Towering performance by Matt Damon as a troubled working class who needs to address his creative genius elevates this drama way above its therapeutic approach, resulting in a zeitgeist film that may touch chord with young viewers the way The Graduate did
Emanuel Levy, Variety, 2008-02-05
The film works as a character-driven narrative because Mr. Van Sant and his co-screenwriters are not afraid to unlock the psychological mysteries of their five major characters with clear and concise dialogue.
Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, 2007-04-27
It's acted and directed with care, and Damon is outstanding, his scenes with Driver being especially sparky.
Derek Adams, Time Out, 2006-02-09
While the charismatic performances of Damon and Affleck make "Good Will Hunting" a difficult entertainment to resist, doing just that is not as hard as the film would like to think.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2001-02-14
Good Will Hunting narrowly avoids many sentimental pitfalls thanks to what doesn't happen...
Matthew Kohut, Film.com, 2000-01-01
As Francis Ford Coppola does with The Rainmaker, Van Sant demonstrates how entertainingly a real pro can direct a strong if not especially groundbreaking story.
Janet Maslin, New York Times, 2000-01-01
This has not been a great year for language in movies, but people are going to be memorizing and reciting some of these lines for years to come.
John Hartl, Film.com, 2000-01-01
Good Will Hunting represents the firmest step into the mainstream yet for director Gus van Sant.
Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle, 2000-01-01
Intimate, heartfelt and wickedly funny, it's a movie whose impact lingers.
Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle, 2000-01-01
Almost any viewer will enjoy Good Will Hunting moment by moment, but many will wake the next morning wondering why, with all that talent on hand, it amounts to so little in the end.
Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, 2000-01-01
Even rarer than a breath of fresh air is a breath of fresh Hollywood film. Brainy and heartfelt and right on target, Good Will Hunting is such a film.
Jay Carr, Boston Globe, 2000-01-01
Between this film and John Grisham's The Rainmaker, Damon surfaces as one swell addition to the front line of screen actors.
Susan Stark, Detroit News, 2000-01-01
The outcome of the movie is fairly predictable; so is the whole story, really. It's the individual moments, not the payoff, that make it so effective.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 2000-01-01
Good Will Hunting is stuffed -- indeed, overstuffed -- with heart, soul, audacity, and blarney. You may not believe a minute of it, but you don't necessarily want to stop watching.
Review, Entertainment Weekly, 1997-12-05