The Good Doctor – Review

An ambitious but anxious young doctor.


Magnolia PicturesOrlando Bloom plays a first year medical resident Dr. Martin Blake–an anxious and ambitious young doctor in director Lance Daly The Good Doctor (2012). A really dark film that teeters on a level of moral ambiguity and yet leaves viewers with a sense of hope considering the obvious rules and laws broken in the film. Bloom as a psychopath or a bad guy in general is particularly hard to wrap my head around. Definitely not the charming Lord of the Rings character Legolas–far from it. Factor in a self-assured intern (Troy Garity); a no-nonsense nurse (Taraji P. Henson); and a by the book Chief Resident doctor (Rob Morrow) and what you have is an incredibly good suspenseful medical thriller.

The “good doctor” Martin Blake (Bloom) is having a hard time being away from his family as a first year medical doctor at a hospital. He went into medicine because of a family friend who is a doctor, and it seemed that everyone respected him. He wanted to experience the same thing–except when he realizes that respect has to be earned–the nurses he was working with was a little hard on him. So when a young patient Diane (Riley Keough) landed in the hospital to be treated for pyelonephritis; she shows him the kindness and respect he wanted–he then became obsessed with her.

When Diane became well enough to go home, her family invited Blake to their home for dinner. Excited that he would get a chance to see Diane again but ends up disappointed to find out that she wasn’t there. She was with her boyfriend, and it was at that instant Blake snapped. He is so infatuated with Diane that he would do anything to see her again. So much so that he did the unthinkable to keep her conveniently ill.

“Sick minds must be healed as well as sick bodies” C. Jeff Miller

With Diane back in the hospital Blake’s actions became much worse. Diane became more ill, and the “good doctor” was doing all he could see this happen. Call it the doctor’s version of Münchausen by Proxy effect. Diane was the one thing that gave him the attention he so desperately was seeking and eventually the final prognosis bode ill for her. To add, the orderly Jimmy (Michael Peña) found the journal Diane kept during her hospital stay and used the information within it against him.

Bloom’s shy and caring facade eventually breaks just toward the end of the film when all his dubious actions finally catches up with him. Even after all this you still actually like his character. You want to see him come out of all of this unscathed. This is what is so good about this film. The emotional complexity of the doctor’s actions allowed for him to blur the line of medical practice because deep down, he truly believes that he is doing the right thing. He really wants to be a good doctor, but for all the wrong reasons.

Overall, The Good Doctor a really engaging film. Brilliant acting performances and the tension are just enough and not drawn out. Sure I can complain about certain points in the film where it tends to lag a bit and the haphazardly handled investigation–but I won’t. The Good Doctor is a good film, and you won’t need a prescription for this kind of awesome.

Source: Magnolia Pictures 

The Good Doctor
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

  • The Good Doctor
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  • Last modified: 2013-05-27

Review Summary:

Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) is an ambitious but anxious young doctor, eager to impress his superiors and colleagues. But things are not going Martin’s way and he can’t seem to shake off his insecurities.

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