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  • Sicko
    • Sicko
    • Runtime:123 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-20 23:29:12
    • Director: Michael Moore
    • Genres: Documentary, Drama, History
    • Studio:


I give this film three stars because that's about how many true
statements it contains. But firstly, this director uses the same
psychological machinations that the latest president's political
consultants used to get him elected – cognitive dissonance (tension
which comes from holding two conflicting or unconnected thoughts in the
mind at the same time). The images on the screen hold very little or no
reinforcement of what the hippyish narrator is saying, and usually
distracts from the point. They do, however, reinforce multitudinous
snide innuendos.

I could only absorb what was said by not watching the screen, but only
listening. Listening was made difficult because the music (also
distracting and irrelevant) was way too loud. In order to hear the
narratives, you have to turn up the volume and put up with
ear-splitting music apparently also designed to enhance the dissonance.

The "meat" of the film is that there are cycles in society which lead
to war, peace, prosperity and medicinal prosperance. Guess which one
we're NOT in. This doomsday presentation traces all the blame to a US
generation that is easy to make fun of, with no tenable connection, for
the debt and inflation explosion at the inevitable disaster. I've not
read all the books by the scholars interviewed, but I'm familiar enough
with the liberal organizations they associate themselves with.
Economics is the result of more than just opinions, but productivity,
creativity and policy. They correctly point out the flaws in the recent
(post 2008) desperate machinations of the Fed and US Treasury, but
offer no solutions, evasive actions we may take, or even useful

I found tongue-in-cheek humor in the images that flash continuously
past the viewer. Some, like a flash of suckling piglets on a sow's
abdomen or the many scenes of exploding buildings, appear so ridiculous
in view of the narration that if you turned off the sound, this could
be an entertaining film.

Expect to be alarmed, depressed and confused by this film, not
enlightened or edified.


Heart wrenching documentary about the failed and utterly disastrous
health care system here in the USA that cost as much as 18,000
Americans, those with health insurance, to die each year. Not from
illness or diseases but from not getting the health care that they in
fact paid for. That's six times as many American's then those who were
killed in the 9/11 terrorists attacks!

Film maker Michael Moore shows and explores the many ways health
insurance companies treat their tens of thousands of customers in
denying them and their families the care that they've been paying for
over the years. That's by them finding whatever loopholes,like
pre-existent conditions, in their policies in order not to pay for
their medical expenses. Moore doesn't show us the health care debate
with any cinematic tricks actors or propaganda but with the very people
on both sides of the fence, patience's and doctors, who suffer through

We get to see people who have to worked passed their retirement age,
work in fact until they die, to receive heath care, that's not covered
by Medicare, that in almost if not all the European industrialized
countries like Great Britain France & Germany as well as Canada is
absolutely free for their people! Even for non-citizens, mostly
Americans, who go there to get help! As bad as things are for the
insured the non-insured in America are treated like you would treat the
morning garbage! In them being thrown out, many needing extensive
medical help, in the street and left on their own because they can't
pay their hospital bills!

Moore really hits home when he shows the contrast between the almost
non-existence health care for Americans to that of the health care
provide to their people by countries like Great Briitan France and even
Communist Cuba! The myth about how free and socialized health care is a
disaster in those country's is exploded on the screen in seeing how
much better off the people, as well as the doctors who treat them, in
those country's are compared to here in the USA!

The most touching as well as outrageous thing in the movie "Sicko" is
how we, the US Government, treats the people who volunteered to risk
their lives to save lives at the 9/11 disaster site in New York City
after the planes hit it! Left out in the cold without any medical care,
because they weren't covered by it, Moore rented a boat to go to
Guantanamo Bay with a number of those heroes of 9/11 so that they could
get the same treatment, state of the art health care, that the
suspected El-Qeada terrorists who pulled off 9/11, who are imprisoned
there, are receiving free of charge! Being refused entrance into the US
Military controlled army base Moore was force to travel to Havana Cuba
to get those with him the help that their "greatful" nation that they
voluntarily risked their lives and health for refused to give them!

And would you believe it the Communist Castro Cuban Government whom the
US has been in a virtual state of war with for the last 50 years
treated them all back to health as well as provide the stricken, almost
to the point of death, Americans with years supplies of drugs that
their own nation completely denied them! Sick or Sicko isn't it!


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The man who brought you 'Roger and Me', 'Bowling for Columbine' and
'Fahrenheit 9/11' brings you another film exploring the delusion and
political corruption in modern day America. This time, he dissects
America's health care system. Canada, Great Britain and France have
better health care systems than the US, so why can't America follow in
their footsteps. In his exploration, he even discovers the prisoners of
Guantanamo Bay receiver better healthcare than the common people of

Michael Moore exposes the dysfunctional North American health care
system, oriented to huge profits and not for their mission of saving
lives. Further, he shows the corruption in the political system, with
members of government and congress "bought" by the corporations and the
situation of the average American citizens, including those that
volunteered to work in the rescue mission of the September 11th
attacks. Then he travels to Canada, Great Britain and France to compare
their systems showing their hospitals, doctors, staffs and patients.
Last but not the least, he shows that the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay
have better medical treatment than the common people in the US, and he
ends up getting free treatment to the Americans that participate in the

As has been said in my previous review of Moore's film 'Bowling for
Columbine', this extraordinary filmmaker is best at documenting,
comparing, answering questions and getting results. 'Sicko' is another
perfect example of this. A big segment of the film is Moore comparing
America's public health system to countries like France, Great Britain
and Canada, which seem to have health care systems that have been sent
straight from heaven when compared to The United States'. He then tries
to find out why America doesn't have the same benefits, ending up with
the obvious answer that it all comes down to the corruption in the

One thing I have noticed about all his films is that he not only tries
to find answers, but tries his best to help people by getting results.
In 'Sicko', he uses a bunch of people who were hurt during their
volunteer work at the 9/11 attacks in New York, to help ask why these
people are left to suffer when prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. During
their visit to Cuba, Moore is able to find these people free healthcare
when they visit the local fire station. I find this interesting, as
this is not a common convention of documentary filmmaking, rather
actions of empathy on his part. Does he have to show his good work on
camera? No, but it helps drive home the point that these brave people
had to travel to Cuba to get free healthcare when the country that they
got injured trying to protect, won't help.

Anyone can make a documentary by filming explorations into matters that
need to be addressed, but I believe Michael Moore is more than just a
documentarian. He not only documents his exploration into issues, but
he tries his best to get results for the people who are affected by the
issue. This is what makes him extraordinary. 4 stars. ****


In a review about a movie about the shortcomings of the US Health Care
System, it's appropriate to say from the get-go that the US has
arguably the best health care system in the world. In terms of health
outcomes (treatment success rate and survival rate) the US leads in
most categories – cancer, heart disease, transplants. Most people don't
think of the US as the best because they see the flaws in the system
and they see our #37 spot on the 2000 WHO rankings of health systems.
What they don't realize is that all health care systems have their
flaws and the WHO rankings rated us low because among the factors it
included were cost of health services and inequality of access to
health services, and WHO used life expectancy (which is skewed, in the
US, by high obesity rates, driving rates and smoking rates) instead of
health outcomes to measure the overall success of the system.

It's because of the misconceptions about the US Health Care System that
this movie was so well received. What Michael Moore effectively did in
this film is to show anecdotal scare stories about the US health care
system and then compare it alongside the best virtues of various
socialized health care systems. What we get is a skewed perspective on
both the US system and the foreign systems of Canada, the UK and Cuba
that he especially looks at. One could easily find plenty of scare
stories to show the flaws of these other systems. For example, people
regularly die while waiting in line for treatment in Canada. Many
people in Great Britain pull out bad teeth at home rather than going to
the dentist. But those are just anecdotal. A real comparison would look
at the situation as a whole, looking at overall statistics of prices,
availability of treatments and success of treatments. A real comparison
would look at Medical tourism, including all those Canadians who come
to the US for treatment. A real treatment would look at medical
research and innovation. Moore does not provide a real comparison.

Many of the flaws that Moore sees in the US system are well taken and
widely acknowledged, but Moore seems to think that the only alternative
is Canadian style socialized medicine. One of the main problems of
American healthcare is the cost, but how does transferring that to the
government which simply transfers it to the taxpayers solve that
problem? He doesn't acknowledge other ideas, like say ending
employee-provided insurance or adopting a system of health savings
accounts or promoting out-of-pocket payment for minor health services
and catastrophe insurance for major, unforeseen problems. Since the
faults he focuses on are primarily concerned with health insurance,
you'd think he'd look at different ways to provide health insurance.
There are many different models out there.

Moore's segment on Cuba is probably the most disgraceful segment.
Health care for the poor in Cuba is simply atrocious and some Cubans
have been trying to raise international awareness of these detestable
conditions, but the myth of Cuba's fine health care system lives on
because of people like Michael Moore. He asks to see the health care
that the average everyday Cuban gets and they of course take him to the
best hospital in Cuba only accessible to the elite. Moore never stops
to consider the lack of average everyday Cubans in that hospital or the
fact that there aren't hospitals like that one anywhere else, nor does
he seek to explore the conditions in rural Cuba. Even when he stops at
a pharmacist he completely ignores the dearth of medicines on their
shelves. Yes, Cuba has a lower infant mortality because they force
women to abort bad fetus and don't count some babies as every having
been born. In fact, countries vary in how they count infant mortality
making international comparisons difficult.

Admittedly, Moore's documentary, as always in quite entertaining and
engaging. Unfortunately this doesn't make up for the shallowness of the
treatment of the subject, and it comes across as more like a big summer
blockbuster with lots of explosions and special effects, but not a lot
of substance.

If you want to learn something about health care in the US among other
countries like Canada, Cuba, France and the UK this movie is a bad
place to look. The data is limited and biased. Moore doesn't come
across as really knowing much about health care and the relative merits
of various health care systems except to say that he really likes
Canadian health care and doesn't like US health care. Nonetheless, when
Moore's lifetime of obesity finally catches up to him and he needs
heart surgery, he's probably going to end up going to an American
hospital, just like many other wealthy Americans and non-Americans,
because he knows that this is the place where he'll get the best

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