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The Physician (2013)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  5 December 2014 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 21,277 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 46 critic

In Persia in the 11th Century, a surgeon's apprentice disguises himself as a Jew to study at a school that does not admit Christians.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shah Ala ad Daula
Fahri Yardim ...
Davout Hossein
Imam (as Makram J. Khoury)
Michael Marcus ...
Bar Kappara
Emil Marwa ...
Tuveh Ben Meir
Rob Cole (10 Years) (as Adam Wright)
Jodie McNee ...
Agnes Cole
Dominique Moore ...


When nine-year-old Rob Cole felt the life force slipping from his mother's hand he could not foresee that this terrifying awareness of impending death was a gift that would lead him from the familiar life of 11th-century London to small villages throughout England and finally to the medical school at Ispahan. Though apprenticed to an itinerant barber surgeon, it is the dazzling surgery of a Jewish physician trained by the legendary Persian physician Avicenna that inspires him to accept his gift and to commit his life to healing by studying at Avicenna's school. Despite the ban on Christian students, Rob goes there, disguising himself as a Jew to gain admission. Gordon has written an adventurous and inspiring tale of a quest for medical knowledge pursued in a violent world full of superstition and prejudice. Written by Literary Guild alternate

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A journey out of darkness into light

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent content, sexuality/nudity and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 December 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El médico  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut theatrical)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is based on a best-selling novel by Noah Gordon's "The Physician". The book was recorded in 1999 at the Book Fair in Madrid, in the list of the ten most popular books of all time. See more »


The Tefillin or phylacteries (black boxes) that the Jews bind to themselves are not shown being bound in the proper order. They are wearing the tefillin on their head before binding the tefillin to the arm. Additionally Jews never pray while kneeling. See more »


Ibn Sina: What is it like?
Rob Cole: Inside?
Ibn Sina: [nods]
Rob Cole: It is both... beautiful... and frightening.
Ibn Sina: Go on.
Rob Cole: I saw the heart!
Ibn Sina: Describe it.
Rob Cole: It has two chambers with an impassable wall in between.
Ibn Sina: So how does the blood get from one side to the other?
Rob Cole: By way of the lungs, I think.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A good entertaining adventure movie made in the classical way
6 January 2014 | by (Madrid/Spain, Europe) – See all my reviews

I am lucky I didn't read the book. In fact, the book and film of any story is always very different from each other and should be rated separately without comparing them. It is a 2:30 hours movie and it isn't boring at any moment. From the beginning till the end you are entertained by the story and the action. It is a big production, one of those you have to see in the theater due to the imagine, the landscapes, the special effects. And talking about the special effect; there are enough, but for once this movie is not an "ONLY and overloaded action" movie. Lately, most of the films are possible to see on the screen at home, because the imagine is not of that type a cine-screen is needed. This production is made like the classical big productions, like Lawrence of Arabia or The English Patient. So, enough action, not boring, entertaining and you can leave the theater in a relax status and not tired of all the car chases.

Tom Payne, Mr Kingsley and Skarsgard make a very good act.

Negative parts ?! Missing some link in the voyage between England and the Orient. Some unexplainable jumps in the story, which for sure are treated well in the book. But, it is not disturbing and quiet normal in a big story as this one.

96 of 139 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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