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Milk

Released on 08 June 2009

Featuring: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch & Josh Brolin

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (14 customer reviews) | Write a review

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His life changed history. His courage changed lives.

The story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (14 reviews)

 Excellent!

| | See all hatboy1's reviews (4)

Milk is easily one of 2008s best films, worthy of its 8 oscar nominations. Top notch direction from Van Sant. Penn is great, as are the supporting cast of Franco, Hirsch and especially Brolin.

 Great script, great performances, great story

| | See all nikinoonoo's reviews (346)

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This Oscar winning film tells the story of openly homosexual and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. The film really captures the seventies very well and the films' style is great. Sean Penn is on oscar winning form as Milk and he is supported tremendously by James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna and the incredibly underrated Josh Brolin. The film shows us Milk being elected Supervisor to the city of San Francisco right up until his tragic death.
One of the years' best films.

 What a great film

| | See all Misosoup's reviews (7)

Being born in Jamaica from a very homophobic society and in 1976 I felt a bit emotional when I watched and am not ashamed to say I cried.
The oscars they got are truly deserved and I can extend a great thank you to Dustin Lance Black Sean Penn Gus Van Sant Emile Hirsch James Franco and all others who contributed to making this wonderfull film.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to know a bit about gay history and as its the 40th year since stonewall I wish you all a happy Pride whereever you are.

 What a amazing film and massive suprise!

| | See all WaynsieRudeBoy's reviews (1)

I am a gay male 30years old and am normally very up to date with gay culture. I not interested in gay comedies but educational movies that show how hard it used to be for people who are gay. The new generation of gay people do not know they are born and have it very easy to how it was even 10 years ago.
I had heard a rumour that Sean Penn had made a film where he played the lead gay role. Sadley all that was spoken about really at the time of its release was Slumdog Millionare. I hadnt heard of Harvey Milk so didnt pay much attention. Then when it won Best Picture at the Oscars over Slumdog I was amazed and happy. Then hearing Sean Penns acceptance speech telling the USA to wake up and make gay marriage legal I had to wacth the film.
The film is fantastic. Sean plays the lead with such ease and kindness. Not one hint of unnatural acting. The film is educational, moving, empowering and very sad. I was not prepared to be so effected by this film. I have made so many of my friends straight and gay watch it whom all have loved it. I think when gay people come out there should be an education programme for them. Making people aware that being gay is not all nice clothes, great clubs, Madonna and Kylie. They should be made aware of how hard it was and who suffered dearly for just being themselves and didnt back down in order for us to be where we are today. Quintin Crisp's movies are a must as well as this amazing classic Milk. Straight or gay I ask you to watch this film. Whatever you are sexually will not make any difference to how this film will educate and move you. 10-10

 "My name is Harvey Milk, and I am here to recruit you"

| | See all JayFirestorm's reviews (28)

I am a straight male in my early 30s, and I confess that I didn't know who Harvey Milk was before watching this film. I am into a wide variety of film genres (as my review history reflects), and picked this movie up not knowing what to expect, but went for it on the strength of the (deserved) critical praise is has received. In short, it is one of the best films I have seen in a long time.

Sean Penn gives a deservedly acclaimed performance as Milk, a charismatic, entertaining individual. The supporting cast - none of whom I personally was familiar with - also put in excellent performances.

Without meaning to brush over the important work and advancements Milk made on behalf of the LGBT community, this is a story that appeals far beyond the gay community, and a classic story about standing up for the downtrodden.

The film runs at two hours; in some movies, I find this a bit long and my attention starts to wander, but in the case of 'Milk' I found it the perfect length; it needs the full two hours to tell the story, and I can honestly say I did not feel it to sag at any point.

It's hard to accurately class this film - for its most part, it is a drama-biography, but it also has some nice moments of comedy, and is also very touching at points.

There is little I can find to gripe about with this movie. I did find that Harvey met the two big loves of the story (first the charming Scott, later the demanding Jack) and fell in love with (and was in bed with) barely after meeting them; I did wonder if this was tweaked to suit that pacing of the film.
Some have commented that they felt the film concentrates on Harvey's love life too much, neglecting further detailing of his political career. I personally did not feel this at all - I found both elements to be well balanced, and think it was important to give an overview of Milk's whole life, not just political, to get a more rounded view of him.

Regarding the DVD release, extras are three deleted (and pretty inconsequential) deleted scenes, a 15 minute documentary looking profiling Harvey Milk, a 13 minute making of featurette, and a third looking at the recreation of the candlelight vigil (but which also strays into other areas). There are also international and UK versions of the film's trailer. Ordinarily I like to see an audio commentary on DVD releases, but maybe it was felt this film didn't need one.

All-in-all, this is a really enjoyable movie. You don't have to have gay interests to become engrossed in it, and I am glad that it is bringing the tale of Harvey Milk to a new generation, including myself. And at under a fiver, you can't go wrong. Highly recommended.

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ActorsSean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna, Alison Pill, Lucas Grabeel, Victor Garber, Denis O'Hare & Joseph Cross
DirectorGus Van Sant
Certificate15 years and over
Year2009
LanguagesEnglish
Duration2 hours and 8 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.