Michael Wilmington
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For 1,278 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 76% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 22% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Le Cercle Rouge (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,278 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Moretti gives us something different but very important. He shows us how life goes on.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Great, bittersweet family drama.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Great filmmakers push their ideas and characters to the limit, unafraid of consequences - which is what Pedro Almodovar has done in Talk To Her, his latest film and, I think, his best.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A beautiful picture with a great heart, a classic-to-be with a common touch.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A landmark movie that becomes a priceless entryway into a distant land and its people, few of whom will ever seem as foreign and far away again.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of such jaw-dropping violence, wild improbability and dazzling style it overpowers all resistance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Takes the raw truth and makes it jubilantly, terrifically entertaining.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Vibrating with humanity, it's a potent portrait of love, ranging from the purely carnal to the impurely sublime.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Like "Memento," Mulholland Drive is an amnesiac noir in the tradition that goes back to "Spellbound" and "Somewhere in the Night."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A film that lets life flood into our souls.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Be forewarned: Dog Days, like many of Seidel's films, will drive some moviegoers to rage and walkouts with its unrelentingly depressing tone. But it also a remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It still soars, but now it seems richer, more expansive. Amadeus reminds us that movies can be lyrical as well as vulgar, ambitious as well as playful, brilliant as well as down and dirty -- just like Amadeus himself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A Chekhovian tale of major artistic power.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Perfect for anyone with a youthful heart and a rich imagination.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    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
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Probing... haunting.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Pure magic, a three-act movie fantasy that transports us -- as the best films do -- to a world of its own, a place of ambiguous joy and delirious terror.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It put a smile on my face that never left for 117 minutes.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A hard-core movie with a soft, light-hearted center and an edge like a knife.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    I loved this movie madly, and so will many of you.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Like most Godard, it can be watched repeatedly, always yielding new secrets and beauties. Most profound of all, perhaps, are those incredible black-and-white images of Paris.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Moviegoers should be almost as entranced by the teeming, glorious landscapes and dark, bloody battlegrounds of Two Towers: astonishing midpoint of an epic movie fantasy journey for the ages.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A movie about the passions of simple people, and it's done with such extraordinary empathy and commitment that it all but pulls you under. [29 November 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A brilliant work of the imagination capable of truly seizing and igniting our fantasies.
    • 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This French documentary gives us unprecedented intimacy and sweep.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most excitingly contemporary musicals ever made.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A wildly original movie with astonishingly varied moods and influences.
    • 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is the Paris -- and the mad, beautiful young Parisienne -- we look for in dreams.
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's perhaps only because it can't be seen in its full glory on television that "Lawrence" isn't ranked more highly on some recent all-time "best film" lists. But it belongs near the very top. It's an astonishing, unrepeatable epic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A spellbinder: provocatively conceived, gorgeously shot and masterfully executed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's tantalizing, delectable and randy, a movie of melting eroticism and toothsome humor.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is a terrific movie: jolting, savage, horrifically funny, nightmarishly exciting but also brainy and compassionate.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Wilmington
    There's a muscular sincerity to this movie, a power and spread to its imagery that triumphs over the occasional candied purple patches or strained plot twists. [16 Jul 1993 Pg. F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Wilmington
    Though definitely one of the best American movies of the year--a work of high ensemble talent and intelligence, gorgeously mounted and crafted, artistically audacious in ways that most American movies don't even attempt--it's still a disappointment… It's not the capstone we might have wanted Coppola to make. [23 Dec 1990, Calendar, p.9]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Wilmington
    A lot of this horrific Little Shop is not only sweet, melodic, funny and oddly idealistic, it's even, well, tasty. [19 Dec 1986, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Two suggestions as you watch it: Never take anything for granted, and keep your hand on your wallet as you leave the theater.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of uncommon eloquence and elegance, acted by a truly gifted cast.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    There's a zest and brilliance in Neil Jordan's racy heist thriller The Good Thief that makes it almost intoxicating to watch.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Has some of the wit, sass and sexual candor of an "Annie Hall." But it covers the same kind of territory with more bite and bile.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a brutally convincing movie about two hell-bent young Turkish-German lovers dancing on the edge of destruction in a Hamburg underworld of drugs and casual sex. Yet it's also compassionate and even tender.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Just as Zhao uses his comic gifts to create an affecting human, so Dong's performance as Wu is a triumph of honesty and tact.
    • 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.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    iIt's a film for art- and foreign-movie devotees. But it's also a movie for audiences who simply want to get turned on.

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