Milk Reviews

  • [An] incisive and stirring dramatization of Harvey Milk's heroic life and violent death.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • Harvey Milk was an intriguing, inspiring figure. And Milk is a marvel.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • I felt that Milk is a slightly staid film, closer to the middle-of-the-road side of Gus van Sant's film-making persona, the bland side that made his treacly Sean Connery film Finding Forrester.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • Milk has one of the finest ensemble casts this year and a magnificent, career-topping performance by Sean Penn, who disappears into the title role.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Once in a while, a movie arrives at such a perfect moment, its message and meaning so finely tuned to the current zeitgeist, that it seems less a cinematic event than a cosmic convergence, willed into being by a once-in-a-lifetime alignment of the stars.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • What's surprising about Milk is how much creative fun Van Sant has under the serious circumstances.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • Milk is so immediate that it's impossible to separate the movie's moment from this one.

    J. Hoberman — Village Voice

  • The final result somehow undersells a man whose life and death were watershed moments in the gay rights movement.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • 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.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Somehow, Milk implants hope in those who've lost it. Somehow, Penn plays him as a feisty charmer so winning and lifelike that you'll regard him as a friend before it's over.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • It's a reminder, in this age of virtual flash and computer-generated wonders, of the power of simple human expression.

    Tom Maurstad — Dallas Morning News

  • At the heart of this eloquent portrait of a cultural catalyst is Penn's profoundly human, and possibly finest, performance.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • Milk is one of the most heartfelt portraits of a politician ever made -- the man himself remains just out of reach.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • Giving himself utterly to the role, Penn takes an actor's craft and dedication to soulful heights, making a demand for dignity that becomes universal.

    David Denby — New Yorker

  • The story of Harvey Milk is a tragedy, but not since Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High has Sean Penn played such a serenely happy individual.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Sean Penn gives a meticulously detailed performance as the cagey and charismatic pol, but credit should also go to Dustin Lance Black, whose script squarely locates Milk at the center of his community, his city, and his cause.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • The film is a passionate history lesson, a broadside in favor of gay rights and the engaging story of one flawed but courageous man.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Progress is slow, but Harvey Milk was one of the first to set the wheels in motion. He more than deserves a movie this good.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • With the combination of Van Sant's direction and Penn's masterful performance, it's moving, and important, as well.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

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