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Good Will Hunting (1997)

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Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director:

Gus Van Sant
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Popularity
249 ( 71)
Top Rated Movies #86 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Will
Ben Affleck ... Chuckie
Stellan Skarsgård ... Lambeau
John Mighton John Mighton ... Tom
Rachel Majorowski Rachel Majorowski ... Krystyn
Colleen McCauley Colleen McCauley ... Cathy
Casey Affleck ... Morgan
Cole Hauser ... Billy
Matt Mercier ... Barbershop Quartet #1
Ralph St. George Ralph St. George ... Barbershop Quartet #2
Rob Lynds Rob Lynds ... Barbershop Quartet #3
Dan Washington Dan Washington ... Barbershop Quartet #4
Alison Folland ... M.I.T. Student
Derrick Bridgeman Derrick Bridgeman ... M.I.T. Student
Vik Sahay ... M.I.T. Student (as Vic Sahay)
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Storyline

A touching tale of a wayward young man who struggles to find his identity, living in a world where he can solve any problem, except the one brewing deep within himself, until one day he meets his soul mate who opens his mind and his heart. Written by Dima & Danielle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people can never believe in themselves, until someone believes in them. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, including some sex-related dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Will Hunting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$272,912, 7 December 1997

Gross USA:

$138,433,435

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$225,933,435
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck found a clever way to choose the right studio for their script: the story goes that on page sixty of the script, they wrote a completely out-of-nowhere sex scene between Will and Chuckie. They took it to every major studio, and nobody even mentioned the scene. When they met with Harvey Weinstein at Miramax, he said "I only have one really big note on the script. About page sixty, the two leads, both straight men, have a sex scene. What the hell is that?" Damon and Affleck explained that they put that scene specifically in there to show them who actually read the script and who didn't. As Weinstein was the only person who brought it up, Miramax was the studio chosen to produce the film. See more »

Goofs

When Will and Chuckie are in the Harvard bar, Chuckie states "So this is a Harvard bar.", implying they've never been there before. Seconds earlier, they all seem to know the bouncer's name at the door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lambeau: Mod fx... squared... dx. So please finish Parceval, by next time. I know many of you had this as undergraduates, but it won't hurt to brush up.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, the film is dedicated to the memory of poet Allen Ginsberg and writer William S. Burroughs, both of whom died in 1997. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the television version, Skylar tells a different joke in the bar scene with Will and his "brothers." Instead of the "kiss me" joke, she tells one about a man who is falling from a cliff. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ben Affleck/Fiona Apple (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

No Name #3
Written and Performed by Elliott Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A slow burner, a fine achievement
17 March 1999 | by Stephen-12See all my reviews

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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