The Pursuit of Happyness

Critics Consensus

Will Smith's heartfelt performance elevates The Pursuit of Happyness above mere melodrama.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 175

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 563,410

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Movie Info

Chris Gardner is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.

Cast

Will Smith
as Chris Gardner
Jaden Smith
as Christopher
Brian Howe
as Jay Twistle
James Karen
as Martin Frohm
Dan Castellaneta
as Alan Frakesh
Kurt Fuller
as Walter Ribbon
Kevin West
as World's Greatest Dad
George Cheung
as Chinese Maintenance Worker
David Michael Silverman
as Doctor at First Hospital
Michael Silverman
as Doctor at First Hospital David
Domenic Bove
as Tim Ribbon
Geoff Callan
as Ferrari Owner
Raven Joyful
as Hippie Girl
Scott Klace
as Tim Brophy
Maurice Sherbanee
as Roy the Old Neighbor
Zuhair Haddad
as Cab Driver
Darryl Fong
as Policeman
George Maguire (II)
as Police Clerk
Joseph A. Nuñez
as Driver Who Hits Chris
Adam Del Rio
as Shoe-Spotting Intern
Rocky LaRochelle
as Motel Manager
Erin Cahill
as Dean Witter Receptionist
Rueben Grundy
as Businessman
Reuben Grundy
as Businessman
Lo Ming
as Young Executive
Ming Lo
as Young Executives
John Kovacevich
as Young Executive
Bonnie Akimoto
as Doctor's Receptionist
Stu Klitsner
as Dr. Strauk
Esther Scott
as Shelter Workers
Tina D'Elia
as Shelter Workers
Rev. Cecil Williams
as Reverend Williams
David Fine
as Big Guy Rodney
George Moffatt
as Homeless Guy In Line
Jason Frazier
as Young Man - Bus Fight
Kevin Crook
as Smug Intern
David Haines
as Other Young Executive
Jim Finnerty
as News Reporter
Abigail Van Alyn
as Ribbon's Receptionist
Bob Greene
as Doctor at Oakland Memorial Hospital
Robert Anthony Peters
as Glide Shelter Worker
John Robb
as Homeless Guys
Daniel Wilder
as Homeless Guys
Cathy Fithian
as Policewoman
Keith Stevenson
as Indian Grocery Clerk
Jeff Applebaum
as Dean Witter Employee
Victor Hoagland
as Ribbon's Associates
Richard Bischoff
as Ribbon's Associates
Edward Donlin
as Dr. Don Florio
Larry Hunt
as Bucket Man
Rose Aispuro
as Blood Center Clerk
Arbin C. Kumar
as Check Cashing Clerk
George Cheung
as Chinese Maintenance Worker
The Glide Ensemble
as Glide Singers
Jeffrey Moon
as Pizza Dad
Karen Kahn
as Professional Woman
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News & Interviews for The Pursuit of Happyness

Critic Reviews for The Pursuit of Happyness

All Critics (175) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (58)

  • We may wonder if happiness can be bought this way, and whether the film being sold to us isn't a slightly suspect package, but Smith, sublime and moving, sells it regardless.

    January 17, 2007
  • Deserves kudos for avoiding saccharine sentiment, but its relentless emphasis on money as the cure for all ills is depressing. They might as well have called it The Pursuit of Richyness.

    January 14, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Paul Arendt

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Plays like an unravelling of the Eighties comedy hit Trading Places. Instead of a smart-Alec street hustler who turns the tables on his seemingly benign patrons, we have a smart saint who simply wants to join the club.

    January 14, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The film unspools like a souped-up vanity project.

    January 14, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • One can detect almost the spirit of a public information film nagging the audience: look, people, the American Dream doesn't come for free.

    January 14, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • That Will Smith is capable of this great performance should not be surprising.

    January 13, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Pursuit of Happyness

  • May 04, 2016
    Pretty solid. Kind of overrated I think, but still an enjoyable film with a good story.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 13, 2014
    I'm not terribly surprised that this was more loved by users than critics. It is the faux heart wrenching real story that still has more glamour than likely really was the case and unfortunately stars Will Smith's son. Two stars on the barfy metre.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2012
    Melodramatic, sad, heartfelt movie about a man never giving up and finding true happiness in life. The movie has that message of "life's hard" or "life's unfair", which is true, but how do get through it?. In all seriousness, Will Smith and Jaden Smith will break your heart and rebuild them again, they both give powerful performances and have insanely good chemistry (obviously sense in real life they are father and son). The story is incredible, the acting is superb, the emotion never stops being powerful and in one scene of the movie, when Will Smith gets the official job where he finally gets paid money for his work, he cries and says "Thank You". The message that was translated was that everything he went through, all the trouble and the bills he needed to pay, he never gave up, and all the work and studying paid off..that message was so impacting that would make me cry too, and I absolutely recommend this movie.
    Angel G Super Reviewer

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