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 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,221 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A witty and psychologically perceptive look at the Parisian literary scene.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    As a ride, this Tarzan succeeds. As a pop myth, it needs more jungle fever. [18 June 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    82-year-old Ingmar Bergman takes one of the most painful, shameful episodes of his own life and, writing for director Liv Ullmann, transmutes it into magical, brilliant artistry.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie, in the end, is devastating because of the banality it reveals, and because its terseness and plainness cut a mass killer down to size.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The first 10 minutes of Lodge Kerrigan's Keane have a raw, hurtling reality that's as painfully engrossing as anything you'll see in a recent non-fiction movie, a searing portrait of one man's hell, from inside and outside.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Never feels inflated -- and it builds to an ending of unusual power.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A film of great spiritual intensity and haunting minimalism that enlarges your concepts of movies and of life. Like the monks of the Carthusian order, it distills something intoxicating through a style that's pure and rigorous.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Another masterpiece from one of the world's more neglected great directors, a master artist who here reveals the soul of another.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This film carries us so touchingly into their world, it would take a heart of stone, finally, to ignore them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Told with such sadness and exaltation, such mastery of image and sound, that watching it makes you feel renewed and hopeful.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most curious and perversely brilliant films ever made in the American studio system. It's a shining example of qualities we don't normally see in our big theatrical pictures: vast ambition, huge resources and technical genius mated to a unique and compelling vision of life.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Showing us a world through a child's eyes, A Time for Drunken Horses speaks so truthfully and well that it breaks the heart and scars the conscience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    In many ways, it's a painful story, but it's also full of curious triumphs and outlandish redemptions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    An unashamed art picture, the kind of film where extreme aestheticism mixes with nightmare dread, where the story resembles a bad dream and where Freudian symbols cluster around the events like a swarm of insects. It's a very pretty film, but it's also lean, enigmatic and so obscure.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    For sheer laughs, Willard and Piddock take the trophy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's a work for specialized tastes: for audiences who adore old movies, dark jokes and some high camp.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Lucidity, austerity and quiet compassion are peculiar virtues to ascribe to a movie about a horrific real-life murder case, but those are among the best qualities of Jean-Pierre Denis' Murderous Maids.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A movie I loved on first sight and, even more important, love in remembrance. Taken all in all, there's only one last thing to say about it. Go.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    What gives the movie real flesh and fantasy is the actress playing this part, the incandescent Morton.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Darin is an actor who's really consummate at suggesting two simultaneous levels of character.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Sumptuously exciting, glowing with expertise, seething with life, gorgeously designed and thrillingly articulated.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A film driven by an elusive plot buried like a cryptogram under the action. It's a delightfully screwy ethnographic murder mystery, beautifully photographed in translucent naturalistic color.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a nail-biter and knuckle whitener of the first rank: a super real life techno thriller that reduces the fantasies of Tom Clancy and his clones to ground zero.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Notoriety, they won. The revolution, they didn't. That perhaps is the secret message of the film. Dylan was right. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Chungking Express is a breezy little Hong Kong movie that has more life, energy, humanity and sheer visual zing than most other shows you'll see in a month or so. And, an hour after watching it, you may indeed be hungry for more. Not necessarily because the show is shallow or unsatisfying, or doesn't leave a strong impression, but because the spontaneity and high energy of it is what's so much fun.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Harris and Harden have real on-screen sympatico, in their nasty battles and good times alike.
    • 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]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Flaws and all, it really does show a star being born.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Though it's a sad, somber, deeply questioning work, it's done with a light, loving spirit.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A near-classic blend of mystery, personality, humor and terror, laced with one stunning shock after another. [18 August 1995, Friday, p.C]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The cast is tremendous; these actors work with Resnais like a well-oiled stock company that knows every trick and can communicate almost telepathically.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's sensuality with a stinger, and Fat Girl is an adolescent sex drama that takes no prisoners.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A harsh, spellbinding tale.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The kind of brilliantly weirdo picture that, by all rights, shouldn't have gotten made at all but this time, miraculously, was.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The first hit movie western of the new century - wins us with a wink. It leaves you in a bright, happily cross-cultural mood. Adios, amigos. And vaya con Jackie Chan.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A stark, painful drama about pregnancy--a subject rarely treated this fully, candidly or tragically.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The writer-director doesn't raise her voice, even as she firmly condemns the injustice. Water seduces us with its beauty and sorrow.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A movie about the passions of simple people, and it's done with such extraordinary empathy and commitment that it all but pulls you under. [29 November 1996, Friday, p.A]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    So intense and warm are Leigh's feelings for his characters, that we may remember Hannah and Annie long afterward as old friends -- imperfect yet lovable, pals with whom we've suffered and laughed a lot.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Grosse Pointe Blank is covering the same kind of territory as that elephantine, if exciting, 1994 family man-killer thriller, "True Lies." But this time, the joke stings. [11 April 1997, Friday, p.A]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Few sports films catch their time, place and sport so well. For skateboard fans, this is a must. But it's also a great ride if you know nothing about the sport or what it meant. At the end of this movie, you will.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a magical film which manages to transport and rivet us in the same highly-imaginitive, breezily playful way "Amelie" did.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most remarkable English-language feature debuts of recent years.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    One funny movie - for at least half the time.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's good, but not great -- despite the heights to which Dench and Broadbent drive it. But those heights are lofty, the pain still stings.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Minghella's psychological redraft muffles the menace, squanders the tension, throws away the main character and plot engine and turns Ripley into something he never was or should be.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Takes a potentially explosive subject and does it subtly and perceptively.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    With the exception of Amelie's voiceover narration in French, Fear and Trembling is entirely in Japanese. And the Japanese cast is superb.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a great film that, sadly, may be ignored by all but the most dedicated, knowledgable filmgoers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Beautifully shot and filled with gorgeous music.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Few Hollywood action pictures are half as exciting or ravishing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A deliberately old-fashioned picture that succeeds in nearly everything it tries to do.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A comedy of evil and strange redemption, Lady Vengeance makes sure that we feel the pain, that we know what it's like to unreasonably suffer, because those are the rules of its mad, wounding, vengeful world.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    The movie -- directed in such a frenziedly self-conscious style you often wonder whether the camera will topple over on his actors.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A masterpiece of wry violence and stylized mayhem, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi turns loose one of Japan's most brilliant film auteurs, Takeshi Kitano, on one of its most enduring pop legends.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Mantel and Skrovan's documentary astutely reminds us of why we need the world's Naders. It's a reasonable movie about an often admirably unreasonable man.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A delightful concert documentary that proves once more what a neglected masterpiece the Coen Brothers gave us last year in their Depression chain-gang odyssey, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Here is a film of staggering technical and visual virtuosity, filled with utterly amazing images, that's also entertaining and engaging for children and adults on several levels.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Salles' movie isn't fiery or didactic. It doesn't rage or storm. Salles romanticizes the youthful Ernesto.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    If Hollywood is really a dream factory, then it's the movie moguls and movie stars who live that dream to the hilt. In the late 1970s few lived quite as large as Robert Evans.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The movie's gentle humor and offbeat whimsy prove that humanity trumps bureaucratic foolishness, in Norway or anywhere else.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's intellectual without being dry, dramatic without bombast, smart without posturing. Its characters and milieu are very well drawn, and Andre is one of the more intriguing and convincing fictional creations in recent film.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A beautifully acted and deeply compassionate study of ordinary people coping with the vicissitudes of life.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    The sheer stark speed and measured violence of On the Run catch us up quickly--and the film becomes a searing portrait of a killer-idealist lost out of time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The ending of Waitress is so beguiling and whimsical that it makes you, like its diner's patrons, hungry for more--and it makes you miss that red-headed movie auteur/pastry chef/heart stealer Shelly even more.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A classic of realistic terror, in which passion and murder can't lie buried.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    I don't think it's a great movie -- though Theron's is a near-great performance -- but it's not one you can easily forget.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    About the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it treats war as a cosmic joke and its participants as hapless but recognizably human clowns.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Code Unknown is a film you think more than feel. Though each scene is executed close to flawlessly, the cumulative effect is often oppressive. But at the center of the film -- the real reason it was made -- is Binoche, one of the genuinely radiant presences in movies today.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's one of the most ferociously convincing physical re-creations of warfare ever put on screen.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A powerful symbolic drama.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The power of art to redeem the pain and cruelty of life is demonstrated to enormous effect inShakespeare Behind Bars.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Wrings honest emotion and riveting dramatics from its tale.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A wonderful, heart-breaking movie.
    • 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.