Good Will Hunting

1997

Good Will Hunting (1997)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.

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Movie Info

Matt Damon, who created the title character and wrote the script with costar Ben Affleck, gives a star-making performance as a working class genius with a chip on his shoulder.

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Cast

Matt Damon
as Will Hunting
Robin Williams
as Sean McGuire
Ben Affleck
as Chuckie
Stellan Skarsgard
as Prof. Gerald Lambeau
Rob Lyons
as Carmine Scarpaglia
Matt Mercier
as Barbershop Quartet No. 1
Ralph St. George
as Barbershop Quartet No. 2
Bob Lynds
as Barbershop Quartet No. 3
Dan Washington
as Barbershop Quartet No. 4
Alison Folland
as MIT Student
Derrick Bridgeman
as MIT Student
Vik Sahay
as MIT Student
Shannon Egleson
as Girl on Street
Steven Kozlowski
as Carmine Friend No. 1
Philip Williams
as Head Custodian
Patrick O'Donnell
as Marty/Assistant Custodian
Kevin Rushton
as Courtroom Guard
Jimmy Flynn
as Judge Malone
Joe Cannons
as Prosecutor
Ann Matacunas
as Court Officer
George Plimpton
as Psychologist
Jessica Morton
as Bunker Hill College Student
Barna Moricz
as Bunker Hill College Student
Libby Geller
as Toy Store Cashier
Chas Lawther
as MIT Professor
Frank T. Nakashima
as Executive No. 1
Christopher Britton
as Executive No. 2
David Eisner
as Executive No. 3
Bruce Hunter
as NSA Agent
Robert Talvano
as 2nd NSA Agent
James Allodi
as Security Guard
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News & Interviews for Good Will Hunting

Critic Reviews for Good Will Hunting

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (18)

The headline story from this slice of honestly earned sentiment is Matt Damon, who delivers the year's No. 1 breakthrough performance directly atop his agreeable high-profile turn in John Grisham's The Rainmaker.

Jan 9, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
USA Today
Top Critic

The best thing about Good Will Hunting is not in its well-crafted, psychological symmetries but in the just-plain messiness of its humanity. It's rowdy, it's funny, it's heartbreaking - it rings of life.

Dec 5, 2016 | Full Review…

Towering performance by Matt Damon as a troubled working class who needs to address his creative genius elevates this drama way above its therapeutic approach, resulting in a zeitgeist film that may touch chord with young viewers the way The Graduate did

Feb 5, 2008 | Rating: A-
Variety
Top Critic

The film works as a character-driven narrative because Mr. Van Sant and his co-screenwriters are not afraid to unlock the psychological mysteries of their five major characters with clear and concise dialogue.

Apr 27, 2007 | Full Review…
Observer
Top Critic

It's acted and directed with care, and Damon is outstanding, his scenes with Driver being especially sparky.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

While the charismatic performances of Damon and Affleck make "Good Will Hunting" a difficult entertainment to resist, doing just that is not as hard as the film would like to think.

Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Good Will Hunting

A heartfelt and deeply honest drama with great performances and an excellent script written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that doesn't even let us notice how attached to the characters we become - and I guess we can all forgive it for that sentimental "it's not your fault" scene.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Starts off strong but lags towards the end

Matt Goodman
Matt Goodman

Super Reviewer

½

An original story concerning a janitor (Matt Damon) who works at MIT, before he is discovered by an arrogant professor (Stellan Skarsgard) after he solves a theorem only a handful of people in the world can figure out. This leads to an unstable but always interesting partnership of the two, which eventually develops into a raw relationship between the young man and the professor's former roommate (Robin Williams), who is a psychiatrist. This is a very well done film, due in large part to the screenplay, which is simply sensational, as well as the overall solid acting, led by Damon, Driver, and the always versatile Williams. Van Sant does an outstanding job capturing the atmosphere of Boston, and implements this backdrop into a tale of human emotion and uncovering brilliance in the most unlikely of situations.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

½

Brilliant, engaging drama, Good Will Hunting is a near perfect work of drama that boasts impressive performances, direction and a great story. The cast here is well chosen, and the film is terrific in the way that it tells a powerful, memorable story. The script which was written by Affleck and Matt Damon is a terrific piece of writing, and the result shows on-screen, as this is a picture that is sure to grab your attention from start to finish due to its energetic story and intricate performances that really stand out. Good Will Hunting is an accomplished drama, a picture that is sure to appeal to any viewer that enjoys a well crafted work of drama, Gus Van Sant's direction is terrific as well, and he delivers one of his finest films. Robin Williams is also a noteworthy cast member and he can definitely a dramatic role, which really shows off his range, and he did that so well in Dead Poets Society and he would later deliver a blistering, tense performance in One Hour Photo. Here, he is stunning, and opposite Damon, steals the show. Matt Damon would make other stunning picture, but here, he takes on a great role, one that is conflicted, and well fleshed out, and Matt Damon really brings that to light here. He brings out the best out of the character, and he is perfect for the part. With a great script, great cast, and effective, immaculate direction, Good Will Hunting is a stunning picture, one that is thoroughly engaging from start to finish, and it is a highly captivating picture that you won't forget. This is the type of picture that sticks with you long after you've seen, and it's also a film well worth revisiting again and again. The film also showcased the writing talents of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, of which Affleck would later write some stunning films such as The Town and Argo, but here, this was a script he wrote when his career was taking off, and it's great to see that he showed terrific writing skills when his career was taking off. Good Will Hunting is a terrific picture, one that is well worth your time.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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