Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    60
    For those seeking even a little adventurousness in their filmgoing experiences, the movie will wear thin very quickly.
  2. Sweet, flaky, and more than a little aimless.
  3. The sentimentality overtakes Wonder Boys when, in the last half hour, it tries to make nice with its characters and fashion a deep message from a trivial story.
  4. As detached and unfocused as a college pothead. And about as much fun.
  5. While the story takes some clever turns, its psychology is far from convincing and its momentum flags long before the finale.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    50
    The pulse of Curtis Hanson's direction is lethargic; the comic bits are so slack and deadpan you could mistake the film for an earnest drama--an Afterschool Special for troubled kids and their pooped parents.
  7. The sad truth is that Wonder Boys is little more than a sentimentalized encomium to the disheveled, childish life it ascribes to writers.
  8. With so much going for it, how could the movie be such a dud?
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. TedB.
    Aug 27, 2001
    3
    Three points for the score. The few good moments in this film can't compensate for the stereotypical "writers" and "academics"---- Did Three points for the score. The few good moments in this film can't compensate for the stereotypical "writers" and "academics"---- Did nobody in Hollywood actually GO to college? Full Review »