Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
It's a total triumph, brimming with humor, heart, sexual heat, political provocation and a crying need to stir things up, just like Harvey did. If there's a better movie around this year, with more bristling purpose, I sure as hell haven't seen it.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
With Milk, a great San Francisco story becomes a great American story.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
By nearly every measure, Milk is a beautifully made, far less conventional movie biography than most.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
A fascinating film -- more docudrama than biopic.
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
The film is superbly crafted, covering huge amounts of time, people and the zeitgeist without a moment of lapsed energy or inattention to detail.
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By Bob Mondello
What sets this film entertainingly apart from most civil-rights sagas, though, are a slew of relaxed, offhandedly persuasive performances, along with the flamboyance of hippie-era San Francisco.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Penn's Oscar-caliber transformation is breathtaking, and the saga of one man's fight for human rights is engrossing.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
More than acting, though, 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.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
For its mesmerizing first two-thirds, Van Sant keeps the film tightly focused on his subject, superbly played by Penn and intimately shot, home-movie style, by Harris Savides. But when the director pulls back to detail Harvey Milk's fight against gay backlash, Milk gets derailed. And - dare I say it? - didactic.
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New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
The final result somehow undersells a man whose life and death were watershed moments in the gay rights movement.
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84 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.