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Milk

Milk

2008
Drama
History
2h 8m
Biopic about gay-rights icon Harvey Milk, activist, politician, and the first openly gay man in America to be elected to public office.
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Milk

2008
Drama
History
2h 8m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 60.23% from 4983 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(4983)
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Rated 12 Dec 2008
92
83rd
Gus Van Sant returns with a bang. Captivating, realistic, extraodinary, spectacular, superlative and utterly fabulous, Sean Penn delivers the performance of the decade and of his entire career. Based on real events, Milk will rip you apart piece by piece with outstanding acting, masterful pacing and features one imposingly daunting script. You won't be disappointed.
Rated 28 Nov 2008
94
94th
Unafraid to step on mainstream toes, presents Milk& those around him in all their too-easy, 70's unsafe gay sex glory. Milk's relationship with his Latino lover has red flags all over it but Milk - a man, not saint - still thinks w/ his d-ck.An absorbing illustration of how both grass-roots community organizing & political you-scratch-my-back manuevering are both essential to achieving true social change. A moving climax&tribute to the man while never neglecting the power of the collective.
Rated 15 Apr 2016
84
88th
Milk was good...... What? I'm not allowed a snark-less review every 2000 movies or so?
Rated 17 Dec 2008
81
82nd
Certainly Penn's performance is terrific: nervous, gleeful, magnetic, arrogant, and very human. But the film is not, as I had anticipated, just a frame for his performance. The story is captivating, the supporting characters are interesting and well-acted, and the message is strong without being vindictive or patronizing. It's not exactly a subtle film - a few scenes were a bit manipulative- but Harvey Milk was not exactly a subtle guy, so in the end it works really well.
Rated 22 Dec 2008
50
48th
Take out the cloying wheelchair-bound kid and the implication that Dan White was a self-loathing homosexual, and maybe tone down the death scene, and it'd be more deserving of the praise it has received. Gotta admit, though, that much of its power springs from its temporal proximity to California's Prop 8. Is it bad that Milk's assassin is the most interesting character?
Rated 11 Jan 2021
93
87th
Elevated cinema allows us to not just watch a hero overcome an obstacle, but empathize with their struggle long after the movie is over. Milk takes a classic Hollywood story of a man fighting a system and ennobles it by showing the how the conflict is escalated by homophobia. Van Sant deserves kudos for a flawless looking 1970's San Fran. And this is my favorite Penn performance, as he doesn't merely imitate Harvey's mannerisms from tv clips, but embodies the essence of a private man.
Rated 27 Jan 2009
25
17th
Despite convincing acting this didn't do it for me. Why was every character so ridiculously black and white? Either extremely stereotypically gay or homophobic. I know this is the beginning of gay activism in San Fransisco, but I couldn't relate to a single character, or the story. If you have an interest in civil activism it might be a good watch, but for a European at least I think it's too hard to relate to. I've seen the gay rights issue done much better before (Philadelphia for instance).
Rated 29 Jun 2010
94
96th
Wow. Sean Penn is incredible in this movie, but the rest of the cast are excellent as well. The tone and look feels authentic, the story is absorbing and inspiring, and I was moved to tears several times. I've seen it claimed that they made Milk a bit more of a cuddly teddy bear than he was, but this is excellent entertainment, and important activism. Outstanding!
Rated 25 Dec 2008
2
21st
Disappointing considering that I love Van Sant and Sean Penn and this is getting a lot of hype so I was expecting more. Diego Luna's character was beyond annoying and I wish Dan White would've killed him as well. Sean Penn's performance is good but compared to his other stuff it doesn't hold up. Don't believe the hype and I would love to say this is Van Sant's worst movie but I haven't seen the Psycho remake. I wanted to love it but it didn't do it for me =(.
Rated 17 Jul 2009
68
70th
A conventional biopic in most ways, partly thanks to (and not in spite of) the fact that it's about a somewhat controversial pubic figure. Still, it is very, very well made; realistic, well paced, always interesting without stooping to sensationalism, and excellently played by Sean Penn.
Rated 11 Mar 2010
83
79th
Very good and interesting performance by Sean Penn.
Rated 23 Feb 2009
85
80th
Besides the crippled kid, the poorly handled death scene, the sometimes lame music cues, and the weak end Milk is an excellent biopic. Masterfully shot by Gus Van Zant and I was really pleased with the results of mixing and recreating of old archival footage. Sean Penn blows it out of the water and in fact the entire supporting cast is amazing. Go see Van Sant's best movie to date, you will not be disappointed.
Rated 01 Dec 2008
89
83rd
I loved Milk. Sean Penn gives the performance of his career in Van Sant's best offering yet. This showcases a marvelous story of hope, change, and struggle in a community that needed a hero and when push came to shove, got one in an unlikely place. Milk is marvelous and is certainly riveting. It's hard not to be emotionally gripped by the story here. Milk as a character is so full of depth. Look to this one come awards season.
Rated 24 Jan 2009
72
41st
Follows a standard biopic template: charting an escalating but measured path of defeats and triumphs, toss in a couple of moments of irony, some light humor, and the big inspirational ending, fade to black for the coda of follow-up intertitles. A tape recording made by Milk provides a convenient framework device for providing exposition when necessary. I probably sound too harsh... it's not a bad movie at all, and I'm sure it was important to Van Sant. Penn is fine, Franco arguably even better.
Rated 23 Jan 2009
84
88th
null
Rated 24 Jul 2010
85
87th
An excellent bio-pic. I'm not really a fan of Sean Penn in general, but he has his moments where he shows how good of an actor he is and this is one of them. Some people say it was formulaic and I can't really disagree completely with that, but it didn't bother me too much. A movie I would definitely recommend to anyone.
Rated 27 Jan 2009
80
80th
The most impressive in the film is the incredible interpretation of Sean Penn. The direction of the film was very good, quiet and well appreciated. The script showed the last and important points of the case Milk, shown in an interesting way.
Rated 08 Jun 2010
91
95th
This was a great film. The acting was superb, and the set design evoked the time period quite well.
Rated 15 Mar 2009
86
84th
As far as inspirational biopics this is really well done with wonderful performances and a story with enough uniqueness to feel fresh. At a couple of points it gets overly sappy but on the whole it's effective.
Rated 28 Jan 2010
87
75th
A fine performance by Sean Penn, and a vivid evocation of an important place and time in American History.
Rated 27 Oct 2012
70
80th
No matter your beliefs on the gay lifestyle, this movie is a must see. It shows again that our country cannot deny people their basic rights. It again reminds us that despite our beliefs, we all have a right to stand up and fight for what we believe is wrong.
Rated 18 Jan 2009
60
46th
Sort of a by-the-numbers activist film without any real distinguishable attributes. Okay but nothing more.
Rated 18 Jan 2009
100
99th
Fantastic film about a slice of history I knew nothing about. A must watch for pretty much everyone, and the best film that Gus Van Sant has lensed since Good Will Hunting.
Rated 01 Sep 2010
88
82nd
Amazing performances and an important story.
Rated 21 Jan 2009
50
34th
Well acted and without a doubt true to the real story and characters... but where's the story? The plot? All respect for what Milk did and the gay movement, but I simply dont see a really good movie here... I was - to be honest - a little bored... Especially if you compare it to the great documentary "The TImes of Harvey Milk"
Rated 14 May 2009
84
81st
Normally, I'd go with a documentary (if one exists) over a Hollywood bio-pic, but I can't imagine a doc being much better than this. The cast is universally great, although the jury is still out on Emile Hirsch. I can't decide whether he's fantastic or terrible; it's one or the other. Inspiring, with a great message, but never devolves into sheer propaganda. Cut out the sledgehammer-like foreshadowing("I won't live to be 50!") and the odd wheelchair kid interludes, and my score'd be even higher.
Rated 16 Jan 2012
86
90th
don't mind the waterfall of tears or anything
Rated 06 Oct 2010
80
93rd
The movie is a fascinating biopic with well-rounded characters and timely themes. Sean Penn was excellent at not only channelling the mannerisms of Harvey Milk but also his charm and energy. His relationship with the Franco character was portrayed in an authentic and organic way. Both the 'hero' and the 'villain' were three dimensional due to the stellar screenplay. Worth noting that the movie was a bit uneven (some unconvincing performances and pacing was at times problematic).
Rated 26 Jul 2009
79
89th
Awesome performance by Penn, well worthy an Oscar. A personal(the screenwriter is himself gay) tale about the struggles you endure as a homosexual trying to make something of your self in USA.
Rated 29 Jan 2009
96
94th
It's no secret that people will react stronger to subjects that are relatable to them. This is why I teared up several times during Milk, and at one point truly felt like standing up and cheering on the protests. Penn gives his best performance by miles, and the script is top-notch. As a film, it's exemplary. As a statement about human rights, I hope it opens a few eyes and minds out there.
Rated 11 Jun 2016
91
82nd
Emotionally resonant and superbly written, Milk offers up powerhouse performances from Sean Penn and Josh Brolin and highlights the directorial abilities of Gus Van Sant.
Rated 18 May 2009
75
89th
Great film.
Rated 16 Dec 2010
91
93rd
Though there was material predating Milk that told the story of Harvey Milk, this movie in itself is important because the older stuff didn't reach any sort of audience at all. A few minor stylistic and acting points aside, Milk is a fair representation of the events and the time period itself. My one compliant, though major, can't detract from the score I have given: Mickey Rourke was robbed. You all know it.
Rated 24 Jan 2012
90
88th
The best of acting and direction. The story is both inspirational and filled with hope.
Rated 01 Oct 2010
90
87th
awesome
Rated 15 Apr 2009
73
48th
I really just didn't find this movie that interesting. I think Penn overall does a good job in his role, and I was shocked by Hirsch's role (mainly because I just never knew it was him until the credits). It just didn't have as much power as i thought it would. For the historic story it was telling I thought I would be pulled more into the story, but I just never was.
Rated 21 Jul 2010
87
93rd
Brilliantly shot, scored, performed, paced, edited, written... I could go on! Penn is another level of brilliant here.
Rated 01 Aug 2010
90
92nd
Overall Enjoyment: 35/40, Plot/Themes: 20/20, Cinematography/Direction: 15/20, Acting/Writing: 20/20 Fantastic acting, deeply interesting characters, all together a very well made film, and on top of all that historical and informative
Rated 28 Jan 2009
40
6th
A cliche biopic that doesn't tell you anything about Harvey Milk you don't already know. Definitely not worthy of best picture.
Rated 08 Dec 2008
60
47th
Well-made but too much of a hagiography. Not one word is mentioned about Oliver Sipple. At least Spike Lee had the cojones to show Malcolm X gloating over the assassination of JFK in *his* biopic. Also, quite honestly, there's just... well... too many scenes of guys mauing. Am I a bad person because homoeroticism makes my stomach churn? Undoubtedly somebody is going to scream "BIGOT" at me for saying this, but I don't like to watch people going to the bathroom, either
Rated 30 Aug 2009
74
64th
A solid film but it feels too neat and structured to be inspiring. Penn certainly delivers, capturing the reluctant zeal of Milk. He conveys a distinct and fragile individual, not just a martyr for a cause.
Rated 18 Dec 2008
6
70th
Sean Penn continues to be the one actor whose acting is so jarringly controlled that he perpetually exists in the uncanny valley, but the movie is an excellent political biopic by any standard. Well-scripted and generally well-acted (Diego Luna's character was annoying as hell though) with, as far as I know, a high degree of fidelity to real events. And of course in this post-Proposition 8 age its lessons remain depressingly immediate and relevant.
Rated 28 Oct 2009
60
25th
I guess if you keep wondering how much longer it'll go throughout the movie, then it's just not your kind of movie. Don't know why. Maybe being European, the story was just not that interesting. They would have convinced me that Milk was gay even if he hadn't been kissing other men ALL the time.
Rated 15 Jan 2009
80
69th
Great performances by Penn, Franco and Brolin. The story is a bit unimpressive though.
Rated 15 Jan 2009
88
91st
Much like Tom Hanks delivered a monumental performance in "Philadelphia," Sean Penn also delivers a monumental performance as Harvey Milk in a stirring biopic about the politician's anti-discrimination fight in the 1970s. Penn is remarkable here, slipping into his character like a chameleon. This is probably his best performance since 1995's 'Dead Man Walking.'
Rated 13 Aug 2023
78
60th
really liked this bio
Rated 09 Oct 2013
89
90th
What a great life this guy lived, and what a great movie to tell its story.
Rated 21 May 2016
95
72nd
Amazing film about an American tragedy. Excellent performances by main and supporting cast. Well directed, fast moving film about a true hero to the Gay and Lesbian population.
Rated 09 Jan 2009
68
27th
No Movie that'll keep me in mind...but great acting by Penn !
Rated 18 Feb 2013
60
61st
I'd never heard of Harvey Milk and knew nothing of his life. But while watching this I knew exactly what the story would be - the highs and lows, loves and losses. It seems that almost every Hollywood biopic forces the life of its subject into the same predictable pattern. This is one of the better examples, due to some fantastic acting and above-average cinematography, but it's pretty much got Oscar-bait written all over it.
Rated 18 Dec 2011
79
77th
Sean Penn is very good in the title role. The supporting cast also does a splendid job in this film. I enjoyed learning about Harvey Milk and was entertained by the film. This film is obviously still very relevant in today's society.
Rated 27 Dec 2008
88
74th
Heartwarming and inspirational, but a bit too much like a typical biopic for a movie that takes the stance of people being open about who they are. Sean Penn does an incredible job and deserves any accolades that come his way.
Rated 03 Jul 2012
85
85th
Sean Penn, and all the other major players, including Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch are brilliant. Didn't know much about Harvey Milk before I watched it, other than being the first openly gay politician, but this was an engaging biopic - Oscar Bait? sure, but why is that such a bad thing...
Rated 30 Nov 2012
100
97th
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.
Rated 16 Jan 2009
80
83rd
Really well acted and directed biopic.
Rated 08 May 2009
65
31st
Even though Sean Penn turns in a good performance I find the story itself too politically correct and plain uninteresting.
Rated 31 Jul 2009
70
76th
good movie
Rated 06 Aug 2014
91
86th
The power behind Sean Penn's performance is undeniable. He commands the screen like very few. His presence in this film brings a sense of hope and change and the film is an emotional look at the struggles Harvey Milk had to endure in order to try and make a difference. The supporting cast is also phenomenal, and the entire film captures an era full of innovative thinkers who were willing to stand up and fight for the right cause. A definite must see picture.
Rated 24 Aug 2009
79
75th
inspiring with awesome performanced by sean penn
Rated 08 Sep 2009
95
97th
Excellence.
Rated 18 May 2009
80
83rd
Penn is great. Realistic movie, very balanced.
Rated 30 Sep 2019
70
75th
San Francisco belediye denetçisi gay aktivisit Harvey Milk'in hayat hikayesi. Cinselliği ile ön plana çıkan Milk, son anlara kadar politikaya kayıyor. Filmin sonunda Harvey Milk ve belediye başkanı, Dan White tarafından belediye binasında öldürülüyor. Farklı olmanın yaşadığı zulüm dünyanın en büyük ülkesi de olsa aynı. Sean Penn'in cesur oyunculuğu şapka çıkartıcı. Açın çocukların önünü açın.
Rated 21 Mar 2009
80
6th
Sean Penn's performance was outstanding. The rest of the movie however, was not...
Rated 22 Jan 2009
86
93rd
Great political and character movie, especially timely and unfortunately just a few weeks too late. Great performance from Penn.
Rated 08 Jan 2012
88
40th
Pretty straightforward biopic.
Rated 01 Feb 2009
75
65th
Heartwarming story with a message everyone should get behind. The acting was great across the board, but especially Sean Penn.
Rated 31 Oct 2009
20
1st
Gus Van Sant is one of the world's worse directors of all time.
Rated 09 Jun 2009
90
28th
Rushed in the beginning. There should have been much more on the White-Milk relationship: it didn't get that much time. Penn wasn't as good as Brolin and everyone else, funnily enough.
Rated 05 Sep 2009
74
81st
Sean Penn is bang on as ever, Gus Van Sant dresses up a conventional biography with some nice touches and in the end we have a very effective little flick.
Rated 14 Jan 2011
88
61st
Always updated.
Rated 21 Apr 2009
75
74th
It's worth watching, even if only to see the supreme Sean Penn performance.
Rated 04 Jul 2009
80
54th
I shouldn't rate this as I couldn't watch it the whole way through, but it seemed quite good. My problem (and the reason I had to stop watching it) was too much male nudity and sexxing. Nothing wrong with it but it rather turned me off to the movie.
Rated 03 Jan 2010
80
63rd
Inspiring story, beautiful cinematography, great acting. Regardless, I was bored for longer than I would have liked and I would not watch again.
Rated 21 Aug 2013
7
67th
Enjoyment: 8/10, Plot: 8/10 Themes: 9/10 Cinematography: 7/10 Direction: 8/10 Acting: 9/10 Writing: 8/10 Score: 8/10 Editing: 8/10 Design: 8/10
Rated 18 Mar 2011
73
61st
this is just for Sean Penn's beautiful performance as Harvey Milk
Rated 18 Nov 2009
80
80th
Pretty standard biopic. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get the feeling you've seen it all before. Penn is the real reason why you should watch this. You may remember the Oscar controversy that saw Penn win in front of Mickey Rourke... well.. Penn was the one actually acting.
Rated 16 Feb 2009
80
73rd
I can't really say what it is but there is something missing. A good movie overall.
Rated 24 May 2010
85
56th
Sensitive, humane biopic avoids demonization of Milk's assassin.
Rated 26 Nov 2010
20
13th
boring and not my taste
Rated 07 Dec 2020
72
63rd
Lan bu Sean Penn'e gaylik ne kadar çok yakışıyor. Sadece bir eşcinselin çektiği zorluklar gibi işlenmemiş olması, amerikadaki eşcinsel hareketine de değinmesi filmi 60 bandından 70 bandına girmesini sağladı benim için.
Rated 15 May 2009
88
85th
This was definitely a story worth telling. It was both interesting and relevant and the posthumous tribute to Harvey Milk was well-deserved. I kind of wished the ending wasn't so heavily foreshadowed, but I guess it had to be done that way for narration purposes. I wouldn't necessarily watch this a second time, but glad I saw it once. Oh, and I thought the real footage interspersed throughout was key. Some aspects might have been hard to believe if not for them.
Rated 20 Jul 2019
91
79th
This was way less liberal than I was afraid it would be!
Rated 18 Aug 2009
85
73rd
Unafraid to make a point; the acting, writing and cinematography are all excellent.
Rated 12 Jan 2009
89
90th
A surprisingly powerful film. After a few experimental efforts (some more successful than others), Van Sant returns to make a movie in the more conventional sense and scores huge. It helps that Penn is phenomenal in the lead -- perhaps the best performance he's yet given -- but the movie holds up well around him. It's incredibly well-edited, and Franco and Brolin are quite strong as well. With Prop 8 fresh in our minds, this message is as relevant now as ever, sadly. Inspiring, but bittersweet.
Rated 17 May 2015
76
76th
A great cast, headed by a phenomenal Penn, and a great story. A stark reminder that society still has a long way to go.
Rated 17 Apr 2009
40
54th
Another Sean Penn tour de force but I just wish Gus Van Sant had allowed his unique style to shine through. Nonetheless "Milk" is certainly an enjoyable film.
Rated 25 Oct 2009
80
81st
Biopic with great actors.
Rated 01 Sep 2012
90
53rd
beautiful camerawork.. lighting,... love penn. read somewhere that they sourced vintage 70s/80s lenses to get that particular look.
Rated 26 Dec 2010
89
89th
89.000
Rated 20 Jul 2010
90
69th
A great Sean Penn performance highlights this engaging look at a forgotten political icon.
Rated 22 Feb 2009
90
94th
Astonishing. A surprisingly powerful film.
Rated 30 Jul 2012
3
73rd
Energetic and stirring drama with a good performance by Penn but perhaps a little too simplistic.
Rated 20 Nov 2011
96
83rd
It is an different view of daughter-father relationship.Questioning relevance between intelligence and adopting "normal" flow of life.
Rated 24 Dec 2010
1
0th
A bizarre manipulation of the gay political impulse.
Rated 20 Apr 2009
83
21st
Every g'dam bio-pic cliche in the book. But a compelling story and fine acting from Penn. I wanted to know more about Dan White.
Rated 19 Nov 2010
30
78th
"Clearly Van Sant struggled to deliver something as conventional as he has, but if his visual digressions aren't exactly subversive, they affect a feeling of angst that's very much in sync with the time period depicted in the film." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 24 Oct 2009
0
3rd
Okay, I just can't take all the actors speaking through their noses the whole film long. GET A DIALOG COACH!
Rated 23 Dec 2008
84
94th
A captivating and very moving film, joyfully directed by vas Sant and beautifully acted by all, with special note to Penn, Brolin, Hirsch, and Franco.
Rated 23 Mar 2009
92
86th
Quite possibly, the best film about human rights I have ever seen. Everything about this pic is perfect and memorable. Ensemble cannot be better. Makes me want to protest.
Rated 01 Apr 2012
70
53rd
Okay all you extras remember to be FABULOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Has no one else mentioned that Penn is just playing his character from I Am Sam again, it's the SAME CHARACTER

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