The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick (2001)

The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick (2001)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This documentary feature chronicles science fiction author Philip K. Dick, who was famous for creating tales that centered around questions of identity, often pertaining to the real versus unreal and human versus machine. In the film, several luminaries discuss Dick's impact on society and how it affected popular art, such as Robert Anton Wilson, author of the Illuminati trilogy, and Paul Williams, who profiled the author in a 1974 Rolling Stone article that was a catalyst for his elevation amongst fans. Considered an underground writer, Dick built a steady fan base of devout readers and ardent admirers. Just before his period of recognizable fame, the author (portrayed here as a recreational drug user) was burgled and his private safe was blown open with explosives; the vault was later widely believed to be stashed with heroin, with the heist possibly masterminded by a young addict -- who could have been among the group of young people Dick frequently harbored in the early 1970s. Dick also attempted suicide, and firmly believed the "Xerox missive" (a letter) would contribute to his death. At the end of his career, the author was plagued by visions that all but forced him to give up on his "Exegesis," a tome equaling roughly over 10,000 pages that detailed his ruminations on the meaning of life. The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick includes audio clips of interview subjects and animated interludes of the interviews portrayed.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:

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Critic Reviews for The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

Tells a lot more than it shows about its subject, looking more like an infomercial for Dick's legend than a true window into his art and influence.

Full Review… | March 2, 2001
Top Critic

The documentary doesn't get near the prowess of its subject; it passes through your life like a minor daydream.

March 2, 2001
New York Times
Top Critic

Anyone with less than an encyclopedic knowledge of Dick's work will leave this film clueless as to what the Gospel According to Philip K. Dick might actually be.

March 2, 2001
New York Post
Top Critic

Dallies too briefly with Dick's writing, and too expansively with speculations about what Dick may or may not have experienced in February and March of 1974.

March 1, 2001
Village Voice
Top Critic

Spliced in are some really cheap animation segments and monotonous techno analog music, along with, alas, only the merest flashes of Dick's self-deprecating wit.

March 1, 2001
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

Dick's unconventional life and career and his often brilliant work deserve better treatment and more comprehensiveness than they receive here.

March 1, 2001
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick

Talking heads reminiscing. Meager biographical content. Puerile production values. The communication of three trivial facts burns off the entire first hour of the film: PKD did drugs, PKD once had his safe broken into, PKD had a hallucinogenic experience after he had his wisdom teeth out. Eject, eject, eject. What would cause a producer to think this "work" could qualify as a biopic is beyond me.

TonyPolito  Polito
TonyPolito Polito

I don't know a lot about Philip K. Dick's personal life and this was not a good place to start. The film begins by discussing a break-in at Dick's house where "something" was stolen from a safe. Not knowing the author's history it took me a long time to understand why this was at all significant. Also, the device of an animated man writing on a typewriter and then having the camera show what he'd written was very cumbersome and slowed down the film. I didn't finish watching this one. Maybe I'll come back to it after I'm more familiar with the author.

Amy D.
Amy D.

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