Michael Wilmington
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For 1,275 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 77% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 21% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 13.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Lawrence of Arabia (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,275 movie reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A boisterous, brilliant, heart-warming comedy--strikes me as just about perfect.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Nobody Knows, by the often excellent Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, is one of those special movies that can give us a new way of seeing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A major cinema event of the year, a masterpiece of Italian film traditions in social/political realism and historical family epic.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A deeply moving blend of cold terror and rapturous hilarity. Lovingly crafted by Italy's top comedian and most popular filmmaker, it's that rare comedy that takes on a daring and ambitious subject and proves worthy of it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Achieves a mellowness and melancholy that recalls the jazzy dissonance of director (and here, composer) Eastwood's best work: "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Bird," "Unforgiven" and "Mystic River."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of such jaw-dropping violence, wild improbability and dazzling style it overpowers all resistance.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Like all great fantasies and epics, this one leaves you with the sense that its wonders are real, its dreams are palpable.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's as thrilling and lushly beautiful a movie as has been released all year, matched only by Zhang's epic "Hero." And I think this film is the more powerful.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most remarkable and moving love stories the movies have recently given us.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the quintessential '60s foreign art films, a bizarre melange of pop music, revolution, sex, movie allusions and poetry. It's a masterpiece of sorts by one of the most important European filmmakers of that era. But it's also a movie that can drive you crazy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Downfall, whatever its shortcomings, bears strong witness to great evil. That is its triumph as a film.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    All the "Star Wars" movies will continue to entertain us for many years to come. They were grand fun, and this last one's a corker.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Perfect for anyone with a youthful heart and a rich imagination.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Romero's newest is a horror movie for hard-core fans of the gory and the gruesome and a classic genre film for genre aficionados.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    With rich irony, The World juxtaposes the teasing, grand images of the outside world's wonders with the insular community and the mundane lives of the park employees.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    If it's not an actual masterpiece, it's at least the next best thing, a fully characteristic, fully alive work by a master of his art.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A peach of a story delightfully imagined by Dahl and lushly realized by Burton. It's full of witty or awesome scenes, flights of fancy and characters either totally, lovably sweet or outrageously, humorously rotten.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Still packs a wallop. It's also a movie with no easy passage to its dark heart.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    In this movie, Auteuil ("Jean de Florette") and Binoche ("Chocolat") are such marvelous actors, they can shift us in almost any emotional direction with a speech or a glance.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Of all the movies that try to take us into the mind and viewpoint of a child, Carol Reed's 1948 The Fallen Idol, adapted by Graham Greene from his short story, is one of the most ingenious.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Days of Heaven is the grand climax of the whole "Bonnie and Clyde"-"Badlands" tradition of outlaw-lovers-on-the-run movies. Shot by Nestor Almendros and the uncredited Haskell Wexler, it's a cinematographic masterpiece. [20 March 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Three Times is great cinema, pop romance that carries a special charge.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A film masterpiece, restored more than three decades after its French release, "Army" remains a superb, coolly accurate portrait of a living hell recalled by two men who knew it well and record it truly, Melville and novelist Joseph Kessel.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    If all this potent drama recalls Bergman, the beautifully articulated staging and setting suggest that master of operatic social-sexual drama, Luchino Visconti ("The Leopard").
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is a movie for all cultures and all people, for families and especially for those who have lost them.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    If you haven't gotten hooked already on Michael Apted's series--collectively, one of the great documentaries in the history of the cinema--you should prepare yourself for the latest installment, 49 Up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a work by cinematic geniuses that reveals beauty and terror in a long-ago time with a virtuoso intensity. You won't soon forget its mad, lovely sights and sounds.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Brims with intelligence, compassion and sensuous delight in the textures, sights and sounds of life--all the way from the Taj Mahal to Pearl Jam.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A beautiful film, harrowing, tough and rife with grief.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Jafar Panahi of Iran is one of his country's great filmmakers, and Offside is his best movie to date.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    82-year-old Ingmar Bergman takes one of the most painful, shameful episodes of his own life and, writing for director Liv Ullmann, transmutes it into magical, brilliant artistry.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a shining valentine to the movies--full of homages, collages and swooningly romantic Ennio Morricone music--and it gets right at the messy, impure, wondrous way they capture and enrapture us. [16 February 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Few Hollywood action pictures are half as exciting or ravishing.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Another masterpiece from one of the world's more neglected great directors, a master artist who here reveals the soul of another.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's so thoroughly engaging, so beautifully made, strikingly shot and chock-full of humor and humanity, I can't imagine any intelligent audience not falling in love with it - if only they take the leap of faith to see it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A film which should gratify any audience starved for intelligent dialogue, realistic portrayals of romance and lovely, non-cliched open-air photography.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Moretti gives us something different but very important. He shows us how life goes on.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Told with such sadness and exaltation, such mastery of image and sound, that watching it makes you feel renewed and hopeful.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Beautifully remastered and containing Cocteau's long-unseen special prologue and credits -- is as much a feat of feverish delight as it was in the dark days of Vichy and WWII.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A timeless romantic thriller that steeps us in one of those great artificial movie worlds that become more overpowering than reality itself.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Trashy and glorious, the restored Metropolis is a pop epic for the ages.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    No matter how many heists you've seen, how many gangs you've watched fall apart or how many aging crooks you've seen walk up a mean street to a violent destiny, Rififi never loses its ruthless grace and force.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A spectacular, engrossing, big-hearted film based on one of Korea's great national epics and made by that country's top filmmaker.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A stunner: a fiercely brilliant film of such wrenching impact, nonstop drive and unpredictability that watching it becomes an exhilarating ride.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Of all the movies I've seen in the past several years, this is one of the ones I love the most.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It is a movie about the gradual erosion of life's seeming certainties, and it's also about the destructive immorality that may lie beneath the most exquisitely composed veneer. As we watch "Chocolat," this great director and his great actress, Huppert, convince us: Evil is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Both the movie and Denzel Washington are knockouts.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a joy. Altman does Dallas the way he did "Nashville" in Nashville or Hollywood in "The Player."
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    An absolute delight, one of the most sheerly pleasurable movies Altman has ever made. It's wry, jokey and sexy, a tart and delectable entertainment. And, like most of Altman's best work, it's graced with a top-notch ensemble of first-class [9 April 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A rare example of a literary film that preserves the best of its source while creatively filling up on it.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Takes the raw truth and makes it jubilantly, terrifically entertaining.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A movie I loved on first sight and, even more important, love in remembrance. Taken all in all, there's only one last thing to say about it. Go.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Such a sour, mindlessly inflated experience that seeing it may temporarily put you off historical movies.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    All but sweeps you away with its dazzling technique and shattering emotion. [27 November 1996, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The sheer stark speed and measured violence of On the Run catch us up quickly--and the film becomes a searing portrait of a killer-idealist lost out of time.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The third film, After the Life, much like "On the Run," mixes a hard-edged, relentless and stripped-down crime tale with a compassionate overview.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a nail-biter and knuckle whitener of the first rank: a super real life techno thriller that reduces the fantasies of Tom Clancy and his clones to ground zero.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A powerful film made with minimal means, it's a story of poor people on the fringes of society, done without sentimentality or condescension but with wicked humor.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Like all the Coens' movies, "Man" is supremely self-aware and darkly, hellishly funny. It's also brilliantly written and acted to a fare-thee-well by an outrageously good cast.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Movies today rarely touch chords that are spiritual or deeply emotional, but Nathaniel Kahn's remarkable documentary My Architect: A Son's Journey does both.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Stylish, ingenious and gleaming with charm, wit and malice, it's another expert blend of domestic drama and crime thriller, a vivisection of the bourgeoisie.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Vibrating with humanity, it's a potent portrait of love, ranging from the purely carnal to the impurely sublime.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a thriller that really thrills, a drama that really engages, a portrait of a world and system out of joint that is painfully convincing and totally engrossing from the first simmering minute to the last explosive second.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most excitingly contemporary musicals ever made.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A film that lets life flood into our souls.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    As we watch, we can sense, once again, the eye of a painter, the dreams of a poet and, tying them together, the vision of a master.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    An amazing celluloid poem by a filmmaker whom Ingmar Bergman called "the greatest." He very nearly was. He was also, perhaps, too pure a creator and reckless a citizen to survive unscathed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Probing... haunting.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Always a magical film. For its anniversary rerelease, though, it's been extensively restored and even partly reshot by Spielberg. It now looks better than it did back then.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    An instant classic and a dramatic beauty, a film that gets us to the core of Greene's chilly, dark and romantic view of the post-war world.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Perhaps the most original movie fantasy creation of the year: an icon of tenderness and artistic alienation that clings, stickum-like, to your mind's eye and the softest, most woundable parts of your mass-culture heart. [7 Dec 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This French documentary gives us unprecedented intimacy and sweep.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is a terrific movie: jolting, savage, horrifically funny, nightmarishly exciting but also brainy and compassionate.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A grand ride. Sleek, beautiful and packed with emotion, not too flashy but full of heart, this is a movie worthy of its unlikely yet glorious subject: Depression-era America's best-loved racehorse and the two races that made him a legend.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Magnificent to look at, thrilling, ingenious, spellbinding and superbly done on every level, this is not just one of the best films of the year or the decade, but of all time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Heroin may be a downer, but Trainspotting definitely takes you up…a series of roaring, provocative, outrageous highs. [26 July 1996, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the screen's great portrayals of the hell-raising and malaise of young men in their 20s, hit Italy like a comic thunderbolt when it was released there in 1953 -- and it struck the American art-house audience in much the same way when it premiered here in 1956. Now it returns, and unlike its five aging-boy protagonists, this movie hasn't lost its first youth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Viveka Seldahl and Sven Wollter will touch you to the core in a film you will never forget -- that you should never forget.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A film poem of sometimes humbling beauty: a movie that opens up a new world to us - in the mountains of Iranian Kurdistan - with an enchanting freshness and austerity of vision.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 53 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Attack of the Clones celebrates a certain youthful spirit in both moviemaking and movie watching; because it's as much phenomenon as movie, audiences will either ride with or reject it. I was happy to take the ride.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Kaufman's startling Quills gives us an anatomy of fear, images both silken swift and molten hot, scenes that disrupt and inflame the imagination.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A fierce, brilliant film that breaks (and then mends) your heart.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The story is engrossing, full of thrills and humor, the period re-creation wondrous and the pace intoxicatingly brisk. And the actors are all so good and their parts so well-written that we're engaged emotionally as well.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Watching Le Cercle Rouge, we're caught up in a world that, however improbable some of its twists and turns seem, strikes us as a perfect, imaginative creation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A prison movie of unusual richness and jarring power.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Some scholars may scowl, some lowbrows may scoff. But, like wordwise Will, these filmmakers know how to win a crowd -- from the queen down to the groundlings, from the sky above to the stage below. Bravo! [5 December 1998, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Masterpiece is the right word for The Sweet Hereafter. It is extraordinary: a poem of familial pain, a song of broken embraces. [25 December 1997, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the cinema's true classics.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    There's an incongruous but ravishing beauty in Far From Heaven, and in its three excellent central performances, that counteracts the seeming kitschiness of the story.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A landmark musical movie -- controversial, mercurial, even cheeky. It's the kind of film that wildly divides audiences and critics -- people tend to either love or hate it. I loved it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Re-released now in a digitally enhanced, sonically improved and slightly longer version, the movie is even better than it was in 1973.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is one of those films that encapsulate most of its maker's key thoughts and feelings while also connecting us vividly to a fascinating past. No one who loves French film (or movies in general) should miss it.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Sumptuous and beautiful, suffused with a serene melancholy and deeply ambivalent love for a long-vanished past, Luchino Visconti's 1963 The Leopard is one of the greatest of all historical costume epics.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Extraordinary film, one that, like the museum itself, captures and shows three centuries of Russian culture and history in all its beauty, confusion, terror and majesty.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    In the remarkable, ferociously intelligent new film No Man's Land, Bosnian writer-director Danis Tanovic gives us a movie portrait of the Bosnian War, a conflict that has devastated his country, friends and neighbors -- and found in it both shocking humor and searing, relentless tragedy.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a scintillating comedy-drama and one of Altman's most richly moving and entertaining pictures.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Leigh is an artist not at all blind to the world's darkness and pain. But the generosity and togetherness he and his company show in Secrets and Lies is something the movies -- and the world -- truly need. [25 October 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Some movies delight you. Some stimulate and provoke. Some enlighten and inform. And some simply hand you a rousing good time-- does all of that and more.