Critics Consensus

Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins give exceptional performances in a film that intelligently tackles the territory between madness and genius.



Reviews Counted: 144

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 88,765


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

A devoted daughter comes to terms with the death of her father, a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity, forcing her to face her own long-harbored fears and emotions. She adjusts to his death with the help of one of her father's former mathematical students, who searches through her father's notebooks in the hope of discovering a bit of his old brilliance. While she comes to terms with the possibility that his genius, which she has inherited, may come at a painful price, her estranged sister arrives to help settle their father's affairs.

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Gwyneth Paltrow
as Catherine
Hope Davis
as Claire
Roshan Seth
as Professor Bhandari
Gary Houston
as Professor Barrow
Anne Wittman
as Friend at Party
Leigh Zimmerman
as Friend at Party
Colin Stinton
as Theoretical Physicist
Leland Burnett
as Band Vocalist
John Keefe
as University Friend
C. Gerod Harris
as University Friend
Chipo Chung
as University Friend
Lolly Susi
as Airport Check-In Lady
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News & Interviews for Proof

Critic Reviews for Proof

All Critics (144) | Top Critics (41)

  • Madden stages the action with a minimum of imagination and gets a career-worst performance out of Davis in a key role, but the material still sputters to life on the strength of the writing and Paltrow's commitment to the part.

    Nov 25, 2006

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • An elegant adaptation to the screen, with the play's qualities largely intact and great performances from Paltrow and Hope Davis, as her sister. Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins complete a dream cast.

    Mar 17, 2006 | Full Review…
  • We are invited to believe that Hopkins, Paltrow and Gyllenhaal all have, in their various ways, alpha-brains. They look to me like they couldn't recite the three-times-table without smoke coming out of their ears.

    Feb 11, 2006 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • Sadly, the impact of the clever parallelogram of emotional and philosophical concerns in Auburn and Rebecca Miller's screenplay is deadened by the director's overly literal -- mechanical -- cinematic interpretation.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Madden does a competent job transferring the film from stage to screen.

    Dec 24, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Few movies regard the psyche with such sober discernment.

    Oct 1, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Proof

Paltrow shimmers and shines in this look at real inheritance, what the DNA leaves, as Pop (Hopkins, dynamite) is a math genius who, ummm, loses track, shall we say. Will the daughter follow in Pop's enormous footsteps ... in each and every way? Tension aplenty with a great supporting cast. Pretty damn good if you ask me.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


The daughter of a brilliant mathematician must convince her new beau and her domineering sister that she wrote an important mathematical document. We don't care about the proof, the film's main source of conflict; director John Madden knows few in the audience are smart enough to care about theoretical math and physics. So what's left? Proof has to compel us with the interpersonal drama Catherine's relationship with her dead father and her sister and boyfriend who grow to doubt her sanity. But from very early on, we know there's no reason to doubt Catherine, so we're left waiting for the film to catch up to the audience, and thus the film loses its reason to compel us to care about these characters. Gwyneth Paltrow, who conjures her Sylvia character in her depressive moments, occasionally gives us reason to pay attention to Catherine's struggles, but especially when she raises her voice, Catherine, in Paltrow's hands, comes off as annoyingly disinterested and unengaged with manic bouts of petulance. It's hard to like Paltrow, and it's even harder to be interested in Catherine. Overall, I found Proof to be structurally flawed, and the film's star certainly didn't shine.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


I cried when Jake Gyllenhaal didn't believe that Gwyneth Paltrow wrote the proof. So sue me. It was sad.

I love that you don't know where this movie is going until it gets there. I turned cold when Gwyneth Paltrow read out Anthony Hopkins' "proof."

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


This film has so much going for it. Gwyneth Paltrow plays the lead role, Anthony Hopkins is a minor, but important, supporting character, and the premise has tons of potential. This film wants so bad to be "A Beautiful Mind", but it has some serious problems with the direction its plot moves. Everything about the story begs for less Jake Gyllenhaal, who wasn't bad, and Hope Davis, who was awful every time she was on screen. Their characters are given far too much focus. Paltrow's character, the ostensibly interesting, complex protagonist, is still a mystery to the viewer by the end of the film. The story begs to go in one direction but the plot strays away. It's not a *bad* film, but it's certainly not a good one. I didn't love "A Beautful Mind", but at least that film had a good idea of how this type of story needs to be told.

Jay Hutchinson
Jay Hutchinson

Super Reviewer

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