• PG-13, 1 hr. 57 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Gabriele Muccino
    In Theaters:
    Dec 15, 2006 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 27, 2007
  • Sony Pictures


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The Pursuit of Happyness Reviews

Page 1 of 9

By reducing the story of homelessness to only Chris Gardner's, The Pursuit of Happyness is saying that anybody can get out of the gutter by simply really, really wanting to do better.

Full Review Source: CHUD | Original Score: 5/10

December 13, 2006
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Smith's performance is terrific, but it's in service of a clumsy, heavy-handed film that believes the ultimate measure of a man is how hard he chases what he desires - wealth, fame, Oscars.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 83/100

December 17, 2006
Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine

Like Gardner's desire to escape the confines of his economic station, there's a better movie struggling to escape the confines of a Hollywood movie machine that values story mechanics over genuine emotion.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 30, 2006
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

How is it that movies 'inspired by a real story' often feel more fake than those fully embedded in the realm of fiction?

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2/4

December 14, 2006
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Pursuit of Happyness goes beyond tugging at our heartstrings. It plucks them, strokes them, strums them, plays them for all they're worth. That's both the strength and the weakness of this inspirational drama.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 14, 2006
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs

The real story of Chris Gardner's life is indeed inspirational. The movie version wants to be inspirational as well, but never quite gets there.

Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs | Original Score: 2/4

February 3, 2007
Fernando F. Croce

Counterfeit emotion and submerged racism

Full Review Source: CinePassion

August 28, 2009
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... 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.

December 7, 2006
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

The Pursuit of Happyness expectedly suffers from Muccino's overstated handling of the material.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 11, 2006
Dezhda Gaubert
E! Online

Had we seen an intimate glimpse into the professional side of Gardner's journey, this likeable but unexceptional fable could have been so much more.

Full Review Source: E! Online | Original Score: B-

December 14, 2006
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fairy tale in realist drag, The Pursuit of Happyness is the kind of entertainment that goes down smoothly until it gets stuck in your craw.

| Original Score: 2.5/5

December 14, 2006
Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio

The American Dream as white, rich and all male.

Full Review Source: WBAI Web Radio

March 21, 2007
Brian Gibson
Film School Rejects

Full Review Source: Film School Rejects | Original Score: C

October 18, 2008
Rebecca Murray

If patience isn't a virtue you possess, pass on The Pursuit of Happyness.

Full Review Source: About.com | Original Score: C

December 13, 2006
Cole Smithey

This Sisyphean movie succeeds in portraying '80s era San Francisco as a deceptively appealing city with a flaky underbelly inhabited by desperate hippies and homeless people.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: C-

December 8, 2006
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At its core The Pursuit of Happyness is a good story -- one that's literally rags to riches, and didn't need the many tweaks and embellishments that Italian director Gabriele Muccino and writer Steven Conrad have added.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

December 12, 2006
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smith is resourceful in the role, though the story stretches one's credulity about his character's resourcefulness.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 14, 2006
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

[Muccino] is quite skilled at hitting all the appropriate emotional peaks and valleys, though his hard logic leaves a bit to be desired.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 14, 2006
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

Sap, sentiment, and hokey plot devices bog down an otherwise down to earth story.

Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed

April 29, 2009
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound

This is Will Smith's movie from start to finish and he carries it wonderfully.

Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 14, 2007

Irish Times

January 12, 2007
Page 1 of 9
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