Wonder Boys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wonder Boys Reviews

Page 1 of 80
½ August 7, 2017
Funny, charming, and well-written.
July 30, 2017
My Favorite Film Of All Time Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
April 29, 2017
It took awhile for me to get a handle on the tone of Wonder Boys. It started off with the feel of a fairly serious drama. I kind of expected this was headed down a similar path to Dead Poets Society. But then there were some lighter moments, and suddenly I found myself genuinely laughing out loud at some of the things going on. Back and forth it swung between drama and comedy, and I realized I was enjoying the mix. For those who don't know, the plot centers around a writing professor who is struggling to get his life on track while also attempting to understand one of his most unique students.

Michael Douglas is great and brought a lot of heart to the film. I love his character arc and he adds nuance to the performance that allows you to see more is going on beneath the surface. Robert Downey Jr. is one of my favorite actors and his lighthearted performance is a great counterpoint to Douglas' more serious tone. I could always count on some of the biggest laughs when he walked into a scene. On the flip side Tobey Maguire is one of my least favorite actors. He doesn't do anything to hurt Wonder Boys, but I can't help thinking a better actor would have made it an even better movie.

Ordinarily I'm not the biggest fan of voiceover, and this one was particularly off-putting in the beginning because Michael Douglas literally talked over characters in the film with his narration. Luckily the voiceover stopped for large chunks of the film and wasn't so aggressive when it occurred later. I had a lot of fun with the plot of Wonder Boys. Even though there wasn't exactly a lot going on and it seemed like the story kept circling back to the same places, I still couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It's a heartfelt story with multiple characters all trying to find their way.

I had such a strong connection with Douglas' character that I genuinely cared about what happened to him. That kind of emotional link to the characters is my number one priority out of most movies I see. I do see flaws in Wonder Boys, though. There are some sub-plots that don't amount to much and have no reason to exist in the film. Katie Holmes was a good example of this, a character with virtually no purpose in the film. There also were a few conversations that seemed a bit forced. I wondered "do people ever actually talk like this?" But I forgave a lot of flaws in Wonder Boys, because it told an effective story with characters I liked and that's what I wanted.
March 6, 2017
A beautifully nuanced film filled with little moments of pure brilliance, the kind that only special writers can capture...Chabon is one of those writers and Steve Kloves did one hell of a job translating his lyricism.
½ October 1, 2016
It's a good movie, but these ratings are a little high.
August 29, 2016
I think it will resonate with older viewers, especially those that make a living writing (or at least try). This one is a polished gem in every sense. It did not do well in two releases and I'm guessing it was in part due to its limited audience, but there are many films like Shawshank and others that have had similar fates only to be appreciated later. Script, cast and production are all 5 stars IMO. A classic.
June 17, 2016
I love this film. I can watch it over and over. I have shown it to others who haven't loved it - which is disappointing. But if you enjoy great dialogue, running jokes, incredible character development - even the minor roles - and a really fun story, I hope you like Wonder Boys. The film is basically a long weekend with some kooky characters doing kooky stuff. You're never really sure where it's going because it doesn't easily fall into a category. Trying to explain the plot ruins the fun. Amazing performances, great sound track (Bob Dylan penned a new song "Things have changed" for the film) anachronistic set pieces lend it a timeless feeling - "one hell of a nutty ride".
½ May 14, 2016
Really well done. Probably Michael Douglas's best performance of the past 20 years. Great performances from Robert Downey Jr. And Tobey Maguire too. Not much of a story, it's more about the love of the written word and great character development surrounding this college world.
February 12, 2016
2016-02-12 synposis is wrong, he and James aren't trying to find it, James stole it. but pretty good overall.
February 1, 2016
very stoner-noir, which I love, yet, it transcends the mold ....
January 21, 2016
at first I didn't want to watch the movie, but quickly found myself immersed in the story. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
January 17, 2016
I was quite impressed by Michael Douglas who usually has a habit of winding me up with his smugness. This was a much more humble performance. A decent little story but nothing too special, or memorable.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2015
A superb performance from Michael Douglas. Exceedingly enjoyable and well acted. Not sure why I had not seen this until now.
November 12, 2015
Great lead performances, directed by Curtis Hanson, Wonder Boys is one of my favorite movies of all time.
September 6, 2015
A great movie with a winning performance from Michael Douglas. I wish he did more movies like this these days. Tobey Maguire was also good and Frances McDormand had some nice scenes. Great screenplay and good soundtrack made by Bob Dylan
July 26, 2015
This is a WONDERFUL film and I am appalled that the box off ice was poor. There is so much crap churned out on a daily basis and this little gem deserves your full attention.
½ May 27, 2015
Funny,quirky dark comedy that's a very well acted little gem.
March 20, 2015
As a writer I love this movie. I don't know how anyone could not like it. Funny, smart, great depictions, and everything ties together. You couldn't ask for better performances.
November 12, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
September 8, 2014
Loved this film, all the quirky characters are quite charming rather than being annoying, which can easily happen in an ensemble piece like this one, where every character can come off like the wacky neighbor in a sit-com.

This, however, was simply delightful.

Well worth a look, recommended.
Page 1 of 80