6.61 h 33 min2015R
David is an in-home nurse who works with terminally ill patients, developing strong, and even intimate, relationships with each person he cares for. But outside of his work, David is awkward and reserved—effects of his chronic depression—and needs his patients as much as they need him.
Michel Franco
Tim RothLisa NiemiMichael Cristofer
EnglishEnglish [CC]
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Supporting actors
Joe SantosTate EllingtonSarah SutherlandClaire van der BoomDavid DastmalchianBitsie TullochKarl Coleman
Gabriel RipsteinMichel FrancoMoisés ZonanaGina Kwon
R (Restricted)
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3.9 out of 5 stars

55 global ratings

  1. 56% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 22% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Christina ReynoldsReviewed in the United States on January 19, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Longs to be touched, but is hard to grasp firmly
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Chronic is a 2015 drama film written and directed by Michel Franco. The film stars Tim Roth, alongside a supporting cast featuring Bitsie Tulloch, David Dastmalchian, Tate Ellington, Claire van der Boom, Maribeth Monroe, Robin Bartlett, and Sarah Sutherland.

David (Roth), a home care nurse working with terminally ill people, develops close relationships with his patients. In his private life David is awkward and reserved, which leads to him needing his patients as much as they need him.

The introduction of David as an individual combines characteristics meant to impose some amount of unexpected conflict in regards to his personality and demeanor. He is seen first parked outside of a house and seems to be keeping watch on an unidentified woman- which, quite frankly, could easily be mistaken for stalker-like behavior. This is immediately followed by a scene where David is tending to one of his patients by means of washing her naked body meticulously and attentively while other people stand outside of the door - presumed as being too scared or too disheartened to watch. The camera tactfully shifts between vignettes of David attending to his patients when it ought to be most uncomfortable to do so with a profound sense of dignity and sensitivity; Roth - despite being mostly silent - delivers a performance that is far from muted and professionally captures some level of confounding ambiguity.

‘Chronic’ gives us some insight regarding the care David provides at least four separate patients - who each have varying levels of dependency in regards to the care they require. Each separate case involves some sort of ethical dilemma relevant to David’s profession - whether it be an implied issue with establishing boundaries or involving the right-to-die - And signify significant complications that he manages to handle emphatically. Not much is done to entertain any debate that could be possible regarding justification for his actions but the most important thing for audience members to know is that David remains intensely committed to his patients and his job in a way that is admirably compassionate. There is very little elaboration regarding the decision to pursue this particular line of work although a significant vein of loss - and the consequences of accepting this loss as inevitable - is at least thrown on a line and left out to dry.

Without spoiling - it would be fair to label the ending of this film as blissfully unfair - and in some ways, a bit frustrating conceptually. There is, however, a totality to this ending, and this is a stark contrast to the vague elasticity that ironically constrains the rest of its contents. The entirety of this gut-punching scene is revealed through a slow-pan and reveals elements (traffic lights, David’s averted gaze, etc) that bring up more questions that have yet to be answered. Regardless: my personal thoughts are that this scene successfully personifies an exhaustive - and often-times distracting - commitment to others at the expense of the self.

Constructed with silk and wrapped with barbed wire: ‘Chronic’ longs to be touched but rejects a firm grip;
Nonetheless, it is well-intended character study that carefully ventures into uncharted and often unappreciated territory.
I would recommend
(Even if not strongly)
One person found this helpful
PhxGwenReviewed in the United States on March 3, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing storytelling and performance by Roth
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This movie doesn't pull punches and it says so much without words. It shows more than tells. What it tells you have to piece together like a puzzle until the picture becomes clear. It shows you the patience and compassion needed to take care of terminally ill patients while attempting to let them keep some dignity, humanity and a piece of themselves to the end. This is not a feel good story with a feel good Hollywood ending. It doesn't flinch or turn away from tough scenes. It is about someone who is there for others when they need help most, but is unable to ask for help or seek it for himself. His closest connections are only through the patients who are only here for a limited time and then lost. Someone who is lonely and completely alone although he has family and acquaintances, but his past decisions create a barrier, a wound, it weighs on him heavily and is about to present itself to him again. Can someone who is so strong for others when they are at their most helpless break when faced with the same moral dilemma he faced in his past? Tim Roth is astounding! Even when he is perfectly still you feel the weight of the character. Should have won a Golden Globe or Oscar for this one.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on November 17, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
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Weird movie- depressing
JeannieReviewed in the United States on March 10, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
If you have ever taken care of someone or contemplating ...
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If you have ever taken care of someone or contemplating doing so, who has a terminal illness, this makes sense. Powerful performance by Tim Roth.
6 people found this helpful
ernie s.Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
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Very touching and true to life.
One person found this helpful
WayneReviewed in the United States on May 1, 2017
2.0 out of 5 stars
The worst crappy senseless ending I have watched in a long ...
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The worst crappy senseless ending I have watched in a long time! Hospice and care givers are very special people and the only way you find this out is when you are confronted with this in your real life. These wonderful people don't do it for the money because the pay is not worth it for the pain and stress they go through!
4 people found this helpful
BlondeMomReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2017
3.0 out of 5 stars
Three Stars
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great acting - rough subject matter to watch....
Colleen SullivanReviewed in the United States on May 21, 2017
1.0 out of 5 stars
Shocking ending that was not necessary. It ruined an ...
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Shocking ending that was not necessary. It ruined an otherwise meaningful, interesting and informative movie. I was angry that I had watched it.
5 people found this helpful
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