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

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Movie Info

Life is a struggle for single father Chris Gardner (Will Smith). Evicted from their apartment, he and his young son (Jaden Christopher Syre Smith) find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.

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Critic Reviews for The Pursuit of Happyness

All Critics (176) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (118) | Rotten (58)

  • In an effort to make a crowd-pleasing film, the horrors that Gardner must have experienced on the streets feel glossed over by the Hollywood machine.

    March 24, 2007
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…

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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