American gay-rights-hero Harvey Milk has already been the subject of one brilliant film: 1984's Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk. But thanks to the world-class artistry of director Gus Van Sant and star Sean Penn, the Hollywood version of Milk's life story holds its own with the existing classic. Packed with lovely performances and the type of freaky plot twists you cannot make up, Milk will make you laugh, cry, and consider sending Penn a thank-you note. (See movie times, www.thestranger.com, for details.)

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