88

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
I don't think I've seen a mainstream movie get fatherhood so right since "Kramer vs . Kramer": the fear, the indulgence, the snappishness, the pre-occupied "uh-huhs" as a child natters about his day, the steamrolling waves of love.
Full Review
88

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
The relationship between Chris and his diminutive namesake is at the core of the film - the determination to be there for his son, no matter what; the mentoring, the pair's goofy, lovely banter. And Smith and his bright-eyed boy pull it off brilliantly.
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88

Charlotte Observer

By Lawrence Toppman
My sentimentality meter never went off, and Smith proved what people have forgotten since his breakthroughs in "Where the Day Takes You" and "Six Degrees of Separation" 13 years ago: He's a serious actor.
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83

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
It's a beautiful and understated performance, one that hums with a richer, quieter music than Smith has mustered before.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Will Smith has the right quality for the role -- he's an easy man to root for -- but he augments this by channeling some inner quality of desperation and need.
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75

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
You may have to go back to 1973's "Paper Moon" and the father/daughter work of Ryan O'Neal and 10-year-old Tatum for equal excellence in nepotism.
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75

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
If The Pursuit of Happyness didn't star Will Smith and his adorable son Jaden, it might be just another tearjerker rags-to-riches story. But their chemistry raises the level of the film, making it heartfelt and compelling.
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75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Smith wins our hearts without losing his dignity, as Chris suits up for success by day and fights off despair by night. The role needs gravity, smarts, charm, humor and a soul that's not synthetic. Smith brings it. He's the real deal.
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60

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
This is a slick studio production with a huge movie star and top professionals occupying every production role so that the polish of this well-made film makes even homelessness look neat and tidy.
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40

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
The pursuit is manipulative and repetitive.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.