The English Patient
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Anthony Minghella wrote and directed this award-winning adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's novel about a doomed and tragic romance set against the backdrop of World War II. In a field hospital in Italy, Hana (Juliette Binoche), a nurse from Canada, is caring for a pilot who was horribly burned in a plane wreck; he has no identification and cannot remember his name, so he's known simply as "the English Patient," thanks to his accent. When the hospital is forced to evacuate, Hana determines en route that the patient shouldn't be moved far due to his fragile condition, so the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Could this possibly be the Casablanca of the late 20th century?"
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"The film is a smashing success on its own terms, though as a transcendent love story it lacks the firm foundation in human reality that characterizes Lars Von Trier's superior Breaking the Waves."
‑ Dave Kehr, New York Daily News
"It's an ambitious film and director Anthony Minghella's skill lies equally in his screenplay, which delivers explanation only in fragments but keeps us involved for what is an epic running time."
‑ Andrew Collins, Radio Times
"The English Patient's considerable pleasures are chiefly aesthetic, not emotional."
‑ Rod Dreher, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"When the movie penetrates to the heart of their buried past, Patient becomes even stronger, stranger, grander -- a threnody beneath a cloudless desert sky."
‑ , People Magazine
"It's the sort of solemn production that is often mentioned as an Academy Award contender.This says less about the quality of the film than it does about its self-consciously lofty tone and its sense of self-importance."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"With its fine acting, sumptuous visuals and levels of intrigue, The English Patient boasts the elements of something greater than a love story. Too bad it devotes them to something less than a great love story."
‑ Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune
"As a love story and an adventure story, The English Patient is the fastest, most powerful two hours and 40 minutes this year. It's terrific."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"This World War II romantic drama has the epic feel of classic cinema."
‑ Dan Webster, Spokesman-Review (Washington)
"Films this good don't come along very often -- The English Patient is one to savour."
‑ , Total Film
"It's a tragically lovely story about the cruel devastation of selfish and ungoverned love. It's also one of the best movies in a long, long time."
‑ John Krewson, AV Club
"The triumph of the film lies not just in the force and range of the performances, but in Minghella's creation of an intimate epic: vast landscapes mingle with the minute details of desire, and the combination is transfixing."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"The English Patient is a modern movie that breathes vivid new life into the cliches of old-fashioned motion pictures, recalling a time when movies were graceful, complex and leisurely."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"The film doesn't gather the emotional momentum that would make it compelling as well as impressive."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Overlong and stifling high-class desert war story that mixes a tearjerker romance with a beguiling mystery story."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for The English Patient on Rotten Tomatoes

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