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K-PAX

 (1,028)
7.41 h 55 min2001X-Ray12
When a man arrives in New York claiming to be from the planet K-Pax, the police turn him over to a psychiatrist. His behaviour might be unusual and his claims unbelievable, but the truth may be even stranger yet... From the Creator of Blood Diamond, starring Kevin Spacey, Oscar-Winner Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski) and Oscar-Nominee Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, Captain America: Civil War).
Directors
Iain Softley
Starring
Jeff BridgesKevin SpaceyAlfre Woodard
Genres
Science FictionSuspenseDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English
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More details

Supporting actors
Aaron PaulMary McCormack
Producers
Robert F. ColesberryLawrence GordonLloyd Levin
Studio
Icon Film Distribution
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

1028 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

macabee200Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 February 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Really appalling treatment of mental health
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As a movie, K-PAX is best described as so-so. It stars Kevin Spacey, so it's a little hard to watch, and he spends most of the film with his familiar smug smile, which doesn't really help.

But the movie's treatment of mental health is just... Offensive.

In real life, people are institutionalised in a mental health hospital because they're either a danger to themselves, or a danger to others. Or they have such profound issues that they can't take care of themselves (e.g. profound autism).

That's it.

And once institutionalised, the general idea is to make people well enough so they can rejoin society. This is, generally speaking, the purpose of a hospital. They aren't prisons.

People do not get institutionalised just because they have obsessive compulsive order, or germ phobia, or because they're delusional. To imply that's the case is offensive to those that live with these issues on a daily basis, yet live independent lives.

But that's the idea behind this movie. A man appears delusional but is harmless. So... We lock him up in a mental health ward.

And Jeff Bridges plays one of the least believable psychiatrists (psychologist?) in the history of cinema. He deceives patients by playing along with their delusions. He breaks patient confidentiality at the drop of a hat and discusses a patient with his family. He invites the patient to his home. I mean, come on. This man would be struck off instantly. And he must have one of the worst records in psychiatry because all he does is humour his patients.

I know, I know. This is a Hollywood movie. It's not real life. But the picture it paints of mental health conditions that are very common, and the treatment of mental health, is so utterly wrong that it shouldn't have got past script stage.

This is a film that wants to be Awakenings, with a little bit of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. But both those movies were grounded in reality. This is just fantasy – and that's being charitable.
6 people found this helpful
ab..cReviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 August 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonder
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* Summary

On a New York railway terminal, a beggar sees a man (Kevin Spacey) appear from nowhere. As he's seen a robbery, he is held by police. But it's plain he's mentally ill. So he's taken to a Manhattan Psychiatric Institute for assessment. His story is with charm, but the story is he's an extraterrestrial from the planet K-Pax and this linked together in a very well integrated and cross-referenced and logically built. Some medical staff want to dose him heavily for good. But his psychiatrist wants to discover why this story exists to help him, and not to just sedate him forever.

* Comments

The idea that someone can be mentally ill, and yet function at a high level is a fine balance of credibility. The issue that he could explain an unexplored distant planetary star system is beautifully explained. The charm is in equal measure with both Jeff and Spacey feeding off each other. The ward has many people with serious mental health conditions, and I learned a few symptoms pertaining to these conditions I didn't know before, e.g false smell. The solution I will not spoil for you, but it's well explored. The light touch is well done and not overly explained, but explored. I liked this films way of explanation of mental health, i.e NOT just a violent stupid looney. it's new slant on mental health symptoms and its sheer entertainment value.
3 people found this helpful
John DReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 July 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Classic
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The film closely follows the book of the same name which is also great (sequels to the book however are progressively worse).
It's 20 years old now but the film seems undated, probably because it's really about people and is very simple but very well done. A great story, transferred well to film with good acting performances.
Spacey is of course unpopular these days but I don't think that tarnishes his work personally.
3 people found this helpful
RicohReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 April 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wow
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Great film. Acting was sublime, and a top script. Keeps you guessing right to the end....and long after. We disagreed about the final ending and what it meant, but i guess that was the idea of the film. It wont be everybodys cup of tea, but it was my double whiskey. Spacey and Bridges were exceptional, but the rest of the staff also played their part brilliantly. Top notch!
RowsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best, most realistic, Alien film, ever!
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I loved K-PAX, I think it is the most realistic human/alien encounter movie ever made. Still keeps you guessing, even after the ending. Also funny how a high level of intelligence is mistaken for madness. More than a few of our greatest scientists had trouble with ordinary people.
Peter HarrisReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 June 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
cross examination
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if you could clinically examine an alien in comfortable surroundings that has a hospitality of humorous script this might be it..

but there might be some additional criteria relating unknown astronomical data never known.. ever
Dr. M. J. LaidlawReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 August 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Psychological Drama or Science Fiction?
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I've just bought and watched this film again, after seeing it shortly after it first came out. It was mesmerising. Even better this time round. Kevin Spacey is, in my opinion, better in this than in any other of his films I've seen (including Midinight in the Garden of Good and Evil, American Beauty, or even The Usual Suspects -in which he excelled). He has the ability to say so much with his eyes, and given that they're covered up for most of this film, it made the times without sunglasses even more telling.

The central story of a man arriving in New York and appearing to be deranged and then sent to a lunatic asylum sounds simple enough. He claims to be from another planet and seems to have the power to heal people spiritually and psychologically. One of the joys of the film is that you never quote know whether Spacey really is Prot from the planet K-Pax or Robert Porter, who experienced a devastating trauma in his life. Jeff Bridges as his psychiatrist is convincing as a man becoming distanced from his family, whom Prot is also able to heal. The ending is both sad and happy, like most of the film. I like it because of its originality, its creativity, its fine acting from stars and supporting cast. I like it as well because it doesn't attempt to give the audience neat answers. It's mysterious and powerful because of it.

A truly fine film and one worth seeing again and again.
6 people found this helpful
Alan BradyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 April 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Quality movie.
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The narrative ends up favoring the idea that Kpax was a savente.
Only after a third watch did i realise he was indeed from elsewhere. A good strong entertaining movie ride through the bold side of human imagination. Kevin Spacey is sheer magic.
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