• PG-13, 2 hr. 15 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Ron Howard
  • In Theaters:    Dec 21, 2001 Wide
  • On DVD:    Jun 25, 2002
  • Universal Pictures

A Beautiful Mind Reviews

Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
February 4, 2014

A Beautiful Mind is Howard's best movie, and easily one of the best movies of the year.

Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
February 4, 2014

It's not a crime for the script to gloss over the thornier aspects of Nash's story, but the film seems totally unconvincing, squeezing a real life into a formula that's simultaneously more palatable and less interesting.

Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
Top Critic
February 4, 2014

The result is one of the most successful attempts to make math look sexy, even if the movie strays - gallops, really - from the details of the actual life of Nobel Prize-winner John Forbes Nash Jr.

David Ansen
Newsweek
Top Critic
February 4, 2014

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman's clever solution is to turn the story of a troubled academic into a Hollywood thriller. How? He makes things up.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

It isn't the device that's so crude, but the execution, which turns Nash's persecutory demons into nuisances that won't leave us alone.

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

Crowe pulls out the stops, but he looks too bullish and controlled for such a pitiable victim.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
February 24, 2013

The result is mainstream moviemaking at its highest, most satisfying level.

Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic
January 28, 2008

Consistently engrossing as an unusual character study and as a trip to the mysterious border-crossing between rarified brilliance and madness.

Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
February 6, 2007

Director Ron Howard's deftness in suggesting the subjective experience of Crowe's character, who's later diagnosed with schizophrenia, makes for inspirational narrative, but certain plot points are so reductive.


Time Out
Top Critic
January 26, 2006

At its most effective when it seems to lose the plot in a scrambled second act that posits the Cold War as a collective paranoid delusion, the film reverts to type (and to fact) for a sentimental anti-climax.

John Powers
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
June 1, 2002

It's sad to see a beautiful mind whittled down by such a plain one.

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
January 22, 2002

A light veneer of condescension hangs over A Beautiful Mind.

Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 6, 2002

It makes you understand what it feels like to have a serious breakdown in powerful, empathetic ways that no movie has ever done before.

Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
January 3, 2002

Nash's subterranean nightmare takes on the gripping elements of a psychological thriller.

Joel Siegel
ABCNEWS.COM
Top Critic
December 27, 2001

You can't believe Russell Crowe is the same actor who won an Oscar one year ago for Gladiator. The film has a reveal so startling I almost got whiplash, shaking my head in amazement.

Susan Stark
Detroit News
Top Critic
December 26, 2001

As bold and searingly imaginative as it is substantive.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
December 25, 2001

Crowe and Connelly's work rises above the mush.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
Top Critic
December 25, 2001

Like a good college education itself, A Beautiful Mind broadens your perspective on life.

Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
December 25, 2001

You can practically feel director Ron Howard standing over your tear ducts, straining to extract every last salty drop.

Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
December 25, 2001

Howard gives Crowe the space he needs to build a memorable character.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
December 24, 2001

Despite a shaky West Virginia accent, Crowe does exemplary work here, his best since The Insider.

Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
December 24, 2001

Tells us little about paranoid schizophrenia, less about genius, and next to nothing about Nash.

Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
December 24, 2001

It too neatly pigeonholes the complexities of the dramatic situation, but the performances carry the show.

Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Since love conquers all, you know everything will turn out okay. It's practically a mathematical formula.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Roger Deakins' handsome cinematography gives the film the look of a leather-bound classic. What keeps Mind from greatness, though, is some awkwardness in the screenplay, and the film's odd relationship with the true story of John Nash.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Nicely filmed by Roger Deakins and magnificently performed by Crowe, who never fails to surprise.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Sadly, Howard blands out in the final third, using old-age makeup and tear-jerking to turn a tough true story into something easily digestible. Until then, you'll be riveted.

John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Humanistic and engaging piece of popular entertainment.

Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Terrific, surprisingly gripping true-life tale of a math genius battling madness.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

In the hands of a better director than Ron Howard, such a protean mix of reason and madness could have made for a tale of Shakespearean complexity. Instead, all we get is a feel-good flick.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
CNN.com
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Despite the 'Hollywoodization' of Nash's personal life, A Beautiful Mind is a thoughtful, provocative film about human frailties and human strength.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

The movie fascinated me about the life of this man.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

One of Hollywood's very few really classy or ambitious offerings this year.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

There is more to admire in A Beautiful Mind than you might suspect, but less than its creators believe.

Charles Taylor
Salon.com
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

The biggest load of hooey to stink up the screen this year.

Mike Clark
USA Today
Top Critic
December 21, 2001

Among the most affecting ever made about co-existing with mental demons.

A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
December 20, 2001

The movie can -- indeed, should -- be intellectually rejected, but you can't quite banish it from your mind.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
December 20, 2001

One of those formulaically rendered Important Subject movies.

David Edelstein
Slate
Top Critic
December 20, 2001

A pretty good tear-jerker.

Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
December 20, 2001

Russell Crowe sometimes summons up one of the most powerful depictions of mental illness I have ever seen with barely an eyelid flicker separating manifestations of sickness from utterly sane displays of creative concentration.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
December 20, 2001

Shows us the joys and terrors of seeing things that others can't.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
December 20, 2001

A beautiful movie.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
Top Critic
December 19, 2001

The movie illustrates with poignant (if reductive) clarity the awful no-exit paradox of a paranoid delusion -- that its most incapacitating aspect is its terrifying realness.

Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
December 18, 2001

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has fashioned a powerful narrative that's brought to life by the outstanding cast and Howard's assured direction.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
December 18, 2001

A beautifully written, effectively acted, and meticulously crafted effort.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
December 16, 2001

Practically a one-man show, but Russell Crowe makes it an entertaining one.