Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The strength of the film is really that of Cruise's performance, his finest since Risky Business.
Los Angeles Times:
What no one can argue is that Rain Man is Cruise's quantum leap, so that it can be said unblushingly that he holds his own with the masterly Hoffman.
Everything about the acting and direction of Rain Man is so exquisitely calibrated and so right that it's all too easy to forget how much could have gone wrong.
New York Times:
Its end effect depends largely on one's susceptibility to the sight of an actor acting nonstop and extremely well, but to no particularly urgent dramatic purpose.
Valeria Golino is appealing as Cruise's girlfriend; Hoffman makes his character pretty believable without milking the part for pathos and tears, and it's nice to see Cruise working for a change in a context that isn't determined by hard sell and hype.
Rain Man is so fascinating because it refuses to supply those questions with sentimental but unrealistic answers.
Rain Man's restraint is, finally, rather like Raymond's gabble. It discourages connections, keeping you out instead of drawing you in.
There is no story, no motor, and given the nature of the premise, nothing much can happen.
One of the year's most intriguing film premises is given uneven, slightly off-target treatment in UA's Rain Man.
Rain Man is far from a washout but you can't help feeling all those missed opportunities raining down on you.