The Waiting Room (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Waiting Room (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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The Waiting Room is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film - using a blend of cinema verité and characters' voiceover offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices.

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Critic Reviews for The Waiting Room

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (20)

It's a vivid portrait of the crisis in health care policy, with the caregivers and clinic itself as much on life support as the sick people.

Full Review… | March 21, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A moving portrait of people doing their jobs under very difficult circumstances - and, in virtually every moment we see, doing them with efficiency, wisdom and compassion.

March 21, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Nicks nets moments that are at turns horrific and touching, redemptive of those seeking treatment and the workers who provide it where no one else will.

Full Review… | March 14, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The level of frankness and vulnerability of those featured suggests just how compassionate a filmmaker Nicks (who acted as his own cinematographer) must be.

January 18, 2013
Denver Post
Top Critic

Both a depressing indictment of a system that prioritizes health care based on insurance coverage and, at the same time, uplifting, if only because of the extraordinary professionals who keep it going - barely.

Full Review… | January 17, 2013
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Eloquently portrays the faults and limitations of the American health care system, even as it punctures some of the most toxic stereotypes surrounding it.

Full Review… | November 30, 2012
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Waiting Room

An eye opening look into the ER waiting room of a hospital in California. The film takes an objective and at times emotional perspective on the events of the hospital without over emotionalizing them.

Jace Labat
Jace Labat

perilous failure of insurance that leaves so many people flooding ERs who are barely equipped for such massive swaths of ill people

Julie Moore
Julie Moore

This is a very good piece of evidence, as to why the health care system in this country has to be reformed. People without insurance can only be seen in the emergency room, and looking at urban areas, that means hundreds of people waiting hours, days, even weeks for medical care. In one instance of the film, a man with a bullet wound is left to sit for an entire day, going numb throughout his body. A young girl is rushed through, an older man tries to get help when there's no one able to, and a homeless man takes attention away from less endemic cases as he's rushed through the ER. It's a very stressful environment that's portrayed, and the implications of not having insurance are strongly shown. The people in the documentary are also quite interesting, and at times it feels more like a film than a realistic portrayal of a hospital. There's the sassy nurse, the hopeful and yet defeated doctor, the strange people coming through the ER, trying to get treatment. Not only does this film educate, but entertain, and that's difficult with such a small space and time to work with.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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