Michael Wilmington
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For 1,276 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 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,276 movie reviews
    • 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
    • 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.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It has a jokey irreverence that keeps it from teetering over the edge to absurdity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Scene after scene in Calle 54 just knocks you out.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The simplicity and idealism of The Color of Paradise are part of what makes it so attractive to near-jaded palates here. There are no evil characters in the film.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A fine French comedy-drama.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An incredibly ambitious film and one of the most highly accomplished of the year.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the best realistic dramas of the year.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    (The film is) one of the most anguished, intense and weirdly brilliant of the year.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Wonderful spirit, humanity and humor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A film that uses beautiful tableaux and convincingly raw actors to build to a climax of shatteringly understated poignancy and power.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's sensuality with a stinger, and Fat Girl is an adolescent sex drama that takes no prisoners.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Another of those excellent foreign films that sometimes slip though cracks, considered too strange or eccentric for domestic tastes. Strange it is, but delightfully so
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Like a Bach toccata or a frosty drink on a sunlit veranda, a first-class movie spy thriller can offer one of life's cooler, more elegant treats. The Tailor of Panama fits that category.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Intoxicatingly well-crafted entertainment about hunting down your enemy.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A wonderful, heart-breaking movie.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A harsh, spellbinding tale.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An often-wondrous comedy, just as rich and surprising as "L.A. Confidential" but considerably less dark.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    What really makes Alias Betty stand out, even from good recent French ensemble films like "Eight Women" and "Venus Beauty Institute," is that ingenious, Rendell-derived story. To kidnap an old phrase, it's a corker.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An adventure movie of extraordinary simplicity and power.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    With his usual consummate visual skills and his flair for the nauseatingly audacious, David Cronenberg’s written (spottily) and directed (stunningly) a movie that often makes you feel as if you'd lost contact with reality: a twisted, nightmarish tale of futuristic reality games and a couple on the run. [23 April 1999, Friday, p.D]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Panahi's simplicity accentuates the movie's power: its sense of life caught unobserved.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ends up working like a charm.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    While Last Kiss may strike some as a calculated crowd-pleaser, it's cleverly calculated, perceptive and often quite funny -- and a bit darker than it may first appear.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a lovely, terrifying sight.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A seductive revisiting of an old classic - one that helps us see these lovers and their world with renewed passion.
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Grosse Pointe Blank is covering the same kind of territory as that elephantine, if exciting, 1994 family man-killer thriller, "True Lies." But this time, the joke stings. [11 April 1997, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Thornton and his excellent company summon up for us the long rides, dangerous companions, rites of passage, the mad love and, most of all, the special relationship between the man/boys that rode over the border and the horses that carried them there.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's the best new battle film since "Black Hawk Down," a movie it surpasses in sheer feeling and bravura style, if not in nightmarish panic and suspense.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Honest, poignant and very funny, full of memorable, moving moments.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Be forewarned: The movie lasts three hours and 16 minutes, and nearly all of it deals with subjects that polite society (and even rude society) tends to ignore or evade.
    • 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
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Harris and Harden have real on-screen sympatico, in their nasty battles and good times alike.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's an exciting but brainy, cross-cultural thriller about modern London and life in a contemporary urban pressure cooker, and it depends more on plot, character and atmosphere than it does on chases and gunfire.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's an unabashed pacifist movie that really works, emotionally and dramatically.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's one of the most ferociously convincing physical re-creations of warfare ever put on screen.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a simple story with complex reverberations and undercurrents, as secrets keep being revealed.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    So troubling and unflinchingly honest that watching it becomes a test of empathy and compassion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An excellent, unforgettable film.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A rarity -- an intelligent and moving drama of ideas that becomes increasingly thrilling as the ideas unfold.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    You will not forget The Piano Teacher. Nor will you forget Isabelle Huppert, a brave, brilliant actress who here plays her masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Has the resonance, eloquence and formal rigor of a piece of great literature.
    • 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
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    There's a gentleness and open-mindedness in that touch and throughout the film that's a little at odds with the shallower script. But, in the end, that humanity pays. [27 Dec 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a first-class muckraking melodrama: an admirable picture.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A bizarre, thrilling, warmly funny spoof of the WWII Steve McQueen prison camp thriller, "The Great Escape" remade for a near all-chicken cast.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A romance incandescent, a fiery pageant of l'amour fou. Whatever its historical transgressions, it opens up a vein and lets life and blood pour out.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    All the accolades Lyne got for "Fatal Attraction" -- and didn't really merit -- he deserves here.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Works better and cuts deeper than the mostly fictionalized "Hoosiers."
    • 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]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Watching this film wakes you up; it is a window on an Iran and an Afghanistan we should have taken account of long ago -- seen though a master's eye, felt through a poet's touch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a movie that doesn't depend for its effects on star performers or stylized wish-fulfillment sexuality but on realism, sharp observation and honest humor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Of all the many documentaries that take you along on a movie shoot, one of my all-time favorites is this delightfully scrappy, sometimes poignant, often hilarious show.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The film seems a mad mix of staid PBS bio-drama, flamboyant musical comedy and surreal cartoon nightmare.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The result is both engrossing and moving, a poem about a love that breaks barriers and passes understanding.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Starts out hilarious and then turns very, very grim.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The movie has a deliberately screw-loose feel.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A family tale, in the best sense. [19 February 1999, Tempo, p.4]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Sharp, funny, sad and daring as it may be, Happiness is missing something. Its points are often too obvious, its shocks too juvenile. It's impressive but not transcendent. [23 Oct 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Thanks to Echer, Nettelbeck and this delicious movie, I was able to hear "Country" and the other Jarrett tunes in scene after scene - heightening moods, lyricizing action and making Hamburg seem like a wintry love song. Predictable or not, that's often as good as it gets.
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the year's most thought-provoking, hard-hitting films, gutsily opening up a subject rarely done with this kind of all-out chutzpah.
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A highly entertaining and visually breathtaking movie, capable at times of rocking and delighting you.
    • 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
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a movie with every facet shining in place, every word charged and resonant. [23 Sept 1994]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Has the kind of super-cinematic qualities and bravura acting that make up for almost anything.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    At its best, it's an exhilaratingly grandiose Highland fling. [24 May 1995, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A finely written, superbly acted offbeat thriller.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A humane and fantastic work, and it touches us precisely because Konchalovsky shows the reality of both the soldiers and the madhouse inmates. His movie is just what he intended: a nightmare that speaks the truth.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a meaty, well-crafted thriller that absorbs and disturbs you from first frame to last.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A beautifully acted and deeply compassionate study of ordinary people coping with the vicissitudes of life.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An incredibly silly film of great humor, brilliant design and epic insanity.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A lovely film with a deeply humane perspective.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A true original: a film that stands apart from the crowd, goes its own way and all but dares you not to like it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Though the role might seem a real stretch for an actor who just won an Oscar for his Charlton Heston turn as Maximus in "Gladiator," he and the movie ace the test.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    I've got to admit it's a stunner.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Delighted me like few films I've seen recently. It's a sexy, sweet, sumptuously entertaining movie about the huge and wildly eventful wedding reception.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An Adam Sandler movie with class, and if that sounds like an oxymoron, so be it. The movie is a happy nightmare of silly-smart movie comedy that defies category - and challenges expectations involving Sandler and his pictures.

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