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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

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Patch Adams
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by Scott Weinberg

"Vile Rotten Poison with a Cotton Candy Exterior"
1 stars

The final proof that Hollywood will sink to any depths. This is a joyless, lifeless, pathetic and ugly movie. The assumption here is that if they pretend to care about sick people, then it's OK to point at and pity cancer patients and the emotionally disturbed. A staggeringly predictable and moronic story with really nothing to recommend it, unless you're a fan of amateurish, sloppy and manipulative filmmaking. Robin Williams should truly be ashamed.

Patch Adams is so unquestionably bad in every respect, that I want to weep. It also made over like $120 million or something, which poses an interesting question: Why do so many brain-dead and awful movies explode like this? Easy answer: People are MORONS! People like to have their emotions tweaked in an artificial fashion. They like the same lame jokes repeated by the same actor in the same movie. Come on, if there's ONE authentic scene in this pile of crap, please enlighten me as to what lump of smelly artifice it was hiding under.

OK, so what makes Patch Adams so much worse than any other "unbelievably lame Hollywood movie in which there is no real effort displayed by anyone" movie? Where to start? Try the beginning when we meet Hunter Adams, who commits himself to a loony bin. STOP! OK, are ever we told WHY he's so sad and disturbed? Are we told ANYTHING about him? No, but he sures likes staring off and looking bemused. (Get used to it. He does it the whole movie.)

Hunter realizes that he can help cure manic and mentally ill patients simply by playing along with their delusions. (Silly mental patients.) Of course we get to meet a "loony" bunch of inmates that is so stereotyped and sad, I can't believe it was made in this day and age. OK, get this--The first doctor we COLD and ABRASIVE. Hunter also meets some Yoda-type guy in the asylum who explains that if he can just stare at his hand until everything gets blurry, he'll be sane. (I swear I'm not making this up.)

So Hunter starts calling himself Patch and joins medical school because he loves people. The terribly evil dean hates his methods and he also meets a nerdy gang of students to hang with. (Hey, I just saved you like a half-hour right there.) Problems arise when the dean says "Hey, Patch, I don't like you coming in to my hospital and making my cancer patients giggle. You have to wait until your THIRD year until you can come in to the hosptial and stop mugging for the camera!"

There is not ONE scene in this movie that doesn't possess the following things:

1. Robin Williams with a crooked smile and big wide eyes and a bunch of talent being so wasted you want to hit him in the face with a rock.

2. Horrible and schmaltz-heavy piano music. God forbid people try to find their own emotion in a movie. Much better for us to have these 'emotional cues' so we know when we should be sobbing.

3. Just the most trite, formulaic, predictable, inane and familiar dialogue I've heard in a while: Stuff like

"People have names, not numbers"


"Are you ever serious? giggle"


"I've loved you since I first time I met you"


"I like to prostitute cancerous children to further a pathetic movie career."

This movie is just so desperate to connect on any level, it's like a barrage of constant grief:

Boom--Cancer kids?--That one didn't get you?

Boom--Mental retardation?--Still not weepy?

Boom---The tacked-on 'Forced and pathetic deathbed' scene?

OK, Still holding out? Well, we could be here all day, since we're also treated to:

The 'Shocking Death of an Attractive Person' Scene

The 'Standing Up in the Face of Authority' Scene

The 'Huge Pathetic Grandstand in a Courtroom Scene, but wait, there's no Trial in this Movie but who Cares?' Scene

The 'Everyone Clapping while the big idiot looks on wistfully' Scene.

It's all familiar and it's ALL here, and there's some unique spins on OLD pathetic scenes also:

The 'Wow, look at all the Balloons in Here!' party Scene

The 'Crying pathetically and Pounding on a Coffin' Scene

and my personal favorite:

The 'lets all put on our Red Enema Noses to show support for the Misunderstood Moron' Scene.

Originality is not this movies' strong suit, I guess is what I'm saying.

Individual scenes of depravity that Robin Williams jumps right into with a big grin are all that keeps Patch Adams moving. You wonder how much more pathetic can it get. I'm still having horrible flashbacks:

Robin Williams in a pool full of NOODLES with some dying old lady? Huh?

Robin Williams flailing his arms and buzzing like a bee while cancer-ridden children giggle and lose their teeth, and then he puts a bedpan on his HEAD and wears them as SHOES also? HUH?

Robin Williams startling a near-dead man awake and throwing fifty balloon animals in his face? What the HELL is going on here? (P.S. This scene makes absolutely no sense, since the scenes where we could have learned about this patient were obviously edited out. Just another sign of respect from your filmmakers.)

Never before have I seen a movie sink to such horrible methods just to evoke some emotion. Their thinking must have been "Hey, how can anyone trash a movie where we make little tiny cancer kids giggle? THINK, people!"

Actually, there are a few scenes (OK, one) when another character (Patch's pompous roommate) tells him exactly why he is so annoying and pathetic. I was cheering the roommate's every line, and I knew the screenwriter would close the scene with Robin muttering some muttered insult, thereby getting the last word, then leave the room. I was exactly right about how this scene ended, and I threw my DVD remote across the room.

Pandering, simpering, ugly, mawkish, uncomfortable, unfunny and a vile affront to any intelligent moviegoer. Forced, fake, false and transparent, it tries to address medical problems by sugarcoating them in the worst possible Hollywood fashion. An obvious hack job, yet it still struck a chord with the masses, and for this I simply ask "Why?"

A true embarrasment and Robin Williams needs to learn to stop with these condescending and falsely-life affirming movies. He has now become the textbook example of what a sellout is. Want proof of how false and sad this movie actually is? Try showing it to some kids who have actually suffered through cancer treatment and see if they think Patch Adams' medical techniques are "wacky" or "funny".

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/25/99 15:18:27
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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
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  25-Dec-1998 (PG-13)


  25-Mar-1999 (PG)

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