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Critical Care


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Spader, Kyra Sedgwick, Helen Mirren, Anne Bancroft, Albert Brooks
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 1998
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0784011192
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,592 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Critical Care" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father.

Customer Reviews

Acting is great, story keeps you engaged.
Buffy
It has wonderful casts that include James Spader, Kyra Sedwick, Helen Mirren and Albert Brooks.
Mian Sukiman
Hospitals, Doctors, lawyers, Insurance companies that rule the day & all our lives.
Mary Hope Doran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mian Sukiman on February 23, 2002
Format: DVD
Sidney Lumet directed some classics (Network, Serpico, Dog Day afternoon) but lately none of his movies ever did much of a business (A Stranger among us, Guilty as Sin, Gloria) but this one is surprisingly good. It has wonderful casts that include James Spader, Kyra Sedwick, Helen Mirren and Albert Brooks.
The movie started out like a cheap hospital comedy but along way the way it got serious with issues like health care, insurance, lawsuit and whether it is ethical to let go a patient that has no chance of survival. It is funny and heart warming as well. Given the price of the DVD, it is a must buy. The DVD provided both WS and FS versions of the movie but not much of extra features but for the price, you can't complaint.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Dave on July 13, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a physician and I thought this was a great commentary on the health care system and not too far off the mark. James Spader gets caught in a catfight between two daughters of a dying man, either of which stands to inherit $10 million, depending on when the old man goes. Helen Mirren is the angel of Mercy/Death who is Spader's Jiminy Cricket. Ed Hermann plays the sleazy hospital attorney, and Albert Brooks is hysterical as an old physician who has the perspective of his many years. His memorable line about physicians: "We used to be gods. Now we are glorified auto mechanics."
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pat (pkcrowle@aol.com) on September 25, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I thought I wasn't going to like this movie, but I ended up liking it a lot. It started out as a comedy that was pretty silly. But about half way through, the tenor of the movie changed and it became a much more serious look at the ethics of prolonging the life of terminally ill patients. This part of the movie grabbed me and even made me cry as I watched the main character try to sort through the maze of conflicting emotions surrounding a decision of whether or not to terminate a life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo VINE VOICE on January 8, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Director, Sidney Lumet does it again. Inspirational and enlightening, Lumet highlights the struggle between what is right and what is expedient. Lumet focuses on the weakness of expediency, the strength of the almighty dollar, and the pull of conscience (for those who actually recognize that they are endowed with one), always cast aside by profiteers and how the choices are the test of character which most people fail. A great cast: Helen Mirren, James Spader, Kira Sedgewick, Albert Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Ed Herrman, and more, weigh in on profit versus Goodness, "do unto others...".

The issue at hand is one of the great ethical questions of our era pertaining to the technical capacity to keep people "Alive" virtually forever, or let them go to God.

The difficult problem is handled with a fine mix/balance of humor, satire, apoplexy, empathy and commonsense. After seeing it on IFC we bought a copy. Spader is the physician for a comatose man whose two daughters are divided on the issue of maintaining him in a vegetative state or pulling the plug. However, at stake is $10,000,000 (TEN MILLION) which goes to one sister if the plug is pulled and another if it is not. The battle widens when an army of lawyers for the hospital, the doctors, the insurance companies and each sister, weigh-in.
The moral/ethical/financial pinpoints are all exposed (the patient has iron clad insurance, which the hospital loves), and thrown in for good measure are a few mystical experiences in which both Kings of the great beyond struggle for a man's soul, and the souls of the two would be multi-millionaires.
Those who have a working conscience will love the ending.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Momoko on August 8, 2005
Format: DVD
I'm not sure about the movie itself, but it addresses the real issues of today's medical system where no one cares about patients and all they want is money.

In reality, however, it does not end like this movie. In the movie two parties come to an agreement convinced by a doctor, but I am sure people are kept alive just for a cash flow to be running. It is very sad, but that's how it is.

I like some of humors seen in the movie. Independant Film Channel has given this movie two stars, but I think it is too harsh. It should have at least three stars or more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wendy K. Laubach on March 25, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This starts slow, then looks as though it will be a rather sour farce -- then it just veers off in another direction and becomes, for me, impossible to turn away from. I first watched this in the late 1990s. I remember Anne Bancroft and Wallace Shawn so vividly that I was shocked to see how little screen time their pivotal scenes really occupied. The opposing choices these two characters offered have stayed with me with surprising constancy in the full decade since. I was happy to find this DVD and watch the movie again, because Netflix doesn't carry it, and the movie seems lost in critical obscurity. James Spader, Albert Brooks, and Helen Mirren all give first-class performances in a sharp script that goes way beyond the initial cheap-shot bashing of our terrifying medical-industrial system. In its acid tone, this is a bit like "House" minus the puzzle-solving, but in its moral philosophy it's more like "The Screwtape Letters." I'm really glad I bought this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By michael on January 11, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great tragi-comedy with James Spader
as it treats the sensitive topic of euthanasia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jean Lynch on March 27, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Cute movie. I actually ordered it because I had a school project on a movie concerning an ethical issue. This fit the bill - and it was an overall lighthearted theme. Poked fun at medicine as a business, but it made you think about life and death, and tugged at your heartstrings at times. An overall feel good movie.
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