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Finding Forrester (2000)


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 125
Fresh: 92
Rotten: 33

Critics Consensus: Despite the predictability of its plot and its similarity to Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester has an honest, solid feel to it and good rapport between Connery and Brown.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: Despite the predictability of its plot and its similarity to Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester has an honest, solid feel to it and good rapport between Connery and Brown.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 81,299


Movie Info

Four decades ago, William Forrester won a Pulitzer Prize for his classic novel. That was the last time the world heard of him. Now a recluse in Manhattan, his passion for literature is awakened by Jamal a 16-year old basketball player recruited by an elite Manhattan prep school for his brilliance both on and off the court. When Jamal sneaks into Forrester's apartment, he accidentally leaves behind his backpack, full of his precious writings. Finding these, Forrester is opened to a new world, one … More

PG-13 (for brief strong language, some sexual reference)
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Mike Rich
In Theaters:
Apr 24, 2001
Box Office:
Columbia Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Finding Forrester

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (92) | Rotten (33) | DVD (17)

If director Gus Van Sant had always been a hack it wouldn't matter so much, but personally I find this form of licking the audience's cheeks like an obsequious puppy deeply offensive.

Full Review… | March 25, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The leaden screenplay can be fingered for many of the film's faults. But what happened to the off-kilter film-maker last seen at work in To Die For?

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An anti-intellectual film about the intellectual life.

Full Review… | March 19, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Funny and touching.

February 6, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A rare find.

Full Review… | January 12, 2001
Top Critic

A rewarding exploration of the knotty and often contentious relationship between teacher and protege. Its chief pleasure is the master class in the art of acting delivered by Sean Connery.

January 11, 2001
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

predictable formula film that is quickly forgotten

Full Review… | July 22, 2012
Old School Reviews

Quality characters, solid film; OK for ages 14+.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

Lost in "Forrester's" dismissal is appreciation for its relatively piss-and-vinegar approach to the act of creating fiction. Jazzy, classicist and a bit meta, the film's unexpectedly urbane quirks resemble Jonathan Demme films at their mainstream best.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010

Brown, in his acting debut, displays the balance of book smarts, street smarts, and vulnerability that is crucial to the part.

Full Review… | February 15, 2010

Doesn't fully live up to all the expectations but is still enjoyable.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Rather hollow effort.

Full Review… | March 25, 2008

Finding Forrester is almost worth seeing for Connery and Brown, but it's a lot to ask for people to sit through 136 minutes when only about a third of it is any good.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Finding Forrester is not the fastest-paced film in the world, nor the most stirring. It is however the most complete portrait of what it means to be a writer that I've seen in a long time.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

It's a really good movie.

Full Review… | September 30, 2005
Three Movie Buffs

La cinta es disfrutable aunque uno no sea de color, buen tirador de tiros libres, o buen escritor.

Full Review… | July 25, 2004

All signs of intelligent life are sacrificed to Hollywood formula and liberal wish-fulfilment.

Full Review… | December 15, 2003
Daily Mail [UK]

The relationship between Connery and Brown is powerful enough to sustain the story.

Full Review… | June 17, 2003
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

It is a film about intelligence in unlikely places that, paradoxically, requires you to check your brain at the door.

Full Review… | May 22, 2003
Film Blather

A pleasant movie we've all seen before.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

A nice-looking, nice-feeling exercise in conventionalism that sure could use a couple of transvestites and maybe a house falling from the sky.

Full Review… | March 10, 2003
Austin Chronicle

Finding Forrester is Gus Van Sant treading water in Hollywood, but he's making a beautiful pattern.

Full Review… | March 4, 2003

A moving, meaningful story.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

Over-long and underwritten drama with too many shades of Good Will Hunting.

Full Review… | October 30, 2002

Audience Reviews for Finding Forrester

Continuing his late 90s/early 2000s run in the mainstream, Gus Van Sant delivered this story about the bond formed between two different, yet challenged writers.

One is a young man from the inner city with an untapped gift for writing that is overshadowed by his athleticism, while the other is an older, bitter recluse who found early success, only to basically immediately fall into obscurity. They have an uneasy non-romantic meet-cute that eventually leads them to becoming friends, with each being the spark the other needs to satisfy their need to create.

I honestly don't remember much about this movie, but I remember it being at least sit-throughable, despite its reputation for being cheesy. It's a nice heartwarming story that makes you feel good, so really, what's wrong with that? Okay, so I know that something like that isn't an immediate reason to give something a pass, but hey, I'm feeling like a softie, so back off.

It's not really one of Van Sant's best, at least in the grand scheme of things, but it's okay enough I suppose, and it's decently well made as far as these types of stories go, so sure, give it a watch.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


partially inspired by salinger, connery's performance was wonderful and the screenplay was stellar. this is the film that put me on to writing.

danny d

Super Reviewer


A bit slow and dreary, still filled with life and literary shenanigans! You're the man now dog (Scottish accent).

Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

What the fuck is this shit, dawg?

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

Finding Forrester Quotes

William Forrester:
The Times is dinner, The National Enquirer is dessert.
– Submitted by Betty G (2 years ago)
William Forrester:
You're the man now, dog!
– Submitted by Moe J (2 years ago)
William Forrester:
We walk away from our dreams afraid that we may fail, or worse yet, afeaid we may succeed.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
William Forrester:
The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
William Forrester:
You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is... to write, not to think.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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