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Forrest Gump Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Passionate and magical, Forrest Gump is a tonic for the weary of spirit.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What a magical movie.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Clean up the language, and this little roach of a movie could play the bottom half of a double bill with Rowan and Martin's “The Maltese Bippy.” [26 March 1999, Life, p.9E]

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It is also glib, shallow, and monotonous, a movie that spends so much time sanctifying its hero that, despite his "innocence," he ends up seeming about as vulnerable as Superman.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Doesn't sound like a very prepossessing title, but prepare to be taken aback by "what's in a name." [6 July 1994, Life, p.1D]

  • See all Forrest Gump reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Moving and wonderful, but parent preview a good idea.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Forrest Gump's strong language ("s--t," "f--k," and more), violence (including some bloody/explosive Vietnam War scenes and the implication of child abuse), and sexual situations (foreplay, kissing, implied sex, and more) make it questionable for young kids, its ultimately positive messages and entertaining take on three decades of American history make it a good choice for families with teens. Parents may want to preview the movie for its realistic treatment of serious issues like abuse, the Civil Rights movement, drugs, and war.

  • Families can talk about American history and how it's seen through Forrest's eyes. What are his impressions of the Vietnam War? Of a young Elvis? Of the hippie movement?
  • What would you say Forrest Gump's main message is? Are viewers meant to admire Forrest? To sympathize with him?
  • If you've read the book the movie is based on, how do the two differ? Why do you think the filmmakers made the changes that they did?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie stresses the importance of family, friendship, and loyalty. Some historic events and figures are questioned but generally not in too much detail. Serious issues like child abuse and war are dealt with.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Forrest, through his extreme naivety and big heart, seems to bring out the best in people. He stumbles into much of his good luck serendipitously, but he also works hard and devotes himself to whatever he's focused on. Other characters have more complex motivations and back stories -- and sometimes fall victim to their own personal demons -- but Forrest helps keep them pointed in the right direction.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Young Forrest has rocks thrown at him by some bullies; Forrest is repeatedly insulted throughout his life. There are also some fistfights and explosive/bloody Vietnam War combat scenes. The scene in which young Jenny hides from her abusive father is disturbing, as are a couple of major characters' deaths. Historical events discussed/alluded to include assassinations.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Jenny works as a stripper at one point. Some foreplay (including a scene in which Forrest puts his hand on Jenny's breast while her roommate is in the room; naked back is seen), kissing/groping, scantily clad women, and a non-explicit scene in which two adult characters make love. Characters look at a pornographic magazine, but no nude pictures are shown in detail. A child overhears the sounds of two adults having sex.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "s--t," "f--k" (a couple of times), "goddamn," "ass," and more, as well as insults like "stupid" and "idiot."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Some brand names (like Apple computers) are mentioned, but generally within a specific historic/cultural context.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A central character takes lots of drugs during one part of the movie, with cocaine visible. Other characters drink, sometimes to numb pain/anger.