Critic Reviews

64

Metascore

Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
83
Entertainment Weekly
It's a beautiful and understated performance, one that hums with a richer, quieter music than Smith has mustered before.
75
New York Post
A viral blast of the American Dream. It's "Rocky" with a briefcase.
70
Conrad's last film, the underrated "The Weather Man," was a parade of miseries, too, but the protagonist (Nicolas Cage) didn’t move very fast in the throes of his existential crisis, and the palette (it was Chicago in winter) was glacial. Here, those crazy San Francisco hills give the movie a lift, and Muccino frames it all airily, with a glancing touch.
70
L.A. Weekly
For a movie conceived and executed in the mainstream Hollywood idiom, it has uncommon depth and honesty.
60
The Hollywood Reporter
This is a slick studio production with a huge movie star and top professionals occupying every production role so that the polish of this well-made film makes even homelessness look neat and tidy.
60
Variety
The Pursuit of Happyness is more inspirational than creatively inspired -- imbued with the kind of uplifting, afterschool-special qualities that can trigger a major toothache.
60
Do we care about Gardner and son? Oddly, we do, because they are so appealingly played. What more might we wish for them? A movie that's a lot less repetitive.
40
Newsweek
There's an inspirational, hang-on-to-your-dreams message, but it comes only at the very end of a long, grim, painful journey. Holiday cheer is not what this movie is offering.
40
Village Voice
Too emotionally slick to work, too visually glib to have an impact, made by people who think grit is something that's brought in by the prop department.
40
Though pretty to look at (with camerawork by Phedon Papamichael) and inspiring to contemplate, this story of human triumph needs a lot more of the human for an audience to actually experience the triumph.

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