Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    It's Hoffman's failure, though, that sinks the picture. He is working here with his usual meticulousness, but there's no relaxation in his performance, no sense that he has ever merged with his subject, that he has found Raymond's center and is simply acting out of it.
  2. 30
    Everything in this movie is fudged ever so humanistically, in a perfuctory, low-pressure way. And the picture has its effectiveness: people are crying at it. Of course they're crying at it - it's a piece of wet kitsch. [6 Feb 1989]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 143 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. SimonS.
    Dec 5, 2007
    I love this movie! So touching, so well made. Cruise and Hoffman feed well off each other, great chemistry.
  2. Sep 19, 2013
    Hoffman plays the autistic Charlie with such a sense of innocence and nonchalant-ness that we feel for his character and want Tom Cruise to burn in hell for what he's doing to his brother. (To be honest, a lot of people want Tom Cruise to burn in hell anyway! Full Review »
  3. Apr 12, 2013
    The masterful parts about Rain Man derive from the fact that the movie never tries to be masterful. The situations are realistic, it doesn't paint an overly joyous happy ending and the characters of Dustin Hoffman's 'Raymond' and Tom Cruises 'Charlie' are equally important, relying on each other for gratification rather than playing to the fact that Raymond is in fact autistic, but the writers have perfectly created the Cruise character to balance out a well crafted and touching drama.
    Charlie is a hotshot car dealer who must try and close a deal before the end of the day otherwise he will lose his clients, but he finds out that his father has died, and Charlie must go to Cincinnati along with his girlfriend to attend the funeral, and look over the will that his father left.
    To Charlie's shock, his father has only left him his car (which he never let Charlie drive when he was younger) and nothing else. He then discovers that his fathers inheritance has been placed in a trust fund in a mental institute, where Charlie discovers his autistic brother, someone he never knew existed.
    Charlie's selfishness is soon tested as we learn more and more about Raymond, his routines must happen, his anxious behaviour helps him cope, and he must be in bed and lights out by 11pm, these little things are Raymond's life, and Charlie at first has difficulty dealing with them.
    As their road trip continues, Charlie learns valuable lessons about his brother, and about himself, simply because he learns to accept that Raymond cannot change, but that he is remarkable in his own right, especially his memory and his mathematical skills.
    Its a truly touching film with superb acting, Hoffman portraying an obviously controversial character, but one that truly stands out in his loveable and fact-based self, Cruise is forever seeking to change his brother, but his determination cannot be ignored, but the chemistry between Cruise and Hoffman is realistically wonderful.
    Truly, the film absolutely deserved the Academy awards simply for the fact that it doesn't try to be glam, but it gives the message that you don't have to reach for the stars to be happy, that it could indeed be right in front of you.
    Superb film that has aged well and certainly one that is still a powerful reminder of the dramatic effects of human behaviour, in this case with and even without autism, because it isn't always the disabled person with the biggest problems.
    Full Review »