The plot: The poster for "Sicko" says it all: a photo of filmmaker Michael Moore donning a rubber glove with the warning, "This might hurt a little." And indeed it does for America's for-profit, nonuniversal health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, which come up dismally short as Moore compares them to the nonprofit, universal health care available in Canada, England and France.
The film traces the origins of the 1973 act that created HMOs to a taped White House conversation between Richard Nixon and assistant John Ehrlichman in which Nixon approves of Ehrlichman's assessment of HMOs: "The less care they give them, the more money they make."
Why it's worthy: It's the one and only darkly funny, deeply disturbing documentary on our dysfunctional health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. After learning that 50 million Americans have no health insurance and some insurance contracts contain as many as 37 pages of pre-existing conditions to deny coverage, viewers of "Sicko" will have difficulty convincing themselves that America's health care system is the best in the world.
Set notes: "Sicko" grossed more than $33 million, received a 15-minute standing ovation at Cannes International Film Festival and prompted a full press campaign by America's health insurance giants to discredit it.