Michael Wilmington
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For 1,276 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 13.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Wilmington's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Dog Days
Lowest review score: 0 Chaos
Score distribution:
1,276 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    One of those sweet, intelligent, nicely made films.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The value of Romantico is that it lets us experience vicariously what Carmelo and others like him go through.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's fresh, funny, biting, fast-paced and reasonably perceptive about people and their problems.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This movie lets the characters and tropes borrowed from the original Stan Lee comic live and breathe.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A spellbinder: provocatively conceived, gorgeously shot and masterfully executed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Democracy might not really come from a bottle of shampoo, but "Beauty Academy" teaches us that, sometimes, mascara really matters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    All the "Star Wars" movies will continue to entertain us for many years to come. They were grand fun, and this last one's a corker.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This is Hollywood expertise and Hollywood civic idealism at high levels.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Fun to watch it may be, but it's shallow fun. Like the drugs and booze the characters keep using -- and even the sex -- it's a passing pleasure.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's an entertaining picture, classy and well executed, but as much as any film I've seen recently, this lush new version of the 1969 Michael Caine thriller tends to prove that, where thrillers are concerned, "more" is often less.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Even though the actors are good, their characters stay stock.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Like the work of an expert tailor, it's done with unobtrusive skill, essential warmth and seamless grace.
    • 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
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Russian Dolls, like "L'Auberge," has an excellent cast (mostly the same one, in fact) and an impish style and speed that gives it more obvious audience appeal than the average French film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of the most hopeful movies I've seen recently--not just for its humane, realistic story line, but in its very being.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Wilmington
    Passion, obsession, mad love, the violent clash of insider and outsider-all these themes, plus the performances, are rich enough to carry us past that wounded climax, if not to carry the movie past the fatal attractions of the big box-office cliche. [18 Sep 1987, p.1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This is a terrific movie: jolting, savage, horrifically funny, nightmarishly exciting but also brainy and compassionate.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Its fascination may be limited to those already very familiar with his works and collaborators - and his sensual, highly subjective style.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A horror movie with a Hitchcockian veneer of the everyday, a story that taps into our fear not only of the paranormal but also of insanity and the secret evil that may lie beneath ordinary lives.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    25th Hour struck me as one of the best movies of 2002, but it's also a film that will strike some of its audience as ethically dubious or threatening.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    This movie, the subject of controversy, is a defiantly personal statement on what the war really is--laced with that now-familiar "Roger and Me" mix of homespun wit, pop culture playfulness, populist heart twisting and "gotcha" guerilla film-making tactics.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie of uncommon eloquence and elegance, acted by a truly gifted cast.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The poetry of Last Days has a stoned grandeur.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's fun, but not obvious fun.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie drama with a surface so bleak and an interior so hot with eroticism that it twists your guts to watch it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's an intellectual family film for literate parents and children, immensely pleasing if not perfect, perhaps a smidgen too brightly evasive and determinedly charming.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    This is a movie that really has little to offer but performances and ideas. For a while, that's enough.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    There's something in Shallow Grave that is admirable, beyond its obvious display of youthful talent. [24 Feb 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    A blend of the classical and the trite, the beautiful and tawdry, the genuinely moving and the cornball. Oddly, producer-director-star Costner often can't seem to tell the difference.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Stylish, ingenious and gleaming with charm, wit and malice, it's another expert blend of domestic drama and crime thriller, a vivisection of the bourgeoisie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    No revelation, but it’s a more honorable, interesting effort than many of the crass, dopey recent big-studio schlockfests like "Say It Isn’t So" or "Tomcats" that tell similar coming-of-age tales.
    • 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
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A delicately crafted, gently inflected, lovely little movie about the need for love, directed and co-written by Singapore's Eric Khoo ("Mee Pok Man").
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Dercourt, a very fine filmmaker, is a musician himself, a music teacher and one-time solo viola player with the French Symphony Orchestra. And he directs, with a musician's precision and an insider's sly wit, the world of classical music performance.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    While the movie is never dull, its romantic fodder doesn't do justice to any period at all.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Time to Leave may not have made me cry, but it's affecting nonetheless.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    A bloody strange movie--and a surprise. Who would have thought that you could put together an anthology of "extreme" Asian horror featurettes by three cutting-edge Asian directors where the most tasteful, restrained contribution was the one by Japanese mad dog moviemaker Takashi Miike?
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Doesn't always sizzle, but its stars do.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Quite affecting, even if it doesn't rank with classics like "Open City" or "Forbidden Games."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    As we watch, we can sense, once again, the eye of a painter, the dreams of a poet and, tying them together, the vision of a master.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Skates over depravity when, like Crane, it should have dug down deeper.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Be forewarned: Dog Days, like many of Seidel's films, will drive some moviegoers to rage and walkouts with its unrelentingly depressing tone. But it also a remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    It's a genuine shocker - a dazzler of a film - a hellishly funny picture.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    This is a comedy made for people who think, who like smart talk and who, like the Perelmans, know the score.
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Usually American marital problems are left to the soap operas; it's nice to see them tackled by experts, piercing personas and peeling open hearts.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Like a Bach toccata or a frosty drink on a sunlit veranda, a first-class movie spy thriller can offer one of life's cooler, more elegant treats. The Tailor of Panama fits that category.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    A landmark musical movie -- controversial, mercurial, even cheeky. It's the kind of film that wildly divides audiences and critics -- people tend to either love or hate it. I loved it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The masterpiece of the bunch is the last, wonderful piece by Alexander Payne ("14eme Arrondissement").
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    The Zellweger-Firth-Grant triangle works as irresistibly as Hepburn-Grant-Stewart in "The Philadelphia Story."
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Entertaining, surprisingly well-written and often rowdily amusing picture. It is predictable in many ways but also full of heart, humor and personality.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    A children's movie done with genuinely youthful spirit and an easy self-kidding mastery of its own high-tech gadgetry.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Mamet takes exactly those qualities that we most prize in genre movies -- characters, cleverness and high style -- and refines them to a high shine.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Fascinating as Buzz often is, the film obviously was made with limited resources, transferred to film from DV, with grainy clips from the trailers for Bezzerides-scripted movies rather than snippets of the movies themselves.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    Like Workman's other films, it's a time capsule that sings.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    A fine French comedy-drama.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Wilmington
    The film itself is playful, weird, unpredictable and a bit tasteless. [10 Apr 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Wilmington
    There's an urgency about "Star Trek VI" that comes from its deliberate topicality. [6 Dec. 1991, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Wilmington
    It's a zippy melodrama for small-town America and small-towners at heart: well-executed kitsch for audiences that will still be amused at the notion that the bugs are getting so big, they'll drag us all down.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Begins like a house afire and then fizzles out into a quasi-supernatural dead end.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    An oddity: an adaptation of a popular novel co-written and directed by the novelist himself. It's also a fine, gentle film love story and a cinematic tribute to the power and manifold benefits of communications between different cultures and nations.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Few directors are more adept at playing with all this anguish and exhilaration than Mike Nichols.
    • 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
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Sometimes, it's exciting to watch a movie formula jell on screen-and that's what you can see happening in The Client, the latest, and best, of three successive films adapted from legal thrillers by John Grisham.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Another of those excellent foreign films that sometimes slip though cracks, considered too strange or eccentric for domestic tastes. Strange it is, but delightfully so
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Bening shines, and the film shines too.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    Pure magic, a three-act movie fantasy that transports us -- as the best films do -- to a world of its own, a place of ambiguous joy and delirious terror.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    A classy but over-contrived topical thriller about bomb plots and anti-government groups.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    This is an old-fashioned movie done with wit, grace, smarts and style. [19 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The new Bad News Bears may not make you cheer, but it should provide laughs and a good time. Isn't that what some movies are all about?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    It's a misfire--but a fascinating, magnetic misfire, a film full of first-rate talents forced into absurdity, struggling to bring believability to nonsense. [22 September 1995, Friday, p. C]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a movie that's so personal, naked and vulnerable that you can understand why some of its humor seems rough, some of its visuals excessive. But Crooklyn has a quality not as obvious in any Lee film since "Do the Right Thing": the sense of a whole world opening, rich and real, before your eyes. [13 May 1994, p.A]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Wilmington
    What many American movies do well these days -- action, violence, hell-for-leather street spectacle -- Darkman does better. That may be praise enough. [24 Aug. 1990, p.F10]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Michael Wilmington
    Most of all, it's a film for moviegoers who love powerful stories and ravishing imagery: timeless, eternal, the kind of tales handed from one generation and culture to the next -- and alive in all of them.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Wilmington
    It's a joy. Altman does Dallas the way he did "Nashville" in Nashville or Hollywood in "The Player."
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Wilmington
    It's fairly entertaining--but not the second coming of indie comedy some notices might lead you to expect.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    In the end, it's a heartening, rewarding experience to watch this journey--and, especially, its end.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One of my favorite U.S. fiction features at 1999's Sundance Festival.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Michael Wilmington
    Most of Frailty is so good -- done in a low-key, realistic mood of genuine creepiness and dread -- that it doesn't need formula shocks.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    One Hour Photo is a piece of often masterly image-making, a half-brilliant film with a revelatory lead performance by Williams. But it's also a thriller that gets trapped in surfaces: shiny, exciting, full of dread but often only tricks of the camera.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    It's a film that is mystifying and haunting -- a cool, brotherly vision of the last day and the coming flood, of American dreams and the vanishing frontier.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Michael Wilmington
    The film manages to crack all its codes, and even when it sags a bit, it's never lacking grace and some wit. Not enigmatically at all, it pleases and teases us -- in high style.

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