Time Out says
Good Will Hunting's sincerity comes capitalised, which is not to deny the film is honest and moving in its way. Damon (who co-scripted, with
) plays Will, a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's a closet genius, a volatile orphan who'd rather hang out with his beer buddies than parlay his brains into the lucrative career that would seem to be his destiny. Appalled that such a talent should be lost to science, maths professor Lambeau (Skarsgård) takes the boy under his wing, arranges for him to get psychiatric help, and watches Will make monkeys of the shrinks. Sean (Williams) is the last resort: another South Boston guy who never really made it, maybe he can break through where his distinguished peers failed. There are tensions here. To an extent, the film challenges America's ingrained anti-intellectualism, yet its anti-elitist instincts lead it close to equating academia with a dubious effeminacy. In the end it even falls back on that old cinematic panacea: get in touch with your inner
. It's acted and directed with care, and Damon is outstanding, his scenes with Driver being especially sparky.
Cast and crew