More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 24.5%
Worth A Look: 17.22%
Average: 15.23%
Pretty Bad: 12.58%
Total Crap30.46%

10 reviews, 91 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy by Jay Seaver

Death of Dick Long, The by Jay Seaver

Blinded By the Light by Lybarger

Blinded By the Light by Peter Sobczynski

Good Boys by Peter Sobczynski

Divine Fury, The by Jay Seaver

Them That Follow by Jay Seaver

Bravest, The by Jay Seaver

Abyss, The by Rob Gonsalves

Bodies at Rest by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Patch Adams
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Comedy Works Better Than Heart-Tugging"
3 stars

Patch Adams (***) - Seeing the previews for this movie - one is pretty much expecting Awakenings meets Dead Poets Society - and thatís pretty much what one gets. But what I didnít expect was how truly funny the film is and how much better the comedy works than the actual drama.

Whatever shortcomings the film has belongs mainly to the by-the-numbers screenplay by Steve Odenkirk (whose previous credits include Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Nothing to Lose). The outline of this film youíve seen many times before - the outsider who has more common sense and decency than the establishment he works in, the way he recruits others to his way of thinking, heís reprimanded and warned but continues to do things in his way, heís finally let go, and then must appeal in a courtroom like setting to get out the final message of the film. Thatís pretty routine stuff. But Robin Williams elevates the material with his good heart and great humor. He makes you see past the conventional material and makes you laugh while not pondering too hard on the not-completely original central message of his character. The opening 20 minutes really bring you into the film, starting off like One Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest with some good writing, sharp humor, and poignant drama. The drama in the film seems a little too forced in some spots and could have used some more early development. But every time the film lapses into a less-than plausible dramatic tone, the humor comes back and lifts the film. There is even one visual gag in the film that is so funny, youíll miss almost all of the sceneís dialogue by Williams. It ranks with the other two best visual gags of the year - both from Thereís Something About Mary. However - as much as you laugh at this visual - youíll find yourself asking - how was he able to do that without anybody noticing?

This is a film with big aspirations. It wants to be a lot of things and it succeeds completely as a comedy and a star vehicle for Williams. I also appreciated certain elements of the love story, but moments of the human drama seems underwritten, and you can see those screenwriter wheels turning as the story sometimes unevenly flows from one scene into the next - but Iím still recommending the film as a comedy with an interesting main character that still deserved some better writing to become the true tearjerker that it wanted to be.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 02/17/00 05:06:31
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

8/01/19 Luisa I'll never get tired of watching this film. Wonderful Robin. We miss you! 5 stars
8/28/17 Ken Bad, bad movie! Robin Williams has been in way, way better movies than this one. 1 stars
1/06/15 Chosen One Absolutely hilarious!!! Loved it 5 stars
2/02/11 ZZ I've seen worse movies. I think it's the sugar that makes this one so difficult to digest 3 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Not all that funny. 1 stars
1/19/08 Pamela White not William's best role but it is a true story and makes you rethink medicine 4 stars
7/04/07 fools♫gold Almost makes sense. 4 stars
5/23/07 arcangel016 Butterbean's retarted, Robin was funny, and the movie was great! 5 stars
3/18/07 Quigley Wow, you people totally missed the message. The story is inspiring and touching. 5 stars
8/05/06 Sugarfoot This movie for me, is THE worst movie ever made. 1 stars
1/02/06 cody a good story movie with lot of heart and feel and great perf. by williams 4 stars
6/22/05 R.W. Welch Gets a little too preachy. Needed one more rewrite. 3 stars
3/15/05 Fenris IQ scale: Weinberg>Me>Joe Average>Dolphin>Amoeba>Pamela Anderson>Ed Green 1 stars
1/31/05 Ed Green weinberg's review is more pitifully unimaginative than the movie. sarcasm=unintelligent 3 stars
1/21/05 DM Robin Williams, what have you done? 1 stars
10/28/04 JJ lovable 5 stars
9/14/04 John Lapissiani Sometimes outrageaous but entertaining. 4 stars
9/07/04 emmy it was funny beanie was funny 5 stars
7/19/04 Monster W. Kung Insultingly, incredibly bad. The fakest, most manipulative movie ever made? Possibly. 1 stars
6/15/04 T. Maj How to exploit dying children for fun & profit 1 stars
6/09/04 Nobody sad and funny. Loved the invisible squirrels! 5 stars
5/15/04 skye a masterpiece ; ) 1 stars
4/02/04 - it sucked! 1 stars
3/23/04 Dirk D I liked it..... 4 stars
3/19/04 da hood my doctor acted like this, and he slipped with his knife during surgery and clipped my lung 4 stars
1/10/04 Dr. Forrestor This was awful! The doc was too obnoxious but aside from that, this was just badly done. 2 stars
11/08/03 Alan The best Williams' movies are those where he doesn't seem quite this stuck on himself. 3 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston $120 million? Explains why the moron Bush is president! 1 stars
9/22/03 DM Pretty corny, but has some good moments 3 stars
7/22/03 Monster W. Kung It makes my worst 20 movies list, and I watch a lot of crap. 1 stars
4/04/03 Jack Bourbon Weird stuff 4 stars
3/15/03 Chris A real tear jerker. What's wrong with you Weinberg???? 5 stars
12/07/02 Justin The only movie I fell asleep during in the movie night three months ago. 1 stars
10/23/02 palaboy101 Touching and funny 4 stars
7/31/02 George Does it exactly what it tried to do - be a feel good, light movie. 5 stars
4/03/02 Rockitman007 It wasnt that bad 3 stars
2/20/02 Movie Freek Please. Just kill me. 1 stars
12/25/01 Andrew Carden Crappy and Unfunny. 1 stars
12/10/01 dominik Duprelle 2 Words. The 2nd one is OFF. 1 stars
11/24/01 travis i hate this movie. 1 stars
11/23/01 Will Diamond poop 5 stars
11/22/01 osopup worst movie ever. I couldn't stand it until the end. 1 stars
9/18/01 Butterbean Robin Williams trying to win another Oscar here. JUST BE FUNNY DAMMIT! 2 stars
9/04/01 olivia vaquero mercado is beautifull 5 stars
8/17/01 hilary WORTH A LOOK 4 stars
4/21/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Honestly, it's not without its flaws...but I personally prefer a little heart with my humor 4 stars
2/17/01 Wafer This is a much needed to see flick 5 stars
12/26/00 Turtle Sad and funny at once. What Robin Williams is best at! 5 stars
9/25/00 skye chapman have a nice day jed 1 stars
9/20/00 Jed A pure "underrated" classic one of '98's best! 5 stars
7/31/00 Jed May all the Robin Willams-haters & haters of this film smash their genitals with a hammer. 5 stars
5/14/00 Daria Please somebody stop Robin Williams 1 stars
3/11/00 David Rogers GOD! This movie did not make sense! But for some reason I'd see it again. 2 stars
12/03/99 perpetual loser it isn't great. but it isn't titanic. thank god it's not titanic. 4 stars
11/12/99 V. Uber-predictable. 1 stars
4/30/99 Sentaia E I loved it. Extremely thought-provoking... 5 stars
4/06/99 Annearchy, Damme, Satanne A hospital in the mountains?? Can you say "infection"?? 1 stars
4/05/99 Cool Thing Over-emotional crap. Uses cancer kids to press your buttons. Absolute toilet. 1 stars
3/20/99 MR HOLLYWOOD!! Williams was casted perfectly,a very sad but true story,could've been a bit better though. 4 stars
3/06/99 beakymcgee wonderful tear jerker 4 stars
3/04/99 Steve Kelley Could've been so much better, but the script hammers us with the "big doctor bad" message. 3 stars
3/03/99 Jerry-93 Best Movie I've ever Seen!!! I can't wait to Blow my Brains out!!! 1 stars
2/22/99 Jeff HOUN Some funny parts/some sad parts, good family movie, typical R.Williams humor,needs new matl 4 stars
2/21/99 Shanandler Bong It was good. No GWH, but it was worth my three bucks 4 stars
2/05/99 calgary47 I thought it was crap, same as everything else Robin williams has done. 1 stars
2/04/99 grunter I liked it better when it was called "Awakenings" 1 stars
2/03/99 Mark Reilly Overall, I thought this was a GREAT movie... a little overly sentimental at times, but ... 5 stars
1/27/99 jojo58 loved it,it was happy,sad,funny,more dr',should rememberpt's are people 5 stars
1/25/99 Dark Horizons dissapointed? no. 4 stars
1/18/99 Allison Big, strong men can't possibly admit that they like a movie that makes them weepy.<sniffle> 4 stars
1/14/99 Em Williams has been type cast, and I love it. 5 stars
1/12/99 Mr Showbiz tiresomely moralizing and blandly cheery saga of a free spirit daring to challenge the man. 2 stars
1/09/99 Moriah One of Robin's best! I find it hard to believe that some of these reveiwers saw the movie. 5 stars
1/06/99 Gamma Some cheesy moments (the butterfly). Story is kinda weak but overall it was "ok" 3 stars
1/05/99 Bill Hartman Funny and Sad in one bundle. Who cares if Robin has done this movie before? It works. 5 stars
1/03/99 Leon Russell Not hip. Not very funny. Too predictable to be dramatic. Rerunnish! 1 stars
1/03/99 Critic Deluxe Robin Williams is not directable. He performs like a broken record. Adlibs are still good 2 stars
1/02/99 Brad Goldman Predictable, but enjoyable 4 stars
1/02/99 redneckjew I was pleasantly surprised, I *read* it sucked, but it didn't. Bring Kleenex 4 stars
1/02/99 John Same actor, different part, same performance. Williams has less impact the seventh time. 1 stars
1/02/99 Oscar Goldman Robin Williams (I used to like him) has gone to the same well one time too many. 2 stars
12/30/98 Sandy Average, I would have rather rented the video 3 stars
12/30/98 discerningViewer sappy, boring, the same old tear-jerker, I wanted to die of embarrassment 2 stars
12/30/98 FRED groovy movie baby!!! 5 stars
12/30/98 Patch Awesome! Tremendous Movie! 5 stars
12/30/98 Hndbllkng Is there a cliche not used in this shitty movie? 1 stars
12/29/98 thEnd This movie was kickass, anybody recognize the poem he read in it? 5 stars
12/29/98 16 in. of swingin' meat and a bucket of balls Funny with splashes of drama. Very entertaining. Bedpans really can be funny... 4 stars
12/26/98 The Dude Very Fucking funny-but at times very drama shit--Buuutt still fucking funny 5 stars
12/09/98 Kirgo entertaining moments but Ultra sappy!!!! 3 stars
11/11/98 Tina Not a very memorable film. 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  25-Dec-1998 (PG-13)


  25-Mar-1999 (PG)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast