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Philadelphia Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia labors ambitiously on two socially conscious fronts - relating the story of an AIDS-afflicted lawyer while exploring a much broader issue.Unlike almost any other Demme movie - it's a film where you feel the gears struggling to mesh. [22 Dec 1993, p.1D]

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    They have also stripped out almost all complexity, reducing the drama to a familiar match between good and evil. You've heard all the speeches before; only the nouns have been changed. [23 Dec 1993, p.A9]

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    But Philadelphia turns out to be a scattershot liberal message movie, one that ties itself in knots trying to render its subject matter acceptable to a mass audience.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Even with its imperfections, Philadelphia is still an entertaining and moving film. Although it preaches, it also forces us to look at ourselves. [21 Jan 1994, p.N]

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews 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.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    And yet Philadelphia is quite a good film, on its own terms. And for moviegoers with an antipathy to AIDS but an enthusiasm for stars like Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, it may help to broaden understanding of the disease.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Moving, Oscared '90s drama fostered AIDS empathy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know there's considerable discussion about homosexuality and AIDS, as well as painful discussions of who "deserves" to get AIDS. For gay and sensitive viewers, this conversation can be especially triggering. Joe threatens to "kick your faggoty ass" when a man comes up and hits on him in a drug store. The film also shows Joe's wife giving birth and Tom Hanks' character surrounded by family as he passes away.

  • Families can talk about STDs and safe sex. Can you tell who has an STD and who doesn't just by looking at them? What do kids at your school think? Families can also talk about how they feel as a family about gay issues. Do you object when people use anti-gay language at school? Do you feel the way Joe does when people start accusing him of being gay because he represents Andy? Has the social climate changed for gay people and people with AIDS since this movie came out? How has it gotten better and how has it gotten worse? Which people in the public eye are "out" that you're aware of and how are they treated by the media? Do you think they have more pressure than straight famous people?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The law firm partners lie, cover up their behavior, and attach Andy. Several characters also make derogatory comments about gay people, calling them "disgusting." But the film also humanizes people with a dreaded and stigmatized disease and has at its heart a message of love and acceptance of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or STD status.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Joe lunges at a man who comes on to him and threatens to attack him.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Andy and Miguel kiss briefly. A lot of talk about how STDs like HIV/AIDS are spread and the implication that Andy deserves it because he's gay. A visit to a gay porn theater is discussed.

  • language false3

    Language: Some salty language, including "bulls--t," "s--t," "goddamn," and "asshole." Several characters use anti-gay slurs, such as "queers" and "faggot."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The senior law firm partners smoke cigars and drink liquor. Andy smokes a cigar at a party. Joe hands out cigars and smokes one after the birth of his daughter. At a party, everyone drinks alcohol, but not to excess.