I Am Michael

Critics Consensus

I Am Michael takes a determinedly balanced approach to its complex subject, and although the results don't always add up, they're anchored by strong work from James Franco.



Total Count: 36


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,579
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Movie Info

I AM MICHAEL is the incredible true-life story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a high profile queer youth activist who created a national controversy when he claimed to no longer be gay and became a straight Christian pastor. The film follows Michael from his life in San Francisco with his boyfriend Bennett (Quinto), where he pursues political activism, a journalist career at XY Magazine, social awareness, and sexual exploration, to his days of personal self-discovery. After a traumatic scare, Michael is plagued by doubt and paranoia, and begins a religious reawakening. Michael renounces his gay lifestyle, rejects his friends, and endeavors to find his "true self." He explores Buddhism and Mormonism, yet ultimately lands at a Christian Bible school in rural Wyoming where he meets his girlfriend, Rebekah (Roberts), and becomes the pastor of his own church. This powerful new film captures one man's haunting journey through modern concepts of love, denial and redemption.


James Franco
as Michael Glatze
Emma Roberts
as Rebekah Fuller
Daryl Hannah
as Deborah
Leven Rambin
as Catherine

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Critic Reviews for I Am Michael

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (13)

  • Franco's fantastic here. He gives a fieriness to Michael as a gay advocate, then seamlessly slides into borderline madness as he starts accepting that the "voice" he hears is God's.

    Jan 27, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Kelly is finding his sea-legs as a director.

    Jan 27, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Despite some wooden line readings, Franco gives himself fully to the challenge of rendering Glatze with truth and resolve.

    Jan 26, 2017 | Full Review…

    Andrew Lapin

    Top Critic
  • Mr. Franco broods and puzzles and vacillates. But he often seems abandoned by a director whose approach is so noncommittal and dramatically limp that it strands the actor, and his character, in a bland purgatory of conflicting motivations.

    Jan 26, 2017 | Full Review…
  • A soberly stylish, impressively non-judgmental portrait of a controversial real-life case of transformation.

    Jan 26, 2017 | Full Review…
  • An intermittently affecting - but not entirely convincing - conversion story.

    Jan 26, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for I Am Michael

  • Feb 10, 2015
    A remarkably sympathetic and nuanced character study about an idealist LGBT activist who slowly becomes a pathetic shadow of himself due to fear and religion, and it is beautiful to see how the film never vilifies him, which would have been actually quite easy.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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