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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.82%
Average: 10.29%
Pretty Bad: 1.47%
Total Crap: 4.41%

7 reviews, 26 user ratings

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by William Goss

"What's Up, Doc?"
4 stars

I’m worried for Michael Moore. Sure, 'Sicko' starts out with a typical Bush blunder for laughs, but within minutes, he offers up the sobering image of several generations of a family forced together under a single roof by the most unfortunate of circumstances and unlikely of coincidences, and tears are being (understandably) shed. No one denies that Moore is all about skewing the scene in the name of getting a point across, but really, is he about to jerk our heartstrings with images of sobbing children and grandparents?

The answer is, only a little. Although a hard first impression to shake, no other moment in his expose of American healthcare reeks of such self-service. Soon enough, Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine) is back to his wily ways, offering anecdotes from those suffering Stateside from a failed system and from those elsewhere who so very greatly benefit from socialized medicine. For about forty-five minutes, he thankfully remains off-camera, offering instead a mixture of his trademark sardonic narration and the horror stories of American citizens having to comparison shop when replacing severed digits, or of those who failed to pre-approve an ambulance ride whilst unconscious. He examines HMOs, from Nixon to now, and their various means of screwing their clients out of proper treatment: early on, a Star Wars scroll of conditions speed by, all of which can disqualify applicants from receiving coverage, and former employees eventually confess a variety of guilty truths they can no longer bear (“You’re swept through the cracks. Someone made that crack and swept you through it.”).

And then Mr. Moore takes center stage as he takes off for England, France, and Canada in an effort to show how national healthcare can and does work for the greater good. While it is undoubtedly admirable to see him trying to provide a well-rounded solution for the problems he’s tackling this time around, his repeated inquiries and incredulous reactions to the seemingly saintly service one gets beyond our borders grow increasingly weary and redundant, as if he’s stalling for time by giving viewers the easy answers over and over again instead of struggling to get the right ones back home.

Even back home, there’s a striking favor of anecdotes to statistics, with Moore relying on enough truthiness to make Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A. proud. Yeah, there might be four times as many lobbyists as there are members of Congress, but that won’t stick as much as the description and then image of a woman being abandoned by cab outside of a shelter for unpaid hospital bills. Sicko then culminates with the infamous arrival of Moore and several 9/11 volunteer rescue workers off the shores of Guantanamo Bay, and as much good eventually comes from it (refused treatment at home and at Gitmo, they are subsequently treated with the utmost care at a Havana hospital), it still reeks of a stunt pulled for the cameras, regardless of whoever pulls it and perhaps especially because it’s Moore doing so.

For all of his concern for his country, Moore’s attitude, now more than ever, ends up undermining his ultimately compassionate goals. However, while 'Sicko' may not say it all regarding the plight of US healthcare, it says enough, and I can still respect it as a call to action, a cry to arms, however shrill the voice or tactless the tone.

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originally posted: 07/08/07 13:03:47
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User Comments

6/01/10 User Name This documentary manages to shock and amuse. 4 stars
1/20/10 Croweater88 Free health care is a right, not a privilege. Australia has it too, why doesn't the USA? 5 stars
12/30/09 Dane Youssef An essential bitter pill that may save lives all over this dying country. America is sick. 5 stars
2/17/08 R.W.Welch Harpoon of U.S. healthcare makes its point. Moore's most valid shot. 4 stars
2/14/08 Johnno 11 years under right-wing government & UNIVERSAL health care. (Australia), america is dumb! 5 stars
2/13/08 timunsuri i just see the movie last night, it was moving,sad yet funny at the same time.. 5 stars
1/25/08 matthew a brilliant film, both hilarious and eye opening. Moore's best film yet. SEE IT NOW 5 stars
12/04/07 Andrew I love this movie even though it made me sad. 5 stars
11/14/07 mike I seriously want to move to Europe now or at least Canada 5 stars
7/23/07 Helen This film made me cry. These are true happenings. People are being denied health care. 5 stars
7/21/07 Dana A post card for the salvation of allopathetic medicine. Even free I'm not interested. 4 stars
7/15/07 Monday Morning You'll laugh and you'll cry, which is what the best stories make you do. 5 stars
7/11/07 Billy Don't waste your money, this film should be labeled fiction, not documentry 1 stars
7/06/07 zaw Who even said its wrong and lies not deal with insurance companies! 5 stars
7/06/07 Toni Sobering, heartbreaking and powerful. Best movie of the summer so far. 5 stars
7/04/07 Eric Great movie, but Michael Moore is still in it... 4 stars
7/04/07 Heather One of the best movies I've seen this year, what a wake up for Americans 5 stars
7/03/07 laura bennett Michael Moore should be ashamed of himself 1 stars
7/03/07 cam BIG Lies. Any one who would do any checking on his claims and stats, they are ALL WRONG 1 stars
7/01/07 Ole Man Bourbon Had it been more logical and focused, Sicko could've zeroed on Ins Co's dfradment of cust's 3 stars
6/30/07 Booyah Boy I'd suggest Mr Sobcynski should get acquainted with Errol Morris. Objective isn't boring. 5 stars
6/29/07 billybob Hold Bush & Cheney to the same level of truthfullness we demand of this filmmaker 5 stars
6/26/07 thejames socialism is good. figure it out america 5 stars
6/24/07 Hey Donny M So, you don't have a problem with "truth stretching", eh? 2 stars
6/23/07 DonnyM Stretched Truth but it needs to be to hit you hard. Enjoyable. 5 stars
6/22/07 Ed Sometimes Moore's demeanor gets annoying, but the message is true and powerful 4 stars
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  22-Jun-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Nov-2007



Directed by
  Michael Moore

Written by
  Michael Moore

  Michael Moore

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