The English Patient 1996

The English Patient

Critics Consensus

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

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 88

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 81,704

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Movie Info

The sweeping expanses of the Sahara are the setting for a passionate love affair in this adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's novel. A badly burned man, Laszlo de Almasy (Ralph Fiennes), is tended to by a nurse, Hana (Juliette Binoche), in an Italian monastery near the end of World War II. His past is revealed through flashbacks involving a married Englishwoman (Kristin Scott Thomas) and his work mapping the African landscape. Hana learns to heal her own scars as she helps the dying man.

Cast

Ralph Fiennes
as Count Almaszy
Willem Dafoe
as David Caravaggio
Kristin Scott Thomas
as Katherine Clifton
Colin Firth
as Geoffrey Clifton
Jürgen Prochnow
as German Officer
Kevin Whately
as Sgt. Hardy
Clive Merrison
as Fenelon-Barnes
Nino Castelnuovo
as D'Agostino
Clive Morrison
as Fenelon-Barnes
Raymond Coulthard
as Rupert Douglas
Philip Whitchurch
as Corporal Dade, Cpl. Dade
Lee Ross
as Spalding
Anthony Smee
as Beach Interrogation Officer
Matthew Ferguson
as young Canadian soldier
Jason Done
as kiss me soldier
Roger Morlidge
as sergeant, desert train
Simon Sherlock
as private, desert train
Sebastian Schipper
as interrogation room soldier
Fritz Eggert
as interrogation room soldier
Sonia Mankaï
as Arab nurse
Rim Turki
as Aicha
Sebastian Rudolph
as officer in square
Thoraya Sehill
as interpreter in square
Sondess Belhassen
as woman with baby in square
Dominic Mafham
as officer, El Taj
Gregor Truter
as Corporal, El Taj
Salah Miled
as Bedouin doctor
Abdellatif Hamrouni
as ancient arab
Philipa Day
as Officer's Wife
Phillipa Bay
as officer's wife
Amanda Walker
as Lady Hampton
Paul Kant
as Sir Ronnie Hampton
View All

News & Interviews for The English Patient

Critic Reviews for The English Patient

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (13)

  • If Minghella's debut feature Truly, Madly, Deeply was overrated -- a Ghost for the NW3 set -- this movie is a quantum leap towards cinema's potential for magic.

    February 4, 2020 | Full Review…
  • You can take your brain to The English Patient and you will not be insulted. Your eyes will not be offended either. This scarcely makes Minghella's film the best in the world; it just makes it loom large.

    February 4, 2020 | Full Review…

    Geoff Brown

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Its wit, sophistication and artistry never are at odds with the fundamental pull of a powerful love story that out-Zhivagos Doctor Zhivago because it respects love's mysteries, admits it doesn't know the heart's boundaries.

    April 27, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Relentlessly beautiful, but not quite stupifyingly so

    March 1, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    February 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Could this possibly be the Casablanca of the late 20th century?

    January 7, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The English Patient

  • Jul 04, 2014
    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 from an excess of characters and subplots while lacking in focus and meaning.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2013
    A great and touching tragedy two two distinct and equally rewarding romances, one in the "present" and one in the "past". An honest and rewarding depiction of Ondaatje's work.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2013
    Though its script isn't perfect, and the romance between supporting characters Hanna and Kip feels slightly extraneous, "The English Patient" is a well-acted, beautifully lensed romance story that evokes memories of other cinematic classics (and Best Picture Oscar winners) "Casablanca" and "Lawrence of Arabia" with its epic storytelling and lavish production design, impressing on both a technical and emotional level.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2012
    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

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