Box art for The Graduate

The Graduate

  • Rated PG
  • HD and SD formats available

comedy, drama, romance

Nominated for 7 Academy Awards and Winner for Best Directing, this groundbreaking film classic launched the career of two-time Oscar Winner Dustin Hoffman.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 16
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
0 out of 5

Influential coming-of-age sex comedy.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a unique comedy charting an affair between a young man and a married friend of his parents. Much time is spent on the initial seduction and subsequent clandestine meetings in hotel rooms. Though no graphic depictions of intercourse are shown, there are brief shots of female nudity during the seduction and later in a nightclub scene, where a woman strips down to underwear and pasties. Language is fairly restrained, with a few minor curse words, like "ass" or "damn" used sparingly. Many of the adults are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes very casually and with an air of acceptance.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how well this movie has aged. Does Benjamin's lack of direction upon graduating seem applicable today, or is it more reflective of the state of youth in the 60s? Parents will definitely want to address his complicated relationship with Mrs. Robinson. Does Mrs. Robinson seem genuinely interested in Benjamin? If not, what might her motives be in seducing him? Why does Elaine seem to gain appeal for Benjamin when Mrs. Robinson forbids him to see her? Why is the movie called The Graduate?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 17
    see all The Graduate reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A delightful, satirical comedy-drama.

- A.D. Murphy, Variety, Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Rotten: Nichols takes an ad hoc approach to comic irony and the movie seems to have been enshrined by American audiences because each moment in isolation "works," no matter that they tend to cancel each other out.

- Alan Dale,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: The emotional elevation of the film is due in no small measure to the extraordinarily engaging performances of Anne Bancroft as the wife-mother-mistress, Dustin Hoffman as the lumbering Lancelot, and Katherine Ross as his fair Elaine.

- Andrew Sarris, Village Voice, Monday, January 14, 2013

Audience Reviews

5 stars

You can't get more iconic than this. The Graduate is flawlessly written, deftly acted, and superbly touches us with its unconventionality and ultimate power. It captures the era of the 60s, yet is also profoundly timely. Hoffman's angst is relatable for every young adult watching the film, and the nostalgia and shallowness of American suburbia is also quite relatable to anyone who has spent at least a year living in the suburbs. Anne Bancroft is exceptional and ruthless as Mrs. Robinson, making for an unforgettable performance. The film's aura--the iconic soundtrack and iconic cinematographic choices--is captivating. Ultimately The Graduate is more than a funny, nostalgic movie: it is triumphant. It is a triumph of the human mind and the human spirit.

- fb100000293612769, Friday, August 1, 2014

5 stars

Excellent, excellent, excellent. This brilliant film launched the career of one of Hollywood's greatest actors, Dustin Hoffman. After a few short moments, it's easy to tell why. His performance as Benjamin Braddock is flawless, to say the least. Alongside Hoffman is Anne Bancroft, who also gives a stunning, memorable performance as Mrs. Robinson. Katharine Ross also is convincing as Elaine Robinson. The best way to describe The Graduate is just that it's so memorable. Every scene is so unique and so different. The scuba-diving scene, Hoffman with the cross at the church, the final bus scene. It's just a joy to watch... The great sountrack by Simon and Garfunkel is also quite nice. Basically, if you haven't seen this film, see it. It's wonderful and I cannot recommend it enough.

- jamers2011, Friday, November 11, 2011

4 stars

While I can't possibly buy what happens between Hoffman and Ross' characters in the second half of the film (the result of that implausibility being an ending which felt lazy to me as a result), Hoffman's amazing performance coupled with direction more inventive and evocative than the majority of film's made today makes this worthy of its classic status.

- fb791220692, Friday, November 11, 2011