Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2014
While we all know about HIV and AIDS today, that wasn't always so. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington star in this gripping film that shows us what it was like for people afflicted by these life-altering diseases in a time not so long ago. Andrew Beckett, played by Tom Hanks and loosely based on real-life attorneys Geoffrey Bowers and Clarence B. Cain, is a skilled, well-liked, and highly-respected attorney in Philadelphia...that is, until he is suddenly fired after crucial paperwork for a big case he'd been working on inexplicably disappears. Sure that his bosses have discovered that he is gay and has AIDS and fired him accordingly, Beckett seeks to sue his former firm for discrimination and wrongful termination, doing so in a time when ADIS-discrimination cases were practically unheard of. Along those same lines, this movie is one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. Beckett is ultimately represented in his suit by Joe Miller, played by Denzel Washington, and the two set out to prove their case while in the heat of public debate on the issue. This film does pretty much everything right. No, seriously, I can find no flaws. The plot is interesting, the acting is top-notch, and I'm glued to my screen from beginning to end. Hanks and Washington work well together, especially given that one of them is homophobic himself and knows very little about AIDS and how the disease is transmitted...this character's internal conflicts on the matter only strengthen the unusual bond that these actors share on screen, even if Washington, who was asked to gain weight for his role, would taunt Hanks, who was asked to lose weight for his role, with food while on the set. If any, I have only two minor complaints about this movie. The First is one that people have stated before: I would have liked to see more of Andrew Beckett's relationship with his lover, Miguel Álvarez, played by Antonio Banderas. Mr. Banderas definitely didn't get enough screen time, given the role he played in the main character's life. Second, why did Denzel Washington not get nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar? He would have had a real shot at winning it. And for me, that's saying something given that Tommy Lee Jones won that award that year for his role as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in my favorite movie of all time, The Fugitive. Nevertheless, this is a film that no one should go without seeing. I absolutely recommend it! Enjoy.
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
3,973 global ratings