Film Friday: Good Will Hunting Review

This article may include some spoilers.


Matt Damon, the star actor of this year’s summer blockbuster, The Martian (2015), was once only a kid full of dreams of being a part in Hollywood, living in Boston. He took his first step into Hollywood as a minor role in Mystic Pizza (1998) after countlessly auditioning for 2-dollars-per-hour extras.

After about 10 years of being a third rate actor, Matt came up making a film called Good Will Hunting (1997) based on a script he, a Harvard student, had written for a culmination for a playwriting class he had. (A film based on the scripts of a boy still attending college! He must have had a lot of talent!) With the help of Chris Moore, the producer who had worked with Matt before, and Matt’s childhood friend, Ben Affleck, they started producing the film. Matt and Ben themselves were starred in the film!

The film starts with a genius orphan teenager named Will Hunting (Matt Damon) that lives in a dark ghetto in Boston, hanging out with his friends like Chucky (Ben Affleck). He had never even been to the front gates of a university, except for when he cleaned the floors of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). However, he had the brains of a genius, and could easily solve any problems, even ones that Nobel-Prize winning professors thought was hard.


Recognising his talent, Professor Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) started to do math with Will, and he also made Will meet a therapist every week, who was his ‘dear’ friend Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Will also has a girlfriend called Skylar (Minnie Driver).

There were several scenes that made me cry, but I believe that the best scene was when Shawn looks at Will with the most comforting eyes and voice he could make, appeasing Will. Will reveals the pain and agony of his past that he had kept with him. The scene is very moving and heart wrenching. Anyone who would’ve seen those tears that he shed would’ve felt that those were the purest things on Earth that moment. The child inside him that suffered so much emerged from Will.

Childhelp stated that close to 5 CHILDREN DIE EVERY DAY as a result of child abuse in the United States. In 2012, state agencies found an estimated 686,000 victims of child maltreatment, but that only tells part of the story. Will was also abused during his childhood. His childhood made him lonely, pessimistic, and into a ‘cocky, scared, shitless kid’ like Shawn addressed. Will was keeping his ‘childhood story’ only to himself. He was a genius, but his childhood and loneliness had been a foggy cloud blurring his future. I find this point very unfortunate for Will. If he was born nowadays, with a stable environment, would he have grown unaware of his potential, of losing his way of ‘life’?


Good Will Hunting won Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Robin Williams) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Matt Damon, Ben Affleck) in the Academy Awards. After I saw the film, I could tell why it was awarded for the script, for the dialogue. The script wasn’t some posh script with high-class words in it. It was a vivid script, expressing the life of a genius orphan boy, living in a ghetto, wandering around in his crossroad of his potential paths.

It’s very hard to pick out shortcomings and flaws in this film. The whole film was connected; every part influenced each other. For example, in films in this genre, which is mainly human drama, romance often plays a weird, unnecessary role. However, in Good Will Hunting, the failure of the romance is connected to his lonely childhood when he could never feel love from his parents.

Overall, Good Will Hunting has a tight plot that has events that strongly influence each other. Good Will Hunting is an honest movie showing the growth of a genius boy that couldn’t get enough love during his childhood.

Artistic Value Estimation by Number, 10/10


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  1. A well-written and detailed review! You bring up excellent facts about both the main actors and the movie’s plot without becoming wordy or overusing spoilers. I am quite proud of how much your writing has improved! I am curious about the artistic value rating you placed on the bottom. How did you come up with that score? What was taken into account in determining it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The main things I think about are three things; the plot(how interesting it is), acting, and how it relates to the time when it was released(why was this film made then). Considering these factors, I thought that it was a ‘flawless’ film like I described in the article.


  2. Hi Su-Min. I read your review of “Good Will Hunting”. It was really well written. I feel that you did a fine job of going over the key parts of the story, as well the emotions that the actors displayed, and how they can affect the viewer. It was interesting to read a review of this movie from the eyes of a younger viewer, as well as one of my former students. The movie is a very intense, emotionally, and there are aspects that are very serious in nature. “Good Will Hunting” is also one of my favorite movies, so it was nice to read your review.

    Liked by 1 person

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