The Pursuit of Happyness - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Pursuit of Happyness Reviews

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December 13, 2006
By reducing the story of homelessness to only Chris Gardner's, The Pursuit of Happyness is saying that anybody can get out of the gutter by simply really, really wanting to do better.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 17, 2006
Smith's performance is terrific, but it's in service of a clumsy, heavy-handed film that believes the ultimate measure of a man is how hard he chases what he desires - wealth, fame, Oscars.
Read More | Original Score: 83/100
Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine
December 30, 2006
Like Gardner's desire to escape the confines of his economic station, there's a better movie struggling to escape the confines of a Hollywood movie machine that values story mechanics over genuine emotion.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
December 14, 2006
How is it that movies 'inspired by a real story' often feel more fake than those fully embedded in the realm of fiction?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 14, 2006
The Pursuit of Happyness goes beyond tugging at our heartstrings. It plucks them, strokes them, strums them, plays them for all they're worth. That's both the strength and the weakness of this inspirational drama.
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
February 3, 2007
The real story of Chris Gardner's life is indeed inspirational. The movie version wants to be inspirational as well, but never quite gets there.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Fernando F. Croce
August 28, 2009
Counterfeit emotion and submerged racism
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 7, 2006
... this is a slick studio production with a huge movie star and top professionals occupying every production role so that the polish of this well-made film makes even homelessness look neat and tidy.
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
December 11, 2006
The Pursuit of Happyness expectedly suffers from Muccino's overstated handling of the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Dezhda Gaubert
E! Online
December 14, 2006
Had we seen an intimate glimpse into the professional side of Gardner's journey, this likeable but unexceptional fable could have been so much more.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 14, 2006
A fairy tale in realist drag, The Pursuit of Happyness is the kind of entertainment that goes down smoothly until it gets stuck in your craw.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
Prairie Miller
WBAI Web Radio
March 21, 2007
The American Dream as white, rich and all male.
Brian Gibson
Film School Rejects
October 18, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: C
Rebecca Murray
December 13, 2006
If patience isn't a virtue you possess, pass on The Pursuit of Happyness.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Cole Smithey
December 8, 2006
This Sisyphean movie succeeds in portraying '80s era San Francisco as a deceptively appealing city with a flaky underbelly inhabited by desperate hippies and homeless people.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 12, 2006
At its core The Pursuit of Happyness is a good story -- one that's literally rags to riches, and didn't need the many tweaks and embellishments that Italian director Gabriele Muccino and writer Steven Conrad have added.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 14, 2006
Smith is resourceful in the role, though the story stretches one's credulity about his character's resourcefulness.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
December 14, 2006
[Muccino] is quite skilled at hitting all the appropriate emotional peaks and valleys, though his hard logic leaves a bit to be desired.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
Sap, sentiment, and hokey plot devices bog down an otherwise down to earth story.
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
July 14, 2007
This is Will Smith's movie from start to finish and he carries it wonderfully.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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