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Sicko (Special Edition) (2007)

A movie directed by Michael Moore

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Sadly accurate

  • Nov 7, 2007
  • by
Sure, like all of Michael Moore's films this movie is more editorial than documentry. It's trying to make a very specific point (the American health care system is seriously broken), and pulls out all the stops to do so. It does so with all the usual wit and humor of Michael Moore, which to my mind is a good thing.

The movie focuses on various middle-class people who generally thought they had decent medical coverage. They usually thought this right up to the point where they needed it and then... pft. They find out they aren't covered for things, or that stuff they weren't aware they had are listed as pre-existing conditions. They aren't eligable for certain treatments. They have large co-pays and deductables. They can't see the doctors they want to do. The doctors can't give them the treatment they want to give them because the patients can't afford it, etc, etc, etc.

Part of the problem with the American health care system, and something that's made plain in the movie, is that it's being run by for-profit insurance companies that have a vested interest in making sure they pay for as little as they possibly can. They want to maximize profits, after all, and I can't blame them for that.

There are flaws in the movie. The health care systems in France, Canada and England are painted with too-rosy pictures and nothing showing their flaws. Cuba's health care is presented as magnificent while their human rights issues are glossed-over or ignored (though one can make the point that this movie isn't focusing on human rights, just health care). Some of the problems that do exist with socalized medicine are not addressed.

That said, when I think of this problem, I think about my sister and her family. She has a husband and they have four kids. She works and he works. If, god forbid, one of their children got, say, leukemia, then likely one of them would have to quit their job to take care of the kid. Probably the one with the crappier health coverage. That means their income decreases dramatically. Stress goes up. Resentment towards the child due to the incredibly high medical costs can't help but form, irrational though that would be. The parents fight over money. Next thing you know, the $[...] medical bills have sent the family into bankruptcy. They lose their home and have to move into a small apartment. But, hey, in the end, since we do have the best medical care money can buy, at least the daughter is ok.

Until the relapse. Or until the working parent gets injured. Or until one of the other kids gets sick. Etc. All those things are horrible enough, but the is the only "real" country where you have to choose between money and medicine and that's just bad. How does our contry benefit from people being made bankrupt by medical bills?

The DVD release contains about 80 minutes of footage not seen in the theatrical version. Of note particularly is the segment on Norway. You know, I can't help but think that perhaps if we had minimum security prisons like the ones they show in the movie, instead of the crappy minimum security ones we have here, our crime right might nose down a bit. There could be something to this whole "treat people like people" thing, and focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

But I digress.

The message I come away with from this movie is the following: socialized medicine/universal health care is not perfect. Far from it. But it is better than what we have now, and there's no reason we can't do it better than the other countries that have it do. After all, not too horribly long ago we fought the Germans, Italians and the Japanese all at basically the same time. We've gone to the Moon. We have TiVo. Any country that can do all these things can and should have a better health care system than what we have now.

See this movie. Even if you don't like Michael Moore, see it (he's not on screen much anyhow). See it, and then do something about it.

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More Sicko (Special Edition) (2007) reviews
review by . July 04, 2010
Pros: Honest and forthright look at the American Health Care System.     Cons: Not fully fleshed out; a few factual errors.     The Bottom Line: Sicko bears watching with an un-jaundiced eye; that is if you value your health!     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. We The People think very highly of ourselves.  And why not; from a very early age Americans are told that they are number one; that …
review by . September 04, 2009
When Michael Moore's Sicko was announced, I remember all the news reports.  Once again I was pelted with, "Michael Moore hates America!" and all that stuff.  One of my friends came up to me and said, "Did you hear?  Now Michael Moore is attacking Doctors!  Don't you go see that movie Sean!  If you do you'll go to hell."  Yes, because God is more concerned about what documentaries I'm watching more than he is with anything else I'll ever …
review by . April 14, 2009
documentary ( plural documentaries ) A film, TV program, book etc that presents a social , political , scientific or historical subject in a factual or informative manner. entertainment something amusing or entertaining a show put on for the enjoyment or amusement of others ( obsolete ) maintenance or support I quote these two nouns before I begin my review because I think to properly review "Sicko," one must acknowledge what Michael Moore films are, and what they are not. I think we've …
review by . February 15, 2009
Personally, I value the documentary work Michael Moore has done over his career thus far. He takes interesting and hard looks at social topics that are often muddled via that media, talking heads and politicos.    Sicko addresses a topic that I personally follow the news about extensively and watch folks I kinow struggle with all the time: the US health care system.    While I think this piece of work is helpful to open the general American's eyes to the irony …
review by . December 16, 2008
I will begin this review by stating that I am a proud American citizen, an immigrant from a Third World country who grew up in America. I have also traveled around the world, and have experienced the health care systems in other countries. I also have friends and family living in other countries, both developed and under-developed countries. From my own experiences in America and in other countries, and those related to me by my friends and family, I've come to believe that the US healthcare system …
review by . August 19, 2008
When thinking about it most people outside the U.S. would be shocked and appalled at the blatant uncaring nature of the American Health Service. I can't honestly imagine being denied Health Care because of money troubles. I suppose that I should consider myself lucky that I live in the UK, a country that puts a persons health before a profit.     Many people claim Moore to be a propagandist who's just utilising this subject matter in order to make a quick dollar. That may be …
review by . August 16, 2008
Whoa. I work in health care and I am very aware of some of the screwed-up issues out there. I see physicians' hands tied by insurance companies, I see physicians' costs for liability insurance climbing and payment for health care declining. Even with that insider knowledge, Sicko curled my toes. I'm sure there are two sides of the story. But I don't see the other side in my day job and Sicko opens the flood gates on horror stories. I cried and I grew enraged at the stories that were shared in this …
review by . January 13, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Moore presents a very serious issue facing all Americans whether or not they have health insurance in a very entertaining light. If what he presents is true, then the American public has been lied to especially concerning "socialized" medicine in other countries.    During the documentary Moore went to four countries including Cuba and he expounds that medicine in these places is far superior to what is available or not available to the American public here in the US. The documentary …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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About this movie


SiCKOis more like a controlled howl of protest than a documentary. Toning down the rhetoric of past efforts--no CEOs, congressmen, or celebrities were accosted in the making of this film--Michael Moore's latest provocation is just as heartfelt, if not more heartbreaking. As he clarifies from the outset, his subject isn't the 45 million Americans without insurance, but those whose coverage has failed to meet their needs. He starts by speaking with patients who've been denied life-saving procedures, like chemotherapy, for the most spurious of reasons. Then he travels to Canada, England, and France to see if socialized medicine is as inefficient as U.S. politicians like to claim--especially those who receive funding from pharmaceutical companies. Moore finds quality care available to all, regardless as to income. He concludes with a stunt that made headlines when he assembles a group of 9/11 rescue workers suffering from a variety of afflictions. When Moore is informed that detainees at Guantánamo Bay--technically American soil--qualify for universal coverage, he and his companions travel to Cuba to get in on that action. It's a typically grandstanding move on Moore's part. And it proves remarkably effective when these altruistic individuals, who've either been denied treatment or forced to pay outrageous costs for their medication, experience a dramatically different system. Nine years in the making,SiCKOmakes a persuasive case that it's time ...
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Director: Michael Moore
Screen Writer: Michael Moore
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
Runtime: 123 minutes
Studio: Weinstein Company
First to Review

"Sadly accurate"
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