Focus Features | Release Date: November 26, 2008
7.6
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 316 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
245
Mixed:
30
Negative:
41
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5
DanS.Jan 11, 2009
I'll say it. I didn't like Milk, that being said it was not because I am homophobic but I felt that it was not a good biopic. Milk was a two dimensional film that relied solely on the fact that it came out amidst the controversy of I'll say it. I didn't like Milk, that being said it was not because I am homophobic but I felt that it was not a good biopic. Milk was a two dimensional film that relied solely on the fact that it came out amidst the controversy of proposition 8 in California. But as a film Milk cannot stand on it's own two feet. Sean Penn did a great job acting but Gus Van Sant, one of my favorite directors did not deliever. The movie did not explore Milk as a person and instead focused on the image that the public already knew about. I did not feel attatched to the characters and more over it just felt lazy. Expand
1 of 4 users found this helpful
4
DaleMFeb 5, 2009
The subject was a noble one and the cinematic techniques were good, but I think the film lacked narrative coherence. In one scene, for instance, a guy is at Milk's door. A little bit later they are in a supposedly serious relationship. The subject was a noble one and the cinematic techniques were good, but I think the film lacked narrative coherence. In one scene, for instance, a guy is at Milk's door. A little bit later they are in a supposedly serious relationship. Why or how the relationship developed is apparently irrelevant. There are just too many events that do not connect in any causal or even thematic way in this film. I feel that most viewers are so blinded by the movie's message that they excuse the really poor story-telling. I think, however, that in a few years, when the message is seen in a less spectacular light, the film will soon be either forgotten or someone will do a decent just of fashioning a story out of the material. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
4
PaulioGFeb 5, 2009
At times entertaining, but a movie with sean Penn in (IMO) is worth a watch. I dont know if it is because I cannot directly relate to the subject mater, but after an hour or so I felt deeply bored.
0 of 2 users found this helpful
4
HoraceWardApr 23, 2009
Way overrated.
0 of 2 users found this helpful
5
TonyB.Jul 10, 2009
"Milk" is too black and white, too one-sided and too we vs. they to be a successful account of a major episode in American history. Sean Penn is a fine actor who has given a number of superb performances, but his work here is not one of "Milk" is too black and white, too one-sided and too we vs. they to be a successful account of a major episode in American history. Sean Penn is a fine actor who has given a number of superb performances, but his work here is not one of them. The supporting cast is satisfactory, except for James Franco who is superb. The film never fully shows us how Harvey Milk was able to become such an important factor in San Francisco politics in such a relatively short time. Either an undeveloped script or faulty editing may be the culprit. Oddly enough, the Dan White character, easily the most interesting one of all, is given short shrift. His murdering of Milk and the Mayor is woefully understated and woefully anti-climactic. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
4
SeanP.Dec 5, 2008
Good acting, but predictable gay pride movie that we have too much of it "in our faces" of this genre today.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
4
BecquerMFeb 15, 2009
It is saddening to see Gus Van Sant trade in is sublime storytelling for a mainstream biopic narrative; "Milk," thus, becomes one of the many feel-good, pseudo-artistic (even though Van Sant himself is an artist) movies that is sure to score It is saddening to see Gus Van Sant trade in is sublime storytelling for a mainstream biopic narrative; "Milk," thus, becomes one of the many feel-good, pseudo-artistic (even though Van Sant himself is an artist) movies that is sure to score an Oscar or two, but is far from stretching the aesthetic limits of cinema. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
5
DWillyDec 2, 2008
No, sorry, it's just a flat bio-pic, hitting all the numbers without shedding any light on character or the nature of the times. It's also strangely uninspiring. Maybe Van Sant feels the gay struggle so deeply he thought he could No, sorry, it's just a flat bio-pic, hitting all the numbers without shedding any light on character or the nature of the times. It's also strangely uninspiring. Maybe Van Sant feels the gay struggle so deeply he thought he could afford to tip the story to show Milk as a manipulative creep; and, while Penn is great and bold and all that, his performance is self-contained and doesn't call out to any kind of universality so you just watch it. Brolin is not good, and I'm a bit sick of this emperor of Hollywood royalty parading around without clothes. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
6
ChetB.Dec 6, 2008
Liked it but I thought it was too safe, as if they didn't want to offend straights. What about the 1970s bath houses, what about the in-your-face sexuality? How could Harvey shrug off the suicide of his lover? Okay, a grand Hollywood Liked it but I thought it was too safe, as if they didn't want to offend straights. What about the 1970s bath houses, what about the in-your-face sexuality? How could Harvey shrug off the suicide of his lover? Okay, a grand Hollywood epic making gays appealing to the heirs of Dan White. Necessary but not challenging in any way. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
SteveS.Nov 28, 2008
Sorry, I know that I'm out on my own here, but I found the screenplay truly terrible. The acting was of course top-notch, and I'd give Sean Penn (perhaps the greatest actor of our generation) an Oscar nomination in a sec. However, Sorry, I know that I'm out on my own here, but I found the screenplay truly terrible. The acting was of course top-notch, and I'd give Sean Penn (perhaps the greatest actor of our generation) an Oscar nomination in a sec. However, the script was full of cliches and facile emotional manipulation. I mean, come on! That flashback at the end: "I'm not gonna live to 50." If he really said that, fine, show it at the beginning. But the flashback? And that hackneyed scene: "Nobody cared enough to show up?" Oh, gee, turn around and there they all are. All in all, it was more of a history lesson than a drama. It didn't tell me much of anything that I hadn't learned . . . much more compellingly . . . from "The TImes of Harvey Milk." "Milk" was so top-heavy with historic exposition that there was hardly a minute for insight into the internal lives of the characters. E.g., I certainly didn't see any motivation at all for his ongoing relationship with Jack. And although, as a gay man, Harvey Milk is one of my heroes, I don't think that the kind of hagiography that ignores his well-known darker side does any justice to the man himself. (I know some of the critics thought it was there. Well, I didn't think so.) All in all, I'd say, rent "The Times of Harvey Milk." Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
CommandoDudeDec 27, 2008
The reason I rated this movie so low, is because it is a movie I would not like to watch a second time. Now. It was very dramatic, and at times...humorous, but only at times. I didn't like it because it had FAR too much gay stuff in it The reason I rated this movie so low, is because it is a movie I would not like to watch a second time. Now. It was very dramatic, and at times...humorous, but only at times. I didn't like it because it had FAR too much gay stuff in it then was needed. Lots of guy kissing, and naked men. I do not want to see that. Humor was lost on most of the time in favor of this epic but not-so epic struggle against oppression. I feel Milk could have been a lot better then it was. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
rnnbrwnOct 7, 2011
Not quite the gripping tale I hoped it would be but some fantastic performances - especially from Sean Penn - and a story I would like know more about.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
HalfwelshmanNov 29, 2011
Milk is worth a watch primarily for a sensational central performance from Sean Penn. He absolutely captivates the viewer by utterly inhabiting the role of Harvey Milk. Within this performance there are questions to be asked, however. WasMilk is worth a watch primarily for a sensational central performance from Sean Penn. He absolutely captivates the viewer by utterly inhabiting the role of Harvey Milk. Within this performance there are questions to be asked, however. Was Milk really a hero or a villain? He was a charismatic, influential and iconic member of the homosexual community who tirelessly attempted to further gay rights and equality, but the film also portrays him as completely single-minded, willing to sacrifice anything to further his own political aims and career, and rather prone to side-lining anyone who became important in his personal life. While the first half of the film is relatively engaging, documenting Milk's arrival in San Francisco and his early campaigns for political office, the second half becomes a little too pretentious and symbolic and tends to lose sight of characters and what they wanted to achieve. Penn always keeps the film watchable, and it is helped by further strong performances from James Franco and Josh Brolin, but as a viewing experience, the film runs out of a little steam towards the end. I did like the use of archived news footage, which served as a useful grounding point for the story, but there is only so far a few good (and one outstanding) performances can take you in terms of storytellign and the overall viewing experience. I don't regret watching Milk for a moment, but I wish director Gus Van Sant had spent a little more time on developing key characters and their motivations, otherwise they become charicatures - Harvey Milk comes across as an unfeeling radical, and Dan White a paranoidly image-obsessed conservative. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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