DVD Review: Hereafter

by | Apr 12th, 2011 | 7:00PM | Filed under: DVD Reviews, Movies

HereafterDVD Review of Hereafter: Don’t be fooled by its title — Clint Eastwood’s latest film is not about dying. Nor does it make any concrete statement about what happens after we die. Rather, Hereafter deals with the age-old quest to come to terms with not only our own mortality, but also the fact that — so far — no one has been able to figure out exactly what will become of us once we take our last breath.

George (Matt Damon) Lonegan is psychic — when he touches another person, he’s immediately hit with visions of their loved ones who have passed on. On top of that, he can communicate with those vision-spirits. He used to make a living off of this extraordinary ability, but eventually put his days of dealing with the dead behind him because he saw his power as a “curse.” Now he wants nothing more than to lead a normal life. But is that even possible?

Damon can certainly come off like an Everyman when he wants to (see The Informant! for more proof) — there’s not a hint of Jason Bourne here. He disappears into Lonegan, who — without his gift — is not much more than a kinda frumpy guy who’s really, really lonely. He has a difficult time completely walking away from his old gig, however, because there are just so many people out there who are desperate for the slightest bit of hope that their wives/husbands/children who have died are truly in a better place.

Across the pond, famous TV journalist Marie Lelay (the wonderful Belgian actress C├ęcile de France) begins to question everything — her career, her relationship, the medical establishment — after she survives a tsunami. And elsewhere in Europe, twin brothers (Frankie and George McLaren) are trying to help cover for their addict mum so they don’t get taken away by Social Services. They can’t imagine being without one another… until they’re forced to.

Hereafter movieThrough the lives of George, Marie and the McLarens, Eastwood and screenwriter Peter (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) Morgan raise a lot of universal questions about the possibility of an afterlife, but they offer no specific take. They avoid directly challenging any given religion or belief, but do have a bit of fun with those who claim to have all the answers — or those who try to profit off of others’ fear and pain.

I personally found Hereafter to be uplifting, despite its intentional vagueness. I know not everyone will feel the same way. But there are questions and ideas floating around in my head now that weren’t there before I saw the film. So I take that as a sign that Eastwood’s latest endeavor made quite an impact on me. I wish more movies were as thoughtful and compelling.


Hereafter is now available on DVD at redbox. Reserve a copy.

8 Responses to “DVD Review: Hereafter”

  1. Captain Jim
    Posted on April 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I had a free promo ticket and I wasted it on this garbage. Clint Eastwood should be ashamed to have put his name on this movie. I would have rather watched commercials on TV then watch this movie. Don’t waste your money on this movie. If your doing a movie for Americans don’t make them read captions under the movie. They ran so fast even a speed reader couldn’t read them they were so fast. I couldn’t believe Matt Damon would lower himself to do a low ranking movie like that…It’s time for Clint to retire and stop making an ass of him self backing movies like this….Capt. Jim

  2. Captain Jim
    Posted on April 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    What I wrote is what I said…Capt.Jim

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on April 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I would heartily recommend this movie to anyone with an interest in spirituality and the metaphysical, although those who enjoy a sensitive, well- acted, and intellectual experience would also appreciate it. The theme was handles with three separate stories unfolding in France, England and North America. Story development was interesting and provided many poignant, dramatic and uplifting moments. Well worth seeing. Refreshing to see minimal violence and maximum thought. Might not appeal to those who enjoy violence, vulgarity and mindless filler.

  3. Kat
    Posted on April 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Well, I am afraid I have to agree with the Captain here. Though, what I have to say is much less harsh!
    Clint Eastwood usually hits…I have always been pleased with the results, until now. It’s an age-old written about and portrayed by film topic; what happens when we die? To successfully capture the interest of viewers, Clint would’ve had to have brought a fresh concept, wrapped tightly in a solid plot. That wasn’t the case here, not even close. The characters and their surroundings were choppy and underdeveloped and half the time, at least, there wasn’t anything to keep your eye to the screen. The ending mismatched the beginning and when credits roll, you simultaneously think “finally” and “oh that’s it?” All in all, what an incredible display of a bad game for a good player. Sorry Mr. Eastwood…back to the drawing board.

    • Currently 2/5 Stars
    Posted on April 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Slow movie. It was not what I expected from Clint Eastwood. It was boring, and very slow. The whole movie your expecting it to pick up but it doesn’t!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on April 23, 2011 at 4:44 am

    At first I was confused how the stories would tie in, but they did and I liked it.

    • Currently 1/5 Stars
    Posted on April 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Well the thing that got me about this was that the text on my local Red Box did not mention that over half of the movie was in French with very fast English subtitles. I called wanting a refund and the little guy on the phone told me that it did warn about the subtitles. I drove back to the boite rouge and looked. It warned about wide screen and somebody said a bad word but no mention of the fact that OVER HALF OF THE MOVIE WAS IN FRENCH.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars
    Posted on May 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Matt Daemon…. Clint Eastwood….. The hereafter!

    Expecting a fast-paced movie with great graphical scenes. Instead it was a very quiet movie, and made me wonder where it was going.

    Unfortunately it went nowhere. It had a nice quiet ending.