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Based on 10 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 4 )
  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Bill W., an admirable, illuminating film about the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, is pretty much like the man himself: solid, sometimes flawed and seriously unflashy. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    A key part of AA was anonymity: "Who you see here, what you say here, let it stay here." Bill Wilson himself was not anonymous - that horse was already out of the barn - and his fame was such that Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential men of the century. Told he should be on a postage stamp, he said: "They'd have to show the back of my head." show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Alcoholics Anonymous founder William G. Wilson, known mostly as Bill W. before his death in 1971, was played by James Woods in a fine 1989 made-for-TV biopic. But the drama didn't have room for some of the darker corners of Wilson's life, fascinatingly explored in Kevin Hanlon and Dan Carracino's documentary. show more

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    All you needed was to accept your imperfection and reach out to others who'd done the same. Surely the man who said that must be perfect. show more

  • 80
    Kerry Lengel Arizona Republic

    As the filmmakers trace the troubles of his later life -- psychological, financial, marital -- they flesh out a portrait of a reluctant guru whose human imperfections make him all the more inspiring. show more

  • 30
    Marjorie Baumgarten Austin Chronicle

    Despite the filmmakers' efforts to humanize Wilson, however, Bill W. still dabbles in hagiography, valorizing the man while also painting him as a reluctant hero. show more

  • 80
    Ernest Hardy Village Voice

    A loving, exhaustive, warts-and-all look at the man who spent years battling his own alcoholism before a spiritual experience in the hospital set him on the course to help others. show more

  • 80
    Los Angeles Times

    Laudatory but never simplistic, Bill W. is a thoroughly engrossing portrait of Wilson, his times and the visionary fellowship that is his legacy. show more

  • 80

    Showing deep appreciation for Wilson's influence, as well as for the obscurity in which he spent his career in the spiritual-rescue business, the helmers employ a motherlode of photographs, diary entries, correspondence and recorded speeches to tell a sensational story that many will think they know, but don't. show more

  • 70
    The New York Times

    Names and events are ticked off in rapid succession, and the big, and fascinating, question of what role spirituality played receives cautious attention at best. Nonetheless, Bill W. offers a trove of information for non-A.A. members through the life of a man whose dedication has helped others understand their own. show more

  • September 15, 2012 weforgot
    Report This User

    After 36 years of Sobriety, I learned more things about Bill that I never knew. Seeing and hearing the old fillms of the Real Life Bill & Dr. Bob and others was Exhilerating!!!!

  • July 29, 2012 resourcesforlife
    Report This User

    It was an awesome movie. I have been a friend of Bill\'s for over 30 years and I thought this was so well done.

  • June 09, 2012 MAUREEN
    Report This User

    What a geat movie. It shows Bil as a real man, not an Icon. This documnetary show Bills struggles not only with drinking, but with living up to the Ideals he wrote about. I am so grateful for him and Dr. Bob. This moive shows the real deal. Don\'t mis it.

  • May 27, 2012 Denny Bayer
    Report This User

    I am a \"friend\" of Bill W. I haven\'t seen the movie yet, but you can bet your bippie I will. I believe that Bill W. and Dr. Bob were divinly inspiried. AA not only saved (and will hopefull continue to save) countless millions of people; this program has been used as a basis (sometimes loosely) for ALL the other 12 step programs out there that are helping countless millions of other people. Thank God for them!

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