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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking film
A superb film in which the central character is a young man from a broken background who is an uncertified genius. A wonderfully unpredictable script and plot coupled with fine performances by all concerned combine to produce an enchanting, and often touching, story of a youth struggling to find himself and come to terms with his past.
It's one of those rare films...
Published on 13 Dec. 2000 by hal_mustafa@hotmail.com

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An example of American wishful thinking
I suppose you can't blame the actors.
Published 3 months ago by think about it


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking film, 13 Dec. 2000
This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
A superb film in which the central character is a young man from a broken background who is an uncertified genius. A wonderfully unpredictable script and plot coupled with fine performances by all concerned combine to produce an enchanting, and often touching, story of a youth struggling to find himself and come to terms with his past.
It's one of those rare films that intelligently deals with the complex issues of relationships. None of the characters presented is there for window dressing, and each has depth, and plausibility.
Will (our main man) spends much of his time hanging out with his gang of friends, but with whom he can never share intellectual parity. Discovered by a world-renowned mathematician, who wants him to pursue a career in mathematics (what else?), he finds himself balking at the prospect. His emotional problems lead him to a therapist and the film spends much time exploring this relationship. Whilst in therapy he meets and falls for a college girl, but because of his emotional problems is unable to commit to her.
The whole film is a beautifully balanced mix of humour, pathos, and emotion. Certainly one of, if not the, best films of 1999. Don't miss it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great surprise for me, 31 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
There are plenty of good reviews regarding this film here on amazon so I won't go into the storyline. Just to add that I first saw this film by mistake when it was first released on a rainy day when I had nothing else to do, at the time I was a degree student. I was intrigued by the title, but almost put off when I saw that Robin Williams was in it, Williams at the time was just known for being an outrageous and very loud comedian. How glad I am that it poured with rain that day and I didn't walk to the train station to go home at my usual time. This film showed what a great serious actor Robin Williams could be, it was a breath of fresh air to see him play his role as a wise old professor. Matt Damon played a blinder as the main character in the film with some decent performances from the supporting cast notably Stellan Starsgard. Ben Affleck I find rather annoying at the best of times as does Minnie Driver has the same affect on me, but Affleck I find tolerable in this as at the very least he is playing a young character. The late author George Plimpton also has a small role as a shrink. The whole film has an understated but uplifting feel good factor to it, and the scene where Williams repeats to Will that "it's not your fault" referring to the upbringing Will had is very touching. "Afternoon delight" indeed.

I recommend this film to those of you who may doubt whether you will like it. I took the plunge all those years ago and am very glad I did. Buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Williams Damon and many more make splendid real life picture, 23 Dec. 2007
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This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
A university professor seeks to help a mathematical genius who has had problems with the law and on his release, Will Hunting (Damon) must agree to see a psychologist.

Opening with a colourful slow moving montage of a long haired Matt Damon scribbling maths equations on his mirror, we are instantly engaged into a strong psychological drama that will make you laugh, cry and be enticed into a world of intelligence.

This splendid picture, almost 13 years old now, has lost none of its relevance in real world story telling. Written by Damon and Ben Affleck, the two dive deep into the world of a man with personal problems whilst being mathematically gifted, much to his disappointment. The two friends picked up an Oscar for their best original screenplay and over the course of 1997 it seems this was the most refreshing and hit the drama harder than most. Had it not been for a bravado OCD suffering portrayal by Jack Nicholson then Damon would surely have been a certain for the best actor.

Robin Williams managed to scoop best actor in a supporting role and his power of intelligence to read people in his role is staggering. His ability to conform to the form and thoughts of a psychologist is a brilliant execution of using his job and his own personal experience to associate with the troublesome Will. Certain improvisations such as the little secrets about his wife and the story about the baseball game are all little revelations, all sweet real life stories that we as viewers are able to associate with and because of these inclusions we can sit and enjoy the high power of the drama but chill and laugh along in some of the light hearted sequences.

This film's ability to conform to the comedy and drama genre is excellent whilst throwing in the odd romance ideology and scientific lexis. Minnie Driver adds a subtle intelligence to the film with her protagonist's enthusiasm but also youthful vulnerability in the face of her feelings. And again these performances by all members are so real and identifiable you feel enticed right into their personal stories and believe me this is no exaggeration. Whilst the film revolves around complex concepts such as mathematical equations, the power of labour and conditional love this can be viewed by any person and be appreciated on any level as there are great comedy sequences, the "How do you like them apples?!" to the dramatic "Its not your fault".

Gus Van Sant is able to further establish his authority through basic real worldly settings, such as the sequence on the bench by the pond and the rough neighbourhood which is very good at establishing character development.

My words will do this film an injustice because it is so breathtakingly forward in its approach to real world issues such as youthful violence and naivety and taking life for granted but should you watch it, you will not have your time wasted.

9/10
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great blu ray, 20 Nov. 2011
What a beautiful movie. Robin Williams steals the show with his warmth and sees a counsellor shown in a truer light. The transfer is just right for this movie- still holds some grain but adds depth and clarity; it shows off the colour palette and keeps the grittiness of Southie. I thought this would be a film that wouldn't be worth a blu ray showing; I was wrong.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Region 2 Blu-Ray - Pic & Extras, 29 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ok, I'm assuming you know the plot etc and want to know what extra you're getting by buying the Blu-Ray version. Well, as said in other reviews, the picture looks loads better and the sound is clearer (Excellent soundtrack to this movie). The extras are - Audio commentary by Ben, Matt & Gus (it's a good commentary too, as most multiple actor/director/writers ones are) - Deleted scenes (20 minutes of them & with optional commentary) - Production Featurette - Behind the scenes thing - 'Miss Misery' Music video - Oscar montage (basically a trailer) - Theatrical Trailer. In short .. well worth the upgrade (and it's a great flick).. "How'd ya like them apples?".
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...But only because 5 is too obvious. Everyone gives 5., 3 Sept. 2003
Most famously known as the movie which launched the big screen careers of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Good Will Hunting is a quietly beautiful, character driven piece. Damon is eminently watchable as the title character, portraying the mood swings and self destruction required with an engaging charm. Considering its associations with his fame, Affleck is actually little more than an extra - while he is entertaining as best friend Chucky, decked out in a Boston-ghetto uniform of tracksuits and bad hairstyles, he isn't really given much to do.
The thrust of the film is in Damon's struggle with his own genius, and his relationships with the people trying to make him see it and use it. First discovered by College Professor Skellan Skargard, he is bounced from prison by Skarsgard, who hopes to join forces with the wunderkind in order to leave his mark more indellibly on the Mathematical world. As part of the deal Damon enters into therapy with blue-collar shrink Robin Williams, who holsters his manic tendencies to move Will down the road to recovery with warmth and a much gentler good humour. The growing relationship between the two provides the best scenes in the film, from a lovely moment in which they ruminate on love and regret over memories of a baseball game, to the famous payoff of 'It's not your fault.'
William's performances so far outstrips the sap-fests of 'Patch Adams' and 'Jack', and here is almost unrecognisable as the childish Peter Pan character he has been so associated with in other films. Both impossibly wise and disarmingly humble, Williams marshalls the role with working class grit and great intelligence - its a shame he hasn't really been this good since, although he does play against type brilliantly in his recent work (see Insomnia, or One Hour Photo).
The dramatic drive behind Will's change, however, comes from his relationship with Minnie Driver's Skyla. Their growing bond is shown tremendously, managing to be touchingly sweet while also managing to be realistic in its awkwardness and uncertainty - a first kiss is arranged early as a way of getting the pressure off at the end of the evening. The depth of the bond between the two does grow a little too quickly and without explanation - their initial fumblings turn almost without warning into love, with Skyla asking Will to follow her across the country to pursue their relationship. Having said that, the on-screen chemistry between the two is palpable (possibly due the relationship blossoming between the two off it), and they do make for one of the better pairings in recent film.
It could be said that Good Will Hunting is little more than clever series of audience manipulations, and it is true that it is indeed often sentimental. However, it never slips into the kind of cloying sappiness that you might expect from this, and the result is simply pure, mainly unchallenging but extremely well-crafted drama.
This is the kind of film that could have been a best picture contender if it had come after it's stars breakouts, remaining at the same time intelligent and literary while also balancing mass appeal. With uniformly excellent performances, Williams' breakthrough as a proper actor and a script that gave its writers both the fame and the Oscar they deserved, this a film that deserves to be in everyone's collection, if only to remember a time before its stars went about the humdrum business of being regular movie stars. Top notch.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, perfect, 25 July 2006
By 
Mr. M. Brenson "Marky B" (Southsea, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I would love to sit here for hours waxing lyrical about the plot of this fantastic film and why it is by far and away my favourite film of all time but I won't. Suffice it to say there is not one single wasted word in this film. The script is immaculate and the performances too. If you haven't seen this film, please please do. An inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film, 19 Oct. 2008
By 
T. Knight "Ty" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Before they were quite so famous, two of the main cast of this superb film gave the performances that would kick their acting careers into the million dollar market.
The film itself will forever be a classic. Its simple and easy to relate to plot has you laughing, crying and remembering your own youth.
The main plot and character are a work of genius and really has your total attention through the whole film. It expands your mind to the further possibles of life and also those missed oppotunities.
So the story is amazing, the acting is fantastically believable and the film is crammed full of modern day superstars. What are you waiting for?!?

-Ty
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another poignant and inspiring movie, 18 Jan. 2012
By 
Uenna (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] (DVD)
This movie is very well written and beautifully dramatised. It is no wonder that it won two Oscars - best supporting actor(Robbie Williams) and best original screen player (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon). I liked the premise that the most intelligent person in the university was not the professor of Mathematics but the troubled juvenille cleaner whose "rap record" goes on forever. A maths professor challenged his class to solve a complicated maths theory, and the next day the answer was written on the board. It had taken the professor and others about two years to solve it. Everyone was excited and waiting with bated breath, for him to reveal who won the prize for solving the problem. Of course no one in his class owned up to having done it. So he set a new challenge, only this time he caught someone writing on the board, but he ran away before the professor could see that he was the person solving his complex maths quizzes. Thus proving that prodigies are borne not made, and definitely not determined by the environment. The professor then began a quest to find the owner of such a powerful mind and intellect.

The movie raises a lot of questions of life - what sanctions determine our life on earth? To what extent is our life determined by our actions and our environment? What of the genius boy wonder in question who is an orphan; though he has had a hard life, lived in awful conditions, and uses his fist more than he uses his brain, is he responsible for his circumstances and his actions? Should he be allowed to choose for himself what he would like to do with his life or should others like the professor decide for him? I found this engaging and even more poignant because of its relevance in my daily work. I only wished there was less swearing.

I also liked the part played by Robbie Williams character, the humane therapist / shrink who actually tries to listen to his patients and works with them on their level to attain a better understanding of themselves. One indelible lesson which has left an imprint on my soul is that one could be a highly acclaimed professor, academician, Nobel laureate, accomplished to the highest earthly standard and still be a lousy human being. It takes more than erudition and learning to be a good human being, it takes understanding the meaning of true humanity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A view into the mind of a genius, 31 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
In the past week, one man alone has succeeded in dividing and provoking opinions from across the internet in the most significant entertainment news of the past seven days. Ben Affleck was announced to be picking up the Cowl and continuing the cinematic legacy of the Batman. With Christian Bales performance of the caped crusader still fresh in everyones minds, many are unwilling to give Affleck the chance to prove himself. It was at this point that I decided to revisit several of his different roles from throughout his career in an attempt to come to a conclusion. The first of these films being the touching ‘Good Will Hunting’, co-written and starring both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

When a series of difficult equations are solved by a university janitor, he is pursued by a professor after he is arrested following a street fight. Help comes from mysterious places as he is released on the grounds that he meets regularly with both a Therapist and the Professor in an attempt to help him realise his full potential.

He goes through several therapists in quick succession as he outsmarts and analyses them prior to them being able to properly get to know him. This calls for Professor Gerard Lambeau to contact his old college friend, Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Both characters grew up in South Boston, which helps them to develop a connection that will test their limits.

Will (Matt Damon) soon understands that he has met his intellectual equal and their meetings play out much like a game of chess. It’s thrilling to watch them both trying to gain the upper hand only to constantly counter each other. Williams is such an accomplished actor, always perfecting the role of the caring teacher as Hunting desperately searches for a father figure after having a turbulent childhood. Realising this, Maguire opens up to share real life experience as the genius has limited himself so much, knowing only what he knows from literature and quotations to protect himself from the pain of losing people.

All the characters have believable motivations for helping Will and it’s good to see how they all approach it in different way. From the assertive, Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) who attempts to push the genius down various career paths to Sean, who tries to guide him to find his own path, understanding that Wills difficulties originate from the abuse and neglect that he experienced in his childhood.

Although Affleck isn’t in the lime-light throughout most of the movie there are several key scenes which really triumph in leaving a lasting impression on the viewer. With honourable mentions to his final, poignant scene. On the other hand, collaborating with Damon to create such an incredible script is a testament to their skill. Far from being a skeptic, this has really made me far more open to his take on the worlds greatest detective.

The movie tackles many issues as you see the darkness that some talented people can face on a daily basis and how his past overshadows his brilliance, preventing him from taking leaps towards a better life. It really is a film based on self discovery and the events that rekindle his intentions to push himself further in his existence begin as he comprehends how many people care for him. I’d recommend this film to anyone as it can really resonate with any viewer. Everyone will, at some point in their lives, question the path their life will lead and this really is an extreme example of this as he has ran himself into the ground over the years trying to find his direction only to rebuild his foundations and understand his potential.
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