Wonder Boys

Critics Consensus

Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire do wonders in this clever dark comedy.



Total Count: 125


Audience Score

User Ratings: 40,245
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Movie Info

Grady Tripp is a professor/writer living in Pittsburgh who is struggling with writer's block. Whilst doing this, he also manages to get the chancellor pregnant. In the meantime, he and a college student, James Leer are trying to find a rare jacket once owned by Marilyn Monroe, and a college girl, Hannah Green boarding with Grady has a bit of a crush on him.


Michael Douglas
as Grady Tripp
Alan Tudyk
as Traxler
Philip Bosco
as Emily's Father
Bill Velin
as Officer Pupcik
June Hildreth
as Emily's Mother
Elisabeth Granli
as Emily (Photo)
Richard Hidlebird
as Hi-Hat Bouncer
Bingo O'Malley
as Wordfest Party Guest
Patricia Cray
as Wordfest Party Guest
Marita Golden
as Wordfest Party Guest
Victor Quinaz
as Wordfest Party Guest
James Ellroy
as Wordfest Party Guest
Lenora Nemetz
as Wordfest Party Guest
Tracey D. Turner
as Wordfest Party Guest
James Kisicki
as Wordfest Party Guest
Anika Bobb
as Student
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News & Interviews for Wonder Boys

Critic Reviews for Wonder Boys

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (23)

  • Michael Douglas gives the best perfromance of his career (to be remembered at Oscar time) in this screwball comedy about a college professor who's pushed into maturity by forces beyond his control; a well-acted coming-of-age saga for adults.

    Apr 5, 2007 | Rating: A-

    Emanuel Levy

    Top Critic
  • Wonder Boys digresses so entertainingly, you forget how quickly Grady got into the mess he's in, and can't imagine where we might be headed.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Get going, you laggards.

    May 11, 2001 | Rating: 4/5
  • With vivid characters, an ironic voice-over narrative, and a solidly written screenplay, Wonder Boys provides its share of small pleasures...

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • With a cast this terrific and a story this rich and wry, Wonder Boys really can't miss.

    Jan 1, 2000
  • Funny and touching.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wonder Boys

  • Dec 29, 2015
    A superb performance from Michael Douglas. Exceedingly enjoyable and well acted. Not sure why I had not seen this until now.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2013
    It's a wonder that so many people enjoyed this film. I found it to be a hodgepodge of rubbish all wrapped up with a silly little soundtrack and grand claims that Douglas had given the performance of a lifestyle. Rubbish!
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2012
    I'm not really sure how I felt about this picture. Michael Douglas plays this teacher/writer who is trying to fix his personal problems while finding a way to get his novel published. The Douglas character befriends a young student who is a gifted writer named James Leer played by Tobey McGuire but he is seen as rather dark, lifeless, and an enigma. The film also shows a lot about the campus lifestyle and well to be honest I never went to a university or went to any prestigious seminars, so it was all very alienating to me and overall the film didn't really touched me as I thought it would. The best performance imo goes to Michael Douglas as the teacher/writer Prof. Grady Tripp who is seen as someone going through a crisis in his life, who hasn't gotten out of the hippie life and enjoys blazing a joint or two. Tripp's salvation is his upcoming novel and his mistress (later on woman to be) Sara Gaskell played by Frances McDormand.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2011
    It's perfectly fine. I don't really buy anybody's character though. Michael Douglas, a depressive writer? Tobey Maguire, a psychopath? Katie Holmes, a writing ingenue? No, no, and no.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer

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