Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. A great, haunting film; it affects us in ways we're not used is capable of both lifting our hearts and chilling us to the bone.
  2. 100
    The Straight Story truly is one from the heart, and it is wonderful.
  3. A beautiful, appropriately loping little gem about growing older, daring to take risks and follow your heart. That probably sounds corny, and The Straight Story is.
  4. A momentously, shockingly moving fit of shape-shifting by a filmmaker grown tired of the macabre.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The best news the G rating has had since the ratings system was instituted in 1968.
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Farnsworth's embodiment of old American values, with their combination of delicacy, reserve, and stand-alone independence, is a one-of-a-kind treasure.
  7. The most atmospheric thing in the movie is Farnsworth's face.
  8. 100
    The first time I saw The Straight Story, I focused on the foreground and liked it. The second time I focused on the background, too, and loved it.
  9. All the actors are good, but it's Farnsworth's brilliantly simple performance that brings The Straight Story so close to greatness.
  10. 100
    Its simplicity belies an emotional complexity that will linger in your mind like a gentle dream.
  11. Lynch's first movie since ''Blue Velvet'' that truly envelops you in its spell. It's a piece of celestial Americana -- his journey to the light side of the moon.
  12. 90
    Lynch takes us on a journey of shattering understatement -- a remarkable accomplishment.
  13. 90
    Clear-eyed and open-hearted, The Straight Story (which is based on reality) tells a simple tale, and it does so with a rare, blessed simplicity.
  14. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Switching gears radically, bravely defying conventional wisdom about what it takes to excite moviegoers, Lynch presents the flip side of "Blue Velvet" and turns it into a supremely improbable triumph.
  15. Cuts a path directly to the heart.
  16. If there is any justice in the world, Farnsworth will be remembered at Oscar time.
  17. 88
    Lynch's first G-rated feature, turns out to be one of the year's best films...a wonderful surprise.
  18. I loved it...Without trying very hard, Farnsworth commands a unique and immensely appealing screen presence that could be called "a compilation of all the great western heroes of the movie past."
  19. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Oddly enough, this uncharacteristic offering from a director whose name instantly evokes a very particular kind of film -- call it postmodern American gothic -- is also one of his best.
  20. 80
    And now in The Straight Story, no director has been so buzzingly alert to the emotional lives of those people or to the beauty of the world they inhabit as David Lynch.
  21. 80
    Indeed heartwarming, though not simplemindedly so.
  22. 80
    Richard Farnsworth shines as Alvin Straight, a role, one gets the feeling, that he has been preparing for all his life.
  23. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Alvin's tragic memories give perspective to the triumph of his trek, even as Farnsworth's weathered brilliance makes this movie a G as in gem.
  24. Reviewed by: Emmanuel Levy
    Lynch has directed his most satisfyingly disciplined movie.
  25. The wonderful Richard Farnsworth plays the lead, and he was clearly born for the part...a highly affecting and suggestive spiritual odyssey.
  26. 79
    Lynch's faith in the kindness of human nature has been renewed, yet thankfully he's never maudlin. Instead, he wins over our emotions with the film's understated beauty.
  27. As slow-moving as the voyage it portrays,...a surprisingly complex view of contemporary life beneath its good-natured surface.
  28. 75
    An engaging yarn and a moving character study, but it's also a sweet, sad glimpse of everyone's future.
  29. 70
    Inspirational...unfolds gently with an evenness and rural patience.
  30. 70
    Sunny as The Straight Story appears, Lynch is still defamiliarizing the normal.
  31. Too mannered and weird around the edges to be convincing.
  32. Reviewed by: Graham Verdon
    A snail-paced story in all of its glorious ... slowness.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 4 out of 26
  1. Oct 15, 2012
    WHat a great film The Straight story is! Briliant!! I've never watched a film so moving yet so subtle. The acting was amazing and so was the simple yet very deep story. Full Review »
  2. Mar 25, 2012
    The Straight Story is so relaxing, poetic, and beautiful in its approach that all people are decent and that the journey is all part of the final destination. Full Review »
  3. May 8, 2011
    How can a movie where nothing much happens be so amazing. It has the allure of a great book read on a winters evening. Settle down, turn off the phone and watch a nice story been told in pictures. Full Review »