Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 91
    Finding Forrester achieves a distinct success few Hollywood movies can even dream of: It overwhelms and inspires with understatement.
  2. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    90
    The execution is crisp and the fundamentals are solid. Like its protagonist, Finding Forrester got game.
  3. Written, acted and directed so intelligently that it stands out from the pack, and is guaranteed to give you the warm glow of holiday movies past -- the kind that celebrated faith in human potential and the value of hard work.
  4. 80
    The ending leans to soap opera, but Van Sant, revisiting the closet-genius theme of "Good Will Hunting" is too keen an observer of character to let this funny and touching film go soft.
  5. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    80
    Provides a platform for Sean Connery to deliver a definitive, career-summation performance.
  6. Manages to take the cerebral act of literary creation and make it exciting, sexy even.
  7. 75
    The scenes between the old man and the teenager are at the heart of the movie, and it's a pleasure to watch the rapport between Connery, in his 50th year of acting, and Brown, in his first role.
  8. 75
    It's rare to see a movie that takes such joy in the power of words, not to create lofty works of art but to effect the simple, necessary translation of what's in one's heart and mind.
  9. 75
    The movie is not without its pleasures. Chief among them is Sean Connery's robust performance.
  10. A rewarding exploration of the knotty and often contentious relationship between teacher and protege.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    One can't underestimate the appeal of any movie constructed around Sean Connery's charm.
  12. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    A juicy and gratifying teacher movie (a genre to which I'm partial). The joy in performance shared by Connery and Brown is the big reason.
  13. Reviewed by: Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
    75
    Connery and Brown absolutely shine in their roles.
  14. If it were 10 minutes shorter, it would've been just the right length and almost wholly honest.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    70
    One of those hybrid projects: a major studio film, big star, homely storyline, but tempered by an indie director working in his own idiosyncratic style.
  16. A nice-looking, nice-feeling exercise in conventionalism that sure could use a couple of transvestites and maybe a house falling from the sky.
  17. Highly unoriginal but nevertheless stirring drama.
  18. It feels less predictable and derivative than it is, thanks to Gus Van Sant's deft direction and two fine central performances.
  19. At times you can feel Van Sant trying to loosen the movie's windpipe-folding collar, but he doesn't get far, except with Busta Rhymes, as Jamal's gone-nowhere big brother.
  20. Even fairy tales could use a bit more substance than this.
  21. The premise is more interesting than the movie, which takes several wrong turns on its way to an unconvincing conclusion.
  22. Rich supplies some eloquent grace notes, and Van Sant uses them to make understated music.
  23. 50
    Well acted (notably by newcomer Brown), warm hearted and utterly predictable, this film is aimed squarely at everyone who loved "Good Will Hunting."
  24. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    50
    A farrago, with a few morsels of deft social observation and likable performances floating around in a conventional stew of overblown, bogus emotion and rigged catharsis.
  25. The screenplay by Mike Rich is so far-fetched and riddled with holes that Mr. Van Sant's urban realist touches only underscore the falseness of what's on the screen.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    50
    Something more surprising might have been made of this odd couple, but Van Sant, emptily employing the realist manner of his early films, is goodwill hunting in all the wrong places.
  27. Not even D.W. Griffith, Steven Spielberg, and Stanley Kubrick working together could succeed in making this pandering piece of nonsense work dramatically on any level except the most egregiously phony.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    This is an amazing film! and coming from me its a big thing. I'm not a big fan of Dramas but this film was really touching! Everyone shouldThis is an amazing film! and coming from me its a big thing. I'm not a big fan of Dramas but this film was really touching! Everyone should watch it and it deserves a big 10 Full Review »
  2. CaroleE.
    Apr 4, 2007
    10
    I've seen a zillion movies. This is one of my all time favorites. If 2 of your biggest interests are literature and education, and I've seen a zillion movies. This is one of my all time favorites. If 2 of your biggest interests are literature and education, and you're a nice person, you should love this movie. An extremely well-done production. Full Review »
  3. Aug 23, 2014
    5
    Eh, this one is alright. It is largely mediocre and there is nothing outright horrible about it, but ultimately this one just feels like GoodEh, this one is alright. It is largely mediocre and there is nothing outright horrible about it, but ultimately this one just feels like Good Will Hunting meets Scent of a Woman meets the inner city. It is a blend of topics that have been done better by other films and while the acting from Sean Connery, Rob Brown, and Anna Paquin, is very good, their performances are not enough to lift this one out of being nothing more than your average, every day movie. There is nothing truly extraordinary about the story or the relationship forged by Connery and Brown, though their chemistry is good. In addition, it just feels like a movie I have seen many times before, which is too bad. The only element that bothered me here is F. Murray Abraham's character. His acting is fine, but his role as a teacher is so comically over the top in terms of being out to get his students and being pure evil that it just kills any authenticity this one has and is annoying to watch. Overall, Finding Forrester is a solid film that really does nothing that well and has no true glaring mistakes and winds up being nothing more than mediocre. Full Review »