Awash in heart-rending emotions and gorgeous images, this is a movie to lose yourself in.
It feels like a dream that a movie could have this kind of poetic grace and epic sweep, or could be so faithful to its source and still work so perfectly as a film.
Los Angeles Times
Rising to crescendos of emotion usually reached only by tenors and sopranos, these characters are the beneficiaries of the luminous writing of the novel and screenplay as well as the expert performances of the actors, especially Scott Thomas.
San Francisco Chronicle
A mesmerizing film that is the most stunning, tempestuous love story in a decade or two of movie making.
F. X. Feeney
Astonishingly deep and moving.
The big story here is Kristin Scott Thomas' captivating performance.
The look, the feel, the brood-y, brilliant cast: This is an oddly affecting movie, all right, a jellyroll of Bronte and Hemingway.
It's got both the sweeping spectacle and the keen, tactile sense of human intimacy.
The two films bursting out of The English Patient (a chamber piece and a David Lean dune epic) require a juggling of tone, pace and scale that might easily defeat a director more seasoned than Minghella.
The New Republic
The English Patient is excitingly promising. Then the screenplay goes rotten, like an overripe melon. [Dec. 9, 1996]