The English Patient

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 120
  2. Negative: 20 out of 120

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User Reviews

  1. Amaya
    Nov 22, 2008
    10
    Achingly beautiful. Fiennes is perfect in this movie. I did enjoy the book earlier, but I like the movie more. I have never seen a movie that so amply reflects the book and does justice to the literal counterpart.
  2. Feb 12, 2012
    10
    Great film! Real emotions, real life! Heroes were on the top! Music brilliantly selected!
  3. DougT.
    Jun 27, 2006
    3
    Stylish film about the beauty of extreme self-centered melodrama. Hated it from the early scene where the heroine walks into a minefield to retrieve a memento of a dead friend. If she wants to blow herself up, go ahead, but she had no right to endanger the other two men trying to clear the mines. From there, it goes on to justify helping the Nazis if you're melancholy enough.
  4. AlM.
    Jul 11, 2006
    3
    Do you realyy believe that the Allies having to take care of a badly burned man in NorthAfrica found best to send him to Italy in the hands of a field hospital. The story is an accumulation of illogical developments that were totally unnecessary to portray a destructive passion that was big by itself. I give a 3 in recognition of cinematographer work.
  5. Nov 15, 2012
    5
    It's breathtaking. Breathtakingly boring.
  6. AgatinoZ.
    Apr 5, 2003
    10
    Like a rare aligning of stars in the sky, sometimes a film finds the perfect images to tell its story. All the begining of THE ENGLISH PATIENT is Misterious and magical. Images appear in front of our eyes without a shape. It's like we have just woken up from a dream. Sand. No, a rough paper. A brush lightly touches it creating a swimming figure, that ends up swimming in a real desert.Like a rare aligning of stars in the sky, sometimes a film finds the perfect images to tell its story. All the begining of THE ENGLISH PATIENT is Misterious and magical. Images appear in front of our eyes without a shape. It's like we have just woken up from a dream. Sand. No, a rough paper. A brush lightly touches it creating a swimming figure, that ends up swimming in a real desert. The shadow of an airplane also swims the desert. and then, the airplane itself. A woman. Is she sleeping? Are we dreaming? Behind her, a man, without a face flies her in a romantic and dreamy sequence. But the airplane is shot by some soldiers, and the fire, more like the light at the end of the tunnel, devours Count Almasy. THE HEART IS AN ORGAN OF FIRE, we know later. The impressive start of this film is like brushes on a canvas and the public is witness of the creation, from something abstract, until it shapes into a Love story that is too cruel to imagine. There is another scene that steals the whole film. Count Almasy is dancing with Katherine. He stares at her, tall, severe. She lowers her eyes and never looks at him again. She has understood that she is a victim, even if she tries to be a very independent woman. Her life will be decided by two men. Her husband, who decides to kill her, Almasy and himself. And then, Almasy leaves her in a cave (her very own Tomb). His real objective is to save her, but he has become the Monster in this forbiden love affair. Hanna says at the begining that she is cursed. But we understand that Count Almasy is followed by a deeper curse, since he is the angel of death himself, leaving her to die, causing the castration of Caravaggio and becoming a living dead without identity. The english patient is a rare masterpiece because every part of it fits in a story that grows within itself. Expand
  7. danb.
    Aug 7, 2005
    10
    Great film. Very epic in style and so much emotion that it tears the screen.
  8. PatC.
    Jan 7, 2004
    7
    A movie big in scope but taking itself too seriously. Critics justify their pomposity by glomming on to such films. It would have been better appreciated as a little gem if it hadn't been acclaimed as a big gem. Perhaps the Oscar pickings were slim that year.
  9. PaulS.
    Nov 7, 2005
    0
    Nothing to offer, overated, long and boring.
  10. PamL.
    May 20, 2006
    1
    My co-workers raved about this movie and when it first became available on VHS, I rented it. I watched the whole thing and I think it is way overrated. This was no love story that I could relate to in any way. I'm really glad I didn't pay theater prices to see this.
  11. BenG.
    May 20, 2006
    10
    Ok it may be slow but the gradual build up rewards you with an amazing climax of emotion and raw passion. It is help by some great performances
  12. KateB.
    Aug 26, 2006
    10
    I think that the people who rated this low must be either mad or deluding themselves because this is an amazing film. All the way through it provokes emotion, and the end is powerful.
  13. RodG.
    Feb 21, 2007
    1
    There are very few movies worthy of a zero rating but this comes close. Seinfeld was right about this one.
  14. DaveH.
    Nov 3, 2002
    9
    An experience much more akin to reading a novel than watching a film, totally engulfing the "reader."
  15. KevinM.
    Oct 20, 2002
    9
    Nearly perfect movie taken from a nearly perfect book. Overflowing with beautiful imagery and style. Plus - Julliette Binoche in a superbly realized performance.
  16. DaveS.
    Jul 11, 2002
    0
    Elaine Benes is absolutely right! Avoid this one like the plague.
  17. PierreM.
    Dec 5, 2003
    0
    One of the Worst movies I have ever seen! I just don't get why people like this movie. It was so bad.
  18. MikeB.
    Mar 27, 2003
    10
    An achingly beautiful film. Feasting the eyes, and ears...truly poised and moving. You will either love it or hate it. A film that leaves you to wander through its maze of ideas (like the book): a film to see many times. Deserved all the Oscars it got!
  19. ChrisS
    Sep 19, 2004
    7
    Excise the Binoche portions and I would rate it a 9. Very romantic and very sad.
  20. NicoleH.
    Mar 24, 2005
    10
    Far exceeds the lousy crap Hollywood usually puts out. We could all do with more movies like this - fine acting and an interesting story.
  21. AndrewG.
    Apr 19, 2005
    10
    Captivating story coupled with great performances makes for an epic movie.
  22. SimplyS
    May 10, 2005
    10
    Simply the most incredible movies EVER. From the start till the end you are on one hell of a journey. It is the epitome of romance, passion, death - this is just one of those truly spell minding films which you will take with you everywhere I
  23. RColey
    Jul 26, 2005
    1
    This was one of the most boring movies I have ever seen in my life. I could really relate to Elaine on Sienfeld when she felt like an outcast for seeing it as what it was - slow, slow, slow.
  24. CuculizaO.
    Feb 12, 2006
    10
    Yes, the movie is slow, but it's so beautiful that with some patience youc an really enjoy it. The performances are outstanding (you'll see what I mean in the last 30 minutes of it), specially from Mr. Fiennes. There's not much to be said about this that hasn't been said before, so I'll just recommend it. If you wanna see a big love traditional epic, I don't Yes, the movie is slow, but it's so beautiful that with some patience youc an really enjoy it. The performances are outstanding (you'll see what I mean in the last 30 minutes of it), specially from Mr. Fiennes. There's not much to be said about this that hasn't been said before, so I'll just recommend it. If you wanna see a big love traditional epic, I don't think there are many options better than this one. Expand
  25. AllanF.
    Feb 15, 2006
    9
    One of the best films ever made, based on one of the best books ever written.
  26. JoshB.
    Feb 5, 2008
    10
    In the epic style of David Lean, Anthony Minghella has crafted a wonderful and engrossing film from Ondaatje's poetic novel.
  27. SimonD.
    Jun 26, 2003
    1
    One of the dullest films ever made, and yet it won great acclaim and an Oscar. There is little to recommend here, aside form nice desert scenery. But when the title character is as self-absorbed and banal as the one here, I don't know how anyone can love this work. The amorality and self-absorption of the entire cast, combined with a way-too-slow pair of stories, make this a total One of the dullest films ever made, and yet it won great acclaim and an Oscar. There is little to recommend here, aside form nice desert scenery. But when the title character is as self-absorbed and banal as the one here, I don't know how anyone can love this work. The amorality and self-absorption of the entire cast, combined with a way-too-slow pair of stories, make this a total flop. You're better off renting "The Mummy" or "Stargate" instead if you want desert scenery. Expand
  28. ToddH.
    Apr 25, 2005
    3
    It is a beautifully filmed, horrible story. No one I know, that had not read the book, loved this movie. How it beat Jerry Maguire and Fargo for best picture that year, still amazes me. The characters have very little redeeming social value. All in all the movie struck me as an epic ode to adultery, destroying the lives of all it touched. I gave it three points only because it is still It is a beautifully filmed, horrible story. No one I know, that had not read the book, loved this movie. How it beat Jerry Maguire and Fargo for best picture that year, still amazes me. The characters have very little redeeming social value. All in all the movie struck me as an epic ode to adultery, destroying the lives of all it touched. I gave it three points only because it is still better than things like "Friday the 13th Part (whatever)", if just for cinematography alone. However, I would still rather watch anything else instead of this movie. If you read the book, apparently you will love this movie. I guess the book gives the viewer the deeper meaning behind the rather shallow relationships on screen. Expand
  29. TerryS.
    Jan 29, 2008
    10
    This movie was an example of the purest form of story-telling: a kind of pingpong between periods and people involves in the story. It was brilliant to have a burned up man, barely alive reminiscing and offering bits and pieces of his past...superb.
  30. Rhys
    Apr 27, 2008
    10
    This film is nothing short of mesmeric. Beautifully written, superbly acted, heart-rending and simply transcendental, it is unquestionably the best film I have ever seen.
  31. Feb 28, 2016
    7
    Sure, The English Patient is one of the best movies I've ever seen. However, the Oscars are just plain s**t. How come the Academy chose a 3-hour-long passionate love story and win a Best Picture Oscar? I skipped on the final ending of the Oscars in 1997 and I was so pissed. There's a reason why Joel and Ethan Cohen were not too pleased with the stunning news because Fargo should've won theSure, The English Patient is one of the best movies I've ever seen. However, the Oscars are just plain s**t. How come the Academy chose a 3-hour-long passionate love story and win a Best Picture Oscar? I skipped on the final ending of the Oscars in 1997 and I was so pissed. There's a reason why Joel and Ethan Cohen were not too pleased with the stunning news because Fargo should've won the goddamn Oscar in the first place. I believe it's one the most embarrassing Best Picture winners and some people agree with me that The English Patient is completely overrated. Shame on You, AMPAS! Expand
  32. Apr 6, 2012
    9
    What a marvelous movie is this one! It touches your heart, it moves you!. The photography is spectacular, and the performances were great. This is classic, and I wish we had more movies as deep as this one is...I think it is about time for me to watch it again. Not a 10, but a 9 for sure! I highly recommend it.
  33. Mar 31, 2012
    2
    A grand movie that put me to sleep. Too long and boring to keep my attention. Some good parts, but just not interesting enough. I just wish I never would have picked it up in the store to rent.
  34. Nov 5, 2015
    7
    Don't let the Seinfeld episode convince you otherwise; The English Patient is nowhere near as bad as Elaine says. Instead, it is actually quite good. It is quite long, but it never becomes boring and plus, the visuals are so stunningly beautiful throughout, there is no way for you to possibly become bored anyways. Wondrously crafted and bold in scope, The English Patient may not be trulyDon't let the Seinfeld episode convince you otherwise; The English Patient is nowhere near as bad as Elaine says. Instead, it is actually quite good. It is quite long, but it never becomes boring and plus, the visuals are so stunningly beautiful throughout, there is no way for you to possibly become bored anyways. Wondrously crafted and bold in scope, The English Patient may not be truly brilliant, but director Anthony Minghella certainly did a fantastic job. However, I will say I never found this one too romantic. People gush about how romantic it is, but it is simply about two scumbags who wind up having sex with one another. Maybe I am just jaded and have extra hatred for cheaters, but anyways. Ralph Fiennes is fantastic, as are Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas, Naveen Andrews, and Colin Firth. Though I did not find the love story to be charming or romantic, the story told by Fiennes' character is still incredibly moving and full of human drama. The romantic part of the film, to me, would be aimed at the desert, which is beautifully captured at both its best and its worst. A captivating World War II romantic drama, The English Patient is quite long and could stand to be shorter, nor it is particularly impactful, but it remains a beautiful film that does not deserve the negative impression I had going in. Expand
  35. Dec 7, 2012
    8
    Really, reviewers? Can't you identify a great film when you've watched it? 'The English Patient' won 9 Oscar and everyone (or at least 7 of them) are merited. The screen adaption of this criticly praised book (I haven't read) is very good directed, has a simply fantastic score, magnificient cinematography and highly talented actors. I admit that it could've been shorter and the love storyReally, reviewers? Can't you identify a great film when you've watched it? 'The English Patient' won 9 Oscar and everyone (or at least 7 of them) are merited. The screen adaption of this criticly praised book (I haven't read) is very good directed, has a simply fantastic score, magnificient cinematography and highly talented actors. I admit that it could've been shorter and the love story gets too kitschy partly, however it's the best movie of 1996 and totally touching! Expand
  36. Jun 11, 2013
    9
    Good. As it’s hard to find true love in real world, so it’s nice to be moved by an ideal one in a film. Your assumed friends may suspect you, and your supposed enemy might respect you, that’s why Almásy is delayed in rescuing his ankle-injured lover, and why the vengeful Caravaggio gives up revenge after knowing all these. A traitor is not a traitor when he himself is betrayed by someGood. As it’s hard to find true love in real world, so it’s nice to be moved by an ideal one in a film. Your assumed friends may suspect you, and your supposed enemy might respect you, that’s why Almásy is delayed in rescuing his ankle-injured lover, and why the vengeful Caravaggio gives up revenge after knowing all these. A traitor is not a traitor when he himself is betrayed by some peremptory authority, and when such betrayal is necessitated by great love. Collapse
  37. May 30, 2016
    10
    I really dont get why people dislike this movie so much, and why it (rightfully) won so many Oscars. The English Patient is a sweeping epic that is complex, moving, and very powerful. It's breathtakingly shot, and the score astonishing. Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas give emotional, powerful performances on top of everything that is so great about this film.
    It
    I really dont get why people dislike this movie so much, and why it (rightfully) won so many Oscars. The English Patient is a sweeping epic that is complex, moving, and very powerful. It's breathtakingly shot, and the score astonishing. Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas give emotional, powerful performances on top of everything that is so great about this film.
    It has a non-linear structure which is perfect for a longer film like this because it sucks you into it more and keeps you focused on the edge of your seat.
    The script is perfect, the costume design is beautiful, the production design is believable, the cinematography is top notch, the editing is flawless, and this grade A, all star ensemble cast is one of the best you'll see in years.

    Dont believe the haters, watch '''The English Patient'', it's an absolute masterpiece.
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Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: F. X. Feeney
    90
    Astonishingly deep and moving.
  2. 100
    Awash in heart-rending emotions and gorgeous images, this is a movie to lose yourself in.
  3. Film.com
    Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    80
    The look, the feel, the brood-y, brilliant cast: This is an oddly affecting movie, all right, a jellyroll of Bronte and Hemingway.