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Philadelphia indulges in some unfortunate clichés in its quest to impart a meaningful message, but its stellar cast and sensitive direction are more than enough to compensate. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Fearing it would compromise his career, lawyer Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) hides his homosexuality and HIV status at a powerful Philadelphia law firm. But his secret is exposed when a colleague spots the illness's telltale lesions. Fired shortly afterwards, Beckett resolves to sue for discrimination, teaming up with Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the only lawyer willing to help. In court, they face one of his ex-employer's top litigators, Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen).

Cast & Crew

Tom Hanks
Andrew Beckett
Jason Robards
Charles Wheeler
Antonio Banderas
Miguel Alvarez
Joanne Woodward
Sarah Beckett
Mary Steenburgen
Belinda Conine
Ron Vawter
Bob Seidman
Robert Ridgely
Walter Kenton
Charles Napier
Judge Garnett
Ron Nyswaner
Screenwriter
Ron Bozman
Executive Producer
Gary Goetzman
Executive Producer
Kenneth Utt
Executive Producer
Howard Shore
Original Music
Tak Fujimoto
Cinematographer
Craig McKay
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Philadelphia

Critic Reviews for Philadelphia

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (11)

  • Philadelphia may not be the film Demme's fans expect--its emotionalism is unfiltered by cool. But it has the power to open more than a few blinkered hearts.

    March 13, 2015 | Full Review…
  • [An] extremely well-made message picture about tolerance, justice and discrimination is pitched at mainstream audiences, befitting its position as the first major Hollywood film to directly tackle the disease.

    October 10, 2008
  • Quote not available.

    December 30, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Safe and apolitical it may be, but Philadelphia succeeds as a deeply affecting humanist drama.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • In the guise of piety, Philadelphia panders to a perceived straight-male majority.

    November 6, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "Philadelphia" mostly succeeds in being forceful, impassioned and moving, sometimes even rising to the full range of emotion that its subject warrants. But too often, even at its most assertive, it works in safely predictable ways.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Philadelphia

  • Apr 15, 2015
    Philadelphia is heartfelt and well-performed despite the simple plot. Tom Hanks & Denzel Washington provide remarkable charisma and chemistry in this film along with a creative direction from Jonathan Demme, making this piece an underrated film of the 90s. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2012
    Philadelphia is a superb drama starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Jonathan Demme crafts a solid film that brought to light the issue of AIDS. The plot of the film is terrific and director Jonathan Demme crafts a memorable film with stunning and memorable picture that is a must see. Tom Hanks gives a great performance, probably one of his best. The film's cast keeps you interested from start to finish, and the film is simply well crafted and engaging. The film is very sad and it is a powerful film that you simply can't forget. I really enjoyed the film and thought it was one of the best drama films of the 90's. This almost a perfect film and Tom Hanks definitely deserved his Oscar as the Lawyer who was fired for having the Aids virus. Brilliant and touching, this is simply a film that you can't forget. Tom Hanks delivers something unique on-screen, and the message of the film is pretty powerful. Demme does a great job directing here, and he makes another great film aside from The Silence of the Lambs. With effective directing, a great plot and phenomenal acting, Philadelphia is an outstanding drama that is near flawless and it's worth seeing for the performance of Tom Hanks. Philadelphia is a poignant film that is a stunning work in 90's cinema. A thoroughly engaging film from start to finish.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2012
    fantastic movie, great acting by tom hanks, wonderful music, and the ending was touching.
    Paul A Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2012
    Very good. I'm not a huge drama fan, but this film easily kept my interest for at least the majority of its duration. Some scenes drag, but overall it's very entertaining. Can be pretty depressing though, as you might expect.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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