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 The Age of Innocence
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,278 movie reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A beautiful, almost defiant film on an unusual subject: love among the elderly.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a genteel film with a gun in its pocket, but it's also a film with a universal chord of feeling that keeps welling up from the dark surfaces and violent byways of the plot-and a final confession that both warms the heart and chills the blood.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    I don't see how you can get away from calling Cage’s performance a great one. [10 November 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A beautifully acted and deeply compassionate study of ordinary people coping with the vicissitudes of life.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Wonderful spirit, humanity and humor.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Rivets and amazes, even if it falls just frustratingly short of the mind-expanding grandeur it could have had.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It may be the most serene and optimistic film Rivette has made in France. Yet even the art-house audience may undervalue it, miss the beauty, style and wit.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Hallstrom gives us a genial interpretation and a supremely good-humored film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    What's remarkable as we watch Lilya's plunge (and the brief, false rays of light that illuminate it) is how real Moodysson makes her plight, how intensely he makes us empathize with Lilya.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Such a triumph of simplicity, subtlety and tact--and of the eroticism in words, looks and glances--that the actors ravish us with sheer talent and intelligence.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A classy triple shot of film erotica from three brilliant writer-directors.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Intoxicatingly well-crafted entertainment about hunting down your enemy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The acting -- especially by Borrows, Ian Hart and Hackett -- is strong and transparent, utterly convincing. The whole movie has a seamless flow and an utterly convincing sense of time and place.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie drama with a surface so bleak and an interior so hot with eroticism that it twists your guts to watch it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This film--one of the best and most memorable documentaries of the year so far--brings that truth-teller to us once again.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Once again, as love dies and illusions crumble, this natural actress (Isabelle Huppert) shines with human fire. [26 March 1999, Friday, p.B]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie imbued with a fierce intimacy -- a tone and style similar to cinema verite documentary -- but it's not a banal realism, even if the characters and settings in contemporary working-class Liege initially seem mundane.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The movie scrambles our responses and covers so much ground, with such zest, that its two and a half hours race past like a firestorm.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An old nightmare, made shiny new.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a film objet d'art to contemplate and treasure.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Honest, poignant and very funny, full of memorable, moving moments.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This magnificent pair are the heart of Techine's film, and the sense of frayed, aging beauty and handsomeness they now carry helps project the picture's main theme: the imperishability of true love.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most remarkable English-language feature debuts of recent years.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ten
    A film made by a master, with a simplicity that is really revolutionary. It's a work capable of changing the ways you look at the movies - and at life.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A contemporary Russian movie that you could honestly call revolutionary, more for its style than its politics.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The splendid new documentary Crumb, a sympathetic yet woundingly candid portrait, catches the artist with much the same skill. [26 May 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A movie with surprises, some of which you should discover for yourself. But its main surprises may be the power of Collette's performance and the beautifully controlled mood and atmosphere Brooks creates.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The beauties of Shower lie in its human observation, in its funny interplay, candor, lusty acting and hearty simplicity - and also in its warm imagery and the fascinating symbolic use it makes of water.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's hard to watch and listen to Together without, in some sense, having your heart lifted by its music.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    In The Weather Man, Nicolas Cage, a great oddball movie star who sometimes takes enormous risks, has a good, risky part again.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    For a film that points out so much wrong with German society and shows such dubious, dangerous behavior, it leaves the audience with high spirits and a sense of crazy exhilaration.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A film that art-house audiences in 1959 loved madly. And who can blame them? A buoyant, searingly colorful retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth set in Rio de Janiero, writer-director's Marcel Camus' movie is a romance heightened by its backdrop.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The movie looks like far more than a million dollars and it offers the kind of smart, picaresque good time you get from books like "The Reivers" and "Huckleberry Finn" and movies like "Bronco Billy" and "Bonnie and Clyde."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A gargantuan epic, a historical adventure-drama of overwhelming visual grandeur.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This century's Planet of the Apes is a rouser, a screaming-banshee fun house.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    These are real characters, fully observed, gutsily written, beautifully acted by the two leads.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Has the kind of super-cinematic qualities and bravura acting that make up for almost anything.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    So intense and warm are Leigh's feelings for his characters, that we may remember Hannah and Annie long afterward as old friends -- imperfect yet lovable, pals with whom we've suffered and laughed a lot.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Showing us a world through a child's eyes, A Time for Drunken Horses speaks so truthfully and well that it breaks the heart and scars the conscience.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Shot with a Peter Greenaway-like austere impudence and edited brilliantly (by Jed Parker), this is an entertaining movie, and a moving one--even if, like me, you're not especially fond of these paintings or that scene.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A deceptively simple French film about teaching that keeps enlarging as you watch it, becoming beautiful and inspiring in a way most films never touch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Bening shines, and the film shines too.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's an intellectual family film for literate parents and children, immensely pleasing if not perfect, perhaps a smidgen too brightly evasive and determinedly charming.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Like Robert Altman's "Short Cuts," it is an all-star fresco, but the stars--none of whom carries the movie--get to play the kind of morally ambivalent, sometimes unlikable parts that big-name actors usually avoid.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A love-hate poem to L.A., and when Mann takes in the streets, the freeways and LAX, he doesn't give us shiny "Lethal Weapon"-style travelogues. He shows us an L.A. that's grim, bare, a bit smoggy and ruled by street smarts. [15 Dec 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Its social impact is part of what makes this movie memorable. But as with almost any exceptional, truthful war picture, Days of Glory moves us because we know the soldiers -- because we share their fear, triumph and pain.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    There's only one proper Hollywood ending to this story. Next year, Charlie and the surreal "Donald" Kaufman (listed as co-writers in the playful credits) should win twin Oscars for best adapted screenplay. They've earned it -- really.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Fast, funny, big-hearted.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A highly exciting, visually alive thriller.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A modern digitized lollapalooza concocted out of old-fashioned slam-bang space opera elements.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    About the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it treats war as a cosmic joke and its participants as hapless but recognizably human clowns.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Most movingly, Monsieur Ibrahim takes a provocative subject -- friendship and love between a Jew and a Muslim -- and makes it seem natural and wondrous.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Harris and Harden have real on-screen sympatico, in their nasty battles and good times alike.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Works beautifully, both as a social and psychological drama and as a taut, tightly wired thriller.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A rich, shining valentine to the British theater and the eternal joys of Shakespeare,
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Done with an enticing mixture of lacerating comedy, lush Roger Deakins cinematography, robust acting and juicy lines, the Coens' Ladykillers is often glorious fun to watch. It won't please everyone, of course.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Seemingly a simple comedy, it actually -- like all Allen's "simple" comedies -- has a lot to say. Will the audience listen or just dismiss it as minor, out-of-date Woody? If they do, it's their loss.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An exquisitely realized film; a little gem, it keeps its conflicting or varying themes of tranquility and violence, sacred and profane love, recklessness and wisdom, in almost perfect balance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Chungking Express is a breezy little Hong Kong movie that has more life, energy, humanity and sheer visual zing than most other shows you'll see in a month or so. And, an hour after watching it, you may indeed be hungry for more. Not necessarily because the show is shallow or unsatisfying, or doesn't leave a strong impression, but because the spontaneity and high energy of it is what's so much fun.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Casual moviegoers may enjoy it, too, if they follow a simple rule: Stop looking for the way out and let yourself get lost.
    • 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.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A powerful symbolic drama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the year's finest documentaries, a remarkable example of the conjunction of a burningly topical and newsworthy subject with a brilliant filmmaker.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It sneaks up on you and shakes you: a tale of the cold hell surging up beneath that windy, sensuous Wyeth landscape.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter just keeps growing up. So do the Potter movies, in size, in ambition and in visual splendor - and with increasingly stunning results.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The Human Stain has those qualities we often want but rarely see in our films: intelligence and ambition, decency and humanity, poetry and pity, fire and ice. Watch it and weep.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The film seems a mad mix of staid PBS bio-drama, flamboyant musical comedy and surreal cartoon nightmare.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A stark, minimalist near-masterpiece about the creation of a murderer in modern Iran.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A weird, funny, melancholy tribute to movies and movie-going, an opus for film geeks that rang my personal bell. A bizarre minimalist epic that will either transport or infuriate, it's defiantly, exquisitely eccentric.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the best of its streamlined, over-produced, double-clutch kind: a high-speed, slicker-than-slick car-chase movie with unexpected deposits of character and comedy.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A mad, resplendent peacock of a film, a cinematographic riot of color and sensuality that evokes its era -- the swinging mid-'60s -- as much as any movie made during those giddy years.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The most visually spectacular, action-packed and surreal of the adventures of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The Crow imbues its comic brutalism with emotion and satire. Too raw and pulpy, it probably shouldn't be regarded as a memorial to Brandon Lee. But as an obsessive rock 'n' roll comic book movie shocker of loony intensity, it stands, or flies, by itself.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a terrific, kinetic experience, and it's also a brilliant showcase for a crackerjack ensemble of great actors.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Sometimes, it's exciting to watch a movie formula jell on screen-and that's what you can see happening in The Client, the latest, and best, of three successive films adapted from legal thrillers by John Grisham.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Most of all, it's a film for moviegoers who love powerful stories and ravishing imagery: timeless, eternal, the kind of tales handed from one generation and culture to the next -- and alive in all of them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A film of great spiritual intensity and haunting minimalism that enlarges your concepts of movies and of life. Like the monks of the Carthusian order, it distills something intoxicating through a style that's pure and rigorous.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ablaze with poetry and danger, and suffused with an odd kind of intellectual kitsch.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a summit meeting between three brilliant leading men from three generations with three striking on-screen personas.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    For any of you who've ever daydreamed of playing hoops with Jordan, Michael Jordan to the Max is almost certainly the closest you'll ever get.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Few directors are more adept at playing with all this anguish and exhilaration than Mike Nichols.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The poetry of Last Days has a stoned grandeur.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a film for specialized tastes, quiet, delicate. But it suits those tastes beautifully.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The Sea isn't just brooding Scandinavian domestic tragedy, a lesser Bergman-Ibsen pastiche. It's also hilarious and rowdy, and it plays with our sympathies and expectations in such surprising ways, with such brilliant actors, it's easy to see why it won the equivalent of eight Icelandic Oscars.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A witty and psychologically perceptive look at the Parisian literary scene.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A noir with a smile, and after all these years, its deft mixture of darkness and light still makes us smile.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    You probably won't find two more fascinating camera subjects, two livelier conversationalists or two richer, more rewarding, more engaging and inspiring companions in any movie, fiction or non-fiction, this year.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A beautiful, intensely moving film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a nice mix, an elegantly smoky and dangerous cocktail -- just like the old noirs, but in a more modern, shinier glass. And since the basic brew is Elmore Leonard's, it tickles as it goes down. [26 June 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a first-class muckraking melodrama: an admirable picture.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    German emigre Dupont directs all this with the style, flair and tension he brought to his 1925 Emil Jannings classic, "Variety." But it is Wong, shimmering with charisma, who gives Piccadilly its unforgettable center.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Not a striking film visually. It's deliberately plain looking, focused on the appalling events with an almost documentary immediacy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a thriller that comes at you with gut-clutching ferocity, spewing blood and sex, shaking you up and scrambling your responses.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Not too many actors last year bettered or equaled Beatty and Schreiber here, separately or (better yet) together. It's a pleasure and a privilege to watch them work.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is an old-fashioned movie done with wit, grace, smarts and style. [19 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    As much fun as anything director/co-writer Jane Campion has ever filmed. Holy Smoke lets it all hang out.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The writer-director doesn't raise her voice, even as she firmly condemns the injustice. Water seduces us with its beauty and sorrow.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a twisty, hell-for-leather crime thriller, and director Carl Franklin gives it all the slick, modern trimmings.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the more delightful and satisfying family movies.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ends up working like a charm.

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