Millions

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 74
  2. Negative: 3 out of 74

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 3, 2016
    6
    A contempo Christmas fairy tale for the CGI generation, Brit director Danny Boyle's "Millions" maintains a bankable charm and innocence even when overdrawn on the special effects side. Sparky but essentially small movie could do reasonable numbers with a wide swathe of auds if positioned clear of heavyweight crowd-pleasers.

    Set before Christmas but shot in summery locations, pic’s
    A contempo Christmas fairy tale for the CGI generation, Brit director Danny Boyle's "Millions" maintains a bankable charm and innocence even when overdrawn on the special effects side. Sparky but essentially small movie could do reasonable numbers with a wide swathe of auds if positioned clear of heavyweight crowd-pleasers.

    Set before Christmas but shot in summery locations, pic’s unreal atmosphere is underlined from the start as two brothers, 9-year-old Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) and 7-year-old Damien (Alex Etel, in pic’s casting coup), move to a brand new housing development on the edge of Liverpool following the death of their mom (Jane Hogarth, only seen at end). In an orgy of exhilarating CGI, similar to the start of Li Shaohong’s Beijing-set “Baober in Love,” the houses literally spring up around the kids as they celebrate the beginning of a new life with their father, Ronnie (James Nesbitt), and away from the grim inner city.

    While Anthony is a savvy mathematician with a businessboy’s brain, Damien is a dreamer fixated on saints, miracles and the world of imagination. Damien is building a hideaway out of packing boxes near the railroad — and hosting his first “guest,” a joint-smoking St. Clare (Kathryn Pogson) — when a bag stuffed with banknotes arrives through the air.

    For the naive Damien, it’s a miracle from God. For the practical Anthony, it’s a £229,320 ($411,662) windfall that could be taxed at 40% if they declare it. Both agree to keep it a secret, though when St. Francis of Assisi (Enzo Cilenti) appears to Damien and tells him to help the poor, the kids find that easier said than done.

    After this powerhouse opening half-hour, pic momentarily turns a little darker as a sinister-looking pauper (Christopher Fulford) turns up at Damien’s hideaway demanding money. Anthony’s presence of mind gets them out of that tangle, but there’s no escaping a looming bigger problem: Blighty is finally about to join the Euro (film is set in an imaginary near future) and in little more than a week’s time the sterling is going to be as worthless as Monopoly money.

    Soon, a chipper young charity worker, Dorothy (Daisy Donovan), starts taking an interest in father Ronnie and — to the boys’ minds — the money, which turns out to be have been dumped from a train by bank robbers. All that’s left is to somehow spend the loot, but the police have already been alerted and the pauper is again hot on their trail.

    After the early stages, film fortunately goes easier on the visual effects and concentrates more on character and story-telling, with scripter Frank Cottrell Boyce (a regular collaborator with Michael Winterbottom, and one of the U.K.’s most imaginative writers) keeping the thin plot alive with setbacks and left turns. Ending is simple and briefly affecting, with the moral of the tale (“money just makes everything worse”) spelled out but in lower case.

    Dialogue by the kids has a slightly out-there, proto-adult flavor that’s handled with great assurance by both McGibbon and the younger Etel, with the latter practically stealing the film with his northern English blend of earthy cute.

    Other roles are equally carefully calibrated to maintain the movie’s irreal atmosphere, with the adults, as in all fairytales, having a simple, one-dimensional flavor (upbeat Dorothy, kindly Ronnie, scary pauper) that keeps the emotional focus tightly on the youngsters. Nesbitt and Donovan are excellent in this regard, and Pearce Quigley, as a bureaucratic-speak community cop, stands out among the adult supports.

    Tech package is aces at all levels, with key talent drawn from Boyle’s “28 Days Later” and his prior BBC telepics (“Strumpet,” “Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise,” whose antsy style “Millions” often recalls). Danish lenser Anthony Dod Mantle, who also worked on a slew of Dogme movies, creates a semi-magical, semi-realistic landscape of heightened colors and summery hues, in tandem with production design by Mark Tildesley, also a regular Winterbottom collaborator . John Murphy’s score keeps the movie at a brisk pace, in tandem with Chris Gill’s crisp cutting.
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  2. Feb 7, 2014
    3
    Millions may seem like an interesting movie, but it suffers tremendously from an awkward quirkiness and inconsistent filming that leave the movie feeling incoherent.
  3. Mar 17, 2011
    10
    Amazing movie! Really really fun to watch. Also Very Imaginative and creative movie with a good moral to it. This movie was also religiously fascinating and the cinomtagraphy in it was great.
  4. HarperM
    Apr 6, 2009
    8
    Touching fantasy with a flashy, surrealistic visual style. The film has humor, pathos, and moments of menace.
  5. AldrinC.
    May 17, 2006
    10
    "Millions" is a priceless religious experience. Wonderful acting and the visuals are deeply astounding. The scenery looks like something straight from a Windows XP desktop wallpaper. And the music--prodigious! Great job, Mr. Boyle.
  6. WilliamL.
    Jan 2, 2006
    9
    Excellent for all ages and with a good point
  7. a
    Dec 29, 2005
    1
    You people have got to be kidding me!!!! this movie was more boring than watching the news when your 5!!! the plot line may be excellently developed but otherwise it just plain SUCKS!!!
  8. ChadS.
    Dec 26, 2005
    9
    The big emotional scene in "Millions" pays off because the mother's death, when addressed explicitly by the two boys, is done in a comic manner. Alex Etel plays muted trauma brilliantly. He effortlessly gains our sympathy. London, depicted here, isn't predictably glum; the filmmaker doesn't want to overstate the tragedy. The flashy visuals work as a psychical projection of The big emotional scene in "Millions" pays off because the mother's death, when addressed explicitly by the two boys, is done in a comic manner. Alex Etel plays muted trauma brilliantly. He effortlessly gains our sympathy. London, depicted here, isn't predictably glum; the filmmaker doesn't want to overstate the tragedy. The flashy visuals work as a psychical projection of how these two boys try to remain childlike, so it's not all post-modern meaninglessness, or filmmaking overindulgence. Ultimately, "Millions" is fascinating to watch because Damian is a well-adjusted "Butcher Boy". If you see saints, there has to be a touch of madness there. If you see your dead mother, there has to be a touch of "Ponette" as well. Expand
  9. JustinM.
    Nov 14, 2005
    10
    I was pleasently surprised by this film. It's a schmaltzy feel good film that preaches about giving. And yet, somehow I still came away thinking, I should give more.
  10. billys.
    Nov 3, 2005
    10
    This film didn't lose any of it's magic in a unusually long wait for the dvd. I said it in April and I'll say it again now in November-"Millions" is the BEST movie of the year. I just can't figure out why it is not being mentioned in any of the pre-Oscar nominations forecasters predictions. After Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, I now consider Danny Boyle my new God Kubrick!
  11. KevinH
    Jun 10, 2005
    10
    Brilliant. A great "family" film that's still entertaining for those outside that demographic.
  12. JohnC.
    Jun 5, 2005
    10
    Not just a terrific story. Look at the cinematography. Magic.
  13. Austin,age13
    Jun 3, 2005
    8
    A very good movie. It was hard to follow at times; I was never quite sure of the theme, but there was a heartfelt overall idea, and it is pretty funny for young kids. I would highly reccomend this film.
  14. SteveG.
    May 27, 2005
    5
    Sorry to say this was something of a mish-mash: a film that never seemed sure of what it was meant to be and got lost in a hazy mixture of smaller issues. Entertaining at times, cute at others but overall a disappointment. It suffered, as some British movies can do, from a lack of a tight script and sharp directing. Which is a shame as it potentially had all the makings of a good story. Sorry to say this was something of a mish-mash: a film that never seemed sure of what it was meant to be and got lost in a hazy mixture of smaller issues. Entertaining at times, cute at others but overall a disappointment. It suffered, as some British movies can do, from a lack of a tight script and sharp directing. Which is a shame as it potentially had all the makings of a good story. But where was it in all this? The thrust of the film changed at at odd point, love interest added nothing much, the villain was neither a threat or an excuse, any emotion the sons felt at the absence of their mother was skirted round, things happened without reason and above all we had the ludicrous sight of a British isles Christmas filmed in high summer. The "imagined saints and motherless boy finding a bag of cash" angle would have been enough but we had too many things thrown into the film to make it anything more than a light-hearted, but ultimately forgettable film. Expand
  15. LiamC.
    May 22, 2005
    10
    Because I loved all the money and Glasseye.
  16. PaulaW.
    Apr 4, 2005
    9
    Millions gets off to a great start, with Damian seeing saints at every turn and his brother Anthony becoming some kind of schoolyard Donald Trump. There might be one thing too many in this story (maybe it's the Mormon suplot that takes it over the top), and around the middle the plot begins to fray a bit. Still, this is an intelligent family film full of magic and whimsy that offers Millions gets off to a great start, with Damian seeing saints at every turn and his brother Anthony becoming some kind of schoolyard Donald Trump. There might be one thing too many in this story (maybe it's the Mormon suplot that takes it over the top), and around the middle the plot begins to fray a bit. Still, this is an intelligent family film full of magic and whimsy that offers plenty for the adults to enjoy. There's both a moral core and a darker side here, though: think of it as Shallow Grave for kids. Expand
  17. MarcK.
    Apr 2, 2005
    7
    Warm and sweet, and will probably be in my Year's Best 10 at the end of the year. My only criticism is that I feel the trailer gave away a bit too much, particularly at the end. And to Tom who noticed boom mikes in his movie, sometimes the "cut" of the print sent to theaters is a little off, and in this case, showed you the boom mikes in some scenes (not sure I'm using the Warm and sweet, and will probably be in my Year's Best 10 at the end of the year. My only criticism is that I feel the trailer gave away a bit too much, particularly at the end. And to Tom who noticed boom mikes in his movie, sometimes the "cut" of the print sent to theaters is a little off, and in this case, showed you the boom mikes in some scenes (not sure I'm using the correct terminology, but hopefully you can figure out what I'm trying to say). This happens from time to time. Actually, in many scenes of the print I saw, the very tops of heads were cut off...quite the opposite of what you saw. Expand
  18. Tom
    Mar 30, 2005
    7
    The multiple story lines lacked a certain punch that you saw in Boyle's other films. It is a refreshing film nonetheless with moments that are original, funny and brilliant. What was the deal with the boom mics being in the shots for a few scences? Maybe it was a something subtle about the Mormons (for it seemed like the only time when you see it) but it is really strange. Mormons The multiple story lines lacked a certain punch that you saw in Boyle's other films. It is a refreshing film nonetheless with moments that are original, funny and brilliant. What was the deal with the boom mics being in the shots for a few scences? Maybe it was a something subtle about the Mormons (for it seemed like the only time when you see it) but it is really strange. Mormons and microphones...I don't get it. Expand
  19. PhillipE.
    Mar 29, 2005
    10
    This gem of a film is true to its characters and struck me completely. Delightful and moving, such that by the end I wept unashamedly in the Bethesda (MD) Row Cinema.
  20. Maurice
    Mar 28, 2005
    9
    Child actor Etel is a true find in the complete sense of the word. This child -saint is perhaps one of the most touching roles I have seen in cinema.
  21. Aaron
    Mar 27, 2005
    10
    A wonderful and eccentric gem of a film. I was surprised when Boyle announced he was doing a family film, but he delivered. Terrific.
  22. Mathew
    Mar 18, 2005
    9
    I found this film to entertaining, heartwarming, and not saccharine at all. I'm amazed that anyone can come out of it without a smile on their face. Danny Boyle has made a gem of a film that I will glady recommend to anyone, regardless of age or religious preference.
  23. MichaelS.
    Mar 14, 2005
    10
    Funny, warm, enchanting, spiritual, fresh, delightful and, funny some more. Why can't more movies be like this? Why don't more people see films likes this? Congrats to the director and congrats to the writer. Beautiful.
  24. Ken
    Mar 13, 2005
    7
    Like your 5 year-old cousin, this movie at times can be an absolute gem but also can be nauseatingly annoying.
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 75
    It's an uplifting motion picture that will bring smiles to faces, and Boyle's trademark irreverence keeps the feel-good experience from becoming too saccharine.
  2. By avoiding sentimentality, Millions emerges as a simple tale told with sympathy for a child's point of view.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    Maintains a bankable charm and innocence even when overdrawn on the special effects side.