Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
Watch On
  1. 100
    The fact that David Helfgott lived the outlines of these events--that he triumphed, that he fell, that he came slowly back--adds an enormous weight of meaning to the film.
  2. 100
    This is unbelievably rich material, and I can say without reservation that Scott Hicks' work deserves the highest recognition. Shine truly does what its name says.
  3. Shine beams with warmth, sensitivity, and fine taste.
  4. 100
    Popular filmmaking at its smartest and most persuasive.
  5. The movie does what any great musician should: It lifts an idea to the heights of ecstasy; it sells its song.
  6. The high-powered drive of both the storytelling and the music is riveting.
  7. If, at times, Shine's luster reveals more elbow grease than internal radiance, the movie is still a moving tribute to the human capacity to overcome all odds.
  8. 88
    Hard to take in its particulars.
  9. All but sweeps you away with its dazzling technique and shattering emotion. [27 November 1996, Tempo, p.1]
  10. 80
    Memorable, deeply affecting movie.
  11. A sublimely uplifting movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    Ceases to be a cogent study of the disease of genius and devolves into two lesser creatures: an ordinary weepie and an Oscar contender.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    Thanks to fine acting and its vividly unconventional protagonist, it pumps fresh blood into a conventional formula.
  14. If this weren't a true story, who would believe it? Well, a good many of us, probably. First, it's the kind of exceptional circumstance we like to dwell on as proof that pessimists are wrong; second, Shine is markedly well made, therefore persuasive. [Nov. 18, 1996]
  15. Delivers a full emotional palette without undue sentimentalizing.
  16. Fortunately, Hicks's direction has an elegance and dignity that rescue Shine from the exploitative and give the film an acute, genuinely sensitive style.
  17. 90
    It's a film which aims to persuade us of its truth without props or signposts--and it does so with unforgettable beauty.
  18. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    80
    A very moving and surprisingly funny experience.
  19. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    70
    Feel-good tone notwithstanding (and creepy to boot), there are nagging riddles about the Helfgott story that the film has neither the nerve nor the sense to tackle.
  20. Shine has a story to reckon with and powerhouse male performances.
  21. The movie is meant to be uplifting and to the degree that you can ignore its unquestioning treatment of mental illness, I suppose it is.
  22. Reviewed by: Mary Brennan
    90
    A film of elegant small moments and complex, bittersweet motivations.
  23. 90
    An unconventional biopic about a brilliant young pianist.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    70
    The gaga uplift in Shine knocks the malaise right out of your head--along with just about everything else.
  25. Reviewed by: Andy Jones
    90
    A deeply affecting allegory that explores the symbiotic relationship between genius and madness.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Aug 23, 2013
    8
    The story is slightly tepid, which adds the interest. But Geoffrey Rush, man he's f***ing amazing! This is dead on to the real dude, I meanThe story is slightly tepid, which adds the interest. But Geoffrey Rush, man he's f***ing amazing! This is dead on to the real dude, I mean that oscar was deserved! That's all I can describe it as. DEAD F***ING ON!. Full Review »
  2. Jan 25, 2013
    8
    Just when I thought I had most of the best "biographical dramas" accounted for, "Shine" comes out of left field and gloriously sideswipes meJust when I thought I had most of the best "biographical dramas" accounted for, "Shine" comes out of left field and gloriously sideswipes me with its beautifully inspiring story, provocative structure, and its manifestly perfect performance from Geoffrey Rush. Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    8
    Geoffrey Rush is phenomenal in this movie, the kind of performance that turns this into a must see film and deservedly won an Oscar amongGeoffrey Rush is phenomenal in this movie, the kind of performance that turns this into a must see film and deservedly won an Oscar among other accolades. Armin Mueller-Stahl is also brilliant and although outshone by Rush, still deserves a mention. Full Review »