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Good Will Hunting
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Reviews & Ratings for
Good Will Hunting More at IMDbPro »

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308 out of 361 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful in its own way.

10/10
Author: Siobhan Hollis from Salt Lake City, Utah
7 November 1999

There's one thing about Hollywood - you can't stop the hype. I think it was the hype that gave this movie the bad reviews by some IMDB users, as let's face it, it can totally ruin a movie for some people.

In "Good Will Hunting", you have to look past the hype and Oscars and see that it really is a gorgeous film written by two very talented young men, and acted out by proficient actors such as Robin Williams and Stellan Skarsgard. Personally, I thought the plot was an excellent idea - maybe someone else could have thought of it, but could they have provided the great script? And as for the profanity - yes, there was a lot, but I don't give a damn! This is real life! People swear! Deal with it!

Anyway, what I really enjoyed about "Good Will Hunting" was the psychological aspect - very believable. Here you have this "typical" 21 - year - old, drinking with his friends, getting into fights, etc etc, but you look below the surface and there's a lot more to him. I think this really tells us a lot about the people around us and makes a point about looking below the surface. This aspect of the movie also revealed a lot of sociological issues - yes, it IS believable that there is a genius in a rough suburb of Boston, repressed by his upbringing. (Hey, my mum even says so, and she teaches sociology!)

I enjoyed the acting a lot, especially by Robin Williams - I had been too used to seeing him in cutesy films, so this was definitely a refreshing change. I feel he plunged right into the part and relished it, although something told me his accent wasn't quite right! Will's relationships with the people around him are wonderful to watch, especially with Skylar (Minnie Driver) - there was real chemistry between them. I also liked to watch how Will behaved around his buddies; the four guys really seemed as if they had known each other all their lives.

Overall, I thought this movie was believable and touching, without your typical ending. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck really have done themselves proud. My advice: Forget the Oscar nominations, the rave reviews, the famous faces, and sit down to watch this movie with a completely impartial attitude. You will see that it really is beautiful.

By the way, I very VERY rarely cry at movies. But if there's any scene that will have me in tears, it's the one where Will finally breaks down and starts to cry. That's saying something!

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248 out of 277 people found the following review useful:

A slow burner, a fine achievement

10/10
Author: Stephen-12 from London, England
17 March 1999

Sure, this film's plot is fairly predictable. Sure, if you boiled it down to its essential components it wouldn't amount to much. Sure, Will Hunting's genius is profoundly unrealistic.

Yet I'm giving this one 10 out of 10.

I don't know whether Matt and Ben have ever been in therapy, but they certainly understand a lot about the human psyche, how it ducks responsibility, and pushes blame onto others, how it dismisses the real gifts it has and concentrates on running itself down. How many of us suffer from the same problems as Will? Only those who deny their own vulnerability will remain unaffected by this film.

Not only is the script powerful, but the dynamics between the characters - all of them selfish, even Skylar - is vividly and plausibly executed. The film just about manages to avoid easy answers, preferring to acknowledge (indeed, highlight) the complexity and pain of personal growth and self-realisation.

You could read a lot of self-help books, but they won't bring across to you as powerfully as this film what it's like to be scared, what it's like to experience loss, how difficult it is to shake off your old ways of thinking, how important honesty to yourself is. If this is the kind of revelation Matt and Ben are going to come up with, I look forward to their future efforts.

The first time I saw it, I felt moved as the credits rolled. On my way home from the cinema, I felt sombre. When I got home, I finally burst into tears. This film burns slowly, inside you.

As cinema, it's fair to middling. The performances are all first class. The script is a jewel. As wisdom, it's second to none. A fine achievement.

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166 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

This movie has a brilliant script...

10/10
Author: rondine (susan.rondine@cox.net) from Mesa, AZ
21 January 2001

It appears the jury is hung... many people either loved or hated this movie. I can tell you why I loved it. First of all the script. I think it had a real slice of life, and brilliance in it. Sorry, but some people do use 4 letter words to express themselves. And no, it doesn't mean that's because they lack intelligence to use anything else. I can rise to the occasion any time I need w/out profanity. But it is how I think & speak in my day to day life. The language shouldn't even be an issue. If that's all you heard, you weren't listening! The brilliance in it is everywhere. For example, William's character putting Damon's character in place by noting that he sneers at things that he has no real life experience with. I know people like that. Then moments when he (William's character) says gems like, "I'll save you the suspense sport- she isn't perfect & neither are you- the question is whether you are perfect for each other." I'm paraphrasing of course. The question of relationships, and life career decisions- the courage to risk and overcoming whatever your background is, are all a part of real life. This isn't supposed to be about genius or some "white trash" as someone else said (some people might say the kids in this movie aren't trash, just normal hard working, middle class guys) - it's about love, life and courage- courage to ante up & try again, no matter how many times life knocks us around. The acting, direction and script are wonderful. They definitely deserved the Oscar for this. It has soul. It has meaning & I am sad for the people that didn't get it. As the movie "American Beauty" said... LOOK CLOSER.

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152 out of 175 people found the following review useful:

Incredible, moving movie.

10/10
Author: gufando from Canada
3 March 2006

A lot of things have been said about this fantastic movie, and I only hope to add a few more praises.

The fact that it was written by Ben and Matt was a shock to me, I did not expect any strong writing and a solid script, but boy was I wrong. The movie lasts for 2 hours, and every minute of it I couldn't even focus on anything beside the incredible world of Will Hunting.

Matt plays Will Hunting, who is a brilliant young man who denies his unreal intellect. Will has had a very abusive childhood which hurt him mentally to a point where he can no longer let anyone close to him aside from his best friend who is played by Ben. That is until a professor at one of the top colleges finds Will's talent and helps him out of trouble with the law. Robin Williams later comes in as a therapist to Will, he is the only one who can really stand up to Will's intellect and manages to break the layer of distrust that Will has developed over years of solitude, and the two develop a bond beyond friendship.

Yes there is a girl, but this is not a romantic movie. There is more to life then what we are taught and what we have to show for it.

The writing is witty, brilliant and hilarious at times, both Matt and Robin Williams preform wonderfully from both a comedic and theatrical prospective. Matt's best work since Dogma and Williams best along side Dead Poet's Society.

If your looking for a typical Hollywood movie with a Hollywood ending, then do not bother spending two hours on this movie. This movie is ahead of it's time, and lands an easy 10 out of 10.

This one is a keeper in my movie library.

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144 out of 207 people found the following review useful:

"Whatever blows your hair back" - This movie does it for me!

10/10
Author: Josh Cates (gath@evansville.net) from Evansville, IN, USA
23 February 1999

This is the best movie I have seen since the Godfather. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck make a great team...not only as actors, but more impressively as co-writers. Add Robin Williams in perhaps his best role ever (too close to Good Morning Vietnam for me to make the call), and you have a wonderfully entertaining movie.

Ben Affleck is convincing as the best friend to a genius, able to effectively play the joker and the friend who would "lay down in traffic for you". Matt Damon's portrayal of that genius realizing that life has something more to offer than batting cages and bars is equally stunning. And Robin Williams certainly leaves nothing to be desired (except maybe a beard trimmer...).

The most amazing thing about this movie is the writing. Even if the acting were not terrific, this movie still would have made my top ten list. I was captivated from beginning to end.

If you've not seen it, Good Will Hunting is without doubt a "renter", and I think after seeing it, it's one you'll want to own to watch again and again.

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94 out of 116 people found the following review useful:

The Real Best Picture of 1997

Author: Eight Two from sunny florida
18 June 2000

While everyone took sides with L.A. Confidential (for it's Old Hollywood flair and tight-as-a-girdle plot arc) or Titanic (for it's generally inescapable, juggernaut-like aura) as the Best Picture of 1997, it seems that too many people overlook Good Will Hunting for what it was: a timeless little opus that managed to make South Boston look romantic and happened to make Ben Affleck and Matt Damon some of the most deserving superstars in recent memory.

Because before they were anybody, they were just the writers of this tale of a reluctant human being named Will Hunting, a mathematical genius who wore the guise of a hoodlum, and all of the sudden obstacles he had to take on to truly step in to manhood. Among these obstacles were a straight-forward shrink who outright dared Will to bulls*** him (played by Robin Williams, who got his overdue Oscar for it), a brilliant M.I.T. professor who felt it his own personal redemption to put Will's mind to great use somehow (Stellan Skarsgård, who never fails to steal nearly every scene he's in), and a girl who doesn't understand why the boy she loves so much cannot love her.

It was these obstacles that made Will Hunting such a complex character: while he was a genius at the definite (math), he was a bit of a moron at the indefinite (human relationships). His rough-edged exterior was simply a cry for help, and the process of which the obstacles in his life realized that and attempted *to* help him was nothing short of extraordinarily touching.

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95 out of 125 people found the following review useful:

Good doesn't describe it!

Author: Alberto-15 from England
12 April 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am totally dumbfounded by some of the reactions to this film. I'm imagining that the people who call this film boring are of the frame of mind, that unless a film has at least three explosions then it's not worth the price of a cinema ticket. Then there are the people calling it unrealistic. Now forgive me but I come from a similar background to the central character Will and I believe myself to be intelligent, but I didn't use my intelligence until very recently. Instead I took to taking drugs and drinking and swearing! Only a few years ago I was working as a cleaner, but now I'm studying programming and media technology at the best technical University in the UK. Now if I can identify with this film's realism (and I live in England) why can't so many others? This film is a veritable jewel. The script is one of the best I've ever seen. The way it mixes thought provoking ideas and witticisms with the kind of colloquial dialogue which we have read in things like ‘The Catcher in the Rye'. Now I agree with the sentiment that some people have put across, ‘get in touch with your inner Robin Williams'. But thankfully the script or Gus Van Sant or whatever prevented it from going over board. Look at the final scene where they're hugging and saying their farewells. Now this could have overlapped into a typical slushy moment, but no the lines `Doesn't this contravene the Doctor, patient relationship?' `Only if you grab my ass' were uttered so as to diffuse it. Then bear in mind that you never actually see the reunion between Skylar and Will! I could go on forever arguing against people's criticisms. But what's the point if certain viewers can't appreciate the subtly evocative direction of Van Sant, the quick fire script and the superb performances by the cast. It's these same viewers who shall, until the end of their days sit and watch the vacuous outpourings of Hollywood mainstream. Let them watch this ‘chewing gum for the mind' and we discerning few will lap up the droplets of quality cinema. I think a quote is in order here directed to all you viewers who deemed this film boring or unrealistic `If ignorance is bliss, there should be more happy people.'

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73 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

Must See Flick

10/10
Author: dickyslcc from United Kingdom
20 July 2007

The name of the film always put me off watching it. Ever so glad i was convinced in to it.

Only the fact that there is so much bad language and for Titanic being released in the same year this would have swept the boards in the Oscars!

I hate Robin Williams as a comedian, but i was in tears after watching his timeless performance. I love most of the classic movies but this is definitely the best film i have ever seen

Mat Damon played a great part, showing the full spectrum of emotions in his role.

I've ever gone out and bought the soundtrack to the film, i've watched it half a dozen times and always go right through to the final credits.

Pure brilliance!

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51 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Worth Seeing

10/10
Author: Michael Obrofta from United States
29 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a screenplay, whose script was written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and sold for $ 600,000. (They split the proceeds)I love this movie. I have seen it several times, and I still want more at the end (Isn't that what good movies do to you?) The subplots make for mini-movies of their own, especially the interplay between Robin Williams' character and Stellan Skarsgard's character.

Damon's real life buddy Affleck plays that same buddy role in GWH, and provides the definition for true friendship.

Minnie Driver is compelling, and I just love a couple of scenes when she and Damon are in a novelty store, and another where she is telling a joke in a bar with Damon, Affleck and friends. The love story which develops with Driver is very convincing, and it's "under the surface" portrayal plus input from one of our favorite characters makes for one of the best definitions of intimacy I have ever seen on film.

When I see some of the movies in IDB's top 250, I am sad that this movie isn't in there, but that is my opinion. Torn between GWH and Rounders as Damon's best movie, though I think GWD plays to a wider audience.

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80 out of 131 people found the following review useful:

Two Pals Make Good in Hollywood

8/10
Author: harry-76 from Cleveland, Ohio
25 June 2000

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck scored quite a success with their interesting and entertaining script. The introduction and exposition sections are enormously engrossing, after which script peaks and rather coasts along the rest of the way. Yet, the casting is so well done, and the acting at such good level, that interest is nicely maintained.

What "Hunting" essentially consists of is some two dozen conversational scenes, bridged together with short transitions of physical activity. What is rather remarkable is that one isn't aware of the dramatic limitations comprising the structure. This is a real tribute to the cast, director, and of course, the script. While the basic situation is really quite far-fetched, it is made to seem plausible--again, the mark of good, convincing writing. The story behind getting the script sold and produced on the terms of the writers' preferences is fascinating. Still, one can't really call it luck, for both Damon and Affleck "paid their dues" -- and success did not just fall into their laps. These are two talented young men, with perseverance; and how wonderful for them to have achieved such success while still youthful and full of vitality.

"Good Will Hunting" is a good production, with solid craftsmanship in all departments -- thanks to the creativity of Damon and Affleck.

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