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 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,221 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A lovely film with a deeply humane perspective.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An often-wondrous comedy, just as rich and surprising as "L.A. Confidential" but considerably less dark.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a lovely, terrifying sight.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The film seems a mad mix of staid PBS bio-drama, flamboyant musical comedy and surreal cartoon nightmare.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Wonderful spirit, humanity and humor.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This century's Planet of the Apes is a rouser, a screaming-banshee fun house.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of uncommon eloquence and elegance, acted by a truly gifted cast.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's fresh, funny, biting, fast-paced and reasonably perceptive about people and their problems.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A funny valentine by an old master, woos us into the dance.
    • 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]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A wonderful, heart-breaking movie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An old nightmare, made shiny new.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A stark, minimalist near-masterpiece about the creation of a murderer in modern Iran.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Starts out hilarious and then turns very, very grim.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Has the resonance, eloquence and formal rigor of a piece of great literature.
    • 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]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a first-class muckraking melodrama: an admirable picture.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the best realistic dramas of the year.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A family tale, in the best sense. [19 February 1999, Tempo, p.4]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a simple story with complex reverberations and undercurrents, as secrets keep being revealed.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a summit meeting between three brilliant leading men from three generations with three striking on-screen personas.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a meaty, well-crafted thriller that absorbs and disturbs you from first frame to last.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Scene after scene in Calle 54 just knocks you out.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a movie with every facet shining in place, every word charged and resonant. [23 Sept 1994]
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Honest, poignant and very funny, full of memorable, moving moments.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Intoxicatingly well-crafted entertainment about hunting down your enemy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's one of the most ferociously convincing physical re-creations of warfare ever put on screen.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A finely written, superbly acted offbeat thriller.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A highly entertaining and visually breathtaking movie, capable at times of rocking and delighting you.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ultimately, p.s. confirms Kidd's talent without expanding it or achieving the comic/dramatic heights of "Roger Dodger."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A brilliant, giddy satiric romp with a discreetly moralistic viewpoint beneath its high-style wit.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An incredibly ambitious film and one of the most highly accomplished of the year.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    I've got to admit it's a stunner.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    At its best, it's an exhilaratingly grandiose Highland fling. [24 May 1995, Tempo, p.1]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's not a hasty, knocked-together promo job--though it is clearly pro-Kerry.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    (The film is) one of the most anguished, intense and weirdly brilliant of the year.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Ablaze with poetry and danger, and suffused with an odd kind of intellectual kitsch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An adventure movie of extraordinary simplicity and power.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The Zellweger-Firth-Grant triangle works as irresistibly as Hepburn-Grant-Stewart in "The Philadelphia Story."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A spellbinding piece of Japanese anime from one of the form's new masters, director-writer Satoshi Kon.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A rich, shining valentine to the British theater and the eternal joys of Shakespeare,
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An incredibly silly film of great humor, brilliant design and epic insanity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.