Michael Wilmington

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For 1,287 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 The Usual Suspects
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1287 movie reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    In the end, even in the howling high frequencies and the nihilistic night, this R-rated movie misses its best shot. It doesn't talk hard enough. [22 Aug 1990, p.5]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Boyle's new movie is mostly a zombie fiasco, closer to the vacuities of "The Beach" than the scintillating social satire of "Trainspotting."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A light, breezy, often charming little film, with a good cast playing mostly shallow characters.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A bright and zippy, but alarmingly over-campy and lighter-than-fluff cartoon feature.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Freaky Friday commits a lot of sins; luckily, it has Curtis and a few others to cover them up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    For all Ricci's zingers, the actress who gets the most laughs here is Kudrow, who has an amazingly right-on offbeat comic sense and rhythm. Playing a bright, sexually repressed Indiana teacher, she displays priceless timing. [19 June 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Drably shot, unimaginatively written and shallowly acted, it's a poor example of the "daffy, goofy, sex-crazed guys" occupational comedies that flourished throughout the job-obsessed '80s. [19 Feb 1999]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    At bottom, Lethal Weapon isn't much. It's a big, shallow, flashy, buddy-buddy cop thriller; it attacks you like a stereophonic steamroller, flattening everything behind it. Snatches of "Hustle" "Magnum Force" and "48 HRS." float above this plot like scum on a polluted lake, and the holes in logic and mindless climax are (or should be) embarrassing. [6 Mar 1987, p.4]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    To say Enemy of the State is senseless is an understatement. This is a movie where logic is the enemy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    At its best, Transamerica made me laugh and feel for Bree. At its worst, it made me cringe at the potential creepiness of its central relationship.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    The film's triple thesis is that elections are run badly, Democrats are often clueless and Republicans are clever. Maybe--but that still leaves too many unanswered questions.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's fairly entertaining--but not the second coming of indie comedy some notices might lead you to expect.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Fessenden cooks up a likably offbeat horror movie. But somehow, it never jells, never really scares us.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A tasteful, intelligent, well-acted film about one of the most ghoulish serial killers in American crime history - and I'm afraid that's a good part of what's wrong with it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    In a weird way, what happens to the kids is what happens to the movie. The humans shrivel to crawling piffles or get deformed into caterwauling robots; the super-tall grass and the giant cookies and insects take over.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Spectacular, fast, never boring. But it's also one of the more disappointing movies I've seen recently.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's a bizarre but engaging fling.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    Midway through The Lost Boys there's a brief scene that suggests the magic and power it could have had. This scene suggests a fable of seductive evil-but nothing in the movie is ever half as evocative again. It's more lost than the Boys: a glossy fiasco with most of the real blood sucked out of it.
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    For all its glitz and gadgets, is markedly inferior in everything but teen appeal.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A comedy that seems to have most everything going for it but the ability to make us laugh.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This seems to be a movie made by people who love the old classic movie swashbucklers but don't have a clue how to make or modernize them.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Bad as the overall design remains, individual scenes keep sparking alive, partly because the dialogue, or delivery, seems fresh, and improvisatory; partly because Van Peebles, in his directorial debut, figures out unusual or athletic camera designs for every scene. It's obvious he has talent, equally obvious there's no way this story can work right, no matter how strenuous the staging.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This one's worth the ticket price only if you are a showbiz-aholic.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Slickly produced, well cast and very excitingly made, it's based on plot hooks so silly, most of them blow up in your face.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Beyond some well-observed sibling interaction, the mutual effort of four writers is mutually uninspired. Whoever wrote the episodes between hot-to-trot Jojo (Taylor) and her balky boyfriend Bill (D'Onofrio) should be ashamed. [21 Oct 1988]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    By creating a kind of politically correct version of Andy Griffith's "Mayberry," director Bezucha has drained the movie not only of bigotry but also of dramatic conflict.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    The sense of the unknown that "Padgett" created are largely absent. And the movie fails to supply us with an antagonist to work up some dramatic conflict. Nor are the toys themselves very interesting and Mimzy is a toy bunny of no distinction.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Although Alien 3 is stylish--and ambitious--the movie doesn't have the soul or guts to sustain that ambition. It gets swallowed up in its own technology and genre expectations. And Fincher gets stalled in the drama, trapped in too many scenes of talking heads looming out of the gloom.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's a harmless enough movie, and quite a good-looking one; Bettany and Dunst are an attractive enough couple, even if Lizzie has been written as a selfish little snip and he as a whining man-child.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    The movie, like Hitch, tries to be cool, funny and sweet but falls on its face without generating any real sympathy, smarts or humor.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie that's almost all style, all technique. It doesn't seem to be inhabited by people, thoughts or feelings, but by great coruscating patterns of light crashing over and over us, repeatedly--almost, but not quite, drowning out a constant buzz of cliches.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    I found nothing likable or funny about either of these characters, who both deserve a pie in the face. (One of them even gets it.)
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A modernized version of that great sentimental horse movie, 1943's "My Friend Flicka," and it comes with the shiny trappings, high professionalism and glamorous accessories you might expect...Something is missing though.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's a nice little film, likable but not exceptional, and it will probably appeal most strongly to actors, would be-actors, wannabes and ex-actors.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    The results aren't gothic and bloody, as they were in the Lauren Bacall film "The Fan," or elegant and ironic as in the Bette Davis classic "All About Eve"--though the plot suggests a bit of both.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Weighed down by the presence of Griffith. She plays her satiric part without much gusto or conviction - as if she were afraid we might believe she really is Honey.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    Like the movies its modeled after, it's shallow, frequently silly. But there's something about the mix--maybe something about Parillaud as the screechy, dangerous Nikita--that may make the movie a powerful engine of wish-fulfillment. [12 Apr 1991, Calendar, p.F-10]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Tries for both civilized wit and primitive joy -- and mostly misses both.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This is a picture in which the barf scenes standard in the usual crude youth comedies aren't gratuitous. They're logical climaxes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Minimalism be damned; even a postmodern noir needs more than Minus Man gives us. So do the actors.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Does have heart and enthusiasm. But it might have worked better if it had been glitzed up and energized the way "Fame" was. It's not a script that can survive this kind of minimal, earnest, self-congratulatory treatment.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This romantic-comedy action movie is a fizzle.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A commendably brave piece, but less focused and powerful than you'd like. In the end, Garapedian might have been better off concentrating her energy on the 1915 Armenian story--which has been told on film various times (for example, in "Forty Days of Musa Dagh" and Atom Egoyan's "Ararat"), but never with the power of, say, "The Pianist" or "Schindler's List."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A wildly expensive movie full of computers, nonsense and violence, a film where wit, romance, elegance -- everything -- is sacrificed on the altar of giganticism, cliche and over-the-top action.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Hobbled with pedestrian direction, a dull visual style and a last act awash in obvious bang-bang melodrama.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    Most of the rest of this Hamlet effective or lovely as parts of it may be, just keeps sawing at the air in a drafty hall and pouring all its light on Mel Gibson and his angelic stubble. [18 Jan 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's one of those fast, slick, half-smart shows that can't decide whether to pay its debts to action or reality -- and winds up cheating both.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    At least Reno is around -- and he's the only spice in this stale, slick stew
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This pretty but witless movie is well-produced, slickly directed -- full of jokes about hot dudes and hot babes pitched right at the "American Pie" crowd.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    An irritation, more fizzle than sizzle.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    When the crashing chords and defiant lyrics of "Be the Rain" close things out, there's a burst of idealism and energy that redeems everything. If you see Greendale, treat the movie charitably and dig the music.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    May be the only movie in recent memory unworthy of its own genuinely hilarious Web site, www.finemanfilms.com.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    As sports movies go, Gridiron Gang isn't bad, just not top-line material.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Should please its core audience, which includes anyone who might actually want to win a date with Tad Hamilton. Others may opt to wait for another date with Kate Bosworth -- or Nathan Lane.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A funny movie, but like "Josh" himself, it's too self-absorbed, and maybe too nice, for its own good.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    The best thing about High Heels are the performances - [Victoria Abril]'s tense, voracious daughter, Parades' star-turn mother, the sinister Bose, the arrogant Atkine - and the lucidity of Almodovar's narrative style, which by now seems as natural as breathing. [20 Dec 1991]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Irwin Winkler's The Net, which should have worked a lot better than it does, is a glossy, intricately plotted, mostly implausible suspense movie about a woman on the run.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Like its title heroine, it's sparkly, pretty and flirty--but often all wet.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    The movie is like a big, smug, sunny ball of fluff, batting around in a crystalline cage. It's bright and well-meaning, but there's little to grab onto or feel. Not even the presence of those expert actor/farceurs, Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, give it any real presence or bite. [20 Dec 1991, p.16]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Though the story is potentially fascinating and the visuals sometimes spellbinding, the movie itself is stranded in the purgatory of the second-rate.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A lively little Australian rock movie hamstrung and sunk by one of the least successful story ideas I've seen recently.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    To give the movie its due, it's been directed, at least on the visual level, with unusual elegance: filled with graceful, gliding tracking shots, and icily precise Hitchcockian setups of the bleak decor and scary effects.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Isn't good satire or good slapstick. It does have those lyrical, catchy Menken tunes, and the film perks up whenever Raitt or lang sing one of them. But much of this movie is deadly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A limply derivative, disappointingly trivial and hokey fish-out-of-water crime comedy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A pumped-up, flag-waving, outrageously hokey and ridiculous -- but sometimes incredibly exciting -- war movie.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A ravishing crock. Like its title character, a computer-generated movie star programmed to resemble a cross between Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and Kim Basinger, it's beautiful but empty, gorgeous but spurious.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    In the end, it all can't help feeling a little slight, more a pleasant wade into a writer's neurotic playground than a satisfyingly deep dip.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A business-as-usual blockbuster blueprint that rarely surprises you.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    There's barely a scene in this movie that taps his (Murphy) special brilliance.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This rich, gorgeous music and the wistful pastoral scenes create a rhapsodic mood that the rest of the film doesn't really sustain.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    One of those movies that promises much but doesn't deliver. Despite a lot of misplaced talent, this movie is as silly and forced as its title.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Wilmington
    There are misfires in Sucka, but there's also some funny stuff. Wayans shows a refreshing taste for self-mockery. [17 Feb 1989, p.8]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Elaborate misfire, which misuses an unusually good cast.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It’s a big, frothy, high-tech, cutesy-poo musical comedy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's really a crock: a coming-of-age boys' prison film that has only a fanciful link with Behan's life. The film is a bastard grandchild of Tony Richardson's 1962 "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Wacky and heartless, bloody and silly -- and it ends in a flourish of grotesque sentimentality.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    An expensive-looking new detective thriller that should have been much better.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Newsies becomes a string of set-pieces, some of which work, some of which don't, all barreling full-speed ahead toward its Teddy Roosevelt deus ex machina. [10 Apr 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    As silly movies go, this one is at least pretty exciting. But in the end, Typhoon leaves you feeling as exiled from the two Koreas as Sin is.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Has the worst happy ending I've seen in a while.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Without Lemmon and Matthau, it's doubtful either "Grumpy" movie would be worth watching -- or even thinking about. But, because these two get much of their humor from reactions, the magnificent friction they create, they can say ridiculous things -- or even make up ridiculous lines (which they seem to be doing here) -- and make the scenes play. [22 Dec 1995, p.P]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    For about half its length, Ravenous is a fairly effective scare picture, with a laugh or two. Then it just goes sour and pretentious. [19 March 1999, Friday, p.D]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    There are no surprises in this movie -- not even in the Bollywood parodies, when the hero and heroine finally, subversively kiss. There is talent, though.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Like too many movies these days, takes a clever little idea and all but pounds it into the ground.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    For all its crashes and flash, this is a movie that drifts away as we watch it. Muscle cars and all, it's often a waste of gas.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Two gifted co-stars, Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, and the highly imaginative thriller specialist Phillip Noyce lend some luster and credibility to another borderline-absurd scenario.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's lively but chaotic and evasive. The period re-creation switches on and off. We get a sense of what the silver-walled Factory was like, but not the rest of swinging Manhattan in the '60s.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    The sum of all snores until the moviemakers start blowing up Baltimore halfway through. Then the special-effects people take over for about 20 breathless minutes.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    An odd mix itself, of contemporary sexual realism and unabashed romantic fantasy. If "Days" works, it's mostly on a sheer fantasy level.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    This isn't a particularly good movie, and it's offensive in the way mid-range low-budget slasher shows usually are. But it works better than some, largely because Etheredge-Ouzts has a more original slant and a deeper sense of character than horror movies usually allow.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Written with such murderous gravity, certainty and gloomy solemnity - such an absence of real life or feeling - that it tends to kill our interest.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Should have worked on our emotions like a scalpel, made us cry and bleed. But, though it's an affecting, polished film, it's not satisfying. [12 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    A dumb movie, but it's also a knowing one: a cheap castle of lewd trivia and corny excitement built on The Rock.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Wilmington
    It's hard to remember when actors have stepped into such a no-win situation and mustered up such panache: Turturro may be on a sinking ship, but he manages to drown brilliantly.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    All Center of the World has is the double entendre of its title, some unremarkable dramatic and sex scenes, and some embarrassing moments for its very game co-stars.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Despite some impressive technical achievements, it too looks like a movie with little reason for being.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Movies made from serious novels are often ridiculed as unworthy of their sources, but this one may be too worthy -- too reverent, too showy, too earnest.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    In movies as in life, superior technology doesn't necessarily trump humor, magic or really shaggy dogs.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    American Pie 2, which brings back the same cast for more of the same, is just another by-the-numbers, money-hungry sequel with a lot of recycled shaggy-sex jokes and gross-out gags.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    Tries to take us from heaven to hell but winds up leaving us in limbo: exasperated and dumfounded.
    • Chicago Tribune

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