Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 10 out of 21
  1. 38
    Made me want to spray the screen with Lysol. This movie is shameless. It's not merely a tearjerker. It extracts tears individually by liposuction, without anesthesia.
  2. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    Williams isn't really playing Adams: He's once again playing himself, and the act is getting tired.
  3. 30
    If laughter is the best medicine, Patch Adams is but a sugary, fitfully amusing placebo.
  4. Reviewed by: David Kehr
    Patch Adams is either a brilliantly sly, straight-faced parody of the standard Robin Williams tearjerker or the soggiest movie of the season. [24 December 1998, p. 29]
  5. Patch Adams is a flawed visionary, but surely he deserves better than this crass and manipulative movie.
  6. 20
    This shameless piece of sentimentality is indignantly on the side of feelings and spontaneity and against coldhearted technique, as if those were the only two choices in training doctors.
  7. Audiences may find this pap brimming with heart and sympathy for the little guy, but as prescriptions go, Patch Adams is pure placebo.
  8. 0
    The year's most repugnant movie.
  9. There should be a special room in Hell where the makers of films like Patch Adams are sent.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 11 out of 21
  1. GilbertMulroneycakesFM
    Jan 26, 2006
    No. This is a very well made annoying film. I've often said that movies NEED to be manipulative, but they don't need to kick you in the crotch to make you cry. I'm really here to defend Robin Williams, who's a damn good actor and turns out a great performance in the irritating central role of a doomed movie. Not enough to save it, because his good performance pushes with the tide instead of against it. You want a good film with Robin Williams in a serious role, rent Good Will Hunting or...there is another one. Awakenings, that's it. Or, at a push, What Dreams May Come, similarly manipulative to this film, but with imagination and life to balance it out. Full Review »
  2. JHawkins
    Sep 4, 2005
    Robin Williams singularly bastardizes the perfectly (worthwhile??) work of Patch Adams (well, maybe not...). At any rate, this film is unendurable, and appeals only to those of prurient taste. Full Review »
  3. Aug 24, 2014
    In arguably one of his best roles, the late Robin Williams portrays Patch Adams, a man who decided to make his life about helping others. Adams believes that patients need to be treated not just for their physical ailments, but also for their emotional well being. He also believes that like freedom of speech, healthcare is an inalienable human right that should be provided to everyone. This is a film that was written specifically for and with the help of Robin Williams. While Adams himself admitted that much of it was inaccurate, the film fulfills it's message, by using an extreme mix of emotion and humor. While watching this film you'll go between tears of laughter and tears of sadness, in a film that will really hit home with a lot of people. This is what Robin Williams was known for, he told his stories and got his messages out, while at the same time entertaining and inspiring people to be the best that they could be. If any other actor had played Patch, it probably would have been a slow moving drama, that just made everyone sad, but Williams made the story one that made you think and it sticks with you. As it recent weeks it has come to light that Williams himself was sick, and this may be the reason he took his own life, I can't help but wonder if on that night, had he watched this film, would the outcome have been different? Full Review »