It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.
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
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.
Good Will Hunting narrowly avoids many sentimental pitfalls thanks to what doesn't happen...
Most movies about troubled individuals are insulting in the way in which they suddenly wrap things up with insipid developments that cause tumultuous, positive transformations in the protagonist; this film avoids that pitfall.