For 1,221 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 14 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,221 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Splendid, soaringly ambitious Chinese period fantasy.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This landmark movie's madcap humor and terrifying suspense remain undiminished by time.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A near-classic blend of mystery, personality, humor and terror, laced with one stunning shock after another. [18 August 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    25th Hour struck me as one of the best movies of 2002, but it's also a film that will strike some of its audience as ethically dubious or threatening.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A magnificent throwback to an almost vanished era of epic filmmaking by great filmmakers in thrall to their own passions, rather than to the studio bookkeepers.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    An improbable masterpiece -- a bizarre mixture of grandly operatic visuals, grim brutality and sordid violence that keeps wrenching you from one extreme to the other.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Clean up the language, and this little roach of a movie could play the bottom half of a double bill with Rowan and Martin's “The Maltese Bippy.” [26 March 1999, Life, p.9E]
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This French documentary gives us unprecedented intimacy and sweep.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Mystic River is classic Eastwood, classic noir. If there is still some doubt about whether this one-time macho star is actually a world-class moviemaker, Mystic River should end the argument for good. One of the best American movies of the year, crisply well-crafted and beautifully acted.
    • 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.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    1966 French masterpiece -- the finest, most deeply personal work of a filmmaker who has been compared, justifiably, to both Dostoyevsky and Bach.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    As magnificent as a high-masted 19th-century British warship, as explosive as a Napoleonic-era ocean battle seen above the cannon's mouth... probably the best movie of its kind ever made.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A brilliant entertainment, full of bemused skepticism and reckless, prodigal love -- for these people and their vanishing era and lives.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Probing... haunting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A Chekhovian tale of major artistic power.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The Russian film The Return is a stunning contemporary fable about a divided family in the wilderness - a simple, riveting film that almost achieves greatness.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the cinema's true classics.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    In a league with Hollywood's top historical epics, ancient or otherwise. It's stunningly handsome film, with an equally stunning cast and engrossing story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A prison movie of unusual richness and jarring power.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    If the uncut Fanny and Alexander is Bergman's greatest work, as I think, it's because it's his most inclusive. He shows almost everything: all his moods, conflicts, styles and many of his favorite actors.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A masterpiece of wry violence and stylized mayhem, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi turns loose one of Japan's most brilliant film auteurs, Takeshi Kitano, on one of its most enduring pop legends.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This movie, the subject of controversy, is a defiantly personal statement on what the war really is--laced with that now-familiar "Roger and Me" mix of homespun wit, pop culture playfulness, populist heart twisting and "gotcha" guerilla film-making tactics.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is a romance with minimal physical contact and sex--and that's part of what makes it work so well as a love story.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Swooningly beautiful, furious and thrilling, Zhang Yimou's Hero is an action movie for the ages.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Among its many excellences, Vera Drake functions superbly as a pure thriller; the last half is reminiscent in structure and detail of Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man."
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A beautiful picture with a great heart, a classic-to-be with a common touch.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A boisterous, brilliant, heart-warming comedy--strikes me as just about perfect.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Ray
    A fit tribute to an entertainer who, no matter what hate or hardship threw in his way or how many mistakes he made, we can't stop loving.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a magical film which manages to transport and rivet us in the same highly-imaginitive, breezily playful way "Amelie" did.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Sometimes cinema's highest achievements become clear only in retrospect. Days of Being Wild--now clearly revealed as one of the peaks of Hong Kong filmmaking and a masterwork of contemporary cinema giant Wong.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Though it's a sad, somber, deeply questioning work, it's done with a light, loving spirit.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Sumptuously exciting, glowing with expertise, seething with life, gorgeously designed and thrillingly articulated.
    • 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."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A masterpiece that can still leave you dizzy with wonder. As much as any movie ever made, this visionary science-fiction tale of space travel and first contact with extraterrestrial life is a spellbinding experience.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The movie holds up far better than its detractors guessed - splendidly, in fact - not only thanks to Scott's spellbinding acting, but to the epic imagery, Coppola's (and Edmund North's) highly intelligent script and Schaffner's lucid, perfectly controlled direction.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of such jaw-dropping violence, wild improbability and dazzling style it overpowers all resistance.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is a picture that may sound sappy but probably will enrapture audiences lucky enough to catch it. [19 May 1995, p.L]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The cast is tremendous; these actors work with Resnais like a well-oiled stock company that knows every trick and can communicate almost telepathically.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most remarkable and moving love stories the movies have recently given us.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie that's so personal, naked and vulnerable that you can understand why some of its humor seems rough, some of its visuals excessive. But Crooklyn has a quality not as obvious in any Lee film since "Do the Right Thing": the sense of a whole world opening, rich and real, before your eyes. [13 May 1994, p.A]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This remarkable movie is really one-of-a-kind. [15 Dec 1995]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Georgia, written with rare honesty and economy by Leigh's mother, Barbara Turner, and very sensitively directed by Ulu Grosbard, is a tough-minded look at show business and families. [10 Jan 1996]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Whether Kundun is a perfect movie or not, it's an important and beautiful one. Scorsese's movie takes us into a world we've rarely seen with this kind of sympathy or detail: a magical-looking society built on Buddhism and centuries of art and tradition.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Badlands is about a landscape as much as the couple fleeing across it. Watching it, you sense that Malick finds his outlaw lovers beautiful and terrible, pathetic and monstrous, funny and overwhelmingly sad. [27 March 1998]
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Both sides of the story -- the larger context and the intense and intimate drama -- are painted with an absolutely unswerving sense of truth. And, as we watch this movie, full of violence, injustice and compassion, there is barely a moment that seems calculated or contrived.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    even in the notable ranks of Leigh's movie, TV and theater work-an oeuvre embracing high comedy, biting comment and shivering pathos-Naked is extraordinary. In the hands of Leigh and his magnificently gifted, gutsy cast, these days and nights on London's streets burn themselves on our minds.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a spree of a movie, one of the most impishly entertaining of Altman's career. Smart, sparkling, almost sinfully amusing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Kansas City is a wonderful film, done with all Altman's offbeat virtuosity, maverick humor and creative daring -- plus the acid nip that runs through all his recent works.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Hoop Dreams has the movie equivalent of all-court vision. It picks up everything happening in the gym, in the stands and even outside. It gives us the thrill of the game, but it doesn't cheat on either the vibrant social context or the deep human story.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Lovely, heart-stirring film.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A beautiful, almost defiant film on an unusual subject: love among the elderly.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A modern digitized lollapalooza concocted out of old-fashioned slam-bang space opera elements.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This century's Planet of the Apes is a rouser, a screaming-banshee fun house.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Visually, even compared to Sayles' own best work, it's somewhat prosaic - and dramatically, it suffers from the fact that its two main characters are kept so far apart. But the screenwriting and the cast redeem this film.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The kind of movie some audiences are starved for, a comedy with a human face, warmth and spirit.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A picture about America with the blinders off, a film about heroism that makes you chuckle and feel sad - and a film about childhood that lets us reenter that lost world and see the grass, sky and sunlight the way they once looked, in the golden hours.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    There's scarcely a scene in which the actors, action and sound track aren't cranked up to maximum intensity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The Zellweger-Firth-Grant triangle works as irresistibly as Hepburn-Grant-Stewart in "The Philadelphia Story."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is not an inspirational drama about finding yourself; it's a Hitchcockian comedy about adultery, murder and losing a corpse.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    These are real characters, fully observed, gutsily written, beautifully acted by the two leads.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a summit meeting between three brilliant leading men from three generations with three striking on-screen personas.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A real gem: a deadpan fantasy that turns into one of the best pictures ever about the post-"Star Wars" studio moviemaking era.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A deliberately old-fashioned picture that succeeds in nearly everything it tries to do.