"Hereafter" Movie Review

10/30/2010 Posted by Admin


Movie Review

Directed by Clint Eastwood, Written by Peter Morgan, Rated PG-13, 129-minutes.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

The prolific Clint Eastwood rarely repeats himself. As a director, he takes risks in his films that bring forth originality, and it usually serves him well.  That said, in the case of his new movie, "Hereafter," it is a death nail.

In the film’s far-reaching goals, "Hereafter" fails to connect its meticulous plotting together, leaving the second hour unnecessarily tedious and overtly detached from the audience.

Breaking off into three separate storylines, Eastwood tackles the afterlife from a series of disconnected perspectives. The first involves a political commentator named Marie (Cecil de France), who, despite her publishers’ apprehension, decides to write a book about her near-death experience.

The second follows former psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon), who goes into seclusion after the nightmarish media fiasco around his ability to communicate with the dead. He finds the connection to the dead a curse that renders him incapable of living a normal life.

Finally, the tale of a young boy named Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren) looking for answers after the death of twin brother leads to his separation from his mother and his placement in foster care.

Eastwood and editors. Joel Cox and Gary Roach, frame each tale intelligently and consistently, moving from Marie to George to Marcus in that order throughout the film. This structure gives equal time to each character and makes their connection inevitable, slowly building towards their meeting. Furthermore, Eastwood uses George as a mediator between worlds by keeping in between Marcus and Marie, working this angle into the plot and structure, and placing much of the film’s weight on his shoulders.

George’s story of a man’s life ruined by death has some of the supernatural romanticism of Frank Capra. He’s a sympathetic but down-on-his-luck man, getting help from the great beyond. However, at other times, the film takes a turn at some real hammy sentiment that serves to hurt its already sluggish pace. George's relationship problems feel extraneous and out of place, as does his love interest played by the obviously confused and miscast Bryce Dallas Howard.

Each character’s struggle begins with such a bang, it allows even Eastwood to step outside himself to direct a pretty exciting opening sequence. But as the film wears on and the search for the truth goes down some pretty ridiculous holes, the film’s fantastical elements lead them toward a bland and obvious conclusion.

Grade:  C+

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  1. Anonymous said...

    The hereafter was to cerebral and complex for you. It did'nt fail to make connections; you did.

  2. sarah said...

    I don't think I have ever been disappointed in Clint Eastwood's work. From what I'm seeing from most reviews this is a bad movie. My co workers at DISH have seen this movie and said it has a good story behind it but it wasn't the best movie to see. I'm feeling at I should order it on PPV and just maybe in HD. I'm a little unsure but it's best that I get my own opinion on it.