Philadelphia

Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    60
    For all its weaker aspects, it is to be recommended as a denunciation of intolerence made with understanding, compassion, and some humour.
  2. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    60
    Genuinely moving at times, Philadelphia is trying, perhaps too hard, to break America's heart. [22 Dec 1993, p.1]
  3. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    60
    They have also stripped out almost all complexity, reducing the drama to a familiar match between good and evil. You've heard all the speeches before; only the nouns have been changed. [23 Dec 1993, p.A9]
  4. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia labors ambitiously on two socially conscious fronts - relating the story of an AIDS-afflicted lawyer while exploring a much broader issue. Unlike almost any other Demme movie - it's a film where you feel the gears struggling to mesh. [22 Dec 1993, p.1D]
  5. Even a good performance by Tom Hanks and noble intentions can't save this mainstream look at AIDS from the worst effects of nervous committeethink.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jun 18, 2014
    8
    Philadelphia is a smart, confident AIDS drama that is a very important movie in raising awareness of this horrible disease. Hanks provides aPhiladelphia is a smart, confident AIDS drama that is a very important movie in raising awareness of this horrible disease. Hanks provides a powerhouse performance, and Denzel is amazing as well. However, it's the nuances that make this film a bit off-target sometimes; the awkward transitions from some scenes to scenes are treated like an 80's sitcom would, the beginning of the movie doesn't clearly portray if Hanks' character knows he has AIDS or not, the musical score can be a bit jaunty at times when it should be serious, and even the opening credit typeface acts like this is going to be New Jack City, not a powerful, emotional AIDS drama. Despite these little kinks, this is one must-see film, even if it is just for Tom Hanks' visceral, electrifying, Oscar-winning performance. Full Review »
  2. Nov 6, 2011
    9
    This movie has raw emotion and stellar performances from all of the actors involved. The subject matter is carried firmly and pulls no punchesThis movie has raw emotion and stellar performances from all of the actors involved. The subject matter is carried firmly and pulls no punches with the sadness that AIDS brings into people's lives. See this for Tom Hanks' amazing transformation, but also for Denzel Washington who's character has flaws and is perhaps the most realistic personification in the entire production. Full Review »
  3. Mar 2, 2011
    4
    This movie was the beginning of the end for me going to the movies regularly. For such a serious drama it sure didn't make sense in that theThis movie was the beginning of the end for me going to the movies regularly. For such a serious drama it sure didn't make sense in that the ACLU didn't take the case. Please. With Tom Hanks in the witness chair I was saying to myself, "Just have him show the lesions." And so it happened. I hate knowing what will happen or what should happen. When the lights came up in the theater, everyone was sitting their silently and looking at one another puzzled and they were no doubt saying to one another what we were: "That movie stunk. Who said it was any good. It didn't make sense." And we are from Philadelphia. Not that the title had anything to do with the movie except it was set in Philadelphia. Over the years my movie going has tapered off to the point that I can go years without going to the movies. Then I go and never want to go again. Full Review »