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K-PAX

 
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At Theaters: 10/26/2001 On Video: 3/26/2002
Rated: PG-13 Length: 2 hr. 0 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 349911
Studio: Universal Pictures Inc.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Prot is a mysterious patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a distant planet called K-PAX. When Prot says he's going back before the summer ends, all the patients on the ward vie to go with him. Dr. Fuller struggles with questions of science versus faith and wonders about his own ability to distinguish reality from delusion.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Fantasy Adventure - This is not a sci-fi movie with special effects even though it's about an alien from another world, or is it? That's the question throughout the movie and it keeps you wondering, so in a way it's sort of a mystery.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Kevin Spacey PAY IT FORWARD, AMERICAN BEAUTY, HURLYBURLY
Jeff Bridges THE CONTENDER, SIMPATICO, THE MUSE, ARLINGTON ROAD
Alfre Woodard DINOSAUR, MUMFORD, DOWN IN THE DELTA
Mary McCormack THE BIG TEASE, MYSTERY ALASKA
Director: Iain Softley THE WINGS OF THE DOVE
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: F-word once, S-word 9 times. Some milder ones.
SEX/NUDITY: None
VIOLENCE: One scene of killing. Not too graphic.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: None
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Quite a bit of comedy throughout. Mostly smiles and chuckles.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Good

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Good "I'm not sure what to make of the confounding detachment from other human beings that Spacey personifies in K-PAX, a mystical, twistical psychological drama in the ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'' tradition of romanticizing the miraculous, charismatic, saintly insane.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Good "Softley presents the film in a straightforward, unsentimental manner that avoids the insidious trap of mawkishness. Thus, K-PAX manages to intrigue without overplotting and uplift without overmanipulating. K-PAX may not be out of this world, but it's certainly at a higher level than a lot of what we've been seeing in multiplexes in recent months.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Good "A final answer is unprovable on the basis of what we're told, and I like it that way. I admired how the movie tantalized us with possibilities and allowed the doctor and patient to talk sensibly, if strangely, about the difference between the delusional and that which is simply very unlikely.''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Below Average "The latest offender in the odd "let's see what the cute and funny mentally ill can teach us" genre, this mystery/domestic drama commits all the usual sins and clichés.''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 317 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
1-12Children (M/F)
9
Fairly High
89%
13-19Teens (M)
18
High
94%
13-19Teens (F)
17
High
94%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
41
High
95%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
34
High
100%
30+Adults (M)
91
High
96%
30+Adults (F)
107
High
93%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

The somewhat low number of "Fantastic" opinions and the somewhat high number of lower opinions of "Good" and "Fair," means "K-Pax" isn't for everyone. However, the majority of moviegoers enjoyed "K-Pax," rating it solidly "Above Average" to "Very Good."

If you go in understanding this is a psychological mystery/drama with lots of dialog and not a sci-fi thriller, you will undoubtedly enjoy K-Pax a lot.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
An innocuous man (Kevin Spacey) detained at Grand Central Station in the after-math of a mugging is taken to a seasoned psychiatrist at an under-staffed public hospital.

Their paths cross when the police turn Prot (Spacey) over to Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) after he politely tells them that the light on their planet is too bright for him--much brighter than back home on the distant planet K-PAX. Powell has treated plenty of delusional in his career, and figures it's only a matter of time before he cracks Prot's veneer and gets him to talk about what's really going on.

Prot says he's on a fact-finding mission, and patiently explains how his experiences on earth contrast with life on K-PAX. He finds much to like here, but says he will go home before the summer ends. As the days before his announced departure race by, all the patients on the ward vie to go with him. His descriptions of life on a planet 1000 light years away awaken a sense of possibility among them.

The patients may feel good, but not Dr. Powell. He is haunted by dark fears for Prot, and is determined to use every tool at his disposal to discover this man's truth before it's too late. But as those tools fail him, Powell begins to doubt things he has accepted as true his entire life. It gets worse when Prot's claims are put to a group of skeptical astronomers who are confounded by the things Prot seems to know.

Powell has to ask himself if Prot could somehow be the real thing. He tries to fight it, but the sense that he must at least admit the possibility grows every day. And as he continues his efforts to penetrate Prot's shell, he gradually sees how impenetrable he has allowed his own veneer to become--and how little time any man might have to discover who he really is.

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