% Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (2018) Ultimately, "Divide and Conquer" offers useful lessons - and maybe even a little hope - for people on both sides of the national divide, about just how we came to this terrible, but not irreversible, place. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3/4 51% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) Moreso even than the film's violence and suspense, what sets "Mowgli" apart from other versions of this animal fable is its moral contradictions. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2018
3/4 96% Becoming Astrid (Unga Astrid) (2018) Pippi Longstocking has sometimes been called an icon of feminist girl-power. If "Becoming Astrid' makes anything clear, it's that the character's creator was something of one herself. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
2.5/4 50% 55 Steps (2018) Somehow, these two difficult people are easy to watch, at least on the screen. They are honest to a fault, which is, in the end, their charm. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
1/4 15% Robin Hood (2018) Amounts to a chilly and flavorless frappé of historical speculation, revisionist folklore and every lazy action-movie cliche ever written. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
3/4 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Dafoe delivers an impassioned and believable performance, his deeply lined face capturing the mix of agony and ecstasy - to borrow a phrase from another artistic biopic - that this tortured artist must have felt. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
4/4 91% The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) "Ballad" paints a deliciously dismal portrait of the human condition. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
2.5/4 40% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Despite Lisbeth's makeover, there's still something cool, complicated and compelling about this "Girl." - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
3/4 37% Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) "The Crimes of Grindelwald" has one of the biggest third-act reveals in the whole Harry Potter series. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
1/4 63% Outlaw King (2018) This tedious slog through the highland muck should win no Oscars, only groans and raspberries. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
3/4 32% The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) In the end, Nutcracker is a delightfully old-school diversion. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
2/4 66% Suspiria (2018) Call it an art-house slasher film. Call it a beautiful mess. Just don't call me with questions about what any of it means. - Washington Post EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018