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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Memorable, mature biopic brings a movement to life.

Movie R 2008 128 minutes
Milk Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 11+
It was a great movie and overall I am glad my son watched it for several useful lessons but he found the sexual content disturbing
age 14+

Great, moving film

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (25 ):

Although this film wears its politics on its sleeve, it does so with finely tuned storytelling and brilliant pacing that propels the action forward without sacrificing character development. "Message" films often fail to distinguish themselves cinematically because they're so focused on hitting their talking points -- but MILK isn't that kind of message movie. Penn delivers an Oscar-worthy perofrmance as Milk, a San Francisco icon who's presented with all the complexities of an everyman -- a charismatic, courageous everyman -- who finds his way to greatness. Happily, the supporting cast -- particularly Franco, Brolin, and Emile Hirsch as Milk's friend/fellow activist Cleve Jones -- are also up to snuff. (That said, though it's true Milk traveled in large social circles, his entourage could have been trimmed for the film so it wouldn't feel quite so crowded.)

Director Gus Van Sant, who unleashes a singular vision here, throws archival footage into the mix, giving it heft -- not that Milk really needed any more of it. The film is infused with a palpable sense of purpose. Soulful, enlightening, politically relevant, and thoroughly affecting, Milk will leave audiences breathless.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 26, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: March 10, 2009
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch , Josh Brolin , Sean Penn
  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Inclusion Information: Gay directors
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 128 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language, some sexual content and brief violence
  • Last updated: June 8, 2023

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