The English Patient (1996)



Critic Consensus: Though it suffers from excessive length and ambition, director Minghella's adaptation of the Michael Ondaatje novel is complex, powerful, and moving.

Movie Info

Anthony Minghella wrote and directed this award-winning adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's novel about a doomed and tragic romance set against the backdrop of World War II. In a field hospital in Italy, Hana (Juliette Binoche), a nurse from Canada, is caring for a pilot who was horribly burned in a plane wreck; he has no identification and cannot remember his name, so he's known simply as "the English Patient," thanks to his accent. When the hospital is forced to evacuate, Hana determines en route … More

Rating: R (For sexuality, some violence and language.)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Ondaatje, Anthony Minghella
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 24, 1998
Miramax Films


as Count Almaszy

as David Caravaggio

as Katherine Clifton

as Geoffrey Clifton

as German Officer

as Sgt. Hardy

as Fenelon-Barnes

as D'Agostino

as Fenelon-Barnes

as Rupert Douglas

as Spalding

as Beach Interrogation ...

as young Canadian soldi...

as kiss me soldier

as sergeant, desert tr...

as private, desert tra...

as interrogation room s...

as interrogation room s...

as Arab nurse

as Aicha

as officer in square

as interpreter in squar...

as woman with baby in s...

as officer, El Taj

as Corporal, El Taj

as Bedouin doctor

as ancient arab

as Officer's Wife

as Lady Hampton

as officer's wife

as Sir Ronnie Hampton
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The English Patient

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (26)

It took a filmmaker with Anthony Minghella's vision to even attempt an adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. And it took a filmmaker with Minghella's talent to pull it off.

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Could this possibly be the Casablanca of the late 20th century?

Full Review… | January 7, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It's the sort of solemn production that is often mentioned as an Academy Award contender.This says less about the quality of the film than it does about its self-consciously lofty tone and its sense of self-importance.

Full Review… | January 6, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It's a tragically lovely story about the cruel devastation of selfish and ungoverned love. It's also one of the best movies in a long, long time.

Full Review… | January 6, 2014
AV Club
Top Critic

The film is a smashing success on its own terms, though as a transcendent love story it lacks the firm foundation in human reality that characterizes Lars Von Trier's superior Breaking the Waves.

Full Review… | January 6, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

With its fine acting, sumptuous visuals and levels of intrigue, The English Patient boasts the elements of something greater than a love story. Too bad it devotes them to something less than a great love story.

Full Review… | February 24, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The English Patient

The kind of overlong and self-important epic-scale drama that seems tailor-made to win every award for its outstanding visuals, performances, make-up and editing, but which suffers though from an excess of characters and subplots while lacking in focus and meaning.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Excellent, moving film. Fiennes can do no wrong. This is one of the few films in which I appreciated Willen Defoe's acting.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

The English Patient is a film that I really want to enjoy. Unfortunately, I really couldn't get into the story. I do enjoy a good drama/romance, but Unfortunately this one simply just didn't do it for me. I applaud the acting, as I thought there was good performances here. Unfortunately I didn't very much enjoy the film. I didn't see what the hype was about. I thought the film was quite boring with good acting. I really wanted to get into this, but simply couldn't. For me the greatest romance of all is Casablanca. Everything else seems to be derivative. The English Patient is pretty boring, don't get me wrong, I love films that take time to develop its story, but this film could be much shorter. I felt that the film dragged on, and took far too long to get to the point. Unfortunately this films performances can't save this turkey. Sure people will say this is a sweeping romantic epic, but I thought it was a dud. Like I previously stated, there is only one true romance film, Casablanca. That film is a real classic. However I can't say the same for this film. This film tried too hard at manipulating your emotions and it just didn't work, at least not for me. I felt that The English Patient was a film too wrapped up in its romantic storyline, and it simply jerked your chain to try an sweep you off your feet. I wasn't impressed with this and felt this was a mediocre film with great acting.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

The English Patient Quotes

– Submitted by Esty M (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Guy G (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Mich M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Anastasia K (3 years ago)

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