7 Movies Like Good Will Hunting

Updated on September 28, 2014

Good Will Hunting is one of the best films of the 90s, featuring a star-studded cast including Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck. With a budget of only $10 million, the film was a financial success, raking in over $225 million. But beyond the millions of dollars and numerous awards, the story of the film is what is most remembered.

If you’re looking for movies like Good Will Hunting, here are some recommendations for you. From child geniuses to deceptive impersonations, this list has it all.

1. A Beautiful Mind

  • Release Date: January 4, 2002
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Ed Harris

The film tells of the story behind Nobel Prize winner, John Nash. It recounts the struggles of Nash during his early years. Always looking for a truly original idea, he gets inspiration for his thesis paper while trying to approach a group of women at the bar. His intelligence leads him to a scholarship and teaching appointment at MIT. However, his bouts with paranoid schizophrenia almost take everything away from him, including his family.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

  • Release Date: September 23, 1994
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton

The movie follows the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who gets convicted for the murder of his wife and her lover. Despite claims of innocence, he is given two life sentences. Andy befriends fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, who is known to have the means of getting things in exchange for money or a few sticks of cigarette. The warden learns of Andy’s brilliance and uses him in his money laundering operation. Little did he know that Andy has been brewing an operation of his own.

3. Finding Forrester

  • Release Date: December 19, 2000
  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Cast: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F.Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin

It is a typical day for sixteen-year-old Jamal Wallace, playing basketball with his friends in New York. Across the court is a building where they see a boy regularly watching them. Dared to sneak into the apartment and retrieve an item, Jamal carries with him a letter opener only to be surprised by the reclusive boy named William Forrester. Jamal inadvertently leaves his backpack, and William begins to write notes in Jamal’s journal. This marks the beginning of Jamal’s quest to become a better writer through the help of William.

4. Rain Man

  • Release Date: December 14, 1988
  • Director: Barry Levinson
  • Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino

Tom Cruise stars as the selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who flies to Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife after learning about his father’s death. Expecting to inherit his father’s fortunes, Charlie discovers that all he’s getting is a 1949 Buick Roadmaster. The multimillion estate of his father goes to a certain Raymond Babbitt, of whose existence Charlie was unaware of. Learning that he has a brother with autism, Charlie tries to get custody of Raymond to gain control of the money. However, the time they spend together makes their bond unexpectedly closer.

5. Searching for Bobby Fischer

  • Release Date: August 11, 1993
  • Director: Steven Zaillian
  • Cast: Max Pomeranc, Ben Kingsley, Joe Mantegna, Laurence Fishburne

Joshua Waitzkin is a prodigy chess player. Wanting to nurture this gift, Joshua’s family hires a strict instructor, Bruce Pandolfini. Bruce wants Joshua to emulate the aggressiveness of chess legend, Bobby Fischer. However, Joshua is also influenced by the style of Vinnie, a speed chess player whose approach to the game couldn’t be more different from Bruce’s. Josh goes on to use his own strategies and win on his own terms.

6. Little Man Tate

  • Release Date: October 18, 1991
  • Director: Jodie Foster
  • Cast: Jodie Foster, Adam Hann-Byrd, Dianne Wiest

Fred Tate is a boy genius, showing remarkable reading and mathematics abilities from an early age. He is also an excellent piano player. His intelligence, however, comes with a cost: he finds it hard to socialize with his classmates from his public school. Jane Grierson, who runs a school for gifted children, learns of Fred’s genius and convinces his mother to admit him to the school. The private school is a better fit for Fred, but his struggles seem to have no end. He makes some friends, only to get hurt in the end. But his mother continues to support him in an attempt to adjust Fred to the pressures of being a child genius.

7. The Talented Mr. Ripley

  • Release Date: December 25, 1999 (USA)
  • Director: Anthony Minghella
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cate Blanchett

Set in 1950s New York City, the movie follows the story of Tom Ripley, a young sociopath who uses his many talents to make a living. He is a master of forgery, lying and impersonation. At a party, he is approached by Herbert Greenleaf, who thinks that Tom went to Princeton with his son, Dickie. Tom gets offered $1,000 by Herbert to convince Dickie to go back to the US from Italy. Tom accepts, which leads him into a series of mishaps—including murder.

Which movie will you watch next after Good Will Hunting?

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Questions & Answers


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      • ladyguitarpicker profile image

        stella vadakin 

        4 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

        Great Hub, write some more.

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        The Talented Mr Ripely is nothing like Good Will Hunting.

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Thanks for the list..

        I just finished watching Good Will Hunting, and mine eyes are still wet; for me this was/is a powerful exploration of the human condition, some of which hits a bit close to home.

        I particularly loved the role and acting of Robin Williams who was perfectly cast, and plays his part with such real emotion and love. I truly do miss him, and sometimes I feel like I can relate to him on some level..He really stole the show, although Matt Damon does a fantastic job writing and acting for such a young man at the time.

        Anyway, thanks for the list. Cheers


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