Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    The most accurate movie about campus life that I can remember.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    A sweet screenful of quirky chaos.
  3. 100
    One of the most joyous, diverting and original mainstream American movies in years.
  4. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    A giddy delight, with Michael Douglas delivering what may be the most relaxed and inventive performance of his career, and Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr. trailing not far behind.
  5. 90
    Downey, who radiates more energy doing nothing discernible than most other actors do when they let it all hang out, takes the film to another level.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    Well-crafted scenes that carry a bracingly grown-up tang: unhurried, played in a low key, with plenty of time to savor the details of character and place.
  7. A handsomely mounted, graceful production that is well-played across the board.
  8. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    Massively inventive, Wonder Boys is spiked with fresh, perverse humor that flows naturally from the straight-faced playing.
  9. An often-wondrous comedy, just as rich and surprising as "L.A. Confidential" but considerably less dark.
  10. The first more-than-halfway-decent movie of a new millennium.
  11. A terrific movie about middle-age malaise and a comedy of unusual wit and drollness.
  12. 82
    This is certainly the best studio movie of the new year to date, and Douglas might even be remembered at next year's Oscars.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 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
    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 »