Sean Penn gives a remarkable performance as the title character in Gus Van Sant's based-on-fact tale of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to a major public office. Milk is one of the best movies of 2008. It has problems -- some of the major supporting players are too sketchily presented and Van Sant sometimes seems to be trying too hard to please the mainstream audience -- but the production grabbed me like few other movies have this year. I was captivated, I laughed, I cried, I wanted to cheer, I wanted to find my own soapbox and lecture the bigots and misguided souls that hurl ugliness at gay citizens. Milk is a rich, stirring celebration of the human spirit. 127 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes deleted scenes and featurettes.

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