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Academy Award winner Sean Penn takes the title role in Gus Van Sant's biopic tracing the last eight years in the life of Harvey Milk, the ill-fated politician and gay activist whose life changed history, and whose courage still inspires people. When Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, he made history for being the first openly gay man in American history to be voted into public office. But the rights of homosexuals weren't Milk's primary concern, as tellingly evidenced by the wide array of political coalitions he formed over the course of his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"At the moment, it's my favorite movie of the year."
‑ Cole Haddon,
"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."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"The movie's getting a lot of praise for being an "unconventional" biopic. I don't think this is true, but it's happening, I suspect, because it's NOT a biopic: It's a cause movie."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"This movie chooses not to dwell on tragedy. Instead it mines the inspiration Milk gave to hundreds, then thousands, then, posthumously, millions."
‑ Dave White,
"A lively biopic of slain gay politician Harvey Milk, one that mostly avoids the "this happened, then that happened" routineness of many of its ilk."
‑ Matt Soergel, Florida Times-Union
"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
"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
"A poignant lesson about the ripples of impact one impassioned individual can have, regardless of sexual orientation, and regardless of the cause."
‑ Neil Pond, American Profile
"A little more sour to go with the sweet would have made Milk one of the greats."
‑ Mike Edwards, What Culture
"Milk tackles serious issues about equal treatment under the law and the power of a minority community to determine its standing in the larger world through political activism."
‑ Sonny Bunch, Washington Times
"The story is sad, but the mood is jubilant and the energy relentless."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Milk is an agitprop fantasy about the selflessness of sainthood. If anybody but Penn was playing the saint, we'd probably feel as if we were being sold a bill of goods. Instead, he just about pulls it off. Such is the treachery of talent."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"A bracingly passionate look back at the man who helped define a specific era."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Rather than force fictional acceptance at which the world unfortunately hasn't arrived, Gus van Sant effectively, astutely chronicles the slow, painful birth of minority representation and the tragic price Harvey Milk paid for political visibility."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"Ultimatelt resembles less the man than the titular white liquid -- warm, nourishing, somewhat sleep-inducing"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
More reviews for Milk on Rotten Tomatoes

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