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Sicko (Special Edition) (2007)

A movie directed by Michael Moore

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So Is It Chicken or Tuna?

  • Apr 14, 2009
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documentary ( plural documentaries )

  1. A film, TV program, book etc that presents a social , political , scientific or historical subject in a factual or informative manner.


  1. something amusing or entertaining
  2. a show put on for the enjoyment or amusement of others
  3. ( 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 all seen the "Fahrenheit 9/11" fact books out there. Republicans and Democrats debated the artistic quality of that film from here to there. Caught up in the middle of the debate from time to time, I wondered if this is what the battle between Heaven and Hell felt like. There were so many blows to be taken in these debates that I often needed a scorecard to keep track of it all. Though for all the bickering, fighting, and shouting, I think everyone eventually came to the conclusion that "Fahrenheit 9/11" was at least factually skewed just a tad bit. Now we have "Sicko," a movie that magically, before it's big release, supposingly had Republicans and Democrats united.

I don't know why people found this fact surprising. After all, I think everyone agrees that America has a flawed health system. If you cut yourself with a knife a doctor will slap an elastic strip on it and charge you $40.00 for it. Clearly getting sick is even less fun if you have to pay for your doctors appointments from your own pocket. But how bad is it? Well, regardless how bad it is, I HIGHLY doubt it's as bad as Michael Moore portrays it in this movie! Without getting into a detail-by-detail account of how the health care system works in Moore's mind, I think I can sum it up in five sentences:

1. America charges too much money.
2. American health care should be free.
3. Everyone else's health care is free which, in turn, leads to a more peaceful world.
4. The doctors in Canada, France, and all those other countries pay their doctors just as much as we do.
5. America sucks, BIG TIME!!!

Actually, now that I think about it, sentences 1, 2, 3, and 5 were all touched upon in Moore's previous movies to some extent. Alright, alright, I know this looks like a cheap shot to Moore, but it's really not. If anything, I think this movie highlights exactly why I think Michael Moore gets far more credit then he deserves. Doing just a little research on this movie (like a couple of Moore's previous outings) shows that Moore is not completely being honest in this movie. The bad things that happen in America with the health care system are true, but they are rare exceptions. One out of fifty. Not that that one isn't important, but the way Moore makes it sound getting healthcare from America is a death trap waiting to happen. Meanwhile, in Canada's free health care system, nobody ever dies in the operating room.

Also, in Canada, the horror stories about waiting for hours is highly exaggerated. Also in Canada, their taxes are lower then ours. And if you believe all that, then I have a bit of trivia for you: Elvis isn't dead, and for that matter he didn't do drugs. Oh, and John never divorced Yoko, he took a vacation from her. So clearly "Sicko" isn't the most honest movie in the world (I'm not sure the word documentary is appropriate in this case), but so what? By now everyone knows Moore isn't making a truthful documentary, he's making entertainment. Propaganda. He's trying to make a case by using entertainment to sway us to his beliefs. If that's the case, then I fail to see how "Sicko" is entertaining. I mean, come on. Stories of dead babies, men who cut off their arms, and lousy service that we're actually paying for?

That doesn't sound like an entertaining movie to me. In fact, this movie has any joy sucked right out of it. After two hours of Moore lecturing me on how horrible my country and health care plan was, I was ready to go watch a movie with a happy ending. Like "Gladiator" or "Titanic." So if this movie doesn't work as a true documentary, and it doesn't work as entertainment, then how DOES it work?! I must confess; I don't know. I can't think of any reason anyone would want to sit through this movie. It's torture listening to all these horrible things happening, and then you feel like you had food poison when you find out most of it's not true. So I'm going to deny this movie a star rating because, honestly, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be grading.

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April 19, 2009
My son in law is a physician. You should hear about it from his end then perhaps you might realize that it is almost that bad. Of course Moore doesn't make documentaries--he does street theater. If he made regular documentaries no one would watch. How many people tune in to PBS every night? Its just going to get worse too. Last year Rob made $40,000. A doctor made $40,000. Of course he's an exceptionally nice guy unlike a lot of other doctors and combines procedures to save his patients money. The insurance companies only pay for 1 procedure however so its a wash for him.
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 . 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 …
review by . November 07, 2007
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 …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #127
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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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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