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Patch Adams (1998)

tomatometer

23

Average Rating: 4/10
Reviews Counted: 56
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 43

Syrupy performances and directing make this dramedy all too obvious.

24

Average Rating: 3.8/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 13

Syrupy performances and directing make this dramedy all too obvious.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 263,542

My Rating

Movie Info

The fact-based story of an unconventional physician who attempted to heal patients with laughter, based on his own book and mixing equal doses of scatological humor and pathos. Robin Williams stars as Hunter Adams, a troubled young man who commits himself to a mental institution in the late 1960s. His experiences there convince Adams to become a doctor, and he enrolls in medical school, where he is appalled at the cold, clinical professionalism that alienates patients from their caregivers.

PG-13,

Drama, Comedy

Steve Oedekerk

Jun 22, 1999

Universal Studios - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (77) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (43) | DVD (13)

It extracts tears individually by liposuction, without anesthesia!

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (3)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Instead of drama, Patch Adams gives us mere iconography, and wastes Williams's iconoclastic dedicated doc.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almost every scene triggers a sense of deja vu!

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

True-story medical tale is made shallow and sentimental.

December 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Indulges to the hilt every obnoxious, hyperactive, oh-what-I-wouldn't-give-for-a-tranquilizer-gun aspect of Robin Williams' performing style.

September 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Has obviously been made for an audience that has never seen a movie before.

August 18, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

...Formulaic from the word go, with so many trite, overused devices that it could serve as a primer for 'things to avoid when making an original movie.'

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

...infuriating because it divides the world into fun-loving rebels and uptight establishment-types

July 31, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The true story of a Virginia medical student who breaks all the rules by daring to proclaim that the best medicine for patients is love, laughter and play.

March 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Comments (4)
Spirituality and Practice

This film wants to be loved so much, it pleads with us to believe its black and white message.

March 12, 2001 Full Review
Norman Transcript

A little too conventional and predictable for my taste. However, when the ending came, the whole effect of the movie was pretty much ruined.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

If you can suspend disbelief at every odds-defying incident and mind-blowing improbability, the inspirational message may work on you like magic. If not, the film falls flat as a 60-second souffle.

January 1, 2000
Charlotte Observer

Preachy and overlong!

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

The picture takes too many emotional shortcuts and ends on a heavily sentimental note it dooesn't earn.

January 1, 2000
Sacramento News & Review

Another assembly-line vehicle!

January 1, 2000
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This contrived feel-good film is a bit like adding artificial sweetener to eggnog.

January 1, 2000
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Vile.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

this attempted tribute to the human spirit more often than not seems like it was written by a computer.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

A sea of schmaltz that is even more insulting than it is nauseating.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Audience Reviews for Patch Adams

A Dr. who had changed the way that all doctors had treated their patients and what he had gone through to be accepted as a full on doctor. But how does Robin Williams do as his portrayal of this incredible man.

Patch Adams is based on the life of the great Doctor Hunter Adams. The film follows his life after he goes to medical school and he is criticized by the head of the school due to him helping other patients when he doesn't need to help them when more experienced doctors should get the job done of making the patients feel better in the medical sense. But Patch wants to make patients feel better in the mental sense as well as the medical sense.

Robin Williams does a magnificent job as Hunter Adams, making him both a kind and sympathetic character and making him also a very likable and funny character, and you truly feel for all the pain he is going through during his time at medical school. Monica Porter does a great job as well as his love interest even if in real life her character was a male and had no affection for Patch in the love sense. She does a good job at being a somewhat mean character but she ends up being a very well developed and likable character near the end of her character in the film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Daniel London also both do great jobs as his good friends and Phillip Seymour Hoffman does a great job at being both a hatable character and ends up being a likable character.

Now for a Robin Williams this isn't really a comedic based film which is somewhat surprising for a film marketed as a film where Robin Williams is on the poster with a clown nose. he does act goofy a lot in the film but not as much as you'd expect, and really, its somewhat welcome for a film like this and he does the drama off well with this small bit of goofiness.

Overall this is my favorite of Robin Willaims film and one of my favorite movies, and that says a lot for a non comedic film when Williams is one of my favorite comedians as of late. The acting is well done, the characters are likable, and the film has some real good drama and shocks. If you can check this film out I'd say do it, no matter what the Nostalgia critic says.
January 3, 2014
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

Patch Adams is one of those films that deserved to be a very entertaining film, but unfortunately failed to in every respect to deliver something satisfying for the viewer. I really wanted to enjoy the film, but I simply couldn't. This film is an awful train wreck of a movie that has a cast of phenomenal talent that is simply wasted on such poor material. Robin Williams who is an incredible comedic talent can't save this dreck due to a poorly written script. Right from the first ten minutes, you realize that this film was doomed to fail. Nothing worked. The film tried way too hard at being an emotional piece, and failed miserably because the film's ideas simply went nowhere. The subject is quite interesting, and I think it's a shame that there couldn't be any better way of giving this story the treatment it really deserved. Robin Williams has made better films than this, and lucky for him his legacy as a good comedic actor is secured due to films like Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire. I really wanted to love the film, but I simply couldn't. This film just lacked anything to really keep you interested. The attempts at humor simply are a failing attempt at trying to make you laugh. If you enjoy Robin Williams like I do, you won't enjoy this failure because it illustrates a real lack of passion from a man who is usually very funny and is an icon of comedy that belongs up there with Richard Pryor and George Carlin. With Patch Adams, Williams has made one of the worst films of his career and if you usually enjoy Robin Williams, you'll find that such a good comedian deserved a better picture to make and much better material to work with.
April 5, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Very sad! I loved Robin Williams in this! A must see!
June 24, 2011
murphmann93
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

This isn't a total failure, but it really missed the opportunity to be great. I blame the writing, and maybe the direction. Not sure if Shadyac was a good choice here, but I can't think of who should have done it.

I like the cast though. They give some good performances. This isn't Williams at his best, but he's been worse. Hoffman and Gunton do a good job, even though they both have done these types of perforances before. This movie is a little uneven with the humor and the pathos, but I did like the gag involving the gynecologists.

Overall, this is a mixed bag, but seeing it once probably wouldn't kill you.
August 25, 2010
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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