The Waiting Room
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The Waiting Room is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film - using a blend of cinema verité and characters' voiceover offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a vivid portrait of the crisis in health care policy, with the caregivers and clinic itself as much on life support as the sick people."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The level of frankness and vulnerability of those featured suggests just how compassionate a filmmaker Nicks (who acted as his own cinematographer) must be."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"If you want to understand how the American system of health care delivery works for people without employer-sponsored health insurance, I can think of no better introduction than watching Peter Nicks' documentary The Waiting Room."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, PopMatters
"One of 2012's better documentaries... the gut-punch effectiveness of Peter Nicks' film lies in its forthrightness, and how it avoids speechifying."
‑ Brent Simon, Shared Darkness
"Documentary filmmaker [Peter] Nicks provides us with an eye opening work about the life in a day of an ER that makes any reality TV pale in comparison."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A moving portrait of people doing their jobs under very difficult circumstances - and, in virtually every moment we see, doing them with efficiency, wisdom and compassion."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Both a depressing indictment of a system that prioritizes health care based on insurance coverage and, at the same time, uplifting, if only because of the extraordinary professionals who keep it going - barely."
‑ Bruce Demara, Toronto Star
"A dramatic and inspiring look at a piece of the U.S. health care problem."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"The galvanizing chronicle of a 24-hour period at the emergency room of a public hospital in Oakland, California."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
"recalls Frederick Wiseman with voice engrossing, eye opening look at the mess American healthcare is in, the heroics involved in propping it up and the endurance necessary these days to be sick without insurance."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Nicks nets moments that are at turns horrific and touching, redemptive of those seeking treatment and the workers who provide it where no one else will."
‑ Elizabeth Horkley, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Eloquently portrays the faults and limitations of the American health care system, even as it punctures some of the most toxic stereotypes surrounding it."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Grim but enlightening, perhaps required viewing for those who care to debate themselves blue about a crisis they'll never fully understand."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"If people believe Mitt Romney's assertion that emergency rooms are a solution for the uninsured, this is a powerful rebuke."
‑ Brett Michel, Boston Phoenix
"For hard-edged documentary snap with the all-important local angle, it would be hard to beat this film."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
More reviews for The Waiting Room on Rotten Tomatoes