NPR logo 'Sicko'

Arts & Life

'Sicko'

Filmmaker Michael Moore talks with an unidentified London doctor about physician income under the U.K's National Health Service. Moore's new film Sicko takes aim at the U.S. health-care system. The Weinstein Co. hide caption

toggle caption The Weinstein Co.

Filmmaker Michael Moore talks with an unidentified London doctor about physician income under the U.K's National Health Service. Moore's new film Sicko takes aim at the U.S. health-care system.

The Weinstein Co.
  • Director: Michael Moore
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

(requires RealPlayer)

When he took on the gun lobby in Bowling for Columbine, and George W. Bush in Fahrenheit 9/11, firebrand documentarian Michael Moore could reasonably be said to be courting controversy, even if there sometimes seemed to be more sizzle than steak in his arguments. But when he suggests that health-care costs are out of control in this country, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to argue with him, apart from maybe a few pharmaceutical-company lobbyists.

The point he's making — with his usual humor and force — is that most other developed nations have some form of universal health care, so their citizens aren't troubled by the costs of medical emergencies. In a funny hospital sequence, British patients are visibly startled at the very mention of money in the same breath as medicine, whereas even Americans with decent health insurance are likely to worry about what a visit to the doctor will cost.

Moore's tactics are as provocative as always — a trip to Guantanamo, for instance, to demand that three ailing Ground Zero rescue workers get the same free health care the U.S. government affords suspected terrorists. There's plenty of grandstanding, most of it very funny. And in this instance, all that sizzle is selling the steak. (Recommended)

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.