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In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. During the last eight years of his life, while living in New York City, he turns 40. Looking for more purpose, he and his lover Scott Smith… 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
"Harvey repeats throughout the film, "you've gotta give 'em hope." He did the legwork. The film is just a reminder."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"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,
"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
"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
"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 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
More reviews for Milk on Rotten Tomatoes

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