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Opened in Theaters: Friday, December 26th, 1997

Directed by Gus Van Sant
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 1:42

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Good Will Hunting
Academy Award® Winner
Wildly charismatic. Impossibly brilliant. Totally rebellious. For the first 20 years of his life, Will Hunting has called the shots. Now he's about to meet his match.  View more >

strong language, including some sex-related dialogue

Starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck...  View more >

Academy Award: Best Supporting Actor (Robin Williams)
View more information about this movie >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  15 60 See Now! Percent
Good  7 28 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  2 8 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  1 4 Stay Away! Percent
25 Total Reviews

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
One of the most touching and compelling stories I have seen in a long time. This original script is complemented by wonderful performances from the entire cast. Look for Academy Award nominations in several categories for this film.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Though the plot is somewhat fantasy, the plot offers an exagerated, and therefor more effective, example of how we use our own talents in life. Will, a true genious is afraid of failure, so he never takes any opportunities too seriously, and it takes him a while to realize this. This movie is not onlyenjoyable, but also inspiring.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Excellent movie! Definitely not a typical Hollywood plot. Lots of character depth and good performances. I seem to like Robin Williams better in serious roles than in comedies. If you liked "Dead Poet's Society" you will love "Good Will Hunting."

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
One of the finest movies that I have ever seen. These guys (Matt Damon & Ben Affleck) wrote this script to thrust themselves into the eye of the industry. I don't think they knew the caliber of film they were capable of producing. It is a great one...certainly one of the best of the decade. We should all hope that these two friends are interested in collaborating again.

Keep an eye out for hilarious a scene in a Harvard bar. It is genious. Go see this film.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck who could ask for more? Well this movie fufilled every possible dream I've ever had about any movie. Good Will Hunting was a movie that reached deep down in your soul and asked you questions about life, love and feelings. It addresses feelings and issues that movies usually don't address. It introduced a cocky and self satisfied guy who happened to be a mathematical genius. The story followed him along and watched his multiple layers unfold through talks with Sean (Robin Willaims) and Skylar (Minnie Driver). IT is heart grabbing soul searching and probably the best movie I have ever seen.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Although many movies as of late seem to be singing the praises against intelligence for succeedingin life, GWH takes this plot and adds a dash of lime. Will becomes the unlikely success story and charms his way into our hearts. A wonderfully powerful script masterfully executed especially by Robin Williams. Some scenes were absolutely phenomenal: gripping, powerful, and self-revealing. I did not feel that I could predict what would happen next. I recommend whole-heartedly. And bring Kleenexand your giggle box for it is a refreshing blend of both.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Although this movie enjoys critical acclaim, you may find it uneven. Unless you're from the East, the strong Boston accents could get in the way. The dialogue is crisp and intelligent, and that you may miss some parts because of the accents is botherson and unnecessary. What does it add to the story to have such marked accents, other than making sure everyone understands that this takes place at MIT? Although the plot is interesting, the ending is predictable, and the whole character of the math genius mopping floors and solving genius-level math puzzles on the fly stretches credibility. (But my teenage son liked the movie; his comment was that this movie is the first one that's required any thinking in a long time.)And although the acting is good, Robin Williams has had much better and more challenging role; I'll bet he isn't going to get that Oscar.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
First of all...I loved it. This was by far one of the best movies that have been made this past year. To begin with, the story was written by both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and now they both star in it. Robin Williams, who is the ever-so funny comedian, plays a serious role that really highlights how great of an actor he is. Matt Damon plays a janitor at MIT, who armed with a photographic memory and brilliant mathematical skills goes head to head with a Nobel Prize winning professor (Stellan Skarsgard). Skarsgard is in awe of Damon's skills, but finds that Damon needs some work emotionally. He lines up counselor after counselor to work with Damon only to find that Damon doesn't take their help seriously. That's when Skarsgard brings in his old college roommate, Robin Williams, to help him and Damon out. While Williams works to assist seems like Damon is also helping Williams. Their relationship becomes a strong one....not so much as counselor/counselee, but rather as two friends who go searching to find the right road for their own life's travel. This is definitely a film full of emotion. Bottom line...if you are "hunting" for a great story of friendship, love, fear, insecurity, joy, happiness, and sorrow...this is it!

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Starring Matt Damon and Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting was a joyful emotionally stirring tale of a young man who is a wiz at mathimatics and the sciences. This attracts the attention of a professor. The Professor tries to teach Damon how to control his emotions, concentrate on Math, and eventually leads to Councellor Robin Williams. Williams tries to keep Damons self control intact. This film was long, however, well worth the emotional times. I suggest you see this movie with a close friend, perhaps a girlfriend to share those touching scenes. Out of a scale of 1 - 10, I rate this film a solid 9. Not perfect, but extremely good. A definate film to see this year.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Good Will Hunting was a very entertaining movie, but I can't say that I would advise people to run out and see it. There were just too many places in the movie where Gus Van Sant Jr. let the pace drag. Luckily, he was very careful that the slow areas were immediately followed with high action sequences. That was his saving grace. The action segments were very intense, with the 'boys club' consisting of Matt Damon and his friends playing off of each other beautifully, truly showing the audience how tight a group of men can be, and how perilous their conditions are down in the slums of Boston.

The story itself is fantastic, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the writers (Matt Damon also stars as Will Hunting, and Ben Affleck appears as Chuckie) should be proud of themselves for putting together a story that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people. Just a warning, there is quite a large amount of profanity throughout the movie, so this is NOT a movie to show to the younger audiences who don't comprehend the need of cursing in certain settings.

Minnie Driver (Who has been a favorite of mine since Circle of Friends) played the character of Skylar perfectly. You could feel the sensuality surrounding Damon and Driver from the first time they met, and that never left the screen. She is as beautiful as usual in the movie, and perfectly believable as a very caring, strong but slightly na´ve heiress, who is starving for love.

The rest of the characters were also very believable and deep, though I have to admit, I wish that I had seen a little more humor in Robin William's character. It felt to me that he so much didn't want to be stereotyped in this movie, that he deliberately moved away from humor when it actually could have helped.

The only reasons I don't give this movie the highest rating is because of the very long dips of sullenest within the movie, and the equally long moments where there appears to be nothing of importance happening. The other thing that I didn't like - which may be petty, but I didn't like anyway - was the fact that the ending credits didn't go in order of importance of the characters, it went in order of appearance. Now, I don't know about you, but I regularly can't remember WHO a person is, but if I look at the list in order of importance, I can usually jar my memory enough to figure out who it was. Maybe it's a little petty, but it did bother me.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Will Hunting works as a janitor for one of the most famous Technical colleges around. He solves advanced math problems without even thinking, and you wonder why is he a janitor? Will Hunting(Matt Damon) is very intelligent but is a bit of a punk, always getting into trouble with police. He gets into a fight and hits an officer who tries to restrain him. He has a choice of spending time in prison or seeing a phsycologist. Guess which one he chooses(duh). Will makes the first several doctors quit after one visit, his next phycologist is Sean(Robin Williams) who seems to relate to Will. That's all I'm going to say about the plot(see for yourself), but this film is excellent. The performances from Damon, Williams, Driver, and Affleck are wonderful. This film deserves every oscar it's nominated for,(Well mabey not best pic. over Titanic. Its a toughie). Do yourself a favor, go see GWH. It will make you laugh, cry, and laugh again.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I give this movie 3***. Interesting topic, good acting from fresh, new faces -- and perhaps a storyline with certain social redeeming value. The only two flaws I noticed come by the way of excessive and uneccessary swearing and the movie's predictable conclusion. The stereotypical shrink/patient relationship left me yawning and wondering why shrinks are never happy until a patient breaks down and cries? Other than that, the movie is worthwhile viewing. Go see.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Well, after all the glowing reports I saw this movie was getting (in addition to a positive review from my brother), I decided to see this movie. I admit that I was disappointed in this movie. I will also say that I can see why so many people liked it. The movie was by no means a poorly made movie. It was a very well made movie as a matter of fact. I enjoyed all of the acting, with the exception of the actress who played Skyler. She couldn't decide whether she had a Bostonian accent or an English accent at times, which is irritating. Other than that, the acting is first rate. The complaint I have is that the movie was too slow paced for me. There were times in the movie when I was bored out of my skull. Occasionally, the movie would show signs of life, only to be followed by long segments where seemingly nothing happens. Another complaint I have (and this is personal) is the plethora of foul language which is evident throughout the entire movie. I guess the characters could reasonable be expected to talk that way in real life, but there were so many F this and F that's, that it got in the way of the movie. I think many of the F's could have been removed and the movie would have been more effective. Finally, the reason I give this a "Wait for Rental" rating......I see no reason to pay $7 for this movie when you will probably enjoy it just as much on video. **1/2 out of *****.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie is allegedly about a young man who hasn't belonged anywhere because he lacked a childhood worthy of being called that. He's a "loser." But the real story is about the power of friendship and the value of balanced "rescue" from being a loser. This "loser" has brilliance coveted by the brilliant but what he really has are friends. Without either the professor or the psychologist, a "rescue" wouldn't have been complete, but Matt Damon's character, Will Hunting, was first and foremost shored up by his friend. When he and his friend talk about the future and his friend speaks about the "promise" of the future, he speaks straightforward about where Will Hunting should be. Not there, working in construction ... and the friend speaks from a heart of a friend, a person who envies and admires but does not covet and hopes one day that Will Hunting will be gone, pursuing that "promise." If Will Hunting was in the hands of the professor alone, potential for exploitation was great; had Robin Williams exorcised Will Hunting of his demons but did not have the professor to point out the magnificent potential, the balance would not have been there. It's not enough to have a friend, to have a psychiatrist and an intellectual mentor because, ultimately, we each choose the path ourselves ... but Will Hunting, for all his misfortune, did not fall through the cracks and become a "loser" because people who believed in him were balanced in their contribution. If you go see this movie ... listen for the power of friendship. It's there in abundance.

[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberJan 25, 2000
Written by and starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, this movie also brings Robin Williams and Minnie Driver along for the ride.

Set in and around the Boston area, Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT. The stage for the story is set by a MIT Math Professor challenging his students to solve a particularly difficult mathematical problem by writing it on a blackboard in a hallway outside the classroom.

The problem is solved, but no-one in his class did it. So the search is on. Who solved the problem?

Turns out Will Hunting was responsible for it. The Math Professor, Gerard Lambeau takes Will under his wing, and tries to persuade him to explore and develop his gift for Math. However, Will won't have any of it. He's stubborn, and just doesn't see the point in all of it. Math comes easy for him and he doesn't care about what other people want for him.

Minnie Driver enters the equation when Will meets her at a local pub. The two of them have good times together.

Will gives Lambeau such a hard time that he hands him off to other's that will try to help him realize that he has a gift and that the gift should be put to good use, and not squandered.

In the line of people that Will sees, is Robin Williams playing Sean, an old friend of Lambeau's. Will and Sean butt heads repeatedly until they both see things differently than they had before. It is a learning experience for both of them.

While the film is good, I thought it dragged at times. In my opinion, it's not quite worth going out to the theater for, but once it gets to cable, that's another story.

Copyright 1998 - <I>Ron Higgins No unauthorized publication or distribution without the consent of Ron Higgins.</I>

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Good Will Hunting is one of the best films of the year. It's inspiring, funny, and touching. I loved it!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This is one of the smartest and most touching movies of the year. It is Titanic for guys. I kid you not, men were weeping in the theatre just like the women across the hallway in Titanic. If you (like me) were abused as a child, this movie will certainly hold even more power. The "it's not your fault" scene made EVERYONE cry. As for the acting, let me put it this way. It should be the first movie to win three of the four acting Oscars. Matt Damon quite simply delivers the year's best performance (sorry Jack, but this year you're not "As Good As It Gets"!) I liked Titanic, but GWH should sweep the Oscars.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
i don't see why people liked this movie so much. like when my dad said it was better then titanic which is my favorite movie. the actors talk and use really confusing scientific words, and when Matt Damon would talk he would take forever to say something really pointless and stupid. By the way, does anyone understand why he started crying? Anyway, this movie is long and boring and way worse then Titanic. Leonardo is 100,000 times as good as Matt Damon. also, Robin Williams is annoying because all thru the movie he feels sorry for himself. i also didn't like the girlfriend. this movie was in boston but she had a English voice.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
"C'mon guys let's go see Titanic for the 30th time." "Yeah well it'll be my 40th." That is a sad look at society's LOSERS! That will plagarize line's from the movie they saw 40 times just to look suave in front of their friends. Why not be original like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, They have succesfully achieved a film that actually jerked tears from my pupils. An individual may not even be paying attention to this film and it will still forcefully make him laugh, cry, and go home wanting to be a better man, read a book, stop smoking. As for teens it will inspire them to learn, strive for that "A", and for moviewise this flick is the best of 1997. The acting is top notch and the plot is genuine, let me give you a little background information on this one.

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is your not so normal two bit punk, whom lives in a shack,located in some crummy in south Boston, He is not so normal because he is a freckin GENIUS! with a photographic memory, he works construction with his best friend Chuckie (Chasing Amy's Ben Affleck, whom co - wrote the film with damon), and dates a gorgous girl Skyler (Mini -HOT!- Driver).

Not giving anything away but his Genius gets exploited and that's when situations begin to become complex. So A phsyciatrist named Sean (Robin Williams) helps Will out.

If you want to see a movie where everything about it is perfect then see Good Will Hunting

Grade: A+

I love not giving away endings

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I really enjoyed this movie. Matt Damon is not only sexy, but also an exceptional actor. He was perfect for the part, and delivered a performance which will probably skyrocket his career. As usual, Robyn Williams lived up to his reputation taking a role, and delivering it more brilliantly than any other actor could. Robyn is definately a one of a kind actor. The movie itself was great! With an excellent script, and an exceptional cast, how could it be anything less than superb? The storyline was great, and I could really relate to the characters. I would definately recommend this movie to everyone.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Good Will Hunting crumbles underneath its hype, like many other films. Before we go out and declare Matt Damon and Ben Affleck the greatest screenwriters since Woody Allen and Neil Simon, we should first examine how good their script really is. Personally, I thought it followed the current trend of young screenwriters in its over-wordiness. Will Hunting's overly long monologues serve only to show off Damon and Affleck's vocabularies. Unfortunately for them, anyone can buy a thesaurus and use "big words" to look smart. Damon and Affleck also follow another recent trend (set mostly by Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith) by sprinkling their dialogue with plenty of profanity. One would hope that these young men could think of more creative ways to spice up their script.

As far as the duo's acting, since they wrote the script themselves, they are playing their roles the way they wrote them. There is no interpretation of a "bare script". Robin Williams did the same sad-eyed, sensitive, grief-stricken routine that can be found in his earlier works. Minnie Driver is just plain annoying.

Overall, Good Will Hunting fails because it is merely a collage of other (better made) bonding-related movies.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
A cocky and deeply troubled mathematical genius. A washed-up and passionate psychologist. A loyal and caring friend. A witty and vibrant female student. What do all these people have in common. They are all characters in the movie GOOD WILL HUNTING. First off, I would just like to say, this movie rocks, and I truly mean that. It is probaly THE best film of 1997. It is the story of a very rebellious and aliented young man, Will Hunting played by Matt Damon. Yes he's blue-collared and has a history of violence, but, he is also a mathematical god who comes around once every century or so, he IS the next Einstein. Will's gift is discovered one day by an MIT professor, who is determined to expose this guy, and make him a star. But being the wise-guy he is, Will would rather hang with his loyal bud, Chuckie (Affleck). So, the professor gets Sean Maguire, the widowed counciller played convincingly by Williams. Will and Sean form a very shaky and hot-blooded relationship, that ultimately changes the two for the better. Will slowly starts to see what he wants in life, but he is torn by the Sean and the MIT teacher. To add even more confusion to Will`s life, Skylar comes along.(Minnie Driver) The fresh and incredibly smart Harvard student, who falls in love with Will. But because of his, inner-demons, (orphaned, constant beatings), Will lets go of Skylar, because of his own fear of abandonment. Sean, Chuckie, the professor and Skylar. Who should Will listen to?

Awww, wasn't that so emotional? (sob) In all, GOOD WILL HUNTING is a deeply profound and powerful movie, with a lot of back up from the cast. Matt Damon delivers a terrific performance, while Williams, Driver and Affleck live up to their roles brilliantly. The script is as realstically intense and raw. Everyword that comes out of the characters mouth is believable. Great acting, great story, great script, great movie. GOOD WILL HUNTING's story just leaps out of the screen, and touches you. The impact it will leave on you is amazing. Excellent!

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Yeah, I heard a few negative things about this movie. It was overly sentimental, it was uneven, it was not very orignal. Even though all those flaws are true in GOOD WILL HUNTING, you won`t care. This movie is, bluntly, extremely good,despite all that. I enjoyed the whole film, from beginning to end, it`s not only profound and powerful, it`s also at the same time entertaining and riveting, a combination that isn`t very common these days. Now, the guy who directed GOOD WILL HUNTING is Gus Van Sant,who is know for his eccentric directing styles. That is clear in films such as TO DIE FOR and DRUGSTORE COWBOY, which were both directed by him. So for Van Sant, this movie is rather "edgeless", but still generally pleasing. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck who both star in the film, wrote the script for it, while Damon was attending Harvard. The two added themselves to the cast list, along with Robin Williams and Minnie Driver. So,we now have the stars of GOOD WILL HUNTING. The story is basically a film about coming to terms with yourself and the people around you. The main character is Will Hunting (Damon), a cocky and rebellious 20 year old janitor. Not to mention a mathematical prodigy, one that appears on earth every century or so. His gift is discovered by and MIT professor, who wants to expose Will and also give him councilling, due to his defensive behaviour. So he gets Sean Maguire, a washed-up, widowed psychologist played convinvincingly by Williams. So Will and Sean for a shaky relationship, which ultimately leads the two into becoming changed people. Will is torn by Sean and the counciller, who both want different things from him. To add even more confusion to Will`s life, comes Skylar. A vibrant and witty Harvard student played by Driver ,brilliantly. There are some pitfalls in the movie that were kind of irritating. The movie is kindy bumpy as it swings from crude comedy to sappy tear-jerkers, sort of like a split personality. But, besides that, this is an incredible film. A lot of intense and thoughtful messages, not to mention amazing acting and a very lingering and heart-felt story line. GOOD WILL HUNTING is just about as good movies get, nowadays. Definitely the best film of 1997.

Grade: A

[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberSep 14, 2003
Matt Damon is a genius with a lot of problems in "Good Will Hunting." He befriend a psychologist, played by Robin Williams in the best performance of his career. Minnie Driver in a breakthough performance as Damon's love intrest. "Good Will Hunting" is a labor of love.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Jun 24, 2013

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