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Opened in Theaters: Friday, December 25th, 1998

Directed by Tom Shadyac
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 1:50

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Patch Adams
Academy Award® Nominee
Robin Williams plays a compassionate but outrageous medical student who risks his career by defying the medical profession with his unwavering belief that laughter is contagious. Based on a true...  View more >

some strong language and crude humor

Starring Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Peter Coyote...  View more >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  18 55 See Now! Percent
Good  8 24 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  4 12 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  3 9 Stay Away! Percent
33 Total Reviews

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
My wife and I went to see the sneak preview. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The audience cheered and laughed hysterically throughout the movie. It is a clever mix of humor and drama. We'd pay to see it again.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
i seen this at a sneak preview and when i do this i look forward to what actual critics will say when it is in general release.i loved this movie and don't mind saying that i laughed out loud and sobbed like a baby.the story is fact i was so inspired i went out and bought the book it was based that it is out i've read some reviews from "real critics".the film doesn't seem to be winning them over which tells me maybe they think too much and don't feel enough.this is a film for the people.go see it.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
It's quinessential Robin Williams, which is the reason my wife and I and scores of others will go see Patch Adams. I've already read reviews by those who take themselves entirely too seriously who didn't like Patch Adams. The packed audience in our theater loved it. We loved it. You'll love it. Try it, you'll like it. It makes you feel good. Just don't go see it with your local physician.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I saw the movie at a "sneak". I wanted to like it alot. It had a good message and a good cast, name wise. I love Robin Williams and have been a staunch supporter and fan of his since his early work doing stand up here in San Francisco. However despite Robin's antics and good work in comedy area, the film overall, fell short because a sledgehammer was used to push our emotional buttons. And it was used too too many times. I found myself, with the film's message already taken to heart in the first hour, waiting for the ending so I could go home. Nothing new was added after the first hour and the film makers kept hammering home the same feelings over and over repeatedly. I wanted to stand up and say "shhhh" to the film. In fact if you gently add an "it" to the "Shhh" you get my ultimate tag line for the film. And that's because they missed a good chance to honestly convey the emotions. It's not overly bad, by any means, but it's not worth the price of seeing it in a theatre. Rent it and fast foward after the first hour to the ending and that way you can avoid the resentment and blows I felt from the emotional sledgehammer. Too bad. I love a good cry, but it has to be my own.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie is somewhat simplistic, cloying, and manipulating of emotions. Robin William's performance is nothing new at all. See it if you like this sort of thing...

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie was totally cool to see, even with my parents! It had all the aspects of a good movie. Such as:comedy, drama, mystery, suspence,even a little violence, but nothing to harsh. It was also based on a true story which makes it easier to believe and more lifelike. I advise you to go see it immediatly!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie has generated a very scary result. Every review by a non press person like myself has been excellent, every one. However, 75 percent of press reviews have been bad, not "ok" or "not so good" but ,"horrible"..

It is a sad comment that the press of this country is influenced or controlled by Doctors and lawyers. How could this be. America is an extremely capitalistic state. Who ever controls the money on the top of the pyramid controls the country. Who controls what you think, what you see at the movies, whether you decide to get a divorce. Humans are very brainwashable. Doctors say don't see patch adams, the press says don't see patch adams. Lawyers say get a divorce. Are we living in a democracy, no. Ask yourself one question, are you happy and non stressed. If the answer is yes, ignore what i say as the ramblings of a mad man. But, if the answer is no. Go see patch adams.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Despite professional criticisms to the contrary, I found this movie both entertaining and uplifting. This movie was certainly a perfect fit for Robin Williams persona.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I thought this movie was really funny. I have liked Robin Williams in movies before and if you like his or just like a good movie you will like Patch Adams. It was a fun movie to see that just made you smile. I recommend seeing this movie very very soon!

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I have just seen "Patch Adams" the latest movie from Robin Williams opens as a suicidal Patch(Williams) checks into a mental hospital and is cured, not by the doctors, but by the patients, he then checks out and becomes a medical student. While studying medicine Patch and Co. go against authority and try to make patients at a hospital feel better with works on the viewer as well. This movie seems contrived at times but I can't think of what it reminds me of but anyway this movie is funny and charming and seems perfect for Robin Williams. A very good movie.

*** out of ****

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Patch adams is truly a funny movie especially with Robin Williams the audiance was filled with laughs and snorts you must see this movie! I'm going to buy the book and see this histerical movie again.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Please help make Gesundheit! Institute a reality.

If you loved and were inspired by Patch Adams, the movie, you should know that the man in real life is just as inspiring. He is trying to build a hospital in West Virginia that will provide free medical care with fun and humor. Unfortunately, at least as of last May and I have not heard, seen, or read differently since, due to a misguided business deal Patch or the Gesundheit! Institute are not making a dime from this movie. Did you know the movie grossed over 25 million dollars the first weekend alone? Patch says he only needs 20 million to build his hospital. Just think, if 20 million people see the movie and contribute $1, or 10 million people contribute $2, or the studio and actors contribute $10 million and 2 million people contribute $5, the hospital can and will be built.

Please consider making a contribution. You can find the address at the following link: Gesundheit! Institute Web Page (, or call 1-877-SILLYDR. An on--line contribution can be made at Additionally, I think that Universal Studios and the individuals profiting from this film should be pressured by the public to make substantial contributions. You can send feedback with this message to Universal Studios at the Patch Adams Movie Web Page (

I have no connection with Patch Adams, the Gesundheit! Institute, or Universal Studios except for hearing Patch speak at a conference and being one of the inspired. I got this information about the hospital and not getting any royalties from the movie from Patch himself.

Julie Adamczak

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I took my whole family to see this one. Even my 9 year old loved it! Not too long ago I was part of the receiving end of doctors and nurses. I did have a very compasionate doctor. I'm glad to see with this true story that there are more doctors out there to listen and help the soul as well as the body. Laughter is the best medicine!

A must see! At least you'll feel better after a good laugh.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie was good, hilarious, and sad. It's a movie that will make you look at life differently.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Emilio Tostado PATCH ADAMS PG-13 1998 My Rating: 7-10

After attempting a suicide, Hunter "Patch" Adams (Robin Williams) is sent to a mental hospital. His roommate there had encouraged him that he wanted to be a doctor. "Patch" wanted to help and be with others. At medical school, Patch meets some new friends, and learns to live at the school. One day, during his second year, Patch finds his way into a room with cancer treated patients, and makes them laugh with a show full of laughs. He tries to encourage fellow students and teachers that laughing will help a patient, and can give them a friend.

The way that I am putting it sounds too plotless, but you'll see that it changes. "Patch Adams" was pretty good, mainly because how funny the whole idea really was. It was packed with light-hearted jokes from beggining to end. But the idea of a doctor who comes in with a clown nose on would make me call the cops. I wouldn't call this movie a family movie, but anyone 9 and up could see it. It was very corny, and lots of the scenes were very predictable, but the biggest part about the movie was comedy, and that's what it did fairly well in. If you don't mind a corny and somewhat fake movie, do see it. You'll probably like it!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie is awesome. Robin Williams performance should win him an nomination for an Academy Award. For those who haven't heard of this movie Robin Williams plays the title role of Patch Adams. A man who is a medical student whose radical concept of not having "professional detachment" and using humor with patients to create a better "quality of life" results in friction with a dean at the medical school he is attending. This movie is well worth the price of admission.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Hackneyed. Cliched. Manipulative. Cheap. Formulaic. Every critic, it seems, has loathed "Patch Adams," and I'm foursquare with them. You see, the thing about "Patch Adams" is that it should have been good. It could have been good. Some movies can't say that. Some movies are just bad, and have no pretensions of being otherwise. But "Patch Adams," a movie that aims to be great, should be (and is) accountable to higher standards. The true story of Dr. Patch Adams is a fascinating one, and can teach us all lessons, particularly us iconoclasts with messianic tendencies. (Incidentally, I would be very much interested to find out exactly how much of this movie is true, and how much of it is "based.") But this movie doesn't do it. This movie was an insult. This movie took the story of an original, unconventional man, and turned it into an unoriginal, conventional Hollywood film. If I was Patch Adams, I'd be furious at the jerks responsible for this monstrosity; for trivializing him, for perverting his life into a two-dimensional box-office earner. As it is, I'm furious that the filmmakers behind "Patch Adams" took a powerful, intelligent story, and dumbed it down. I walked out of "Patch Adams" feeling insulted, and if you didn't feel insulted too, its only because you've been anesthetized.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
First of all...I liked it. I went into the film wondering how I could believe that Robin Williams could be believable as a medical school student (at his age), but he was able to pull it off. The story centers around a quite an intellectual man who goes to medical school in order to help out others. Yep, not to just make money or achieve a great deal of success, but to help out others and to be there when the patient truly needs them. Yes, all movies have a bit of another movie in them and this one reminds you of the second half of "The Doctor". But that's okay, the second half of that film was the better of the halves. Robin Williams puts on a great performance and you will enjoy his comical bantor and his character's approach to medicine. Bottom line....I hope those in the medical profession can find time in their busy schedules to see a film that might encourage them to take a fresh look at how they approach their work.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Patch Adams is SUCH a goooood movie. Don't waight to see it! I loved it! Robin Wiliums is absulutly hilarius. I went with three friends and all of us just couldn't stop laughing!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
"Patch Adams," a movie that makes you think of how great this world could be if people didn't have egos. Sure it seems unrealistic at times but then again every movie is unrealistic at times. Like how come the "bad guys" in action movies are ALWAYS bad shots? A: because that's how the movie goes. This movies unrealistic quality is a doctor who wants to be someone respected for who he is, not for what awards he has on the wall. I believe the only reason this movie can be a bomb is if your head is too far up your --- and your scared a movie like this would turn these "serious" jobs into an equal profession no greater than anyone one elses. Go see this movie and realise how great this country could be if everyone had the positive attitude that Robin Williams has as he portrays Patch Adams.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie is great - it made me want to quit my job and become a nurse at the clinic that is being built. However, there are no special effects, so you can see it at home and save money and not miss anything.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I absolutely love this movie. Robin Williams is great in it. He is full of heart and comedy. The plot is heart touching and hilarious at the same time. If you like those kind of movies like me I would highly recommend it. I thought it was one of his best performances. There are a few tragic and happy surprises in it. For all of the people who didn't know, this movie was based on a true story. This movie brings out the nice side of people. I would rate this ****out of ****.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
My wife dragged me to this movie when I wanted to see "A Civil Action". Boy was I glad she did. This is the very best movie I have ever seen. I'm not ashamed to say I busted out laughing and then had to ask my wife for a tissue to wipe my crying eyes. I urge everyone to go see this movie and then buy the tape when it comes out.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Can we say smarmy? Smarmy, Smarmy, Smarmy! Its not like it wasn't funny though. There were parts that were hilarious...BUT...It could not make up for the cliches. There was the protagonist, the love interest, the buy-the-book rival-who-eventually-comes-around, etc. And if I had to listen to one more speech! And the 'Love' story? It was so undeveloped that i didn't even care when...well..I won't ruin it. The more I think about it, the closer I come to giving this schlok a 'Stay Away.' I am getting worried about Robin Williams' film choices. I no longer look forward to any of his films. He seems to be acting on autopilot in these touchy-feely roles. He needs to get back to some good character-acting. Alright, enough said.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
very GOOD!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I really loved this movie. It is one of those movies that really makes you think, even a week after watching it. It is the perfect movie for anyone, at any age. The theme is great, and I would recommend it for anyone wanting to have a good laugh. definitely worth the money to go see it now.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Patch Adams may very well be the worst film I have ever seen, the total number of films that I have seen is around 500 according to the Movie Critic website. Patch Adams transcends them all in udadulterated awfulness. Its awful, because its diseased, heartless, and one of the most unintentionally depressing films of all time.

Everything that could go wrong with a movie does. The acting is just good enough for you not to laugh at it, ditto for the dialougue, and the jokes. For two hours I felt trapped in the theatre, while I witnessed this grotesque monument to all that is wrong with the cinema. The humor is on the level of "Cracked" magazine. Maybe bawdy and silly enough to make a teenager with a severe lack of self-esteem giggle. Its forced, painfully so. Could anybody, honestly look at the scene where Patch tries to prove that the mental patient whose hand is always raised has something to say, and laugh or see the most remote traces of wit in it.

It is my theory that the only reason that anybody would watch this movie, is because they lack self-esteem. They don't feel that they are good enough to see a good movie. In a nation where people gobble up drugs and alcohol in greedy handfuls just to stop the pain of living; one can see how films like Patch Adams can exploit people when they are at their very worst.

I was willing to surrender to this film's manipulative techniques, but sadly I couldn't find any. I couldn't find where I was suppose to cry, or feel sad. Incompetance incarnate.

And then there are the sequences that end up having absolutely no significance whatsoever. There is an embarrassing stretch of film where for some odd reason, Patch attends a "meat convention". We get lots of "meat jokes" that are only funny by an act of faith.

Patch Adams is essentially insane. One of the most disturbing sequences in the film is where he steals medical supplies from a hospital, to use in his own. If you were unlucky enough to be in that hospital, and they run out, well thats just tough. You will have to die. In fact because of his nuttiness, he soon has an innocent person's blood on his hands. This episode is supposingly put into the film to squeeze some tears out of the audiance, since it has absolutly no relevance towards the plot or the theme of the film, (if anything it works against it, if people will die due to Patch's unorthodox methods, they should not be put into practice.) It truly does not work.

I listen to you people praise this film, and I weep. You are all very smart people, I know you are, and you deserve something better than THIS! I have not been able to find any satisfying defense of the charges I have put against this film.

We all remember the "treatment" sequences in Clockwork Orange, where Alex is locked into his seat and forced to watch images of sex and violence on the influence of drugs. The society that he helped to create is being used against him. That is what I felt during "Patch Adams". Qualities and values that we all share and respect, somehow now feel odious.

I think I have a pain in me gullivah, O my brothers!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This is a realy good film for everybody. If YOU want to be a doctor you must see it! If you want to learn how to be better,if you want to feel the life do what that man do.He found the way! So maybe you can find it too!!! HI! Gerda

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I've just seen a sneak preview here in Melbourne, Australia...and I must say it was an emotional film in parts...usually I don't get teary but I did towards the end - and there are some great comedy pieces...I wouldn't say it's a "laugh a minute" flick, but I am a big fan of Robin Williams since "Dead Poets Society"...i wouldn't say it's "the film of the year" (cause I find that so cliched anyway !), but you won't be wasting money seeing it. :)

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
PATCH ADAMS is a good movie, better than I expected. Robin Williams does well, and there's humor and drama to go around. However, I found that it is somtimes boring and unrealistic. Still, I'd recommend it. My rating: ***

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Oh my God. This has to have been the worst movie I have ever sat through. It's so funny, because so many people liked it, and I just don't understand. Do you want a Dr. that tries to make you laugh, or one that helps you get better? I just thought it was stupid. I could not understand what was going on inside of the character's head-and he had such a dopey expression on his face the whole movie! It was horrible-and like that other reviewer wrote, it really could have been a good movie. IT JUST WASN'T.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I wasn't sure I would like this movie, because every review dissed it, but it did very well at the box office and the discaount theatre here still has it after four months. So, I decided to break down and go see it.

I absoluetly loved it. It is very funny and entertaining. One of the best movies of last year. I'm just sorry that it took me six months to see it. and now it is out on video too. I'm gonna buy it.

*** 1/2 Stars

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by VIP MemberMay 18, 2003
"Patch Adams" may be a ok movie, ok as long as the film is made for television. Robin williams played the title character very well. but why I turn down the movie? The film looks more tired with stuff that you will find as a made for TV movie. Even Monica Potter is wasted. "Patch Adams" has heart, but hearts alone couldn't save movies.

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