‘Hereafter’ Review

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 5th, 2012 at 7:33 am,

Hereafter Reviews Hereafter Review

Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick reviews Hereafter

A lot of media outlets have described Clint Eastwood’s latest film, Hereafter as the famed director’s foray into sci-fi drama. It’s a clever marketing angle, especially around Halloween, but the assertion is hollow fluff – designed for catchy headlines. If you think Hereafter is a sci-fi movie, you probably missed the film’s most prominent message.

Instead of a Sixth Sense clone, the film is a hard-hitting character drama centered around life’s greatest mystery: death. It does this by offering a variety of perspectives on the subject: a near death experience, a lingering grief, and a complicated “gift.” Even at the age of 80, Eastwood carefully manages three story threads – piecing together a somber but empowering film that finds a solid balance between servicing the characters and the filmmaker’s message.

In case you’ve missed out on the Hereafter marketing blitz, here’s the official synopsis:

“Hereafter tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue–collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie (Cécile de France), a French journalist, has a near–death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might—or must—exist in the hereafter.”

Eastwood has already proven he’s got solid directing chops, but Hereafter may be one of his most ambitious attempts to date. The film ranges in tone from chaos, in the enormous Tsunami opening set-piece, to the shadowed quiet, where George Lonegan (Matt Damon) reluctantly “reads” inquirers. Even the film’s brief “afterlife” snippets, which could have been a disaster, are presented with an appealing approach.

The aforementioned Tsunami sequence is one of the most chilling large-scale action scenes in recent memory – proving that jaw-dropping visual effects can be coupled with great character drama – and don’t always have to rely on 3D space aliens or CGI robots to keep an audience invested.

While the bar is set exceptionally high right out of the gate, the film rarely disappoints, providing one captivating (though dreary) scene after another – most notably a charming moment between George and Melanie (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Chef Carlo’s cooking class. This scene, as well as numerous others, is indicative of a harmony that audiences don’t often get to see in modern films – where the writer, the director, and the cast, each bring their A-game to the final product.

Hereafter Review Matt Damon Hereafter Review

Bryce Dallas Howard and Matt Damon in ‘Hereafter’

In addition to his work behind the lens, Eastwood deserves credit for bringing together a talented cast that spans the gamut in age and nationalities. Though the film takes modern psychics to task, Damon finds legitimacy with the audience through his convincing depiction of George’s struggle. It’s not just that he refuses to profit from his talent, or that he can actually listen to the dead, it is George’s selfish reluctance that makes him come alive. Damon handles these scenes with the same kind of concentration that he brought to Invictus and The Departed.

In addition, Belgian actress, Cécile de France, is great as Marie LeLay who, prior to her near-death experience in Thailand, was a tough political commentator. Hereafter tracks LeLay through a journey of self-discovery – as well as a compulsion to seek out the truth of her experience. The third principal lead, Marcus, is played by a pair of childhood actor brothers, Frankie and George McLaren. The pair is responsible for a few stiff performance moments, especially at a drug store early in the film, but overall they deliver – providing complicated emotions to a character that is extremely buttoned-up.

The Hereafter story handles its heavy subject matter with grace. The film manages to carefully balance the plot between humanity’s obsession with death (and as a result, our grief) with what it means to live (and move forward). Each of the three primary characters discovers that there is no easy answer – but that doesn’t mean there is no hope of comfort.

That said, there are a few glaring areas in the film where the filmmakers, themselves, clearly relied on easy answers. Refraining from specifics, the last 30 minutes of the movie mostly let go of the character-driven film focus and begin to transfer control to the “plot.” It’s not that the last 30 minutes can’t be explained, or aren’t charming in the moment, but they rely on an overarching sense of providence that isn’t present in the rest of the film. It’s as if Eastwood felt that all the pieces needed to come together – even though the majority of the film is spent showcasing that life, and also death, is an unpredictable experience.

This is not to say that the end of the film can’t still be powerful, or doesn’t serve as an adequate conclusion to prior events – it’s just a very simple solution to a film that’s built on an extremely complicated, and as a result, fascinating, foundation.

However, despite the somewhat simple ending, audiences will leave Hereafter with a similar understanding of what Eastwood is trying to communicate about death – as Damon asserts in the trailer, “If you’re worried about being on your own, don’t be – you’re not.”

While Hereafter is not the sci-fi drama that some moviegoers might have been led to believe it is, the film is a terrific character drama that directly addresses one of humanity’s most enduring mysteries.

Watch the trailer below to help you make up your mind:

[poll id="87"]

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know what you thought of the film.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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TAGS: 4 star movies, hereafter

94 Comments

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  1. Very intriguing.

    Critics seem really divided over this one, so I’ll have to check it out and see what side I fall on (though, admittedly, I am an Eastwood fan as is).

    • Don’t ever listen to critics.

  2. Question for you Ben

    How was the tone of the movie? Was it dark and depressing like the other Clint Eastwood movies?

    I live his films but find that I need to be in the right mindset because they are usually pretty heavy.

    • the only Eastwood movie(that he directed)that i can watch over and over again is Unforgiven

      • Never seen it but Mystic River is my favorite of his films

        But yeah, I don’t think his films are the type where you pop them in on a Friday night and relax. They’re pretty taxing emotionally

        • you have never seen Unforgiven Ogb?? was that just by choice, or that youre not a weatern type? its a VERY good movie, worth a watch even if you are not a fan of the genre :) both Hackman and Freeman are great..hell, everyone in that film is just awesome, its like they all stepped it up a notch in their craft.

          • Oh trust me, it’s been on my TO WATCH list for a couple of years now but I still haven’t gotten around to it.

            I’m not a big fan of Westerns but I know that I HAVE to see that movie just as a fan of film.

            I’ll get to it soon :)

    • @ogb139

      Yes, the tone is similar to his other films – especially Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby.

      A lot of critics are being cynical about how moody the film is – but it’s about death (and subsequently life). There are some charming moments to combat the heavy subject matter but, overall, I thought the tone was appropriate.

      Though, you’d certainly have to be in the right mindset!

  3. So according to Screen Rant. This is better than The Social Network? Also if anyone disagrees, they are simply being cynical?

    • Mikey,

      This movie and The Social Network were not reviewed by the same person, so that’s not a fair comparison to make. This is not the Borg Collective – different reviewers have different opinions. It USED to be just me writing the reviews – back then it would have been a fair statement, but I’ve loosened up and now have other writers contributing reviews.

      Vic

      • @ Vic, this is why I love Screenrant man!

        • Hey Vic, do you think that this film might be in th erunning for Best Picture at the Oscars?

          • Darren,

            I don’t know about Best Picture (doubtful) but the reviewer thought it has some Oscar worthy performances.

            Vic

          • I don’t know about Vic, but based on the reviews and how crowded the best picture slate is, the film has no chance at all. The studio is trying to campaign Damon for Best Actor but that is crowded too.

          • @ Darren -

            I thought there were certainly some oscar-worthy performances but, similar to what Jose mentioned, the Best Picture category (and even the performance categories) has strong competition already.

            Hereafter is a great film but a lot of people seem mixed on how to take it. Despite the fact I really enjoyed the film (and thought it was excellent) I’d be surprised if it gets a lot of recognition come awards season.

  4. Screenrant, is this a film that the young generation might actually enjoy? It’s been noticed how lately Eastwood’s recent films are more popular with the older generation while younger people don’t care about his films. I think its true, I was bored with Eastwood’s past few films and the only film he’s done lately that i can definitely see as a classic was “Letters From Iwo Jima”. So what do you think?

    • Jose –

      Not sure what age group you mean by “the young generation” but I’m 29 ;) and definitely enjoyed Hereafter.

      I think whether or not younger audiences enjoy Eastwood films is part of a larger debate about what various people are looking for when they go to the movies. Is it surprising that younger audiences will most likely be drawn more toward Paranormal Activity 2 this weekend?

  5. vic, what’s your take on this movie?

    • corey,

      Sorry, I haven’t seen it. That’s why I had Ben review it.

      Vic

      • ahh too bad, i find of most critics, your opinion is the most reliable if i haven’t seen or anticipate a movie.

        • corey,

          LOL, thank you. I don’t know about reliable… maybe we just share the same taste in movies. :)

          Vic

  6. I was really looking forward to seeing Hereafter. The genre is right up my ally of interest. I must say I was fully engaged and interested, the actors gave great performances, but I must say, that in the end I was left really disappointed, it was one of the most anticlimactic films I have ever seen, a real let down.

  7. I’ve seen trailers and ads, this just looks dull.

  8. I see alot of movies, and this is without a doubt the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I caught myself thinking during the movie of some crappie TV shows that I COULD’VE been watching instead of the movie I was watching. I feel bad for Eastwood and the entire cast. The filmmaker could’ve done so much more with this film. It totally sucked. I was not alone in my opinion – I asked a few people outside of the theater what they thought of the film, and they agreed (maybe not to the degree). Needless to say – I was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED!!!

    • LOL… you say you’ve watched so many movies, and this is the worst you’ve ever seen?…. go watch ‘the zombie chronicles’ or ‘black sheep’ and compare it… this was actually a really good flick, even if it’s not what you might’ve been expecting.

      I mean, everyone’s gonna have their own opinion… but calling this the WORST movie you’ve ever seen?, come on.

  9. Feeling a little tired? Need a good night’s sleep? Find yourself yawning a great deal? The run, don’t walk to Herefter. It is the slowest most boring piece of trash that’s been put up on the screen in a long while but yet.. I know it will put you right to sleep for a restful two hours. Yes, the concept was good. The Tsunami scene was riveting and then it all falls apart. Good actors with basically nothing to do but move in slow motion. Dialogue composed of short phrases and not even full sentences. Mr. Damon with so much ability seems to stare all too much. The contrived meeting of all three characters didn’t even allow for guesswork. The music written by Clint Eastwood… perfect for a funeral dirge and just was a perfect overlay for a deeper sleep for the audience. For the first time in my life I asked for my money back…And I got it. Enough said.

    • I agree I went to go see this movie in the theaters on the saturday after its opening day, after 45 minutes my gf and I went and asked to exchange the tickets to see the social network I was completely falling asleep during the movie I have liked eastwood’s movie up to this film. Acting was good put it wasnt enough to keep me intrigued

  10. The whole premise of the movie seems pretty dumb to me. It really is not a big mystery of what happens after you die. When you die you die and that is not. The brain is responsible for everything and when it is dead then everything stops. Religion and other pet “theories” are just there to comfort this sad but true fact. We only live once and we should make it worthwhile. We are very lucky to be alive in the first place considering all the variables and factors when first being concieved and so forth.

  11. I havent had the opportubity to watch the whole movie yet.It appears to be awsome,from the trailors.Cant decide if my son can watch the movie,He might have bad dreams.

  12. I think this movie is awesome.I think everyone is curious about life after death.

    • Just saw Hereafter – it was so bad people were laughing as they left the theater. I caught myself looking at my watch twice!

  13. If I had been alone I would have walked out on this boring, disconnected mess. I see dozens of movie yearly, but I’ve never been so disappointed. Matt Damon did generate a bit of sympathy for his character, but I have to ask myself why he would be affiliated with this snooze-fest.

  14. George Salis, I’m sorry you think that death is the end and this life is all we have.

    It’s not all we have. I know. I had a near death experience just like the one depicted in the movie (Marie LeLay).

    The movie showed it very realistically, captured the emotions right on, the frustration of communicating the experience right on, and pretty much nailed how it looked, felt, etc., to be dead and come back to life and then have to cope with the aftermath.

    Have you thought that perhaps there is something to life after death? That’s the question being raised by the movie.

    I agree with the comments made here about the movie being slow and disjointed in some areas and that it ended abruptly.

    I know of hundreds of others who have had similar experiences just like the character in the movie. The stories all match. The frustrations are all the same.

    Please be more open minded when you make your comments and consider that you’ve never died and come back so you don’t know what those of us who have had a near death experience do know.

    There is definitely life after death.

    • Not to try and take anything away from your experience, you say you know many others who have had the same experience, maybe that’s because the brain reacts to certain traumas on a base level for everyone.
      The things people see during near death experiences can easily be explained as the brain trying it’s best to cope with and process horrible trauma and pain, often it does so by reverting to similar imagery it might produce during REM sleep, near death experiences are like waking dreams. They feel real until you wake up.

      No offence but I prefer that scientific explanation to believing in life after death. Once your heart stops, all bio electrical energy in the brain stops, it doesn’t go anywhere, it simply ceases to exist.

      Religion has brainwashed half the planet, life after death was intended to be a comfort for the weak willed to believe in, many use it’s potentially existence to commit horrendous acts.

      I think, not believing in an afterlife, shows greater moral character, I do not need to feel confirmed that I will go on after I die, I will live my life to the fullest and accept that all things come to an end for us all.

      • DSM,

        So you know all this for a fact, do you? Somehow you have infinite knowledge that for a fact there’s not life after death?

        I’m going to have to start coming to you for advice on things whenever I’m not sure what to do, since you’re, you know, all knowing.

        Vic

        • I think the sarcasm was unnecessary Vic. Did the person who offered an opposing viewpoint get a witless tirade?
          I didn’t realise my opinion deserved to be belittled. The person I responded to, was dealing in absolutes, no shifting either way. But when I do something in the direction, I get a sarcastic response.

          So, I’ll offer you this; just because there is no evidence to disprove something, doesn’t automatically prove it exists.

          • DSM -

            I don’t know, the line “Religion has brainwashed half the planet, life after death was intended to be a comfort for the weak willed to believe in” was pretty harsh – and definitely was thrown out there as an absolute.

            Maybe you don’t agree with Marisa’s take and were offering an opposing view, but I think Vic was mainly teasing you because you were coming on pretty strong as well.

            • You’re right, it was intended as an absolute. But so was what the other person posted. I fail to see how what I said deserves Vic’s ridicule.
              I thought we were beyond that here. 2 people posted very different opinions, both dealing in personal absolute, and yet it was mine that was belittled. I wonder why.

          • DSM,

            I guess I should have put a smiley on the end of that.

            However while the commenter above was definitive in their opinion, they were polite about it, while to someone who believes in God, your post was frankly rude and condescending as pointed out by Ben K.

            Thought you deserved some ribbing for that.

            Vic

    • I’m not claiming infinite knowledge of a fact that there is no life after death but there is no evidence for it and as we know many people hold on to this idea of an afterlife because of fear among other emotional reasons. I think it is pretty safe to say that there is not afterlife. Especially seeing as all human consciousness is caused by the brain itself. Not some see-through version of yourself that floats. And if I do die and by some improbable chance there is an afterlife then woopedy doo. I think an infinite afterlife would not only be extremely boring after a while but it would also drain the value and excitement out of life. But that’s just my opinion and I know just as much as anyone else because we are all human.

  15. Lackluster. There were about three good “moments” in the movie. The subject is very interessting but the movie left me fidgeting for long periods. I suppose that “enhancements” would have been simple conjecture, but I guess I expected way more than the movie gave me. Disappointing in that it was just an “average” film.

    • I forgot to add that I think it should be advertised as foreign-speaking in large parts of the movie, so it had long periods of sub-titles. I didn’t see it advertised anywhere for people who might have issues with that.

  16. If you saw the trailer, you saw the movie. You will spend 2 hours hoping that it gets better. it is long, tedious and boring. I spent 3 days in ICU and had profound life changing colorful, brilliant experiences, of sights, sounds and activity that neither Matt Damon, nor Clint Eastwood could imagine, let alone relay to film. Wait on the DVD if you must see this movie….Jimmy Mack Healer

  17. Clint Eastwood has obviously proven himself an incredible artist and director with his past accomplishments. With “Hereafter”, it seems as if he only recently started thinking about life after death. This movie barely – and I certainly do mean BARELY – scratches the surface of the curiosity of the hereafter. Many, many more movies delve deeper into the concept, but I get the idea that Eastwood and the others who made this film, perhaps have never seen any of those films.

    “Hereafter” is certainly a great concept, but it’s execution is slow and excruciatingly boring. The movie moves at a snails pace and includes so many extra drawn out scenes, that 35 to 40 minutes could easily have been cut. The French journalist’s story is exceptionally tedious. I also have to say that I can’t understand what the novel the character wrote could possibly have been about. From what we see on screen, her venture into the hereafter amounts to a total of about 45 seconds. She gets a glimpse of “fuzzy figures” standing around. (Were these figures other victims of the tsunami, or were they old friends and family members come to greet her? The presence of the little girl seems to indicate that they were other victims.) After the journalist sees these figures, she’s immediately resuscitated. So then what did she write about in that book of hers? For those who may not be aware, bookstore and library shelves are crammed full of books on this subject – fiction and non-fiction – that go into much further detail regarding thoughts on the hereafter. There are many people who have experienced much more than what this journalist experienced, after having “died” and returned. (My own wife included.)

    The story of the young boys is equally as boring. It certainly didn’t help that the young actors couldn’t do just that – act. While the hat being knocked from the boys head was interesting and the results exciting, it really led nowhere. Also, how did this young boy get in to see all those “hereafter” specialists? Those types (usually) always charge a whole load of money. (World-famous Psychic Sylvia Browne charges $750.00 for a reading of about 20 minutes.)

    Matt Damon’s character was the most interesting and it would have been best if more time had been devoted to his character and his angst dealing with his gift and his hatred of it. There was a whole lot more to that part of the story which could have been developed further, but certainly not with the tedious scenes in the cooking class. The disappearance of his classmate was certainly welcome as her scenes slowed the film considerably.

    A fantastic concept for a film, yes. “Hereafter” just grazes the surface. The most exciting moments are the opening scenes with the tsunami which are perfectly captured and presented. However, the horrific thrill of that scene shouldn’t be the highlight of the film. The moments of “crossing over” should have been the moments that caught the films audience by the heart and soul. “Hereafter”, unfortunately, doesn’t have what an audience of this concept and wonder are searching and longing for.

    • Zed – This film really is divisive. I definitely agree with some of your points here, though I still managed to enjoy the film more ;)

      That said, I think a lot of people have been criticizing Hereafter for merely “grazing the surface,” as you mentioned. However, I thought that was a better approach than if Eastwood had actually tried to offer his definitive take – because, at the end of the day, what does he actually know about the Hereafter?

      Instead, we watched a film that offered some interesting ideas about how different people understand death – and, despite being able to cross-over, Damon still didn’t have a clear notion of what to expect. I thought that was cool, and certainly played to the line I highlighted in the review.

      I wasn’t really expecting a definitive take – and was satisfied with the film’s promise of hope.

  18. Honest Opinion:

    My wife and I went out and saw Hereafter last night. We both love Damon and Eastwood. However, we felt the movie fell short in two areas. One, the film did not deliver as we expected. The trailer is actually better than the movie. The second is that it went in too many directions which required too many cut aways from one situation to another over and over so you found youself constantly trying to piece together what was going on and when you throw in the fact it was occurring in 3 countries and different languages it really became a brain teaser. Moreover, by attempting to address too many situations it did not do real justice to any one of them, ie. No depth.

    We really felt with a title and subject like that and the resources much more could have been done with this movie. It almost feels like it needs a part two to fill in a lot of the blanks and give it more depth. I kept waiting for things to get more intense from the opening scene but it was like a car that never got out of second gear.

    I have seen critics be too harsh or to kind and in this case they are being much kinder than the people we overheard after the show in the restrooms referring to it as a sleeper.

    Don’t get me wrong…we still love Damon and Eastwood, but were a bit dissapointed that they didn’t put more hot sauce on this taco…

    We love all their other movies and no one can make a Bourne Identity or Unforgiven every time…I give them marks for effort but if money is tight you might want to wait for it to come out on DVD…don’t expect it at the Oscars either.

  19. I gave my honest assessment of the movie but want to add: For those who haven’t seen it…Don’t. The bang for the bucks isn’t there. Wait for DVD. For those who are afraid your children will be scarred…Don’t…they will get a great two hours sleep…Guaranteed. No gross or real scarry scenes, just lots of adult conversation that children will find absolutely boring.

    For those of us who love Damon and Eastwood…we only feel sympathy for them since we love them and don’t like to hear the harsh comments from others while leaving the theatre. This is another one of those movies you go see because you have been waiting so long for it to come out and the trailers have duped you into having high expectations. Besides we all need to get out…but the entertaiment value just wasn’t there…

    That Prof. Zed guy says it best and did so with respect for the level of the people involved. He was right on with his evaluation.

    Finally, I must agree with Marissa who commented on her near death experience. I too had a near death experience 21/2 years ago and it was exactly as the movie and Marissa described. I was concious in an out of body experience, saw a growing bright light, felt weightless and knew exactly what was happening, at peace and totally confident that we do go on. I am completely confident by first hand experience that the lights don’t just go out…they come on…

    For those of you who wonder what happens I tell you the absolute truth. For those of you who are afraid of death…Don’t be. The only thing negative about death is how it hurts those we leave behind. Death is gentle, kind and beautiful…Enjoy your life, don’t fear your death. Better to meet your last day sliding into home, hair a mess, drink in one hand, chocolate in the other, totally spent from your adventures shouting what a rush my life was, than to arrive unscathed, unspent, and unloved…

  20. Nicely stated Tony!

  21. I’m sorry, DO NOT WAIT FOR THE DVD, THE PIRATE’D VERSION, THE LOCAL PLAY VERSION, OR ANY OTHER FRICKIN VERSION. This is the absolute worst movie ever made. Instead, go to your local library and research the subject for yourself. There are many good books on the subject. Good luck.

    • I made sure that I was in the right frame of mind to see this, as I didn’t want to get carried away with emotions. The only thing that I learned from this movie about the hereafter, was that if I made it through the whole thing without killing myself, then I could make it through anything! They mocked their audience, by making such inane references, trying to get to us with pure Hollywood BS. Damon is overexposed at this point. Good Will Hunting not wanting to use his special powers all over again without the Boston accent. He needs to take a break. When there was finally a line or two, or laugh, I overreacted because of such utter boredom & wondering if I was actually the only one in the theater who felt patronized and condescended? I think I need to go to a “How do I Survive Hereafter” group after seeing such garbage. I am infuriated! People do not die from MS~do your research & stop trying to martyrize yourselves! I can’t stop complaining, this was worse than Titanic!

  22. Thanks…

  23. Im an agnostic and love this kind of stuff.

    On the surface (and supported by this review), Im going to make sure Im in the right frame of mind for this one. Eastwood’s movies do have a gloomy tinge to them but Im nonetheless a big fan.

  24. I failed to see the in depth connection or surface value of the connections. Reach the audience decidedly, which ones, but none the less. Kubrick, not and will never be. Stick to the things we know and this was not one of them. Give everyone a manual to watch the movie.

  25. This movie was lame. I thought it would address the “Hereafter” or at least state a point of view, which it does not. Damon’s character is the only one that seems to find a weak, romantic resolution of sorts. The other two, the french journalist and the kid-their stories seem to end abruptly with an inferred or intimated happy ending.

    I could not believe all the time the journalist spent in researching the project and putting her career on the line, all of a sudden the book is published and everthing is peachy-keen. The only resolution we get for her is a few pathetically stereotypical sentences at the book convention.

    And the poor kid, who waited for a reading for so long seemed for frustrated after getting it. He asked Damon’s character, “where’s he gone?” And Damon cannot answer him. Really? How could Damon’s character read for so long and not have a clue about the process, that was an insult. More research and consultation should have gone into this movie.

    • You have summed up my cinema experience tonight. I was rolling my eyes when Damon told the little boy he had no idea what happens in the Hereafter. A loose & rambling film

  26. The husband and I had a date night and selected this movie as he is a big fan of Matt Damon’s and Clint Eastwood’s. I am sensitive to intense films and found the scenes to the tsunami and subway bombing mortifying, absolutely horrendous. However, I feel that the cast was well-selected and the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic.

  27. For those who didn’t like the movie, you didn’t understand that premise. No one knows what happens “Hereafter”. Some people have near-death experiences and may have an idea of what happened, but in general, we do not know what lies ahead. Do the lights just turn off? Is there a peaceful after life? We don’t know. We have various ideas, but we don’t know.

    This is in response to a post by “Thomas.” – In this movie, “George” doesn’t know where the people go because he doesn’t see clear images of them. He relays messages. The lesson with George is that he can control his life and determine what messages to give to the grieving and what messages to hold back.
    When Marcus was crying out to Jason, asking him not to leave him (and after Jason clearly left), George saw the pain in Marcus and then said, “Oh, he is coming back” and continued to give him a message that would help him rather than ending the reading when Jason left. The purpose of that particular scene was to show George’s transformation. He did not hold back information about his initial love interest’s past when she asked for reading. Giving too much information cost him the relationship.

    Overall, the characters delivered a great performance. The Tsunami scene and the subway scene were shot very well, as was the rest of the film. I was not bored at all. The only negative thing that I have to say is that the film was too American. There was no reason to tie up loose ends.

  28. Lori, I could easily write, “For those of you who did like the movie, you didn’t understand the premise.” That conclusion holds as much validity as the opening statement declaring the opposite, in your reply. Besides that initial sentence, everything you wrote in the remainder of your first paragraph is obvious.

    You enjoyed the movie. Great for you. I myself expected more about the Hereafter in a movie titled, “Hereafter”. As it was, we the viewer saw not much more than one minute’s worth of actual Hereafter time. Of course, that’s what the writer and director intended. It certainly was not what the trailer for the movie suggested.

    You thought the characters (actors) delivered a great performance. I already expressed my opinion that Damon was good while the actress portraying the journalist was boring and the young actor portraying the boy was quite bad. The Tsunami and subway scenes were indeed shot very well, but those special effects added nothing to the story at it’s heart. Unfortunately, the majority of the film – which should have been getting to the heart of the subject matter – moved at a snail’s pace.

    The one negative thing you had to say about the film, that it was “too American” was an incredibly racist remark and you should be ashamed of it and embarrassed by it. Filmmakers worldwide often choose to “tie up loose ends”. Besides that, your own review makes it clear that Eastwood chose not to “tie up” at all, the largest loose end of the movie: the “Hereafter”.

    • well put!!!!

  29. All characters are able to come to terms with their experiences and move on. The movie is not about death and what comes after but about our lives here and now. It all depends where you think the “here” is. I thought it was a wonderful movie and I loved every minute of it. This is what movies should be like. If it would have given me a representation of the afterlife I would have thought it mediocre.

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