88

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
This Hollywood movie about a gay man afflicted with AIDS is evocative, understated and ultimately deeply affecting. Hard-earned tears of truth. [22 Dec 1993, p.C1]
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By 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

Chicago Sun-Times

By 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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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
Forgiving its moments of melodrama, Philadelphia makes emotional power punches out of every smile, embrace and tear in its story of a regular guy contracting AIDS and getting booted out of the law firm that once lifted him to glory. [14 Jan 1994, p.C1]
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75

TV Guide

Philadelphia fails to create complex characters or finely nuanced drama, but it succeeds in its real goal; the education of an audience whose thinking about AIDS and gay life has been shaped by notions of perversion and divine retribution.
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75

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
Phildelphia, with its velvety textures and rhythms and heads-up soundtrack, does a good job of at least putting the topic on the mainstream table. And it's dramatically potent as well as historically important. [14 Jan 1994, p.73]
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75

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]
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67

Entertainment Weekly

By 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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60

Wall Street Journal

By 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]
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50

USA Today

By 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]
Full Review
66 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.