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 12.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,278 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Bug
    Ashley Judd as Agnes White, and a relative newcomer, the remarkable Michael Shannon, as Peter Evans. They're both spellbinding.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Like the moving 1999 American "A Walk on the Moon," with Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen, Hard Goodbyes juxtaposes a family crisis with the excitement of the period before and during Neil Armstrong's 1969 moonwalk.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Starter for 10 is cute and smart, just like its star triangle, and it's also well-written, acted and directed.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    At its best, "Hollywood" has the breezy irreverence and easy, sunny L.A. atmosphere of Shelton's 1992 "White Men Can't Jump," a buddy-buddy basketball-hustle movie.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Red Dragon is very much a product, and a superior one, of our times. So is Anthony Hopkins' top-notch fiend, the bad doctor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's such a knowledgeable work and so pleasantly obsessed with its subject that it will interest even audiences whose attraction to wine is only casual.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's fun, but not obvious fun.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Like all good popular entertainments, the best of it sings.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's a sordid but expert shocker.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Though Day Watch seems less shocking and overwhelmingly strange than "Night Watch," it's another rocking mix of gritty thriller and glitzy sci-fi, once again in the vein of the director Bekmambetov's idols Quentin Tarantino and the Wachowski brothers.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Doesn't really add up to much -- except a good time. But it's smart, funny and cute. With all that going for you, who needs to be money? [25 October 1996, Friday, p.H]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 28 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A daring, entertaining, but somewhat disappointing affair, something of an overreacher despite Lee's usual pyrotechnics and a brilliant cast.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The film has many strengths, but one of its major assets is its solid sight line. Though we might expect it to go sentimental - with its cute cat, torn families and sympathetic, pretty protagonists - it doesn't.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Fast and frenetic and so unvarnished that it can make you feel unclean watching it. The film rubs your face in glamour and filth. But in the midst of the blood and hysteria, Kilmer plays Holmes with the dirty-angelic looks and wheedling charm of a seedy golden boy on the brink of doom.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The sort of movie that both rewards and tries your patience.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie has a nasty, creepy edge that never lets up, and the characters are deliberately grating and alienating. This is a thriller that, like some classic noirs, glories in its own mean aura, its casual profanity and grotesque violence.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A beautifully tooled action thriller about love and terrorism.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Beside its major virtues, it contains a vice: that one flat lead performance. Who would have thought Kevin Spacey would ever go dull on us?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Sweeps us back into a terrifying and desperate string of events and makes us feel them - and, more crucially, understand them as well.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    In the end, grips us precisely because its actors are so utterly absorbed in their roles, so unfettered and nakedly expressive. This is the kind of acting we always look for, but rarely see.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's a moving tale of love and destruction in unexpected places, unexamined lives.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Corny as it may sound though, it's all true-except, of course, for that mythical movie last-second championship bit.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    I liked Flirt better than any of Hartley's films since "Trust." The playfulness he shows here seems better integrated, more meaningful, than the strange narrative whimsies of 1992's "Simple Men" or 1994's "Amateur." [08 Nov 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of my favorite U.S. fiction features at 1999's Sundance Festival.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Not perfect, and neither are life or the movies. But you'd have to be blind yourself not to relish its qualities or laugh at its barbs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    May strike some audiences as even more real than Kiarostami's work, because the story is so luminously open. Watching it, we enter, without barriers, a world.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Engrossing as it is, The Hunted is more a showcase for formidable talent than anything else. It's a brainy, exciting but shallow show -- an expert's action movie that almost runs out of breath.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The new Israeli movie Ushpizin, a film about man's clumsiness and God's grace, is a touching and amusing tale that expands our horizon and also should open our hearts.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's an almost overwhelmingly professional picture, murderously fast, slick and full of outlandish notions, painstakingly realized. And it's also surprisingly satisfying -- thanks to Washington, a good cast, Tony Scott's swift direction and that unyielding professionalism.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The picture is written and acted as a lark and a romp.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A breezy, elegant charmer of a movie.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    In Year of the Dog, there are dark moments that are both strangely poignant and bizarrely hilarious. The ending took me by surprise. In a way it's a cheat, a redemption that arrives out of nowhere. But it's also a cosmic joke, a perfectly funny, sincere salute to dog and pet-lovers everywhere.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Throbbing with music, seething with anger and romance, The Lost City is a film that breaks your heart, bewilders, alienates and ravishes you by turns.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Reign works better much better than "Upside" because of the cast and because Sandler and Cheadle together keep it lighter. It's an easy film to watch, but less easy to be moved by.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A physically gorgeous production with a strong, clear conflict at its center. It's grueling but also exhilarating. Perhaps its ambitiousness is the film's biggest problem. Trying for dramatic sensitivity, historical scope, touching romance and shocking violence and suspense, it gets stretched too thin.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The film's most memorable performance is in another supporting role, by Alan Cumming as hapless Frandsen, Olaf's sympathetic neighbor and a hopelessly inept farmer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most intriguing prison dramas ever put on film.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's not a great movie, or one that should preoccupy you much afterwards, but it's certainly a good one. It's a fine debut for first-timer Mills.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Playing a role of almost Bergmanesque intensity -- a tough, lonely woman dying of cancer as she examines her past -- Bisset is both convincing and radiant.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Exquisitely designed, lovingly executed, beautifully scored and played, every hair and note in place, it's a movie full of irony, passion and bluesy riffs.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Solaris, an exploration of outer space and inner anguish, reminds us that science fiction can embrace adult ideas and human drama as well as technology and futuristic action.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Girl 6 is a snappy, contemporary comedy about an aspiring New York actress who drifts into and out of the world of phone sex. It's an often sexy, funny show with interesting slants on modern New York culture and mores. [22 Mar 1996, p.F]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    There's a shallowness about The Good Girl that can't always be excused as an accurate portrayal of a shallow milieu -- in the end, just like Justine, it's not as good as it could have been.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Avoid it if you object to seeing people devoured by wolves, but see it if you want to howl at the moon.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Probably the best thing you can say about We Were Soldiers is that it does justice to an awful conflict.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The images are lustrous, the cutting is brisk and the acting of the two leads is right on the money.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    In many ways, it's a painful story, but it's also full of curious triumphs and outlandish redemptions.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Immersed here in both the fair, dreamy air and chilly, deeper waters, Rampling and Sagnier make Swimming Pool a fine sunlit noir, oozing sensuality and menace.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Demme's movie is just as sophisticated and knowing as Frankenheimer's, but it isn't as hip or daring. It doesn't haunt your mind or stir your sense of dread the way the '62 movie did--and it lacks almost totally the earlier film's piercing, oddball satire and humor.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of the sharper, funnier, better-cast, better-written movies around right now. But there's something about it that, well, comes up short. [20 October 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It looks like a TV ad, or 200 of them strung together, with the same kind of gaudy virtuosity, lavish technique and expensive self-mockery tinging every shot.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The film does succeed in making the story universal, giving us the drama as well as the history, the fire as well as cool examination. It's a movie that haunts you afterward.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie--while it doesn't knock you out--doesn't self-destruct either. Besson may never rise to the level of his best American models here, but it's fun watching him try.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    There's no denying that Undisputed delivers the action-movie goods, and so do Snipes and Rhames. It should have been more memorable, but at least it doesn't stumble in the ring.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's by far the best cast Burns has assembled -- so much so that, unlike his other films, he doesn't come near dominating it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    That conscious absurdity is at the core of The Quick and the Dead. It's a rousingly grotesque, often wildly entertaining western horror-comedy, with co-producer and star Sharon Stone as a sexy lady gunslinger taking on all comers in the gunfight tournament from hell. [10 Feb 1995, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The acting is primo and the cinematography, on high-definition video by the gifted M. David Mullen, is striking.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A nostalgia movie that doesn't get sticky with false sentiment.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The talk is witty, the twists are ingenious, the look and the mood are drop-dead.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This "Ice Age" is still a good movie (especially for kids) with top-of-the-tech CGI.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Zeta-Jones can belt out her numbers, Zellweger can purr hers, and Gere-a musician who played his own cornet solos in "The Cotton Club"-can sell his songs and even dance a spiffy little tap dance. They're better than you'd expect-and so is the movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Director Guy Ferland, who has made one previous feature, handles this material smoothly and well, aided by the juke-box bright colors caught by cinematographer Reynaldo Villalobos. And Eszterhas, who has never shown much flair for comedy - except for the mother lode of unintentional laughs in "Showgirls" - puts humor into this story of surprising warmth and bite. [24 Oct 1997]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Isn't all it could have been. But the filmmakers catch the right glittery look and paranoid intensity, and they make gutsy speculations about the story beneath the story.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's a corker of a story - a polished yarn full of desire, desperation and despair.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie is funny, but it's also touching and poetic -- and Bertin's scenes are devastating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    I liked The Claim -- as much for its stark visual beauty and impassioned performances as its intelligent script and willingness to probe the tragic side of life.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A clever, amiably low-key mix of family drama and romantic comedy.[18 August 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Time to Leave may not have made me cry, but it's affecting nonetheless.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A simple, eloquent drama.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A relaxed-looking expert piece that immerses us in another world. At the end, Hanson has a bonus. He and his producers hired Bob Dylan for the Oscar-winning "Things Have Changed" in "Wonder Boys," and Hanson brings Dylan back here, for a folky, bluesy number called "Huck's Tune."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A "Chekhovian" movie that's closer to the master's mood than many, it's also a jazzy, rainy day film that makes serious and amusing points about life and people in the midst of its downpour.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's surprising how much of the old mood Leconte manages to recapture, how sumptuous he makes the black-and-white cinematography and timeless Parisian and Mediterranean settings look.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie is a journey into a land of wonders beneath the surface of consciousness -- but it's also a sexual ride of unabated heat. You may be confused by Sex and Lucia, but you won't be unmoved.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's good, hard-edged stuff, violent and a bit exploitative but also nicely done, morally alert and street-smart.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's ludicrous, but it's fun. Besson is a filmmaker so in love with his own daffy excesses that he's able to pull us, laughing, right into his world of loony pop. [9 May 1997]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie -- simple, pure and powerful -- makes us feel the intensity of both life in transit and life lived, if only for a moment, in another's skin.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Self-absorption is the vice of all these characters. That, not sex, is their sin--and Michell, Kureishi and their fine cast show this with a lucidity that cuts to the bone, a candor that draws blood.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Surprises with its intensity and grip.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This smart, hardscrabble, very likable film has a heart and spirit all its own: a rollicking, earthy flair and lusty intelligence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's good stuff: a non-fiction film on weighty issues that also manages to entertain.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A movie that's underwritten, overdirected, overproduced and almost constantly over-the-top. But it's also, at its best, a big tongue-in-cheek extravaganza.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's the kind of copycat movie that becomes original through its cast and treatment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Quite affecting, even if it doesn't rank with classics like "Open City" or "Forbidden Games."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A movie about love, friendship and finding oneself, and it takes all its subjects very seriously while seeming to treat them with the lightest and most piquant of touches. Like its bizarre heroine, it irrigates our souls.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Unlike almost every other sexy modern thriller (especially most recent studio blockbusters), this one gives you a lot to think about.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Beautifully shot and filled with gorgeous music.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A genre movie with an agenda that's too packed. Inevitably, some of the many balls it's juggling get dropped -- (but it's) one of the most entertaining and original actioners in several years.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    For all its craft and achievement, The Gift -- which has a script that may have needed more rewriting and deepening -- is a good, minor effort; it has some real conviction, even anguish. And it has Blanchett, whose gift as an actress is sometimes transcendent.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The film, despite some over-obvious stretches, is mostly sad, lovely, moving, haunting. It's a striking and promising debut from a fine new filmmaker. [21 Aug 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The sights, sounds and traffic in Red Lights are oppressively ordinary; the people are unnervingly real. That reality doubles the suspense we might feel in a more slickly made but thinly plotted thriller.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The writing isn't always up to the actors, who all give the kind of expert, theatrically ingenious performances that often seem director-proof.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's beautifully shot on Cephallonian locations by superb landscape photographer John Toll.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This movie lets you feel something. Like George's house, if not his life, it's built well and full of heart.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Director Lee has a true cinematic knack, but it's also nice to see a movie with its heart so thoroughly, unabashedly on its sleeve.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of those corny, lusciously mounted, almost predictably thrill-packed action movies you can't help but like.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    When it enters the future, it's a new-fangled, old-fashioned jim-dandy of a show.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This movie, which aspires to be a Christmas movie classic on the "It's a Wonderful Life" level, is overwhelming, enjoyable and impressive, without being really entrancing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Brilliant performances by DiCaprio as Frank Jr. and Christopher Walken as his fallen father - and an enjoyable one by Tom Hanks.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Jan Kounen, the maker of Darshan, is a French director with flashy credentials, including music videos, commercials, horror shorts, violent gangster movies ("Dobermann") and offbeat westerns ("Blueberry").

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