Michael Wilmington
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For 1,277 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 13.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Shine
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,277 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    At its best, it's an exhilaratingly grandiose Highland fling. [24 May 1995, Tempo, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An incredibly ambitious film and one of the most highly accomplished of the year.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Mrs. Parker is a comedy even though it's sad, and a sort of tragedy even though it's funny, with such foggy borders between the two that pathos and humor seem to smear all over each other, like makeup running with tears. [23 Dec 1994, p.N]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Darin is an actor who's really consummate at suggesting two simultaneous levels of character.
    • 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
    • 49 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is a meaty, well-crafted thriller that absorbs and disturbs you from first frame to last.
    • 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).
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    With Maura delivering an explosive performance, Almodovar presents Pepa's tale with real gusto--with vibrant colors, gaudy personality, mad jokes and a sexiness that erupts off the screen.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A stark, lyrical and affecting portrait of war's aftermath.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Movies about literary lives don't always catch fire, but Henry Fool is a glorious exception: an austerely funny, brilliantly written and acted serio-comic tale of two writers. [17 Jul 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    So troubling and unflinchingly honest that watching it becomes a test of empathy and compassion.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a genuine shocker - a dazzler of a film - a hellishly funny picture.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A dark subject certainly, but in Murray's bouquet-bearing hands, it can still hand us a laugh.
    • 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
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    All the accolades Lyne got for "Fatal Attraction" -- and didn't really merit -- he deserves here.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A classic of realistic terror, in which passion and murder can't lie buried.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Scene after scene in Calle 54 just knocks you out.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A funny valentine by an old master, woos us into the dance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Though it's not the great film "Grand Illusion" is, and though it may strike some as a little schmaltzy, it still has some of that earlier film's deep feeling and empathy for soldiers trapped in the jaws of war and for the joys of Christmas--for believers and non-believers alike.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    These girls can cook, and Yamashita captures them with an austere, unhurried visual style that has been rightly compared to rock aficionado/filmmakers Aki Kaurismaki ("Ariel") and Jim Jarmusch ("Mystery Train"). [8 Dec 2006, p.2]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of those sweet, intelligent, nicely made films.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A harsh, spellbinding tale.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An extraordinarily truthful and piercing drama.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a lovely, terrifying sight.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a great film that, sadly, may be ignored by all but the most dedicated, knowledgable filmgoers.
    • 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A lovely film with a deeply humane perspective.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The new Lassie is faithful to Knight's story, capturing its sweep, Dickensian social contrasts and high emotion. All that is enhanced by a splendid cast.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The tone and feel of Wild Reeds keeps shifting between irony and sentimentality, violence and tenderness, rebellion and acceptance. And those oscillations fit the volatile nature of its subject: young love and friendship. Together with his attractive and excellent cast, Techine recalls and invokes the mood swings of youth, the intensity and bursts of near-delirious passion.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Yet the film, no more than the novel, shouldn't be described as depressing. Both of them shine with heightened vision and poetics. [01 Nov 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Salles' movie isn't fiery or didactic. It doesn't rage or storm. Salles romanticizes the youthful Ernesto.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It has a jokey irreverence that keeps it from teetering over the edge to absurdity.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An adventure movie of extraordinary simplicity and power.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    Commands respect and affection. [2 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    If the movie sometimes seems overwhelmed by its budget and its legendary third-act problems, it's still entertainingly raw and brutal, full of whiplash pace and juicy exaggeration. [1 June 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    Despite a level of lurid violence that may offend many, this movie has a motor humming inside. It's been assembled with ferocious, gleeful expertise, crammed with humor, cynicism and jolts of energy. In many ways, it's the best action movie of the year. [17 Jul 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    There isn't a single performance in Midnight Run that doesn't have a pulse, that doesn't show the actors at their best or near-best, especially De Niro. [20 July 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    In the years since he first played Drebin, Nielsen has deepened the role, made it more subtle, more universal, more paramount. He's brought out an almost preternatural mellowness in a character who began as a relatively uncomplicated dimwit. [2 Dec 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    Has its share of underthought or overwrought moments. The tone keeps shifting radically. It has some silly lines, plot lapses and goofball action scenes. But you can forgive the movie everything because of the sheer nasty pizazz of its central concept. [4 Nov 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    It has an irresistibly sure touch, an easy command of its audience. It hits the right buttons, strikes the right chords, plays with our expectations with the right blend of savvy, guile and imagination. [26 Nov. 1986]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    Johnny Suede has an astonishingly consistent tone and a remarkably talented and cohesive cast. [21 Aug 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    It's one hell of a ride and a real, roaring rock movie. [01 Mar 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Wilmington
    We don't make those kind of Lubitsch-Wilder-Capra movies anymore, because it's hard to kid about what goes on behind bedroom walls when the bedroom doors have long since been flung open. So Ephron invents strategies to keep us, teased, outside the boudoir. [25 Jun 1993 Pg.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie's great end-title sequence redeems everything. Under the credits, we see and hear the real-life game veterans as they are now--including, movingly, ex-Lakers coach Riley.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This is a movie that rocks and socks you, and has a performance by Washington that's ruthless and scary. But in the end, it leaves you unmarked.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A sports bio movie that I really enjoyed about a sport and sports hero I barely knew existed: the World Hour Record competition for bicyclists and its gutsy, tormented and most unusual champion, Graeme Obree.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    There's something a little absurd about this story, but for me, it's endearingly goofy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    5x2
    When you piece it all together, it becomes mildly fascinating.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The new movie, like its predecessor, is a crime thriller with a moral viewpoint, an eye and ear for street color and a taste for macho movie fantasy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It only works about half the time, but it's an interesting half.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A romantic comedy/social satire that, on a modest budget, manages to be hip, charming, funny and dressed to kill.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Witherspoon goes further, pouring so much humor and pizzazz into Elle that she lifts up the whole movie.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Frederick is the key to the movie and she's definitely an impressive new talent, someone who can really hold the screen and who delivers something striking or memorable in every scene.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most gorgeous science-fiction movies ever - and probably also one of the most realistic in detail and scientific extrapolation
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This movie is a model of technique, beautifully crafted, often brilliantly acted by Cage and the others, but it's a bit hollow at the center.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Boasts a really spectacular cast to voice those reasonably funny jokes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's a cool breeze of a comedy, with a slant on things that's dark but compassionate. Watching Bottle Rocket doesn't just make you laugh. It makes you smile between the laughs, think beneath the smiles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Few recent movie romances have a more chilling and peculiar feel -- and a more sobering aftertaste -- than Neil Jordan's heart-rendingly cold adaptation of Affair.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Beautifully produced: a moving film with a fascinating story and exemplary acting.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie itself, defying all odds, comes close to a knockout.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A tender, visually stunning comedy-drama.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Proyas' movie lacks a truly rich or compelling story -- although the city secret is certainly a rich and compelling idea. All too often, Dark City seems a great production design in search of a movie, an ultimate modern film noir pastiche, in which the images are so strong they overpower the drama. [27 Feb 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    At once proudly conservative, passionately idealistic and beautifully assured.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Chan is so good, so much fun to watch, that he often transcends his vehicles. And that's the case with Rumble in the Bronx, his big bid to crack the American market. [23 Feb 1996, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Often, Requiem for a Dream is as technically inventive and daring as the Scottish heroin film "Trainspotting," but it has more resonance and feeling. And when Burstyn is on screen, it often becomes heartbreaking.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of the best and funniest things that Martin, as writer and actor, has ever done.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Kline, though, does give one of the great movie performances of the year so far.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A hip, funny, knowing romantic sports comedy that gets a little strained when it tries to expose its heart. [13 December 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Tape may not be a great movie, but it's a great demonstration of creativity within severe limitations.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Exactly the sort of personalized, non-assembly line treat some audiences are always trying, in vain, to find.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    His (Dafoe's) re-creation of Schreck is an Oscar-level performance, but more than that, it's an unforgettable one: great, scary, horrifically funny.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    If the real-life story is genuinely inspirational, the movie stirs us as well.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    As solid as the earth, rich as a good meal and sometimes funny as hell.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    In the end, it's a heartening, rewarding experience to watch this journey--and, especially, its end.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Shines whenever we see the performances of Phoenix and Caan.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A classy supernatural lady-in-distress thriller.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This young writer-director's film seems more real and more moving than many recent political dramas from the Middle East - on either side.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Elaborately mounted, expensively produced and filmed with style and empathy, it's an adaptation of Paterson's Newbery Medal-winning book that manages to expand the original vision, yet preserve much of its intense emotion.

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