Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. That Thing You Do! is neither overly sentimental nor overly cynical. It looks at the invention of our pop-rock mythology, and the bands that fed it until they were consumed by it, just as you'd expect Tom Hanks to: with open eyes (and a raised eyebrow).
  2. Though Hanks keeps the satirical and critical aspects of this look at show biz fairly light, there's a lot of conviction and savvy behind the steadiness of his gaze, and his economy in evoking the flavor of the period at the beginning of the picture is priceless.
  3. Mr. Hanks's debut feature, written and directed with delightful good cheer, is rock-and-roll nostalgia presented as pure fizz.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Thing's opening hour is fast-paced, though not fast enough to obscure the reality that "American Graffiti" and "Diner" had sharper writing and certainly more psychological depth. [04 Oct 1996, Pg.01.D]
  5. The picture... is well- made and entertaining, but it holds a special interest in what it says about Hanks.
  6. Tom Hanks makes his directorial debut with this likable comedy, which shows that while pop culture is a business like any other, enthusiasm and high spirits can lead to satisfaction even if major success proves elusive.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    30
    There's evocative atmosphere in the period detail and perky faux-'60s tunes. A pity these are wasted in a movie that, like many a pop tune, has a cute idea but a simpleminded lyric.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    Very few movies feel classic to me and merit multiple watches. The Tom Hanks-directed That Thing You Do! hits the perfect chord and rings outVery few movies feel classic to me and merit multiple watches. The Tom Hanks-directed That Thing You Do! hits the perfect chord and rings out better than perhaps any other music-inspired film at least on the lighter side of life. Look everywhere and you'll be pleased with every performance, every nuance, and the cleverly crafted subliminal message that record labels have a heavy grip on the music industry and where it has been the last several decades. The only thing that makes a music-inspired move better is the music, and That Thing You Do! has some of the catchiest, most fun numbers to back an already complete film. It's one of my favorites of all time, and certainly a bright spot of the 1990's for film. Expand

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