User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 292 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 292
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  1. GinaS.
    Dec 2, 2008
    10
    An absolutely outstanding movie! Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, James Franco and Josh Brolin all deserve Oscars for their work here. I saw the movie at the Castro Theater on opening weekend, just across the street from where Harvey's camera shop used to be. Many members of the audience personally knew the characters that the film depicts, and without exception, their sentiment was that it An absolutely outstanding movie! Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, James Franco and Josh Brolin all deserve Oscars for their work here. I saw the movie at the Castro Theater on opening weekend, just across the street from where Harvey's camera shop used to be. Many members of the audience personally knew the characters that the film depicts, and without exception, their sentiment was that it was very well done indeed. By the movie's tragic conclusion, most members of the audience were in tears, many sobbing out loud, uncontrollably. These were people who live with and suffer from the bigotry and discrimination that is prevalent towards the lgbt community even today, witness the passage of Prop. 8 in California. Expand
  2. ChristopherP.
    Dec 2, 2008
    9
    A beautifully made and heartbreaking true story. Sean Penn gives the performance of his career as Harvey Milk. Whatever your political or social issue believes, this is an important film to see. It's a movie that ultimately celebrates life. Truly this is the one to beat, come Oscar time.
  3. Adam
    Dec 6, 2008
    10
    Milk is one of those rare movies that tries to be many things, and succeeds at all of them. This is a film that can provoke change, open eyes, and change lives. I know it changed mine.
  4. DerekW.
    Feb 28, 2009
    9
    Mixed with actual footage from the time, this movie recounts the incredible achievement and sudden murder of a charismatic and really determined homosexual man, thrust into activism by his personal experience of American homophobia, fear-fuelled religious bigotry and ignorance. The story should give everyone with a keen sense of injustice and the power to communicate, the hope to Mixed with actual footage from the time, this movie recounts the incredible achievement and sudden murder of a charismatic and really determined homosexual man, thrust into activism by his personal experience of American homophobia, fear-fuelled religious bigotry and ignorance. The story should give everyone with a keen sense of injustice and the power to communicate, the hope to persevere. Harvey Milk's message is most cogently communicated in landmark live debates and public speeches that invoke the Constitution of the United States, and the Statue of Liberty dedication, two cornerstones of democracy that underpin the struggle for freedom of other oppressed demographics in the United States. I was struck by the performance of Sean Penn and his unbelievably hot on-screen boyfriend James Franco. Penn and script writer Dustin Black won Oscars for this movie, and I believe that will contribute significantly to this movie's longevity. It is mainly of interest to those who, like myself, have lived through the dark ages when homosexuality resulted in discrimination, disenfranchisement, imprisonment, violence, ostracism from family and condemnation by The Church. Given that homosexuals are a minority, it will never be a blockbuster, but to us and our families and to historians of curiosity, it is a milestone accomplishment. Speaking for myself, I felt compelled to support this movie even though it is a very painful experience to relive those horrible days, and surprised myself by my immersion in the story, even laughing out loud at some of its lighter moments. Expand
  5. JayH.
    Mar 1, 2009
    9
    Sean Penn indeed gives an amazing performance. He is incredible. The story is a good one, very professionally made and the direction is very focused. Great supporting cast, outstanding writing. Very detailed period flavor. Excellent in all respects.
  6. TomC.
    Dec 1, 2008
    10
    Many people responded to Brokeback Mountain as a somehow mournful but uplifting tragic love story. They were wrong - Brokeback Mountain is a movie that should make you enraged and angry as you watch good people crushed by prejudice and one man's crushing self-doubt. Milk is by far the better picture, and the more important statement because it's a call to action. So he dies - Many people responded to Brokeback Mountain as a somehow mournful but uplifting tragic love story. They were wrong - Brokeback Mountain is a movie that should make you enraged and angry as you watch good people crushed by prejudice and one man's crushing self-doubt. Milk is by far the better picture, and the more important statement because it's a call to action. So he dies - but he's never a victim. He even documents his own response to a hypothetical assassination. His name was Harvey Milk and he was here to recruit you, and having seen this film I'm ready to serve. Expand
  7. AlexO.
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    Do NOT miss this movie! Sean Penn is a phenomenon.
  8. JackMiller
    Dec 5, 2008
    9
    Having first visited San Francisco in 1976, and every year thereafter until I lived on Russian Hill the summer of 1980, I recall the transformation of Castro into a gay Mecca. I very well may have walked into that camera shop Harvey Milk and friends ran in '76 and '77. My favorite hang out was Cafe Flore, then and now, as well as the out and proud glass corner of the Twin Towers Having first visited San Francisco in 1976, and every year thereafter until I lived on Russian Hill the summer of 1980, I recall the transformation of Castro into a gay Mecca. I very well may have walked into that camera shop Harvey Milk and friends ran in '76 and '77. My favorite hang out was Cafe Flore, then and now, as well as the out and proud glass corner of the Twin Towers bar. The world we see in the film "Milk" is as authentic as it gets. The uncanny parallel of Prop 6 banning gay teachers, which Milk helped defeat, and the present day Prop 8 which passed despite Obama's stunning win in California is disturbing. But maybe instead of electoral victory, we need to be reminded that in a constitutional democracy that protects the rights of minorities, the court must come to the rescue when there is the tyranny of the majority denying the equality of a minority. The Supreme Court of California established this protection in the case of interracial marriage and so now must do the same, to be just, for same sex marriage. I want to add that more kudos should go to Diego Luna for his heart-rending performance as the doomed lover Jack Lira. The other major performances likewise deserve the praise given them. Expand
  9. RodrigoM.
    Jan 30, 2009
    9
    Harvey M., it's a joke , right ?
  10. RickR
    Mar 11, 2009
    10
    Really, really good film. Sean Penn was amazing, as usual.
  11. RichardS
    Apr 6, 2009
    10
    A shame that there is no audio commentary on the DVD. Would have been nice to hear the thoughts of the people involved in the making of this wonderful slice of American LGBT history.
  12. PatrickW.
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    This film is all-at-once heartwarming and heartbreaking, thought-provoking and disconcerting. Sean Penn gives a truly award-worthy performance; any overlook should be deemed a snub.
  13. JohnY.
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    The best film I've seen so far this year. Penn is going to win an Oscar for this surprisingly joyous and captivating performance.
  14. RachelS.
    Nov 30, 2008
    10
    A heartbreaking and moving film, Sean Penn and the rest of the cast do a brilliant depiction of the pain and struggle and persistence on the journey for acceptance and basic civil rights. This film is one of Gus Van Sants finest moments
  15. JD.
    Nov 30, 2008
    9
    An excellent film, full of meaningful correlations to our current political situation. Sean Penn's performance surely deserves an Oscar, as I can't imagine another performance that could outshine his masterful work as a compassionate, driven, and courageous man who set the standard for gay rights in our country. Emile Hirsch was also phenomenal and worthy of Academy An excellent film, full of meaningful correlations to our current political situation. Sean Penn's performance surely deserves an Oscar, as I can't imagine another performance that could outshine his masterful work as a compassionate, driven, and courageous man who set the standard for gay rights in our country. Emile Hirsch was also phenomenal and worthy of Academy consideration. Also, it's about time the Academy recognized Gus Van Sant, who is sure to see 2008 as the year he is finally recognized for the maverick filmmaker he is. Expand
  16. MehradA.
    Dec 18, 2008
    9
    One of the best films of the year. Breathtakingly good.
  17. BillyS.
    Dec 24, 2008
    10
    The simple facts are: 1) Milk is a Masterpiece. 2) Gus Van Sant is the Best Independent film director working today. 3) Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch and James Franco give the Best Tri-performances in a film since James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino all earned Oscar nominations for The Godfather in 1972. 4) Harris Savides, focusing on a whistle laying on the ground, has created the single The simple facts are: 1) Milk is a Masterpiece. 2) Gus Van Sant is the Best Independent film director working today. 3) Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch and James Franco give the Best Tri-performances in a film since James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino all earned Oscar nominations for The Godfather in 1972. 4) Harris Savides, focusing on a whistle laying on the ground, has created the single greatest shot I've seen in a film this year. and 5) This film IS Sean Penn's. There are those who say that Mr. Penn has found the perfect role in this, his long, still young, carreer. But the fact is this - Sean Penn is the Perfect Actor and any role he takes on will simply become the Perfect Role. He is his generation's Clint Eastwood and Warren Beatty with Directing and Writing Oscars on the Horizon. And those are the facts! Expand
  18. JoyceT.
    Dec 20, 2008
    10
    My highest compliment--this is a movie I wish I'd made. It makes politics and history thrilling and stretches the viewers' empathy. Gus Van Sant has surpassed himself here.
  19. BC
    Dec 5, 2008
    10
    Best film of the year. There have been a number of very good films this year, but this one is great. A story of courage and humanity. And moving story of civil rights.
  20. TekB.
    Dec 7, 2008
    10
    Brilliant and incredibly moving film. Sean Penn is the best he's ever been in "Milk". Fantastic.
  21. JasonB.
    Dec 9, 2008
    10
    I saw this film a month ago, and I still haven't gotten over how fantastic it was. The weaving in of archival footage and the fantastic performances made the film.
  22. StephenH.
    Jan 12, 2009
    10
    This was an excellent movie, very tastefully done. Harvey Milk was definately one of the many pioneers of the Gay Rights Movement.
  23. Orietta
    Jan 2, 2009
    10
    Nothing less than wonderful!
  24. Rob
    Jan 27, 2009
    10
    Authentic, deeply moving, at times pensive...such is life.
  25. AshleyR.
    Jan 28, 2009
    10
    Amazing-Film.
  26. MichaelS.
    Jan 29, 2009
    10
    A brilliant, brilliant film with great performances. Made me feel lucky to live in the times that we do and glad for people like Harvey Milk
  27. DavidK
    Feb 4, 2009
    10
    Great performances by all involved and impressive recreation of the period make this a great watching experience. The timing of its release also makes this an important film for its time.
  28. BobM.
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    What incredible all-around acting! Kudos to Sean Penn, James Franco and the screenwriter Dustin Lance Black!
  29. billy.
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    This is a superb movie for straight, gay, bi, everyone. It's not a "gay" story, although it renders in heartbreaking nuance the stripping away of rights of gay people and their struggle to attain equal civil rights, it's a story for everyone who wants to see an excellently well-acted, piercingly relevant, and at times moving story of a time and place and struggle that happened This is a superb movie for straight, gay, bi, everyone. It's not a "gay" story, although it renders in heartbreaking nuance the stripping away of rights of gay people and their struggle to attain equal civil rights, it's a story for everyone who wants to see an excellently well-acted, piercingly relevant, and at times moving story of a time and place and struggle that happened not so long ago at all, and still continues with our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers today as they struggle and fight on for equal rights. A very, very well done and poignant movie that everyone should see. Mr. Van Sant did a fine job with this one. Expand
  30. MikeP.
    Nov 29, 2008
    10
    Incredibly powerful and timely...amazing performances all around. this is a movie that sticks with you.
  31. JyotirmayaD.
    Dec 11, 2008
    9
    This is the kind of stuff that the academy loves to hand out "Best Male Performance in a movie"... Sean Penn becomes Harvey Milk and carries the tone all the way through to the end. Wonderful to watch.
  32. MichaelA.
    Dec 14, 2008
    9
    It's not a perfect film. Still, few movies have left me feeling like I'd been punched in the gut. Even fewer left me believing that one man could change the world for the better. "Milk" did both of those in an inspiring if somewhat safe biopic. Penn gives another great performance -- you forget you're watching him and not Milk himself. But it's the players on the It's not a perfect film. Still, few movies have left me feeling like I'd been punched in the gut. Even fewer left me believing that one man could change the world for the better. "Milk" did both of those in an inspiring if somewhat safe biopic. Penn gives another great performance -- you forget you're watching him and not Milk himself. But it's the players on the sidelines -- James Franco as Scott Smith, a heartbreaking Joseph Cross as Dick Pabich and most especially an effervescent Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones -- that make the movie work. "Milk" is well-worth your time and money. Take a friend and have a conversation afterward. Expand
  33. DackmontB
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    One of the best films I've ever seen, deeply satisfying in every way that a film can be. Sean Penn reminds me a little of Dustin Hoffman, and that's a compliment. He really disappears inside the role. Gus van Sant's direction is masterful, painting an astounding picture of triumph and tragedy together. The ending is still being written... by all of us, and for all of us, One of the best films I've ever seen, deeply satisfying in every way that a film can be. Sean Penn reminds me a little of Dustin Hoffman, and that's a compliment. He really disappears inside the role. Gus van Sant's direction is masterful, painting an astounding picture of triumph and tragedy together. The ending is still being written... by all of us, and for all of us, all the "us's" who deserve full inclusion and respect in a civil society. Inspiring and galvanizing. Expand
  34. MarcosRibasdeFaria
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    Another masterpiece by Sant
  35. LindaB.
    Dec 24, 2008
    10
    Fabulous film, saw it in the Castro Theater, THE place to see MILK..... it was an extremely moving experience.
  36. JosephK.
    Dec 27, 2008
    10
    This is a wonderful film. It has an important message, but it is not overly didactic. Sean Penn is amazing.
  37. Enrique
    Dec 28, 2008
    9
    Truthful, sober, very well done biopic. Great reconstruction of he 70's. Excellent acting by the whole cast.
  38. JoeW.
    Dec 30, 2008
    10
    I liked the historical documentary-like pieces, lacing reality with Hollywood movie for a final movie. Sean Penn was excellent and the other actors and actress were fantastic. A PHENOMENOM worthy of an award.
  39. DavidV
    Jan 14, 2009
    9
    This is definitely one of the must see movies of 2008. It brings the story of a little known politician (in the global arena) and shows how his story is the American dream. The best part of this movie is not the superb acting, the intricate plot twist, the references to history and sociology, the struggles of an oppressed community, the reality of relationships (both romantic and This is definitely one of the must see movies of 2008. It brings the story of a little known politician (in the global arena) and shows how his story is the American dream. The best part of this movie is not the superb acting, the intricate plot twist, the references to history and sociology, the struggles of an oppressed community, the reality of relationships (both romantic and interpersonal). The best part of this movie is that it all happened in real life. Sometimes we forget that the best stories ever told were those that really happened. If this movie had not been based on reality, it would still be as fantastic. As a side comment I want to mention that it is sad how the comments section here has had multiple low reviews because there are gay scenes. Although I'm heterosexual, I can understand that many of these acts were not put in place just for randomness.Taking them away would damage the film quality. The entire struggle for Harvey Milk and the LGBT community is to show society that they are as normal as you and I: they love, they lust, they hurt. Censoring this film in this aspect would only serve to ironically go against everything Harvey Milk stood for. Expand
  40. LeeS.
    Jan 27, 2009
    10
    A magnificent mix of history and drama. A 30 year old story made to feel very contemporary. Definite must see
  41. FrankO.
    Jan 31, 2009
    9
    This is an outstanding movie directed by Gus Van Slant. Sean Penn deserves the Oscar for best actor of 2008. This movie is important because it provides a history of the gay right struggle in America. It captures the struggle in an accurate and newsworthy manner.
  42. BrianE
    Feb 19, 2009
    9
    I hate biopics. They are lifeless, extreme two hour views of lives that were far more real than a film couple ever make them out to be. That being said, if Sean Penn does not win the Best Actor Oscar for this film it will be a crime against humanity. I know, major contradiction going on there, but hear me out. This film (I will not say biopic) works on more levels than simply the life of I hate biopics. They are lifeless, extreme two hour views of lives that were far more real than a film couple ever make them out to be. That being said, if Sean Penn does not win the Best Actor Oscar for this film it will be a crime against humanity. I know, major contradiction going on there, but hear me out. This film (I will not say biopic) works on more levels than simply the life of Harvey Milk. In terms of acting, it was top notch, though I don't quite give Josh Brolin the credit others do. It also felt real. The setting gave truth to an era of strife and consternation in America. There was an emotional palpability that extended beyond simply the acting. It was a fantastic, heartfelt film. Expand
  43. VictorM.
    Nov 26, 2008
    10
    Sean Penn nails one of his greatest roles ever. This movie is not only the story of a man who died 30 years ago, but also a look at the history of San Francisco and the gay rights movement. The way that Van Sant blends real footage with his own work puts you right in the City in the Seventies.
  44. RahulD
    Nov 27, 2008
    10
    I have to admit that I what somewhat of a homophobe. That being said, Milk has completely changed my views and has shown me what I feel everyone like me should know - all of us are human. If I had to describe it I'd say: Thought-provoking yet enjoyable.
  45. MichaelL.
    Nov 28, 2008
    10
    This film is as close to perfect as I've seen all year. I'm not a huge Gus Van Sant fan--but his vision, restraint, and honesty are much appreciated in handling the life of a very complex, heroic figure for the gay community. Sean Penn should be awarded the Oscar right now...why wait? His is a flawless performance, and he is supported by brilliant work from James Franco, Emile This film is as close to perfect as I've seen all year. I'm not a huge Gus Van Sant fan--but his vision, restraint, and honesty are much appreciated in handling the life of a very complex, heroic figure for the gay community. Sean Penn should be awarded the Oscar right now...why wait? His is a flawless performance, and he is supported by brilliant work from James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin and Diego Luna. I've seen nothing this year that comes close the impact of "Milk". Particularly salient with the recent passage of California's Proposition 8, this is a must-see for anyone who thinks gay rights are not civil rights. Expand
  46. ArnoldP.
    Nov 28, 2008
    9
    A shattering transformational performance by Penn. Superb ensemble performances. Unfortunately the message will be missed by those who need to see it. It also takes freely from the award winning documentary which in it's own right was even better than this dramatic adaptation . A must see.
  47. JasonW.
    Dec 12, 2008
    10
    An amazing piece of film. The movie manager to cover a large span of time in a short period, glossing over uninteresting episodes and focusing in on the events that made Harvey Milk who he is. Everyone gives great performances, but Sean Penn seems such at ease with this character that you don't see Penn anymore at the end of the movie. It's a heartfelt portrait of a person who An amazing piece of film. The movie manager to cover a large span of time in a short period, glossing over uninteresting episodes and focusing in on the events that made Harvey Milk who he is. Everyone gives great performances, but Sean Penn seems such at ease with this character that you don't see Penn anymore at the end of the movie. It's a heartfelt portrait of a person who is a leader of an important political movement. You feel like you know Milk at the end, and you wish he was still alive today, fighting the good fight. Expand
  48. JonathanC.
    Dec 12, 2008
    10
    Stunning film. Sean Penn does the best work of his career.
  49. JohnC.
    Dec 13, 2008
    10
    An awesome film and an awesome performance by Sean Penn, not a surprise.
  50. TomP.
    Dec 14, 2008
    9
    Strong performance by Sean Penn.
  51. DanielC
    Dec 21, 2008
    9
    Beautifully made, very touching film indeed.
  52. DuaneW.
    Dec 22, 2008
    10
    Strong acting. Powerful story telling. Realistic. It will make you cry.
  53. JimP.
    Dec 23, 2008
    9
    Very good movie. A little slow at the beginning.At first i thought "What's the big deal? I've seen this before." But the it gets very compelling. I laughed, and shed a few tears. The acting is superb. Sean Penn completely dissapears into the character of Harvey Milk. James Franco is wonderful. His non-verbal acting and reacting is great, I enjoyed E Hirsch very much also. Josh Very good movie. A little slow at the beginning.At first i thought "What's the big deal? I've seen this before." But the it gets very compelling. I laughed, and shed a few tears. The acting is superb. Sean Penn completely dissapears into the character of Harvey Milk. James Franco is wonderful. His non-verbal acting and reacting is great, I enjoyed E Hirsch very much also. Josh Brolin was fine but not as great as I expected. Expand
  54. Sep 19, 2010
    10
    While I'm obviously playing with a little hindsight here, Sean Penn displays the most impressive performance I've seen in years as gay activist, Harvey Milk, in the biopic by Gus Van Sant. Milk documents the rise, and eventual murder, of Harvey from a former insurance salesman to unstoppable political force in the 1970s.

    Sean's performance is the highlight of the film. As hard as it is to
    While I'm obviously playing with a little hindsight here, Sean Penn displays the most impressive performance I've seen in years as gay activist, Harvey Milk, in the biopic by Gus Van Sant. Milk documents the rise, and eventual murder, of Harvey from a former insurance salesman to unstoppable political force in the 1970s.

    Sean's performance is the highlight of the film. As hard as it is to like him sometimes, one can't watch this movie and not be amazed at his ability. I have not seen The Wrestler, so comparing his performance to Mickey Rourke's is impossible thus far, but Penn is unmatched in this film.

    The subject matter is gritty, as all Gus Van Sant movies tend to be, so the film itself is the same. There is one shot in the film where the scene is against the reflection of a whistle, having fallen on the ground after its owner, a gay person in the Castro district of San Francisco, has been beaten to death by cops. There is another that, instead of the camera following the characters, the lens rapidly turns opposite the characters and into a mirrored reflection of the characters in the scene. Very indie/art house and very well done.

    Milk is timely in that it shows what California, and thus the nation, had to overcome in the 1970s in obtaining any shred of gay rights. It's weird what I vividly remember from this era and how, at no point, did I ever hear of Harvey or the gay movement against Anita Bryant. I guess I was sheltered.

    In any case, the film is timely because California is leading the way to fight for the rights for gay marriage. Personally, and especially after watching Milk, I am dumbfounded that gay marriage is not only illegal, but STILL illegal after everything that was sought in the late 1970s.

    It's interesting to watch the religious right try to hang on to the one last shred of their stronghold on morality. I have every bit of confidence that this too shall pass. Not allowing gays to marry is simply retarded. They are people just like the rest of us. Their love may be different than what has been traditionally accepted, but it's love nonetheless. And personal, as well as legal, expression of that love is up to the individual.

    It's strange to write how difficult it is to obtain gay marriage rights when it is clear that this country felt like equal rights for gays was just fine by the late 1970s. I guess with the advent of AIDS, predominantly in the homosexual community in the 1980s, the religious right ensured that any progress was pushed back or, at the very least, stymied. As a result, gay America has had to inch its way back to its normally accepted existence and infiltration into society today. However, with that infiltration, I'm stunned that the legality of gay marriage is still a controversial issue. It seems rather simple, at least to me.

    While it's easy to slam Hollywood for their liberal political views and constant political statements, Milk shows just how hard this struggle is/was and how absolutely tunneled and arrogant Christians can be. That element clearly still exists, as Proposition 8 in California recently learned, but it's not indestructible. Milk reminds us of what may, in fact, still yet be needed to grab hold of that last bit of equal rights.
    Expand
  55. Mar 31, 2011
    10
    This just might be the greatest thing that Gus Van Sant has ever had anythng to do with. Because this is a true masterpiece, But, Mickey Rourke should've won that Best Actor. Don't get me wrong, Sean Penn is extraordinary.
  56. Jan 1, 2012
    10
    I love this movie. Sean Penn is an amazing lead and he was perfect for this role. I think the entire film is a real eye opener on how it really was during that time. I would highly recommend it.
  57. Sep 1, 2014
    10
    A triumph through and through. Milk views the life of one very important and unique individual who believed in the human right and happiness. Dustin Lance Black has written one of the finest screenplays in recent history. Matched with brilliant direction from Gus Van Sant and another Oscar-winning performance from Sean Penn, it's perfection.
  58. Jul 28, 2012
    9
    I absolutely loved "Milk". For quite a while now I have respected Harvey Milk deeply, and I'm very pleased with this film. The film is very nuanced in handling its characters, each character has positive and negative aspects to their personality, and nobody is handled as a complete angel or vice versa. I enjoy how they weren't reluctant in realistically portraying struggling gayI absolutely loved "Milk". For quite a while now I have respected Harvey Milk deeply, and I'm very pleased with this film. The film is very nuanced in handling its characters, each character has positive and negative aspects to their personality, and nobody is handled as a complete angel or vice versa. I enjoy how they weren't reluctant in realistically portraying struggling gay relationships in a time when it wasn't considered acceptable and how they didn't water down the more homoerotic parts of the film to make it more "viewable" for a wide audience. The acting is flawless; Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Emile Hirsch and others basically become their characters. Regardless of your personal political views regarding homosexuality, this film is enlightening, addicting, inspirational, thought-provoking and very well-made. Milk is one of the best biopics I've ever seen, and it left such an imprint on me that immediately after viewing I felt the urge to re-watch it. Expand
  59. Aug 26, 2012
    9
    'Milk' is many things: A great biopic, a great re-telling of an inspirational man, and most importantly, a great film. If you're not a Sean Penn fan, then do yourself a favor and please watch this film. He is just phenomenal here and you don't think of the character as someone that Sean Penn is playing, but you think of the character as the actual person that Penn is portraying. When an'Milk' is many things: A great biopic, a great re-telling of an inspirational man, and most importantly, a great film. If you're not a Sean Penn fan, then do yourself a favor and please watch this film. He is just phenomenal here and you don't think of the character as someone that Sean Penn is playing, but you think of the character as the actual person that Penn is portraying. When an actor can do pull off such a thing, you know it's a great performance. Inspiring and surprisingly emotional, 'Milk' is a must see for fans of biopics and Sean Penn. Expand
  60. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    A very important American film, Milk is made great by Penn's extraordinary performance and the ingenuity of the script.
  61. May 23, 2013
    9
    I absolutely loved it! Sean Penn gives the best performance of his career. He truly steps into the character and completely deserved his Oscar. Great cast. There were a few minor missteps here and there, particularly with some of the character development, but that does not hold this film back from being one of the absolute best films of 2008. A stand out film of the LGBT movement.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. The film is superbly crafted, covering huge amounts of time, people and the zeitgeist without a moment of lapsed energy or inattention to detail.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Brolin's work is superlatively expressive of the inchoate impulses roiling inside his sorry character. But good as most of the cast is, the show belongs squarely to Penn.
  3. Milk is one of the most heartfelt portraits of a politician ever made--the man himself remains just out of reach.