Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The A.V. Club
Part of Spielberg's skill as a filmmaker comes in choosing the right collaborators. Janusz Kaminski's gorgeous cinematography, Michael Kahn's graceful editing, Jeff Nathanson's clever script, and John Williams' score all work well in unison, but the film's masterstroke is the casting of Walken as DiCaprio's utterly decent father.
90
Results in about the nicest movie you could ask for at the holidays: a gently funny, sweetly adventurous film that makes you feel genuinely good, that is to say, entirely unconned by false sentiment or sharp, overmanipulative Hollywood practices.
88
Boston Globe
Nothing if not a celebration of our willingness to be gulled by life's charming strangers.
80
Slate
Feels more like The Bill Clinton Story than "Primary Colors" (1998). It's a paean to naughty boys who dream of potency and become enraptured by their own scams -- a great American archetype.
75
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
The movie could have used a further dose of the resonance Walken gives it, and a more intellectually adventurous director might have brought the theme close to home.
75
Chicago Tribune
Brilliant performances by DiCaprio as Frank Jr. and Christopher Walken as his fallen father - and an enjoyable one by Tom Hanks.
75
DiCaprio could hardly be better. He brings this outrageous character and his demons to life with skill, sympathy and a symphony of small, telling touches.
70
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Breezily enjoyable but thin.
63
Baltimore Sun
Spielberg's inchoate attempts at cultural observation stretch the movie out and dilute the giddiness instead of adding a pleasurable spike. When the movie doesn't feel inflated, it feels soggy.
60
Salon.com
Well-enough made and highly watchable, but it lacks the one thing that would put some swing in its step and some swagger in its attitude: a sense of jazz.

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