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  • There are many good things about this movie. There are a few that are not as "stellar" but no matter, when the subject is something as important as this, then that's what counts. (to those like user: Rick Peach that don't get it... read his reviews, and consider the source! This isn't an action movie!)

    This is a movie about how shamefully the Veterans of our Armed Services are treated when it comes to medical care. The term Article 99 refers to when a serviceman/woman is told the care or operation they need will not be considered because it isn't a direct result of anything that occurred while actively serving. In a world where many countries have socialized health care for everyone- you would think here where capitalism rules the day, we could at LEAST take care of the people who have guaranteed our freedom and survival. And that is the message of this movie.

    The way the message is conveyed is what we discuss movies for. The script can be at times overboard and some of Luther's (Keith David) pet phrases are trite, but he is the "been there, done that" man of the movie. He's seen it all and like a mascot of sorts, he seems to hang around the hospital ready to assist new patients who are lost in this bungling bureaucratic maze. Enter Travis (Troy Evans) a nice guy who just happens to need a triple bypass. When one of the men who is "Article 99'd" goes berserk and drives a pick up into the hospital, we see the main characters start to assert their personalities and their places in the hospital. Travis has a heart attack on the spot and it all unfolds from there.

    Dr. Sturgess (Ray Liotta) is the voice of reason in this very illogical world. He is the head of a group of doctors (Forest Whitaker, Lea Thompson, John McGinley) who are there not for the money, but for "those who have borne the battle." They are joined by a well meaning Dr. Walton (Kathy Baker) a psychiatrist who chose to come to this place from a drug rehab clinic. Although inexperienced in the ways of this "jungle" she has her heart in the right place. The evil nemesis in all this is played by the administrator, Dr. Henry Dreyfoos (John Mahoney) who is more interested in counting q-tips than helping to ease the suffering and pain of the people for whom this place was built. His doctors have had to resort to stealing medical equipment and supplies from the departments experimenting on animals. Apparently a monkey can get a pacemaker, but not a Vet.

    Some of the conditions in this hospital are deplorably shocking and terrible. There are the sick and dying and the forgotten. Also, there is the poignant relationship between the new intern, Dr. Morgan (Kiefer Sutherland) and his patient, Sam Abrams (Eli Wallach) as Dr. Morgan slowly realizes how special EACH of these people are. There is a story, a life and a sacrifice behind each bed pan, each IV, each tired old Vet.

    Some of this movie is melodramatic and it may go to some extremes to make its point, but it is worth the watch. The performances by ALL are very good and it's a cast that's to die for. Even the smaller roles (Jeffery Tambor, Lynne Thigpen, Julie Bovasso) are so well cast. If for no other reason, watch it today and remember those who have given the "full measure of devotion" for us all.
  • Set in a VA hospital, this movie illustrates what happens when "red tape" gets in the way of helping people. An enjoyable mixture of comedy and drama, it is reminiscent of the Altman classic M*A*S*H, staring Sutherland's father Donald. In fact, there's a nice salute to the elder Sutherland, during a scene between Keifer and an older hospital patient.

    Those who didn't "get" this movie were perhaps looking for the wrong things. I won't say this movie was meant to inform, though perhaps it was. But it definitely makes you think. Is a medical system where doctors have to steal supplies and schedule proxy operations really what our country's heroes deserve? Moving and entertaining, I would definitely recommend this movie.
  • the greatest casualty may be due to Red Tape. Not only does this film benefit from some true TALENT in the acting department, but Howard Deutch does a great job of portraying the sad state of Veteran's Care in the US. No, this does not appear to be "based on a true story," but it is typical of what goes on in the VA Hospitals; as a former Army Medic (now a Service Connected Disabled Vet) I know whereof I speak. I highly recommend this film!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Article 99 is a biting backlash against the absurd beauractic red tape preventing Veteran's hospital from dispensing much needed care to mounting numbers of patients. Faced with the endless parade of lost files and missing certification statements, hiding patients, and stealing medicine, these noble doctors do whatever it takes, defying a stubborn administrator and risking the vitality of their medical careers.

    Good performances by all, particularly among Keifer Sutherland as the new doctor who is steadily learning the difficulties and trade-offs of working in a system so inexplicably and ineffectively bound by the system, experiencing this in his exchanges with an elderly patient named Sam (Eli Wallach). It is disgusting to see Sam, heralded a war hero and honored with a Silver Star, to be labeled a Gomer (patients who hang around the hospital on some unknown floor waiting to be approved for their respective treatments), only to die because the adminstrator restricted the funding so much that they couldn't perform the tests on him, leaving him to slowly die and the young doctor to scramble desperately to save his life, not being able to do much to help him, his hands tied by the system.

    Keith David is excellent, too, here in another war-themed movie with John McGinnis, having previously co-starred together in 'Platoon.' David is "Luther," a disabled vet who acts as the source of reality, I suppose, of how the hospital operates, but is also a 'guardian angel' type as he protects the doctors who just want to take care of their damn patients. Luther, as evident in the finale, stages his own sort of war, one against the government when the hospital goes into lockdown, and it is not one he is willing to give up. Once fighting for his government, now his fighting against them. David also adds some good humor to the story, a bit of comic relief to this gloomy drama. Eli Wallach provides some of the same.

    Ray Liotta, Kathy Baker, and John Mahoney likewise give good performances and it is the cast that really make this movie as good it is, propelled by an important story.
  • jotix10016 January 2006
    Howard Deutsch's "Article 99" is a gripping satire about the Veteran Administration that is in charge of the health care for the men and women that served the country in foreign conflicts and who obviously, have no other means of getting health care. The film is more poignant to watch right now with the problems the country is facing in Iraq because today's soldiers fighting there might have to face the bureaucracy that rules what can, or cannot, be done to veterans without insurance, or money to pay for medical care.

    We meet a group of dedicated doctors at a facility who are real professionals trying to go around the rules a tyrannical hospital administrator wants to impose on them. Thus, they will resort to stealing supplies that are denied to them in whatever form. It's an outrage to even think that medical care is denied to the people that were at the front lines to defend the country.

    Ray Liotta is the best thing in the movie. His Dr. Sturgess is a maverick that can do things that others would not dare to do. Mr. Liotta gets a magnificent chance to shine as the idealistic doctor who will do anything to help his patients. Kiefer Sutherland appears as the young doctor assign to the hospital and has no clue what he has gotten into, but learns fast. Kathy Burke is also good as the doctor who opposes Sturgess' method, only to realize he was right all along. Among the staff we see familiar faces, Forest Whitaker, John McGinley, John Mahoney, Eli Wallach, Keith David, Julie Bovasso, Jeffrey Tambor and others that do ensemble acting in wonderful fashion under Mr. Deutsch's command.

    The film is an eye opener as to how red tape rules a lot of government agencies.
  • I liked this film because it not only was entertaining but also enlightening. The film essentially explores the obstacles that veterans have to go through to get medical care and to what length some doctors will go to provide it. It brought me into an awareness that the Veterans Administration may not adequately care for our soldiers once they leave the service. Ray Liotta turned in an endearing performance.
  • Article 99 displays a side of the medical profession seldom seen by society. The humor and over the top antics of the doctors, although extremely over done, are only the surface. Ray Liota's performance as the struggling ring leader of a rag tag group of vigilante doctors was not only strong, but honest. His ability to stay in character the entire time was a difficult feat, but he pulls it off sincerely. Kiefer Sutherland's performance was as equally well portrayed as Liota's, even though Sutherland's character is the polar opposite of Liota's. His portrayal of an upper class, arrogant, young intern was right on the money. However, it is not just their great performances, but the supporting cast is equally as fantastic. The dialogue is full of well written and delivered witty banter and the cast seem to play off each other well, but there is a serious under tone to the humor. The VA hospital in which all these caring individuals work is suffering badly from governmental cutbacks, a crooked administration and red tape as far as the eye can see. For those who are able to understand or "get this" film, it is a funny, poignant yet honest look at a different side of the medical field. In other words, this ain't ER or Chicago Hope, it's a whole new ball game.
  • I wish that I could agree with the above poster, but unfortunately I can't. First of all Article 99 was a great movie, great cast, and an overall great attempt to put a face on the plight of all our veterans that are in need of medical care. The only flaw in the movie is that there is usually no one that will take a stand and fight for our veterans. From overcrowded hospitals, to canceled benefits, fraud and abuse from a system that is flawed and useless. I watched my grandfather go through the agonies of slowly dying from lack of care, without any dignity, my friends and now myself. I wish that I could say that it is an isolated case, and/or an isolated hospital, but since I have been to 4 VA Hospitals in three different states, it is not an isolated case and/or an isolate hospital. I know we hear it all the time, another veteran crying that he is not being taken care of…my only question is when is someone going to listen and change the system that created the word "red tape."
  • This film was made in 1992 but i only heard about it when i saw that it was on FX channel last night (22 Feb 2005). Ray Liotta was a goody which i'd never seen before, and he was great. The story is about low paid doctors trying their best to provide war veterans a complete medical service of treatment (including psychiatric) and operations. The hospital is overcrowded, understaffed,underfunded and under-supplied of medical provisions. The film takes us through the trials and tribulations of the underhanded tricks they pull to get provisions and perform operations on the needy Vets. The uncaring chief Administrator, wants the hospital run by the book, which does not include certain types of treatment and operations. Indeed, it seems like he doesn't think there should be patients in his hospital at all! - so of course, they have the expected run-ins with him. Plenty of famous faces as patients, a little bit of romance, humour in the right places and an exciting climax, complete this great drama - well worth watching. I'll be getting the video i think!
  • aubertin-112 January 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I loved that movie when it came out, and again when I had a chance to see it recently. I feel it is one of the best portrayals, today more than ever, of how frustrating our bureaucracy is becoming, putting dollars before people, even more-so in every public sector, where they should be leaders for the private sector and not the other way around. The solution presented in this picture doesn't seem very plausible, but one never knows. It also portrays well how conscientious underdogs/dedicated professionals feel in such working environments, and how many manage to make things right is spite of the illogical rules they get to bypass, all this while still keeping their sanity - no burnouts for them! Watch it, it's worth it, even more for anyone who is a Keefer Sutherland fan.
  • Although somewhat of a comedy it is also a dramatic, realistic depiction of how the VA treats heros of war and still does to this day. It will make you angry, laugh & cry. It will also make you jump for joy as the vets and doctors revolt against VA's political games. I got the point of the movie and highly recommend it, especially for veterans.
  • It's amazing how this movie came and went, and it hasn't gotten the praise it richly deserves. Ray Liotta turns in one of his best performances, somewhat aping his own performance of Henry Hill in Goodfellas, yet outshines his work in Field of Dreams. A subject that could have easily been exploited is actually treated perfectly. Lea Thompson is believable as a doctor, and Keifer Sutherland started out quite arrogant, and somewhat naive, but turns out to be the most likable of the group. Towards the end, the viewer almost wants to rally around him as much as Liotta's Dr. Sturgis character. The movie is haunting, cause in reality, the way some veterans are treated when they need medical treatment is much different. More VA hospitals have been closed in the past two years then in the past ten, and funding for VA's is continuously chopped in half. A great movie, great cast, and excellent performances in bit roles by Randy Quiad as Shooter, and the late Noble Willingham.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I liked this film because of the great performances; Ray Liotta, Kiefer Sutherland, Keith David, and John C. McGinley and others too numerous to mention.

    It makes you wonder if our veterans are truly treated this badly, they gave their souls and their bodies for the various wars and paid the price The details in this film of short supplies and doctor's steal from other departments to help patients is often funny, but is also sad I loved all the performances except Lea Thompson who if she never won an Academy award I wouldn't be surprised!! She should stick to TV comedies where she is moderately interesting Keith David has made a career out of the Pysco-vet(See Men At Work") and he is funny; Ray Liotta is more the band leader, and Kiefer Sutherland is the sentimental doctor An Excellent Film experience!!
  • I lay on a gurney in a passageway of the local VAMC ER & two doctors passed by and one asked the other "Have you seen Article 99?" "NO" "It was about vets who take over a VA because of care provided...It was hilarious." I had to bite my tongue to not shout "YOUR attitude is reflective of too many who work in VA...DOKTOR"

    My mother's brothers, who were combat vets, said they would not enter the local VA because they did not to be carried out feet first I am convinced many 'physicians' in VA are there because they cannot do anything else.

    I find it interesting that many on here apparently feel just entertainment and 'what a classic,' For men and women who have served it is not entertainment, nor is it classic. It is a reality.
  • Pat Travis (Troy Evans) is a military veteran with hopeful expectations as he seeks a triple bypass at a VA hospital. Instead, he finds a chaotic labyrinth of bureaucratic obstacles. Luther Jermoe (Keith David) is a wheelchair-bound veteran experienced in the dysfunction. He tells Pat that there is always Article 99. It's Dr. Peter Morgan (Kiefer Sutherland)'s first day. Dr. Rudy Bobrick (John C. McGinley) takes him under his wing, skirting the bureaucracy to get things done. Dr. Richard Sturgess (Ray Liotta) and Dr. Sid Handleman (Forest Whitaker) are fellow surgeons doing unapproved operations. Director Dr. Henry Dreyfoos (John Mahoney) and Chief of Medicine Dr. Leo Krutz (Jeffrey Tambor) work to maintaining the declining budget by weeding out the patients. Dr. Robin Van Dorn (Lea Thompson) sees Morgan as dilettante aiming for a high priced practice. Psychotherapist Dr. Diana Walton (Kathy Baker) clashes with Sturgess over his methods. Sam Abrams (Eli Wallach) is a gomer.

    Director Howard Deutch tried to portray the chaos of the VA. He certainly threw everything including the kitchen sink into this movie and it feels overloaded. There are great actors but again, there are too many and it feels overloaded. There seems to be a great movie here somewhere but the chaos does overwhelm it. It needs gritty realism but it feels a little too sitcomy.
  • Consider the recent developments of the alleged "cooked books", "deleted patient lists" and "dieing patients" at several VA Facilities through-out the entire United States. In addition, the Inspector General (OIG) in involved in an investigation of "deleted" surveillance videos of alleged patient abuse at the Las Vegas VA Emergency Room. With these and many more "concerns" about the Department of Veteran Affairs and the on-going problems at their facilities, this movie should be re-released. Perhaps it would be prudent for all Staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs to view this movie as part of their "Welcome to the VA". It appears not much has changed at the VA since 1992 - 22 years ago.
  • As a Gulf War Veteran who has tolerated enough crap from the Department of Veteran Affairs to last me five life times this movie nails the subject between the ears as it should be addressed. Those civilians who have never had to go through the most insane level of BS known to mankind have not a clue what the Veteran community tolerates as it pertains to acquiring services due the sacrifices we have made.

    This movie clearly represents the obfuscation, misinformation, lies, denial of services, and the withholding of information that those in charge of the VA tell the practitioners along with other employees to do. Very few times in life are there men and women who see all of the information, see the connections, see the injustice, only to take a step forward to put those in charge on their butt. These rare and rather heroic people stand up against the corruption as those who get the job done. Should you doubt what I am saying visit any VA Medical Center or federal office building where claims are filed in order to speak first hand to those who are in the middle of fighting for necessary services. Furthermore maybe, just maybe you can elaborate on why this movie was released in the shortest time frame only to be rushed through the country as quick as possible. As we certainly do not want to show "Any" government entity in a bad light… May God have mercy on the souls of those who delay, deny, and expect us to die as I along with many others shall have no mercy and give no quarter to such rats.
  • Article 99 (1992) Ray Liotta, Keifer Sutherland, Kathy Baker, Forest Whitaker, John Mahoney. Story about a group of doctors fighting the bureaucracy at a Veterans Hospital. When a patient needs a bypass operation but is given an Article 99, which is a denial of service letter, they get him admitted for something else and move him around until they can schedule the procedure. Keifer is the new yuppie doctor who is just going to serve his time before going into practice for himself. But he finds himself caring about an old vet who has been shifted around for a long time until he finally just wears out and dies. Very interesting film that is more relevant today than when it was released. Filmed in Kansas City, Missouri at an old hospital that was to be torn down, the scenery is gorgeous. On a hillside with the Liberty Memorial (the only WWI Memorial in the USA) down a long drive lined with maples in full fall color, it is a beautiful backdrop in contrast to the crowded and crumbling hospital. Cast are all very good. 7/10
  • zontar1 August 2002
    If you want a film that has the same world view try The House of God 1984. If you have ever worked in a hospital you'll find some sad truths in these films. And they do not waste half the film in a football parody like the over rated Atman does.
  • `Article 99' is a movie from director Howard Deutch (`Pretty in Pink', `The Replacements'). This movie aspired to be `The Mash of Veteran's Administration Hospital films', but never quite reached that height. It does, however, come up with a few funny one liners. The title refers to a loophole which legalizes denial of medical treatment to veterans unless their medical condition is directly caused by their military service.

    Dr. Richard Sturgess (Ray Liotta) is a rebellious doctor. He is the leader of a group of vigilante doctors who are trying their hardest to conjure up nonessential surgeries just so they can get patients on the operating table. This is a method seldom seen in the medical profession nowadays. A group of doctors break into a medical laboratory and steal necessary tools which are being used for research, instead of used for people who need them and they get caught. Will they surrender at this point? Watch and find out. A new and eager Dr. Peter Morgan (Keifer Sutherland) starts his first day off not so great. Besides almost killing a man, and falling in with Dr. Sturgess and the other rebellious doctors he realizes it is hard work being a doctor in a VA Hospital. He soon adapts to the turfing of patients. Dr. Morgan Grows attached to an older male patient who knows about turfing and helps Dr. Morgan turf him to get testing. Co stars include Lea Thompson as Dr. Robin Van Dorn and Kathy Baker as Dr. Diana Walton.

    We watch this movie waiting for surprise, and while this happens, it isn't what we expect, and this kind of disappoints us. Yes, we know the good guy always succeed in making the bad guy lose. This was is all this movie seemed to prove. I liked this movie. I feel though there could have been more of a plot. I think since the characters and actual problems were documented well for the time period. I would rate this movie one thumb up.
  • As a comedy, this film is a failure. Fortunately, as the film progresses, the lightheartedness is toned down, and it evolves into a thoughtful drama. To be sure, this movie is hard to take seriously at times, but the one-on-one encounters are often rather effective. In particular, the relationship between Kiefer Sutherland and Eli Wallach stood out as my favorite part of the movie. The ending, although hard to believe, still had a powerful kick, and may prove to be an eye-opening experience for some people. It is most certainly a flawed film, but it is also still worth a look, and I would have to say that I learned a thing or two from this movie as well.
  • Ray Liotta and Kiefer Sutherland star in this MASH (1970) comes home to a United States Veterans Administration hospital. This surprisingly harsh indictment of this Country's federal hospital system for veterans depicts a rather cynical drama with batches of humor in a engaging and entertaining film about the various medical doctors who must carry on even in light of federal regulations that prevent them from undertaking essential medical treatment on veterans with serious ailments.
  • I didn't make it all the way through this movie, and that's a shame. The main issue "Article 99" attempts to address is an important one, one close to my heart because of several veteran relatives & friends. It shines an accusatory light on the sub-par (at best)treatment provided the men & women who served our country. Almost every single face we see in just the first 30 minutes belongs to an actor/actress who has garnered accolades in television (especially) or film. Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Eli Wallach... even the guy who plays "Frank" on "ER" (Troy Evans). Over the years I've enjoyed almost every single actor/actress in this movie. It's depressing to watch them all be crushed to death under the crappy dialog and undecided direction of "Article 99".

    This movie tries to blend the seriously horrid state of care in VA hospitals with the chummy banter of their long-suffering, comrade-in-arms doctors and nurses. It does an abysmal job of it. The schlocky repartee detracts mightily from the issues it attempts to address. This is one of those movies you watch hoping it'll get better and puzzling over why things went so horribly wrong.
  • Once upon a time in the Reagan administration, a cog in the cabinet discovered to his amazement that with all the US veterans floating out there from the abysmal failure in Vietnam, the sheer cost of treating them as they aged would skyrocket.

    Thus it was decided to abolish their problems. See in Bushist America we ignore any problem that we don't want to face.

    The movie brings up a valid point. The VA has failed in its mission. And the situation from the time the movie was released has worsened. With 80,000 in treatment from the latest war the issues raised by this movie are ones that need to be addressed.

    Regrettably by reading some hijinx from M * A * S * H into the civil service bureaucracy of the VA and creating a feel good ending the scriptwriters muted the very point they'd like to have made.

    I gave this a ******* 3 ******** for all its comic but unfunny unrealism. The movie compares with John Q for the unrealistic expectations foisted upon the viewer.

    It's betterto Tell it like it is than to pretend a social problem is getting better!
  • This was a movie I really enjoyed watching. It on top of that had a first rate cast, with lots of big names in it. Too bad that the movie with its themes is too moralistic though. The movie tries to send out a message and tries to make a statement but it does this too forced with its sequences and distracting story-lines. Because of this it becomes totally unlikely, which causes it to simply not work out.

    Nevertheless the movie is more or less still being saved by the fact that the movie does not pick a pure dramatic approach with its story but also at times a pure comical one, also with some of its characters. This of course makes the movie a pleasant one to watch, even though the story goes over-the-top at times. I also must add that most of the movie its comical feeling and moments also really work out thanks to mostly mainly the musical score from Danny Elfman.

    What a great ensemble cast this movie has. A movie with a cast like deserved to be better known and seen by more. Ray Liotta, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Lea Thompson, John C. McGinley, John Mahoney, Keith David, Eli Wallach, Lynne Thigpen, Troy Evans, Jeffrey Tambor, these are all some big names and they are all in this one film. You would expect that it perhaps is a bit overkill but all of the roles are well balanced out throughout the movie

    The movie tries to tell an important story of the treatment of war veterans and their medical care once they've returned to the States, or rather said the lack of medical care and all of the red tape that goes with it. But basically the hospital sequences in the movie "Born on the Fourth of July" give a way better and more powerful image of this, even though it's not entirely about the same subject as this movie.

    Problem with this movie is that it too badly wants to make a statement and send out a message. It sort of downgrades the movie but luckily the movie its entertainment still makes this a perfectly watchable one.

    7/10

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