Milk

Milk Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 300 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to unionIn 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. (Focus Features) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Slate
    Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    100
    Gus Van Sant and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black pull off something very close to magic. They make a film that's both historically precise and as graceful, unpredictable, and moving as a good fiction film--that is to say, a work of art.
  2. 100
    Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. Milk is a marvel.
  3. 100
    Sean Penn never tries to show Harvey Milk as a hero, and never needs to. He shows him as an ordinary man, kind, funny, flawed, shrewd, idealistic, yearning for a better world.
  4. Whatever you think of gay people (or politicians), you may find the movie compelling viewing.
  5. More than acting, though, Penn's performance is a marvelous act of empathy in a movie that, for all its surprisingly conventional style, measures up to its stirring subject.
  6. 75
    It's a testament to Van Sant's way with actors that the performances are better than the lines and that the film tugs undeniably at the heart as the awful finale falls. But a lack of poetry and freshness in the writing nags.
  7. The final result somehow undersells a man whose life and death were watershed moments in the gay rights movement.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 105
  2. Negative: 17 out of 105
  1. MarcosRibasdeFaria
    Dec 15, 2008
    10
    Another masterpiece by Sant
  2. 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 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. Expand
  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 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. Expand
  4. 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 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. Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Featuring an unforgettable performance from Sean Penn, excellent directorial work from Gus Van Sant, and a first-rate script by Dustin LanceFeaturing an unforgettable performance from Sean Penn, excellent directorial work from Gus Van Sant, and a first-rate script by Dustin Lance Black, "Milk" proves itself to be heartwarming, provocative, and unafraid. Expand
  6. ChetB.
    Dec 6, 2008
    6
    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 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
  7. Paul
    Feb 6, 2009
    0
    Milk is an appropiate title: it milked me for my admission and left me wondering if I should get up and walk out. A complete butchery of the Milk is an appropiate title: it milked me for my admission and left me wondering if I should get up and walk out. A complete butchery of the real events and man, which is a great shame, as the real story is very interesting. Expand

See all 105 User Reviews

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