What's Eating Gilbert Grape

1993, Comedy/Drama, 1h 58m

51 Reviews 250,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

It's sentimental and somewhat predictable, but those are small complaints, given the tender atmosphere and moving performances at the heart of What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is a small-town young man with a lot of responsibility. Chief among his concerns are his mother (Darlene Cates), who is so overweight that she can't leave the house, and his mentally impaired younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has a knack for finding trouble. Settled into a job at a grocery store and an ongoing affair with local woman Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen), Gilbert finally has his life shaken up by the free-spirited Becky (Juliette Lewis).

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Audience Reviews for What's Eating Gilbert Grape

  • Nov 16, 2018
    This has always been one of my favorite movies, such a great cast. The writing is also very good, heartwarming family story. Everyone should see this film, we all long to get away sometimes like Gilbert did.
    Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2016
    This coming-of-age movie stars Johnny Depp in the titular role, and he does fantastic work. However, the real story here is the performance given by Leonardo DiCaprio. Playing a young adult with mental illness, DiCaprio managed to pull off a wonderful performance without being offensive or watered-down. The subtle music really fit in well with the small-town feel. There were a few conveniences in the storyline, namely with the Carver family, but it didn't take away from the effect of the film overall. As far as feel-good movies go, this is one of the better examples; a bittersweet happy ending can have a lasting touch, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape has clearly impacted viewers to have such a following today.
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2016
    It's hard to believe that Leonardo DiCaprio has still not won an Oscar to this day. His performance in this at just twenty years old is superb. Sadly, his history of Oscar subs started here. Superb.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2015
    A slice of life film about a small town family struggling to make it years after a family tragedy (the suicide of Gilbert Grape's father). Gilbert is played by Johnny Depp in his (in my opinion) best performance of his career. Depp was reportedly struggling with personal issues of his own during filming, and he certainly seems to use that despair in his performance. A tremendous cast, including a then unknown John C. Reilly, a young and incredible Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, and many relatively unknown others who give this movie tremendous depth. Everywhere you look there are talented actors adding color to this movie and almost every scene is affecting. It's a toss up between DiCaprio's performance as a boy with special needs, and Darlene Cates, a morbidly obese woman who had never acted before in her life for finest performance in this movie. Depp is excellent, but DiCaprio is a revelation and Cates is painfully honest and brave. This movie feels more like what real-life feels like than most Hollywood films have achieved. There are funny moments, tender moments and sad, lonely and desperate moments. Life can be very hard, with responsibilities and relationships to manage, and this movie captures that struggle and makes it compelling. Despite mostly positive reviews, this film remains underrated and is quickly becoming a forgotten masterpiece.
    Mark H Super Reviewer

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