Shine (1996)

This wrenching true story chronicles the tumultuous life of Australian concert pianist David Helfgott, whose domineering, over-protective father drove him to madness. David is heavily burdened by emotional scars inflicted by his father --… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: November 20, 1996
DVD Release Date: July 15, 1997
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Also Available On

Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Featuring a strong performance from Geoffrey Rush, Shine succeeds in telling a compelling, inspirational story without resorting to cheap sentimentality.

Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly

Shine beams with warmth, sensitivity, and fine taste, but some of that illumination is the work of our own reflector lamps.

Full review…
Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Inspired by the real story of classical pianist David Helfgott, "Shine" re-creates that emotionally piercing story, note by memorable note.

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Inspired by the true story of the Australian classical pianist prodigy David Helfgott.

Full review…
David Stratton

[Helfgott's] extraordinary life is intelligently charted here, and the three actors who play him at different stages are all exceptional.

USA Today

Shine has a story to reckon with and powerhouse male performances.

Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Intense, gripping mental-illness music drama.

Full review…
Trevor Johnston
Time Out

Compassionate, deft, unsentimental, inspirational.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

His life story is not exactly as it is shown here, but close enough, I gather, for us to marvel at the way the human spirit can try to heal itself.

Full review…
Emanuel Levy

With the exception of a few overwrought scenes, Hicks' Australian biopic of pianist David Helfgott, which caused a bidding war at the 1996 Sundance Fest, is fresh and emotionally stirring without being sentimental or cliched.

Full review…
More reviews for Shine

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
Famous bio-pic is indeed well done and engaging as we follow a young piano prodigy from his formative years to modern day, with the emphasis on his manic… More
Spencer S.
Eccentric, tempid, heartbreaking. Shine is all of these, yet none. Hidden meanings are encoded in every statement, every gesture, until there's only… More
Mark Hobin
Bittersweet biography dealing with Australian concert pianist David Helfgott who suffered from mental illness. Most of the film concerns his formative years as… More
Dan Schultz
A triumphant movie concerning the life of a gifted pianist and his failed relationship with his verbally abusive father. Geoffrey Rush's extraordinary… More
Daniel Mumby
Few words fill a critic with such dread as "the triumph of the human spirit". There have been legions of films about individuals coming through… More
Lanning : )
It's taken a few beers--uh, I mean a few days--for me to figure out what exactly I want to say about this movie. The first thing I'd like to say --… More