Gifted

Critics Consensus

Gifted isn't quite as bright as its pint-sized protagonist, but a charming cast wrings respectably engaging drama out of a fairly predictable premise.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 171

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,558
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Movie Info

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well

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Cast

Glenn Plummer
as Greg Cullen
John M. Jackson
as Judge Edward Nichols
John Finn
as Aubrey Highsmith
Elizabeth Marvel
as Gloria Davis
Candace B. Harris
as Carly Rosen
Jon Sklaroff
as Seymore Shankland
Jona Xiao
as Lijuan
Julie Ann Emery
as Pat Golding
Keir O'Donnell
as Bradley Pollard
Maia Moss-Fife
as Amanda Dibbons
Brody Rose
as Ricky Harmon
Joe Chrest
as Kevin Larsen
Ashley Thomas
as Animal Shelter Worker
Danielle Deadwyler
as Animal Shelter Worker
Jack Landry
as Veterinarian
Desmond Phillips
as New Father
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Critic Reviews for Gifted

All Critics (171) | Top Critics (32)

Audience Reviews for Gifted

  • May 09, 2017
    Predictable and yet competently brought to the screen account of what it might be like raising a genius-to-be. While everyone does their job it's the little Einstein, Mckenna Grace, that keeps our focus from wandering.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2017
    Gifted is a charming little bauble of a movie. Chris Evans turns in a nicely different performance here, apart from his Captain America days. McKenna Grace absolutely knocks it away with a commanding performance sure to make her known. What Gifted does so well is by balancing its drama out as to not get too sentimental but instead pluck lightly at the heartstrings with its predictable courtroom tension. There isn't much to Gifted but its nicely directed by Marc Webb and warm and moving when it needs to be and wisely avoids sentimentality. Rating: 74
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2017
    I was reading a piece last week by Jaime Weinman for Vox that talked about a shift in film criticism recently and how critics have become more socially conscious than ever. While the piece is an interesting assertion of how many movies of late have come to be judged as much for their ethics as their art there was one particular section that took me by surprise and stuck with me. In a section titled "The end of Kaelism" Weinman says, "A work of art - serious or popular - isn't supposed to be judged by how much you agree with it, but by how it makes you feel and whether it can convince you of its validity." The context of this quote is key as the writer was discussing the approach of critics such as legendary New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris, the man who invented the auteur theory, as critics who ultimately sported an "art-for-art's-sake approach to culture." I was reminded of this approach, this train of thought, as I sat watching the latest from director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man). I was struck by the fact that despite recognizing the predictable tropes utilized in Gifted that I was really, really into the story and that despite the clichés of the courtroom drama Webb's techniques were overcoming them in a way that was delivering a film, a piece of art, that made me feel good; that made me appreciate movies for showing me what they can do. How they can move you. I went into Gifted expecting something along the lines of a sappy, Hallmark-style melodrama with better actors and production design, but within the first fifteen minutes Gifted had convinced me of its validity - it had convinced me of its sincerity that was ingrained in its otherwise competent execution. Sure, many will dismiss Gifted for being the type of film that is emotionally manipulative because it wouldn't be mad if you shed a few tears and/or formulaic in the way that the premise is an old cliché that has been used before (specifically in 1991's Little Man Tate which I haven't seen, but more or less sounds like the same movie), but just because a movie might indeed be full of cliché or admittedly formulaic doesn't mean it's automatically bad. Webb is able to tell this recognizable story in ways that allow it to pop. The director and screenwriter, Tom Flynn, are able to prove certain tropes aren't always bad and that doing the opposite isn't always good by delivering all that is predictable and formulaic about Gifted with a warm and wholly wonderful sincerity that comes straight from the heart. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2017
    Marc Webb is developing a nice little career for himself. Gifted has a keen sense of emotional weight, even if it's ultimately a tad melodramatic with some clunky dialogue. By far the best thing about 'Gifted' are the performances. Amidst the soap opera-ish story are the touching performances from Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace. This story only works if these two have great chemistry and you believe in their relationship. Both of them clearly had a blast filming with each other and developed a sweet back and forth. The one detractor being that the dialogue they are given isn't all that effective. Tom Flynn doesn't have a ton of experience working on feature films, and it shows here. As I understand, the screenplay was on one of the Hollywood blacklists, so perhaps he wasn't there on set to tinker with the dialogue as the film was shot. Still, someone switching around some lines every now and then would have been nice. The film always has good intentions, as do all of the characters, and in that way it feels safe. It's a predictable story with enough likable qualities to get by, but it could have probably taken a few more chances here and there. Funny enough, the film is about a young child who's smarter than she should be at 8-years old, and that's kind of similar to the film overall. It's an innocent film that tries to be smarter and more thought provoking than it really has a right to be. However, as I stated before, the film's heart lies with Evans and Grace. Their comradery is undeniable and thus there are quite a few powerful scenes. With all of his outings as Captain America, you don't get to see this side of Chris Evans, so I'm grateful this film gave us that. Webb does a nice job of getting an uncharacteristically emotional turn from Evans, and a funny, touching, and surprising turn from the young Grace. Overall, it's not going to knock anyone's socks off, but it definitely puts a smile on your face and maybe even gets a few tears out of you. +Evans & Grace chemistry +Webb has another hit +Funny & heartwarming -Clunky dialogue & character decisions 7.4/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer

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