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Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
A group of doctors in a veteran's hospital must contend with their hopeless situation: too many patients and not enough beds. The main cause of their problems is bureaucratic belt-tightening by the hospital administrators. The doctors are determined to give the best service they can, even if that means defying the orders of management and performing unauthorized operations.Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
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.
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