• Released
  • September 28, 2012
  • (Limited LA; 10/19 SF)
  • 1 hr 21 min
  • Documentary
100

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
This is human drama at its most intense and universal. This is the rare film that can change the way you think and see the world.
Full Review
100

Washington Post

By Ann Hornaday
With grace, discretion and supreme tact, Nicks sweeps viewers to a climactic montage that wordlessly honors the best ways we care for one another. The Waiting Room bears poetic witness to an overlooked fact: America's health care system may be broken, but its people are anything but.
Full Review
100

The New York Times

By Stephen Holden
Scrupulously apolitical, The Waiting Room is the opposite of a polemic like Michael Moore's "Sicko." But by removing any editorial screen, it confronts you head-on with human suffering that a more humane and equitable system might help alleviate.
Full Review
88

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
The movie observes the general misery of needing serious medical treatment and the particular awfulness of needing medical treatment you can't pay for.
Full Review
80

Salon.com

By Andrew O'Hehir
The Waiting Room is a source of both inspiration and hope. The system may be broken, but the people are not.
Full Review
80

The Hollywood Reporter

By John DeFore
Inherently unpreachy but making its point more effectively than many participants in the debate can, the film should find vocal advocates in a niche theatrical run.
Full Review
80

Boxoffice Magazine

By Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
There's more to it than a black-and-white political conclusion, and the laundry list of California documentary heroes in the credits suggests this film is humanist before it's agenda driven.
Full Review
75

Slant Magazine

Documents emotionally charged interactions between patients and hospital staff without any signs that the subjects are being made to feel self-conscious or that they're behavior is being affected.
Full Review
70

Village Voice

What makes The Waiting Room worth visiting is how well it does without the usual narcotizing documentary tactics.
Full Review
60

Time Out New York

By Keith Uhlich
The documentary's scope feels a bit small overall - more concerned with capturing the episodic adventures of these disparate subjects than with connecting their experiences to larger societal ills.
Full Review
84 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.