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Good Will Hunting Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    70

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    An ordinary story told well. Taken as a whole, there's little that's special about this tale -- it follows a traditional narrative path, leaves the audience with a warm, fuzzy feeling, and never really challenges or surprises us.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Stuffed--indeed, overstuffed--with heart, soul, audacity, and blarney. You may not believe a minute of it, but you don't necessarily want to stop watching.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It's the individual moments, not the payoff, that make it so effective.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    Presents a few too many hugs and arguments over what's best for Will. But ultimately, the movie, like its protagonist, boasts an integrity and intelligence that are tough not to admire. [25 December 1997, Tempo, p.1]

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Damon convincingly matches Williams recrimination for recrimination in this portrayal of mutual tough love, even with the latter giving what may be the best performance of his career.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Good Will Hunting reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Moving story of brilliant, troubled youth for older teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that despite a constant onslaught of angry, sexual, and insulting language ("f--k" and its comrades "s--t," "retard," and "a--hole" are used incessantly, as are other salty words and terms), mature teens and adults will find this Oscar-winning drama about a self-destructive young man who's transformed by caring relationships to be an uplifting and inspiring story. One street brawl early in the film includes bloody fistfights, kicking, and pounding; sexuality includes some passionate kissing, post-sexual cuddling, and one session of inferred masturbation. The young people -- both college students and street kids -- drink beer and other alcohol throughout the movie.

  • Families can talk about friendship. How do friends help and hinder each other in this movie? Do their relationships seem realistic?
  • How does the movie portray sex and drinking? Parents, talk to your teens about your own family's perspective on these topics.

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The movie sends the message that finding your special gifts can rescue even the most seemingly powerless individuals from hard lives. It also says that love and commitment are incomparable sources of healing and change and that true friendship is selfless, not envious.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The story follows an angry, bitter, self-destructive young man who's transformed by caring, unselfish relationships. Two college teachers are portrayed as having distinctly different motivations: One is dedicated to advancing science while the other hopes to enable his student to transcend an abusive childhood, realize his full potential, and find a balance in life.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: One violent fist fight early in the film: Street toughs attack another group of young men in a no-holds-barred kicking and punching session. Police arrive and take control by pummeling the participants. Also references to the lead character’s suffering physical abuse at the hands of a parent.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Both gentle and passionate kissing in several scenes. In one post-sexual moment, a couple cuddles and kisses. In one scene masturbation is inferred but not shown.

  • language false5

    Language: Very frequent strong language includes many uses of "f--k" in numerous forms, as well as words like "s--t," "bitch," "prick," "a--hole," "retard," and "balls" and phrases/terms like "up your a--," "jerking off," and "douchebag."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In the South Boston culture portrayed here, the young men consistently hang out in bars, and smoking and drinking play a major part in their socializing. College kids and teachers are also seen using alcohol as an integral part of their social activity.

Fan Reviews provided by

5

Best Screenplay of the Last 20 Years by roberson2013
Strengths: The Screenplay does not get more original than this, and we cannot forget about the phenomenal acting in this movie as well. This movie goes to show that you can be successful without the use of visual effects or a high budget. Weaknesses: Nothing.

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