The Graduate - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Graduate Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 11, 2015
Dustin Hoffman's charming performance propels this film into one of the best coming-of-age films of all time. The Graduate is highlighted with an artful direction, innocent humor, spellbinding music (soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel) and an accurate strike on reality. 4/5
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2014
You can't get more iconic than this. The Graduate is flawlessly written, deftly acted, and superbly touches us with its unconventionality and ultimate power. It captures the era of the 60s, yet is also profoundly timely. Hoffman's angst is relatable for every young adult watching the film, and the nostalgia and shallowness of American suburbia is also quite relatable to anyone who has spent at least a year living in the suburbs. Anne Bancroft is exceptional and ruthless as Mrs. Robinson, making for an unforgettable performance. The film's aura--the iconic soundtrack and iconic cinematographic choices--is captivating. Ultimately The Graduate is more than a funny, nostalgic movie: it is triumphant. It is a triumph of the human mind and the human spirit.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2012
Could "The Graduate" be the first art-house movie of all time? Ehh, I don't think so, but it's definitely a game-changer. At its time, Hollywood dished out grand epics after grand epics with "perfect" and steady camerawork, larger than life characters, and narratives that stretch at an epic scale. But "The Graduate" does a U-turn on the traditional ways of filmmaking. Unconventional mechanics like quick zooms, strangely edited shots, and lingering close-ups are riddled about in "The Graduate". It does enough difference for it to stand out among other films alike it. But to say that the narrative is different from the rest is an understatement -- its daring, bold, and darkly challenging. Especially after the time the Production Code came to a close, "The Graduate" dives head-first into dark waters. This is a psychologically driven character-study of a young innocent boy finding his place in the world to be a "different" man.

"The Graduate" is absolutely effective in what it intends to do. Everything is cohesively crafted: strong thematic foundation, solid character development, sharp writing, and thought-provoking symbolism. Entertaining, provocative, and strangely disturbing, "The Graduate" immerses audiences into a young boy's world that's trying to make the best out of his life.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2012
With the soundtrack, screenplay, direction and performances The Graduate become one of the most tense and remarkable love stories in cinema.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2012
The Graduate is an effective comedy that is a definite classic. Dustin Hoffman gives a great performance here, and this is a great film. The Graduate is a mix of drama and comedy, although the gags are not plentiful, and it has more dramatic elements. The film is well written and the cast are great here. The Graduate is a good film, but is not a straight forward comedy. With that said, don't expect big laughs, but expect a well constructed film with a great story, solid performances and a wicked soundtrack. The film works well due to Hoffman's performance, and albeit the film has a simple plot, it's still an engaging coming of age film that stands out more than any other film because of the well written script, the strong cast and quirky humor mixed with effective drama. Elizabeth Wilson offers a more serious tone to the film as Mrs. Robinson, the antagonist and one of the most memorable characters in film. The film is well made and is a must see for film fans. Dustin Hoffman really shines here, and The Graduate is a near perfect film. However I simply wish that there was a bit more substance to the film. This is nonetheless a good film with a great cast that has a truly engaging plot, even if it's simplistic; the performances alone make this film worth watching. A classic that should be seen. The Graduate is an effective blend of drama and comedy that is memorable.
Super Reviewer
May 10, 2012
The film moves at a very fast pace and the performances feel so real that you forget you are watching a movie sometimes. After Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) graduates from college, he is trying to find himself as one of his parents friends (Mrs. Robinson) try to seduce him into having sex with her. She becomes very convincing, so they sneak around. While this goes on, his parents really want him to marry her daughter. Everything spirals out of control here and the film unfolds. I loved watching this movie, but there was a little too much "sexuality," instead of development in the story. Still, it is a great film all around with fantastic writing, great motivations, and a superb cast. "The Graduate" is worth it's hype!
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2012
The overall synopsis isn't too interesting, but the way it's delivered is. Dustin Hoffman carries this movie with his quirky take on a "drifting" graduate student who decides to spice up his life. The directing, cinematography and screenplay are all great as well.
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2009
This is Benjamin. He's a little worried about his future.

Excellent Film! "The Graduate" was a classic movie that spoke for an entire generation. Dustin Hoffman really acted splendid and the plot is just so good combine with 60's music by Simon and Garfunkel. Mike Nichols won in that year 1968 a Best Director Oscar and well deserved! Go see it!

Benjamin Braddock returns home to California after successfully completing college. He gets a hero's welcome from his parents but Ben isn't quite sure what to do with the rest of his life. He is soon seduced by Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's partner, who methodically pursues the inexperienced young man. Soon, they are meeting regularly in hotel rooms. Warned by her to stay away from her daughter Elaine, his father goads him into taking her out on a date. He finds he quite likes Elaine but when she learns he's been having an affair with her own mother, she'll have nothing to do with him. He's smitten however and pursues her
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2012
Hoffman is hungry.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2011
While I can't possibly buy what happens between Hoffman and Ross' characters in the second half of the film (the result of that implausibility being an ending which felt lazy to me as a result), Hoffman's amazing performance coupled with direction more inventive and evocative than the majority of film's made today makes this worthy of its classic status.
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2010
Excellent, excellent, excellent. This brilliant film launched the career of one of Hollywood's greatest actors, Dustin Hoffman. After a few short moments, it's easy to tell why. His performance as Benjamin Braddock is flawless, to say the least. Alongside Hoffman is Anne Bancroft, who also gives a stunning, memorable performance as Mrs. Robinson. Katharine Ross also is convincing as Elaine Robinson.
The best way to describe The Graduate is just that it's so memorable. Every scene is so unique and so different. The scuba-diving scene, Hoffman with the cross at the church, the final bus scene. It's just a joy to watch...
The great sountrack by Simon and Garfunkel is also quite nice.
Basically, if you haven't seen this film, see it. It's wonderful and I cannot recommend it enough.
Super Reviewer
November 2, 2011
Visually and aurally iconic, The Graduate is a landmark feature that perfectly encapsulated a confused disposition, tempted and eventually succumbed to seduction presented in enigmatic humor and appealing hilarity. Charismatic, The Graduate is a proud demonstration of powerful performances, cinematic techniques, and essential messages.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2011
This 1967 Dustin Hoffman film has so many memorable lines, scenes, and sights that it makes you wonder why it couldn't have been succeeded with further films. It's quirkiness and resemblances to the modern romantic comedy genre put off some new reviewers but they miss that the film illuminates the struggles of young adult life and the search of meaning, which to Benjamin Braddock means true love. Cheap Sex, aimless wandering, academic and athletic success, and so forth didn't make him happy. Elaine did. And even still, one can see that Benjamin is STILL uncertain as to his life's direction in the final famous scene, as Hoffman's smile suddenly and slowly morphs into a wince. This film is so subtle in its meanings, and so pointed in its humor and depiction of young adult life, one can't help but enjoy it and I recommend it to anyone and to all.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2010
I've been incredibly harsh on The Graduate over the years and cynical about its overbearing popularity. The thing is, I wasn't alive when the movie came out and it's hard sometimes to see movies in the context of their release. It's easy at this point in time to say that this movie is dated, but I think that was part of the idea. The Graduate is a complete time capsule movie; it was made to be revolutionary and shocking for the audience that was being exposed to it. Now it still has great aesthetics today, but back in 1967 it must've been amazing. After seeing it multiple times now, I think I've finally managed to appreciate everything it's trying to do and what it wants to say. Maybe I just didn't want to like it due to the fact that there are conflicting morals I have with some of the characters, but that shouldn't be a detriment to the pleasure you get from watching a movie. The fact is, The Graduate is just about as good as you're going to get when it comes to a coming of age storyline. Everything from the performances to the direction feels incredibly natural and has enough realism in it to make anyone recognize similarities to their life (well, if you're a white suburbanite). Dustin Hoffman really is flawless here and completely embodies his nervous and unsure character. I think Ben is a character that I familiarize with in a way that scares me. He does and says things that I probably have and feels thing I know I feel. Anne Bancroft is obviously great here too and does an extremely convincing job as a seductress and will make anyone watching it completely vulnerable to her teasing and mind games. Someone that doesn't get much recognition for her role at all is Katherine Ross; she gives such a sympathetic performance and really makes you fall in love with her for all the right reasons. Mike Nichols is by far the best director of relationship issues. Coming off of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, it's easy to see why he knows the ins and outs of portraying a realistic and effective couple on screen. The way he positions the characters and frames everything is just perfect. This presents the world as it was at one point and still is in a lot of ways. Not only has this been influential to film, but just in terms of storytelling and concepts of relationships and life in general.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2007
A well-made if over-rated story concerning a recent college graduate (Dustin Hoffman), unsure about what he wants to do with his life, who becomes entangled in an affair with a seductive housewife (Anne Bancroft) who just so happens to have a gorgeous daughter that catches his eye as well. I still don't quite understand why this film is considered a "classic", it's a fine movie, but it has a number of flaws. The ending is just utterly ridiculous, and the writing really does not do a good enough job realistically developing the relationship between Hoffman's character and Katherine Ross's. With that said, it boasts one of the finest soundtracks in the history of cinema, as well as an outstanding lead performance from the always dependable Hoffman. I just wish the ending didn't get so melodramatic and the writing was beefed up a little bit in order to completely convince me that the daughter still felt something for Hoffman's after everything he had done, that was the one big thing I just didn't end up buying.
Super Reviewer
½ June 4, 2006
I heard a lot of good reviews before I watch this movie and I must say all of those good reviews were true, "The Graduate" is simply to be said : ONE OF THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE.. Nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress, with a winning on Best Director for Mike Nichols.. The story began from a simple question : what will you do after you graduate? Benjamin Braddock just got it all wrong after a little seduction from Mrs. Robinson and then he fell in love with her daughter, Elaine.. The story seems to be ordinary, but how Willingham and Henry wrote it so it can be a very interesting movie is a great thing.. Yet, the directing style from Mike Nichols is great, I love it.. But all the credits should be given to the three main character : Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, and the legendary Mrs. Robinson played by Anne Bancroft.. Hoffman and Ross just show their great potential as young actors and that's a great thing, while Anne Bancroft told them that she could do better than them.. Overall, it's a great movie with a great screenplay, great directing, and great acting from the cast.. No doubt "The Graduate" listed as #17 AFI's 100 Movies..
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2011
The Graduate is one of my favorite movies. Dustin Hoffman just gives such a funny and emotional performance; it's hard not to love. Katherine Ross is also amazing as Elaine. Their performances thrown in with a great plot make it one of the best movies ever. Simon and Garfunkles soundtrack is awesome, and the movie boasts one of the best scenes ever when Hoffman races to the wedding. The Graduate definitely is one of the all time greats.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2007
One of the greatest films ever made. Youth alienation, marital infidelity, lost love, and coming of age are all the essentials ingredients to make one of the finest films of any age for any age. A masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2011
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2007
I can't believe it took me so long to see this. Its startlingly funny and tantalizing for a mainstream movie in the sixties. And it's so strange hearing dustin hofman's voice behind his young self after seeing several of his later films. It's obvious where this film inluenced later films. Up until the second half of the elaine arc, it's pretty realistic and relatable.

I kept waiting/hoping to see an extra scene after the credits where elaine/ben are in a hotel room, she's just starting to undress, and he's watching, saying, "Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?"
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