Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
Particularly impressive are the sweet, weirdly idyllic tone of Mr. Hallstrom's direction and Johnny Depp's tender, disarming performance as the long-suffering Gilbert Grape.
Even if you have a taste as I do for movies about dysfunctional families, you may be a little put off by the Grapes.
Depp is subtly winning as a man-child oblivious to his own pent-up rage. But the performance that will take your breath away is DiCaprio's.
Well-written (albeit a little too long) and competently acted.
Suggests that the true heroes are those people who day by day must tend to misfits, and do so with love, tenacity and a determination not to go terminally sour in the process.
Hallstrom's finally struck a chord with the Americans, though it's much the same cocktail of whimsy and worry, the eccentric and the banal, that he's been mixing all along.
Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom and his fine cast have endowed the story with a good deal of behavioral truth and unstressed comedy.
There is a good idea for a movie hiding here, but Halstrom has buried it beneath a load of charmless shtick.
Director Lasse Halstrom and cinematographer Sven Nykvist do their best to disguise the predictability with their own grace notes. But all the music in the world can't hide a tone this false.