Critic Consensus: Anchored by Sean Penn's powerhouse performance, Milk is a triumphant account of America's first openly gay man elected to public office.
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Critic Reviews for Milk
Penn may be the main attraction, but this is very much an ensemble piece. Emile Hirsch, as cheeky street kid turned activist Cleve Jones, Diego Luna as Milk's annoyingly needy, unstable second lover and James Franco's Scott, add to the communal spirit.
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.
The story is sad, but the mood is jubilant and the energy relentless.
Perhaps it is simply an accident of timing that puts Milk in theaters at this moment. But fate or simple fortunate timing, Milk arrives as one of the best films of 2008.
Audience Reviews for Milk
One of the most moving and remarkable films of the past decade. Milk is an extraordinary and extremely well-made film about the final eight years of the life and career of Harvey Milk- a time when his life truly mattered, and when the world was altered because of him. If you don't know, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the U.S., and a major player in the world of gay rights. I didn't see Sean Penn in this movie. All I saw was Harvey Milk. That's what I love about Penn- no matter what the role is, he takes it and totally disappears into it. The rest of the cast is equally amazing, and it's a shame that they all couldn't get Oscars for their work. I was especially fond of Hirsch, Brolin, Franco, and Pill. This is somewhat of a return to more mainstream stuff for Gus Van Sant, but I wouldn't call it a complete sell out. That he is openly gay himself doesn't necessarily make the film on the nose, nor does it make the film any better, but it probably doesn't hurt. I just love how this is a show of his versatility. He can make a string of artsy indie stuff, then, no pun intended, play it straight and do something like this: a straightforward biopic about a gay man. Bottom line: This is an important film that needs to be seen-regardless of one's personal convictions.
Great film with strong performances by the entire cast. An important part of American history that is under-reported to the general public. Any American interested in civil rights should see this film.
Milk rests on Sean Penn's powerhouse performance as Harvey Milk. Without his mesmerizing performance, the film would not be what it is... Chronicling the events, struggles and triumphs of the first openly gay man elected to public office, Milk is a triumphant account of the moving and heartfelt story, told with stark focus by Gus van Sant. Josh Brolin is also fantastic here as Milk's opposer in office, as is James Franco as Harvey's lover.
|Harvey Milk:||My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you.|
|Harvey Milk:||Forty years old — and I haven't done a thing that I'm proud of.|
|Harvey Milk:||Forty years old and I haven't done a thing that I'm proud of.|
|Dan White:||Society can't exist without the family.|
|Harvey Milk:||We're not against that.|
|Dan White:||Can two men reproduce?|
|Harvey Milk:||No, but God knows we keep trying.|
|Cleve Jones:||Elections of any kind are a fucking bourgeois affectation.|