Philadelphia (1993)

At the time of its release, Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political, and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks, in his first Academy Award-winning performance, plays Andrew… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: September 9, 1997
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 78% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Philadelphia indulges in some unfortunate clichés in its quest to impart a meaningful message, but its stellar cast and sensitive direction are more than enough to compensate.

David Ansen

Philadelphia may not be the film Demme's fans expect--its emotionalism is unfiltered by cool. But it has the power to open more than a few blinkered hearts.

Full review…
Janet Maslin
New York Times

"Philadelphia" mostly succeeds in being forceful, impassioned and moving, sometimes even rising to the full range of emotion that its subject warrants. But too often, even at its most assertive, it works in safely predictable ways.

Full review…
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

What remains most striking about Philadelphia may be the...conspicuous emphasis on intense close-ups. They force an inescapable emotional intimacy in relation to issues the mainstream, at least at the time, would rather have looked away from. [Blu-ray]

Full review…
Todd McCarthy

[An] extremely well-made message picture about tolerance, justice and discrimination is pitched at mainstream audiences, befitting its position as the first major Hollywood film to directly tackle the disease.

Full review…
Rita Kempley
Washington Post

It's less like a film by Demme than the best of Frank Capra. It is not just canny, corny and blatantly patriotic, but compassionate, compelling and emotionally devastating.

Full review…
Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media

Moving, Oscared '90s drama fostered AIDS empathy.

Full review…
Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Safe and apolitical it may be, but Philadelphia succeeds as a deeply affecting humanist drama.

Full review…
James Berardinelli

The story is timely and powerful, and the performances of Hanks and Washington assure that the characters will not immediately vanish into obscurity.

Full review…
Emanuel Levy

Wearing its heart on its sleeves, this well-intentioned but soft and compromised AIDS drama may nonetheless perform the same function that Paltoon or Schindler's List have: Change public opinion about an urgent problem.

Full review…
More reviews for Philadelphia

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
John Manard
Hanks and Washington shine. This was a great movie and it came out at the right time.
Alex roy
Philadelphia is a superb drama starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Jonathan Demme crafts a solid film that brought to light the issue of AIDS. The plot of… More
Carlos Magalhães
One of the first films to deal with such delicate matters like AIDS, homossexuality and tolerance at the time of its release. Although not altogether memorable,… More
Jens S.
A brave film for its time, this movie touches the aspects of how AIDS and homosexuality as they are being viewed by the majority of the uniformed mass and… More
Chris Weber
Upon its release, this was a very important and groundbreaking film since it was the first major Hollywood effort to deal with the medical, social, and… More
Matthew Slaven
This movie was made for a specific audience that no longer exists. As a fictional story it doesn't really narrate an honest tale as much as set up moment… More