The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 290 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Chris Gardner (Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerageChris Gardner (Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them. (Sony) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    The tough beauty of the picture is that it lets each viewer weigh the costs and benefits to Gardner. It's a genuinely transporting inspirational movie because it's also a cautionary tale. It doesn't downplay the hero's occasional clumsiness or pigheadedness.
  2. It's a beautiful and understated performance, one that hums with a richer, quieter music than Smith has mustered before.
  3. While the film is roughly half grit and half sugar, it works because Smith sticks to a tougher, more rewarding recipe of 99.9 percent grit and only .1 percent sugar.
  4. It's the same old bootstraps story, an American dream artfully told, skillfully sold. To that calculated end, the filmmaking is seamless, unadorned, transparent, the better to serve Mr. Smith's warm expressiveness.
  5. 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.
  6. 60
    An admirably unsentimental biopic with an excellent central performance, but it doesn't impact as strongly as it could.
  7. 40
    Especially to anyone with kids, the film packs some punch. Apart from that, The Pursuit of Happyness is emotionally manipulative and way too glossy to really hit home.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 96
  2. Negative: 23 out of 96
  1. 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 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. Expand
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. JamieH.
    Feb 8, 2007
    8
    A very good movie. I'm not sure why all the negative comments, especially from some people who haven't even seen the movie!! Will A very good movie. I'm not sure why all the negative comments, especially from some people who haven't even seen the movie!! Will Smith does a very good job, and his son is a natural. By the end, I forgot I was watching Will Smith. He completely became his character. I think this movie will resonate with anyone that has had to make a hard decision in trying to make a better life for themselves or in chasing down a dream. It makes you really care about the main character and root for him to succeed. Collapse
  5. Brendan
    Apr 17, 2007
    7
    I personally don't watch to many dramas or enjoy them for that matter but I very much enjoyed this film. Will Smith gives a great I personally don't watch to many dramas or enjoy them for that matter but I very much enjoyed this film. Will Smith gives a great performance and makes sure you feel his pain and suffrage. You realize how poverty really effects people and makes you want to help him as soon as you can. You want him to win and you can;t help but smile when he finally does. I hope that everyone gives this film a try because it surly deserves everyone's attention. Expand
  6. MattM.
    Dec 16, 2006
    4
    Will Smith somehow keeps you involved in this propaganda movie. This movie is ridiculous! the whole concept is that money is the only thing Will Smith somehow keeps you involved in this propaganda movie. This movie is ridiculous! the whole concept is that money is the only thing that makes you happy. With subliminal images of rich white people always smiling and living the perfect lives with golden retrievers in their mercedes. I worked on wall street those people are greedy miserable jerks. for the most part. The idea of the story is great but poorly executed. The filmmaking concept of diminishing returns is very prevalent. You can't show the same thing happening to a character over and over and expect an emotional reaction. The audience gets used to nothing going right for this guy and it has no effect after a while. Will's brilliant acting gets a small amount of emotion at the end, but if the movie would of been about his work situation more and the threat of him not getting the job it would of had a chance to be really good. Overall: boring, good acting, but right wing capitalist propaganda. Expand
  7. Aaron
    Dec 15, 2006
    0
    predictable story about how much garbage you can eat without complaining. The ending was sadly lacking and there were no character developmentpredictable story about how much garbage you can eat without complaining. The ending was sadly lacking and there were no character development to explain the lack of family and friends. To be a successful stock broker you have to have one part used car salesmen and two parts attorney in you. Will Smith had neither. Expand

See all 96 User Reviews

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