Philadelphia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Philadelphia Reviews

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David Keyes
June 14, 2015
Jonathan Demme's thoughtful human drama was certainly not the first movie to confront the AIDS crisis, but it was, even in the conventional skin of a courtroom drama, the most heartbreaking and passionate undertaking of its kind.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
David Ansen
March 13, 2015
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.
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
May 29, 2013
What remains most striking about Philadelphia may be the...conspicuous emphasis on intense close-ups. They force an inescapable emotional intimacy in relation to issues the mainstream, at least at the time, would rather have looked away from. [Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media
December 18, 2010
Moving, Oscared '90s drama fostered AIDS empathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
October 10, 2008
[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.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Safe and apolitical it may be, but Philadelphia succeeds as a deeply affecting humanist drama.
Emanuel Levy
April 21, 2006
Wearing its heart on its sleeves, this well-intentioned but soft and compromised AIDS drama may nonetheless perform the same function that Paltoon or Schindler's List have: Change public opinion about an urgent problem.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
October 25, 2005
The courtroom stuff is unwieldly, but everything else is brave and moving.
| Original Score: 3/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
August 26, 2005
involving but badly cliched
| Original Score: 3/5
Keith Uhlich
Slant Magazine
November 6, 2004
In the guise of piety, Philadelphia panders to a perceived straight-male majority.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central
October 25, 2004
Being under the PC microscope transforms Demme into the bastard offspring of Stanley Kramer and Norman Lear
| Original Score: 2/4
Michael Dequina
January 5, 2004
Manages to be humorous and moving without being too preachy or heavy-handed.
Fred Topel
July 14, 2003
Excellent performances and the sensitive handling of complicated issues.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
"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.
| Original Score: 3/5
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times
December 13, 2002
Can't a movie make us feel sympathy for a gay character without having him die and spout opera cliches?
| Original Score: 2/5
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
November 1, 2002
Hollywood's effort to say Something Really Important about AIDS turns out to be a timid, gutless joke.
| Original Score: 2/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
August 20, 2002
Conveys the hornet's nest of ignorance, prejudice, half-truths and devastating lies connected with AIDS.
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
August 14, 2002
Overrated, but well intended. Intentions are not enough
| Original Score: 2/5
George Perry
April 17, 2001
Arguably, the horror of death from Aids has been sanitized for popular consumption, but nevertheless it is a brave and commendable effort.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
The story is timely and powerful, and the performances of Hanks and Washington assure that the characters will not immediately vanish into obscurity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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