User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 258 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 258
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  1. Jondoe
    Mar 2, 2009
    10
    great movie. anyone who disagrees is a blind fool. it shows how real men take care of their kids. also a great movie on learning how to be a father and getting to know your kid. i don't even want to get into the motivational and other aspects of the movie. great acting jobs all around.
  2. Steve
    Dec 22, 2006
    10
    I'm surprised with the negative comments. This was a fantastic movie, dare I say the best movie I've seen all year. Seldom do movies capture the essence of the importance of life with such heart. I loved everything about it and highly recommend it.
  3. DavidL.
    Jan 2, 2007
    9
    It was a good film with a fine performance by Will Smith. How ironic that the story about the grueling experiences of a down on his luck loser could also be one of the most inspiring films in quite some time. Here is hoping that Will Smith gets an Oscar nod for his understated performance.
  4. YolandaP.
    Jan 4, 2007
    10
    This is what the world of father's need to see, this is one of the main problems going on in America. Men not stepping up to the plate and being the father that children need. This is a true example of a father.
  5. JackG.
    Feb 4, 2007
    10
    This movie is a perfect example of how anybody can get back on their feet. I loved it.
  6. JS
    Apr 30, 2007
    9
    One hell of a good movie, and makes me appreciate my life so much more. Its a story about a guy who had a dream, went staight after it, and got it in the face of overwhelming odds. I was also expecting that this would be another picture portraying all whites as bad people, but it wasn't like that at all. In fact, while the people from his own neighborhood largely rejected him and One hell of a good movie, and makes me appreciate my life so much more. Its a story about a guy who had a dream, went staight after it, and got it in the face of overwhelming odds. I was also expecting that this would be another picture portraying all whites as bad people, but it wasn't like that at all. In fact, while the people from his own neighborhood largely rejected him and kicked him out, it was a bunch of rich white guys in suits who ended up giving him his chance (after he worked like crazy to make it happen). It was an ironic twist to a wonderful film. I am also no Will Smith fan, but he was perfect in this role. Expand
  7. GloriaC-H
    Aug 17, 2007
    10
    This was a great movie. It made my husband cry. Will Smith did a great job and I now no only see him as a comedian but also a great actor.
  8. KielL.
    Apr 23, 2008
    10
    The Story is great! Chris Gardner work so hard to get a job! The Funny Part is when he said "I Cant Spell Happieness"and he got hitted by a car! Story is about the on and off-homeless salesman-turned-stockbroker Chris Gardner and his son Christopher!
  9. RobertS.
    Jul 16, 2008
    10
    Some serious acting from Will Smith. This and I am Legend show off his skills well, and if you find it boring, then maybe you should try to appreciate the achievements a bit more.
  10. PeggyB.
    Dec 19, 2006
    10
    I loved it. It was a story that I have seen in front of my eyes before. I have a friend that is going through hardship, but has determination to make it through. It was beautiful to see smith react with his son. Oscar nod should be a definite, oscar win a great possibility.
  11. MariaB.
    Jan 15, 2007
    10
    It was a great movie. Will Smith had an outstanding performance.
  12. StoptheH.
    Jan 19, 2007
    10
    The movie is great. EVERYONE in here that gave this movie less than 5 stars must either a) hate their own life and situation, or b) hate the fact that there ARE people like this out there- that don't give up. It makes me sick that the bulk of the criticism boils down to - it's unbelieveable (even though it's true), or why should anyone succeed because there are so many The movie is great. EVERYONE in here that gave this movie less than 5 stars must either a) hate their own life and situation, or b) hate the fact that there ARE people like this out there- that don't give up. It makes me sick that the bulk of the criticism boils down to - it's unbelieveable (even though it's true), or why should anyone succeed because there are so many people suffering. That mindset is not only idiotic, it's dangerous. I bet if it depicted rich white people losing everything and winding up in the streets, they'd give it a 10. stop the hate. Expand
  13. CarolG.
    Jan 2, 2007
    10
    This is a wonderful movie and so nice to FINALLY see a show that has some good moral values! Will Smith is a wonderful actor. It is so good to see a self made person and to know that determination pays off. This story is about Chris Gardner's life, not a made up fairy tale. This man is a very successful broker and recenty sold his brokerage firm and is using his monies to help This is a wonderful movie and so nice to FINALLY see a show that has some good moral values! Will Smith is a wonderful actor. It is so good to see a self made person and to know that determination pays off. This story is about Chris Gardner's life, not a made up fairy tale. This man is a very successful broker and recenty sold his brokerage firm and is using his monies to help others. Not just people here in the US, but other countries as well. Expand
  14. ErinR
    Jan 2, 2007
    10
    I have been in pursuit to find a great movie, one that evokes emotion, intelligence and one that is worth the cost of movies these days. I was Happy to find " The Pursuit Of Happyness". The most compelling part is when Chris Gardner tells his son to pursue his dreams no matter what. It was inspiring to see powerful positive words used to overcome the darkest shadows that the world can I have been in pursuit to find a great movie, one that evokes emotion, intelligence and one that is worth the cost of movies these days. I was Happy to find " The Pursuit Of Happyness". The most compelling part is when Chris Gardner tells his son to pursue his dreams no matter what. It was inspiring to see powerful positive words used to overcome the darkest shadows that the world can cast. It embodied my thoughts on how I would react in that type of situation, it is a true story, one that takes a strong sense of character to live through. This movie was beautifully told, a strong movie that allows one to think beyond the surface, to think deeply with our hearts. Something the world is lacking at the present time. The Pursuit of Happyness will make you think, and feel, for we all have dreams, and most importantly this connects all of us, for everyone is in pursuit of happiness. Expand
  15. MaxW.
    Dec 3, 2007
    10
    A wonderful movie that leaves a lasting impression; one of the best I've ever seen.
  16. CandaceT
    Feb 11, 2007
    9
    I enjoyed this movie a lot. Not only did I think the acting was great, but it's nice to see movies about something for a change. Biography type movies make you remember that not everyone who is doing well for themselves was born with a silver spoon. And in watching this movie it allowed me to research a very respectable and decent person, in which this world is running short on. I I enjoyed this movie a lot. Not only did I think the acting was great, but it's nice to see movies about something for a change. Biography type movies make you remember that not everyone who is doing well for themselves was born with a silver spoon. And in watching this movie it allowed me to research a very respectable and decent person, in which this world is running short on. I thought Will and Jaden Smith did excellent jobs on portraying their character and not just being "that actor" in "that movie". For those of you who make opinions with basis, you are completely entitled to your opinion, but you shouldn't make comments without all the facts. Expand
  17. Sara
    Apr 20, 2007
    10
    I give this movie a 10 because it teaches a life lesson about motivation, and how Chris was motivated to become a stock broker. It is a good movie for someone to watch that needs motivaton.
  18. jdkjhdfd
    Apr 20, 2007
    10
    This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. Yes, it's not a happy, cheery, little elf film, but it all turns out in the end, everything turns out fine. If you have even a shread of soul, this movie will warm your heart. I want everyone to see it now.
  19. PnArdyPnArdy
    May 13, 2007
    10
    Great emotional drama with Will Smith about a father who loves and cares about his young son in spite of all the difficulties of the Great Depression in America. Should have got an Oscar.
  20. Anon
    Dec 7, 2008
    9
    Powerful and (near) perfect
  21. ChrisE.
    Mar 2, 2008
    10
    This movie was great. Will Smith shows his emotional side of acting in this well made movie about never giving up hope, and to never give up on fighting for what you want. I enjoyed this movie the whole way through. I thought that 117 minutes in length for this type of film would be to long, but i was proven wrong, this movie was worth the time. I think that this was Will Smiths best This movie was great. Will Smith shows his emotional side of acting in this well made movie about never giving up hope, and to never give up on fighting for what you want. I enjoyed this movie the whole way through. I thought that 117 minutes in length for this type of film would be to long, but i was proven wrong, this movie was worth the time. I think that this was Will Smiths best performance ever in a movie. If you haven't seen this movie then you should its definitely worth the money to buy the dvd. I think it deserved more than a 64, but i don't care what the critics say, i give it a 10/10. Expand
  22. RheicelR.
    Mar 23, 2008
    10
    The best movie that I have ever watched. Effortless but the message is clear. Nice one, Will Smith!
  23. Thomasz
    May 3, 2009
    9
    I agree with Jon doe, It's amazing. A 9 because it as sooooo sad in parts and hard to watch. But it gets you on your feet in the end. A heartwarming, inspiring story, movie, and performance by Will Smith. I'm happy this was a true story, just GREAT.
  24. MitchM.
    Dec 16, 2006
    9
    This movie shows you why America is the greatest country in the world. And why those with integrity, compassion, and commitments to their families can succeed with hard work and drive. Smith is incredibly good. I haven't been touched by a film in this way in a long time.
  25. GL
    Dec 20, 2006
    9
    all these people who are complaining about this movie being too hollywood... WHAT DID YOU EXPECT??? the acting was phenomenal! i dont care how outlandish this movie was, the acting made up for every bit of absurdity contained in the script.
  26. MichaelM.
    Dec 26, 2006
    9
    This is a really great movie! This guy had a dream and he pursued that dream with intelligence, hard work, integrity, and persistence. He saw something that he could be talented in and that he could finally succeed in! Some people don't seem to like that it looks like he is selling in to materialism and he's chasing a capitalistic dream. However, he could have been pursuing This is a really great movie! This guy had a dream and he pursued that dream with intelligence, hard work, integrity, and persistence. He saw something that he could be talented in and that he could finally succeed in! Some people don't seem to like that it looks like he is selling in to materialism and he's chasing a capitalistic dream. However, he could have been pursuing success in any form. This well made movie tells the story of man's triumph over hardship (i.e. Shashank Redemption) so don't talk about unrealistic! Expand
  27. DanielK
    Dec 28, 2006
    10
    I do not do this very often, but this was a flawless film. It is not great entertainment. In fact, it was grueling and (to quote my teenage son) stressful to watch. I am also a self-made man who has endured many hardships for the sake of my family, so this was an especially poignant film for me. Will Smith is at the top of his game. The writing was inspired, as was this man
  28. PeterJ.
    Nov 24, 2007
    9
    Will Smith and his son put on one of the best acting performances I have seen in a long time. Very touching film as well, especially since it is based on a true story. Watching this movie puts things in perspective, as I bet none of us had to work nearly as hard in our pursuit of happiness. Bring on I am Legend Will! Dec 14th!
  29. ChiliF.
    Jun 17, 2007
    10
    It's a very good movie. It was very inspiring to see him keep his clothes clean even when he had to live in filth.
  30. MaxP
    Feb 17, 2008
    10
    One of the most beautiful contemporary films I have ever seen. Ignore the bad reviews. Watch this film and you will not be disappointed. Will Smith plays an absolute blinder - the only time you will hear different is from pretentious so called "film buffs" and people with a complete lack of culture. 10/10.
  31. ChadS.
    Dec 15, 2006
    9
    Things didn't come easily for Chris Gardner(Will Smith), and "The Pursuit of Happyness" has the patience, and more importantly, we have the patience, to sit through all of this man's ups and downs. The film does an excellent job of engrossing us in Gardner's failures(even Chris' hiring at Dean Whitter is played as a downer), because in a film like this, they're Things didn't come easily for Chris Gardner(Will Smith), and "The Pursuit of Happyness" has the patience, and more importantly, we have the patience, to sit through all of this man's ups and downs. The film does an excellent job of engrossing us in Gardner's failures(even Chris' hiring at Dean Whitter is played as a downer), because in a film like this, they're only delaying the inevitable. We know how it's going to end. At times, "The Pursuit of Happyness" doesn't feel like it was made by a major studio: case and point, the scene between Chris and Christopher(Jaden Smith) at the subway station. This movie isn't afraid to go nowhere. It meanders(in one scene, father and son end up at a shelter, only to be redirected to another shelter) a little. "The Pursuit of Happyness" feels, pardon the cliche, real. The rapport between both Smiths radiates a sense of actual familial love which nimbly transcends the potential for sentimentality. This is a feel-good movie in the very best sense. Expand
  32. [Anonymous]
    Dec 19, 2006
    10
    I have seen all of his movies but Ali; with that said, this is his greatest role. He truly was Chris Gardner. I have never been so touched by or thrilled for a character in my life. Kudos, Mr. Smith!
  33. DawnM
    Dec 26, 2006
    9
    Better than the book -- and I almost never feel that way. It could have been shorter (the middle dragged a wee bit), but aside from that, it was excellent. A tearjerker, for sure.
  34. JShizzle
    Dec 29, 2006
    10
    Unbelievable, you have to be ruthless to give this movie anything less than a perfect 10.
  35. CourtneyG.
    Nov 13, 2007
    10
    I thought it was a great film ...one of the best I've ever seen!! two thumbs up for will and his son they did fantastic!!! im even doing a a movie project on this movie!! great job!!
  36. Nov 12, 2010
    9
    The movie was wonderful,yes,emotional,yes,depressing,yes,dull,no,long,no,and definitely not at all bad...Smith's performance was truly a highlight through out and Jaden Smith also played his part brilliantly...AS a result i was able to spot this certain connection between the two that felt really good.Apart from the acting,the rest was also pretty good....
  37. Feb 27, 2011
    9
    Will Smith has been used to playing brainless roles in big dumb action movies. It's a nice change to see him playing a more serious role for a change. The whole movie was about acting. There were no special effects, no bells and whistles, it was Will Smith's acting ability and the genuine bond with his real son that made Christopher so believable.
  38. Feb 13, 2013
    10
    A movie of severe suffering and unbelievable perseverance. The Pursuit of Happiness is a triumphant of a film of one man's struggle. Brilliantly executed coupled with Will Smith giving an acting performance of his career.
  39. Mar 26, 2015
    9
    8.8/10................................................................................................................................................
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. It's a beautiful and understated performance, one that hums with a richer, quieter music than Smith has mustered before.
  2. This is a slick studio production with a huge movie star and top professionals occupying every production role so that the polish of this well-made film makes even homelessness look neat and tidy.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    The Pursuit of Happyness is more inspirational than creatively inspired -- imbued with the kind of uplifting, afterschool-special qualities that can trigger a major toothache.