User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 158

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  1. Apr 25, 2013
    I recently had the opportunity to see Good Will Hunting for the second time. I had not seen it since its video release in 1997. It's funny how 15 years can change your opinion about a movie. I was lukewarm to the film back then, but now 15 years wiser I see it in a new light.

    I had initially dismissed this film as a two hour study of a bunch of unlikeable and unbelievable people. But
    now it is evident that Matt Damon deserved his Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the title character, the good Will Hunting.

    Damon does a yeoman's job making us believe in someone who is not only a math genius with a photographic memory, but a barroom-brawler, cynic, janitor, lover, and all-around down-to-earth working-class Joe. Damon and his compadre Ben Affleck also deserved their Oscar screenplay win for creating a character more fantastic than any from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien.

    Robin Williams also deserved his Oscar win for having us buy his interpretation of an all-knowing beard-sporting eye-glinting joke-cracking-but-no-nonsense psychologist.

    Affleck, director Gus Van Sant, and the rest of the cast merit mention as well for trying to get us to like and accept all the unappealing and implausible characters who populate this fantasy world.

    All this leads me to believe that I should revisit films like Showgirls, The River Wild, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and The Greek Tycoon. Maybe I was a little too harsh in my initial assessment of these as well.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 90
    Intelligently written, sharply directed, and beautifully played.
  2. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Gus Van Sant, working from the tangy, well-written script, gets so much humor, grit and emotional truth out of this tale that the familiar formulas behind it simply fall away.
  3. 91
    With its sweet soul and sharp mind, it's one of the most heartening films of the year.