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 After the Life
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,276 movie reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie full of bewitching images and timeless fun and beauty.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Mamet takes exactly those qualities that we most prize in genre movies -- characters, cleverness and high style -- and refines them to a high shine.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a genuine shocker - a dazzler of a film - a hellishly funny picture.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A movie likely to rally huge audiences who want to take another roller coaster ride. And though it may disappoint a few of them, it's also a film that gives you something to think and feel sad about. It smashes you -- gently.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The movie, done in a classic measured style, finally moves you almost as much as if it had stayed in Kurosawa's hands. Filled with love and melancholy, it's a fitting, fond epilogue to the "sensei" (the master).
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most remarkable English-language feature debuts of recent years.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An often brilliant, always revelatory, deeply interesting omnibus film.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A shocker for devotees of stylish angst and psychological torment. You'll have to watch it with patience and great attention, but it richly rewards that patience.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Elegant, cheerfully cynical fun of the kind we used to get regularly from Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks and other masters of the classic Hollywood screwball comedy -- all those '30s-'40s movies about rich people sloshed, or acting crazy and running romantically amok.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An old nightmare, made shiny new.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Blessed with one of the strongest casts of any American movie this year, this bravura film, with its radical structure, is full of risk and reward.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Good movie westerns these days may be too few and far between, but Ron Howard's The Missing is almost a great one.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A word of warning. Big Fish is so strange and so literary that audiences seeking conventional fare may get impatient with it. But it always takes effort to catch the big ones. This one is worth it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A funny valentine by an old master, woos us into the dance.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A stark, minimalist near-masterpiece about the creation of a murderer in modern Iran.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A spellbinding piece of Japanese anime from one of the form's new masters, director-writer Satoshi Kon.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ablaze with poetry and danger, and suffused with an odd kind of intellectual kitsch.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Twilight is a great samurai film in the way that "Unforgiven," "The Gunfighter" or "Will Penny"--all muted, somber films about aging gunfighters--are great westerns.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The movie is a delight in many ways: an unabashed romantic comedy and Capraesque fable that takes Spielberg into realms he's rarely traveled before.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Close to perfect example of an expertly designed and executed thriller.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The results are spine-tingling. There's only one thing to say about this movie and its rescuers, recovered from the dead--and the Dead: Rock on.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A brilliant, giddy satiric romp with a discreetly moralistic viewpoint beneath its high-style wit.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Graced with Nair's loving direction, Witherspoon's radiance and that great cast, it is a treat, if somewhat less so than the novel.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Salles' movie isn't fiery or didactic. It doesn't rage or storm. Salles romanticizes the youthful Ernesto.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's not a hasty, knocked-together promo job--though it is clearly pro-Kerry.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Watching Jonathan Caouette's amazing autobiographical documentary Tarnation is like descending into a pop-music, underground-movie hell and heaven, the shattered and shattering landscape of a living body and mind.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A rich, shining valentine to the British theater and the eternal joys of Shakespeare,
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Bening shines, and the film shines too.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ultimately, p.s. confirms Kidd's talent without expanding it or achieving the comic/dramatic heights of "Roger Dodger."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A movie which, like all the best blues, makes good times out of bad times, makes smiles out of hurt, makes tears taste like honey.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    For anyone who likes classic, offbeat American moviemaking, in the rural-thriller genre from "Moonrise" to "Macon County Jail," Undertow is one to check. Seething with violence, bleeding with lyricism, it's a poem from the junk heap, a cry from the swamp.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This hip, highly partisan biography of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey is a surprisingly entertaining movie about the perils of studying sexual behavior in a sexually uptight culture--our own.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Miller's quiet artistry is at its peak, and though "Lili" is not as subtle, profound or moving a work as Chekhov's play, it's an intelligent, first-rate piece of cinema.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Vast, riveting, madly audacious movie biography.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Few directors are more adept at playing with all this anguish and exhilaration than Mike Nichols.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the best films ever about that game, one of the most exciting, instructive and sheerly entertaining of all chess films.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a great film that, sadly, may be ignored by all but the most dedicated, knowledgable filmgoers.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Though "Keys" is not Amelio's best, it has an emotional power almost equal to anything he's done.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's an intelligent and informed look at the preposterous ways our leaders are often picked and sabotaged.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A violent, improbable movie done in tersely elegant style, and it may be the last action movie for one of the cinema's great action stars, Clint Eastwood.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The acting in All or Nothing is superb. Everyone creates a character we can immediately register and recognize as true.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    He (Puri) is one of the most consistently excellent film actors that his country - or the world - has produced. And East is East, a grand cultural hybrid, is a real movie, too - raw, funny and wonderfully mixed up.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's fresh, funny, biting, fast-paced and reasonably perceptive about people and their problems.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A vivifying film, though it's done in such a strange style that it takes a while to get used to it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of uncommon eloquence and elegance, acted by a truly gifted cast.
    • 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
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Kidman crafts a characterization of breathtakingly controlled artifice, dead-on timing, dizzyingly precise humor. Her part is a knockout--in every sense of the word. [6 Oct 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Thompson clearly loves this story, and, even though, she's playing the less spontaneous of the older Dashwood sisters, responsible Elinor, you can feel her spirit rising out to embrace the part. It makes her beautiful to watch. [13 December 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A fine, exciting film that makes a bloody historical event live all over again by showing it through the eyes of children on the edges of the conflict.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the more delightful and satisfying family movies.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A stirring, large-souled movie.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of those sweet, intelligent, nicely made films.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Allen gives us at least half a classic comedy - more than we usually get at the movies these days - while having some elegant fun with an idea that has intrigued poets and smart alecks through the ages: the interchangeability of comedy and tragedy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Sin City is an evil place, full of awful people, an obsessive movie full of monomaniacal tough guys. Yet when Miller and Rodriguez move it into gear, noir lives.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A highly exciting, visually alive thriller.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A witty and psychologically perceptive look at the Parisian literary scene.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    As beautifully designed, swift and sleek as a classic sports car, throbbing with emotion and intelligence, it's a neat suspense film that's also dramatically and sociologically potent, with two supremely talented stars, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, delivering beyond the emotional call of duty.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A classy triple shot of film erotica from three brilliant writer-directors.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Should hold you spellbound.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Takes a potentially explosive subject and does it subtly and perceptively.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A gargantuan epic, a historical adventure-drama of overwhelming visual grandeur.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the year's best documentaries.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a film objet d'art to contemplate and treasure.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Rivets and amazes, even if it falls just frustratingly short of the mind-expanding grandeur it could have had.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An oddity: an adaptation of a popular novel co-written and directed by the novelist himself. It's also a fine, gentle film love story and a cinematic tribute to the power and manifold benefits of communications between different cultures and nations.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A dark subject certainly, but in Murray's bouquet-bearing hands, it can still hand us a laugh.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Duma, at its best, reminded me exactly why we loved movies as children: because they told stories like this, with images just as rhapsodically colorful and exciting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a horror movie for aficionados. But it's also for people who don't usually like horror movies at all, who regard them as cheap, crude and over-obvious.There's nothing cheap or crude in Pulse," a fine, shivery movie about the terror of solitude and emptiness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The movie itself is as slick, fast and terrifyingly violent as a top-grade American crime thriller, but a lot smarter than most.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A disturbingly frank look at people and relationships in contemporary Los Angeles and a thrilling dramatic showcase for a brilliant cast.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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