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A 2010 movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

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A Supernatural Drama About The Living And The Dead

  • Oct 21, 2010
I’ve always proclaimed that I have a fondness for movies directed by Clint Eastwood and I believe I've seen every movie directed by him. I like the way he develops his story and how he keeps a sense of simplicity when he frames his shots. Eastwood always goes for the first draft of any story; he went for the purity of Paul Higgins’ first story draft in “Million Dollar Baby” and I’ve read the same about the script of “Gran Torino” among his other films. Well, I’ve heard that screenwriter Peter Morgan’s “HEREAFTER” was originally intended for Steven Spielberg as director and went through some revisions before Eastwood took the project. Eastwood likes to shoot the story from a first draft as soon as it catches his interest--so “Hereafter” is actually Morgan’s first draft of his story.

Three different people from three different countries all share one thing in common; one way or the other they are touched by the hand of death. George (Matt Damon) is an honest-to-goodness psychic who can genuinely speak with the dead. He used to make loads of cash for his hidden skills until he decided to try and live and normal life, much to the protestations of his older brother (Jay Mohr). Marie Lelay (Cecile De France) is a French journalist who while vacationing went to the brink of her own death during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Marcus and Jason (George and Frankie McLaren) are twins who live in England. The two are very close until Jason is killed in an accident. This causes Marcus to try to find an answer as to what happened to his bother after his death. The three stories intertwine as they all touch each others’ lives….

                   Matt Damon as George Lonegan and Richard Kind as Christos in "Hereafter."

                   Matt Damon as George Lonegan in "Hereafter."

                  Bryce Dallas Howard as Melanie in "Hereafter."

The film’s structure follows the style used in the film in “Babel” and brings the viewer into the world of the living that has a immediacy to death. The themes are rich in the film as the story is developed through its characters. “HereAfter” is a film that asks what lies beyond and yet it never keeps its focus on the afterlife. One may say that the answers to the after life is a mere backdrop and this film is more about the living. It is how people deal with who or what they are, one’s mission to find closure, and how an event can change one’s life. The film’s script comes dangerously close to forming a disconnection at some points of the film, but Eastwood was careful enough in its execution that he made the film quite compelling in his own unique yet simple approach.

See, the dangers of having three intertwining tales is that there is one story that always stands more compelling and more interesting than the others. Eastwood does try to create a balance, there are times that he succeeds and there are times that he doesn’t. Matt Damon is of course a very seasoned actor and he takes central stage. His character is well written but I have to say, there are some rough edges in the details that may require the viewer to either read between the lines or learn to accept the details as they go along. There are times when I thought that the film needed to spend a little more time with a scene (such as the restaurant scene with Cecile and Marcus mother’s emotional departure), some parts of the script did feel a little rushed. There were parts that some scenes could’ve been more compelling if the script maybe lingered a little; Eastwood manages to get the point across, but it could’ve been more effective. Actually, It would’ve been outstanding but it ended up a little short of greatness.

               Lyndsey Marshall as Jackie and Frankie/George McLaren as Marcus in "Hereafter."

              Cecile de France as Marie Lelay in "Hereafter."

The characters do take the meat of the film. The character of Marie Lelay is one that draws out someone whose experience changes her and leaves it to her to make a choice as to how she makes the most out of it. Whether she pursues it or not, would be up to her. The twins are the film’s second most interesting story; the scene with Marcus and George is definitely the film’s most powerful sequence. Marcus’ story is one of closure, and how one should accept a tragic loss. George’s story may well be the one glues that makes the connection. George has the ability that is indeed a curse or a gift. George had a blossoming relationship with a charming young woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) at a cooking class; they begin to flirt until their relationship ends with some secrets that should’ve been left untouched. That 'reading' scene showed both the benefits and the setbacks from such an ability; you can provide closure and yet you may open up old wounds. Be that as it may, the script has themes of 'belonging' and 'accepting', George is the one whose links to the afterlife seem to hamper his life, while Marie embraces her brush with it

                     Bryce Dallas Howard as Melanie and Matt Damon as George in "Hereafter."

                    Thierry Neuvic as Didier in "Hereafter."

                   Jessica Griffiths as Island Girl and Cecile de France as Marie Lelay in "Hereafter."

I do feel that the screenplay could’ve been more polished as it does leave some of the intended stronger parts of the narrative become unmemorable, but I still think that the film is a good one. There are references to real world events such as the tsunami and the London bombing which adds viewer attachment to its scenes, and that first opening act with the tsunami is shockingly convincing. The cinematography is top-notch as Eastwood and Tom Stern manipulate the shots quite well. There were scenes that envelop Damon in the shadows as if to convey a sense of brooding atmosphere engulfed with mystery. I do have mixed feelings about the soundtrack; I feel that it should’ve been stronger for a film such as this.

Eastwood always makes a film with good intentions. “Hereafter” may not be one of his best but it is hardly his fault since the script had weaknesses that were there from the get-go. The film does have the right emotions, the right mood and tone; but the weaknesses of the screenplay just made it too obvious that one character was better written than the other. It does manage to wrap things up nicely by drawing all their lives together and I liked the exposition of its themes. Still, “Hereafter” while still a good film and is impressive in its own way, may be Eastwood’s weakest film to date. It just doesn’t match up to the other films under his name.

Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

This Review is a Movie Hype Community Exclusive@lunch.com

3 ½ Stars: A Supernatural Drama About The Living And The Dead 3 ½ Stars: A Supernatural Drama About The Living And The Dead

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October 23, 2010
And I have found a point we are definitely going to disagree on. I rarely like anything Clint Eastwood does and think that this is very different for him but that it got away with him. That said, I do agree with you that Morgan's script needed work. Such a shame considering how talented a screenwriter he is. As for me, I was most taken in by the twins and also really loved the tsunami scene and the reading between Howard and Damon. Good moments, mediocre film.
October 23, 2010
I was stunned to know that he also did THE QUEEN. I didn't know that. I guess Clint needs to stop grabbing every first draft and making it into a film--this had some great emotional moments but the script was just a little disjointed. Could've been a better film.
October 24, 2010
And I was stunned to read that Eastwood likes to work with first drafts. I get not polishing things there is nothing wrong with refining at the same time.
October 24, 2010
Yeah, Clint likes the idea of having the writer's work up there in the screen. He said in an interview I've read before: "When something hits you and grabs your interest, there's really no reason to kill it with improvements." I guess it worked for him in the past, but in this case, Morgan's first draft was a real first draft that needed polishing up.
October 23, 2010
Excellent review - I saw it last night!
October 23, 2010
Thanks James!
October 22, 2010
I never cared too much for Eastwood as an actor, but I like him a lot as a director. Still, this one will probably be a rental for me. I haven't been making the best choices when it comes to the movies I've seen in the theaters lately; SECRETARIAT, WALL STREET 2,--MACHETE was the only exception. I loved that one.
October 22, 2010
I am with you. I do not deny my fondness for his directorial style. You know I've been waiting on that review for Secretariat from you; you may be the best qualified to review that movie because of your knowledge of its facts. "Machete" is pretty fun (I can't believe Count missed it)--so was Wallstreet as bad I had feared?
October 23, 2010
I've pretty much said everything I have to say about SECRETARIAT already. WALL STREET was pretty bad. It would have been better if Stone had worked on the script himself., and if they had gone with a different ending. It was just too sappy.
October 23, 2010
ugh. Now I knew any movie with Shia La-doofus would be mediocre.
October 23, 2010
He was no Charlie Sheen that's for sure. Sheen has a cameo as his original character at a charity ball.
October 23, 2010
I'll rent it sometime to see it. Did you do a Quick Tip at least?
October 23, 2010
Sure did. I did one before I saw the movie and everything I said was right on so there is nothing to add.
October 23, 2010
I must've missed that one about WALLSTREET 2....I am on my way...
October 25, 2010
Oh no. I didn't quick tip that one. Just SECRETARIAT.
October 26, 2010
quick tip please!! what did you think of Shia La-doofus?
October 26, 2010
I thinks he's kind of ugly--well maybe that's night the right word, a bit too strong. I find him incredibly unattractive. And flat. Totally flat as an actor.
October 26, 2010
LOL! he has one facial expression--that is with his mouth open and looking startled and confused LOL!
October 26, 2010
An intellectually challenged deer in the headlights.
October 22, 2010
Hello Woo-Woo, I was curious about this film cause it look good and I'm starting to like Damon as a actor ever since the Bourne series so I hope to watch this picture soon.
October 22, 2010
I am with you, milady. Damon is a great actor; have you seen GREEN ZONE yet?
October 23, 2010
Yes I have also seen Green Zone. I found it ironic why this film was called the "Green Zone", since the film was set mainly OUTSIDE this titular oasis-like haven for foreigners seemingly oblivious to the chaotic war outside it. Anyway, the film as a whole has a good story, and good editing to effectively pace the action. I hope Damon keeps it up ;-)
October 23, 2010
I hope so too. He is fast becoming one of my fave actors.
October 22, 2010
This sounds like a film I will have to catch. Good review, William!
October 22, 2010
thanks, Adri--I am still working on that Korean romantic comedy for you :)
October 22, 2010
by the way, Alex inspired me to review a book about a wrestler for you :)
October 22, 2010
No problem. Take your time. And-- yay! Look forward to the book review too! Just shoot me a message or comment with the links when things are ready. :)
October 26, 2010
I will. HAVE A NICE DAY :)
October 27, 2010
Sounds good. You too. :)
October 21, 2010
I love Clint Eastwood's films, I like Matt Damon as an actor, Bryce Dallas Howard is totally hot, and yet I'm not sure how they all got together to do a film about a medium... It may demand viewing just to see how everything fits together.
October 22, 2010
as you well know--I also love his films. I love the cast which is why I rounded up the 3.5 star rating despite some of the weaknesses of its script. You may like it more than I did.
October 22, 2010
Oh, I forgot--Bryce Dallas Howard is sssooo sexy in this film. and she doesn't even show any skin.
October 22, 2010
It's her eyes and hair.
October 21, 2010
This sounds pretty good, and the leading actors are pretty good lookin', too ;D Great review, Woo. That's awesome that you got a pre-release review up!
October 22, 2010
Thanks, Lady D! @Chris_Pandolfi has a review on this movie too--lucky week for Movie Hype!
October 21, 2010
I want to see this one man, my favorite from Eastwood is still "Changeling". This one sounds good though man and it did get a good recommendation from Sir William, that is good enough for me.
October 21, 2010
Thanks, Alex. It is good, but of lesser quality than his previous films. The script needed revising I thought but it was alright.
More Hereafter (2010 movie) reviews
review by . October 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Screenwriter Blake Snyder talks about delivering on the "promise of the premise" in the story concept, and delivering the "fun and games" associated with a winning idea. A movie like Home Alone - about the kid left to defend his house from burglars while the family's away - is a great example of this. Hereafter is supposedly about the only genuine psychic in the world - wow, what a great concept - but it never fully capitalizes on the idea.      The other …
review by . December 27, 2011
  There are essentially three very moving tales in this excellent film. Viewers hoping to learn about what happens to people after death, whether there is something or nothing, will be disappointed, because this is not the film's purpose. The hereafter is a backdrop to the three tales that Clint Eastwood directs and Matt Damon acts in very well.     One story is about the character played by Damon. He discovers that he has the ability to see and hear a dead relative …
review by . March 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
What is after death? Wrong question!
Hereafter is a movie I saw right after Sunset Limited. Both deal with death and human’s survival in the world. Hereafter is a movie that attempts to answer the question about life after death although its focus is on those who survived and their attachment to close people who had passed on.         Matt Damon is the psychic who gets his vibes from people through the sense of touch. He “hears” what the dead had to say to those who are seeking them. …
review by . October 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Let's see this is my first review, so here goes.       Clint Eastwood -- high expectations, I think too high.   The opening scenes were heart pounding.  Man versus nature, no contest.  Visually I found the moving appealing.  But there  was a calmness/flatness that settled in after the Tsunami scene like the roller coaster ride was over, and it was.  I found myself getting exasperated with the plodding movement of the story.  Started …
review by . May 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Hereafter" is being marketed as some sort of "Sixth Sense"-esque paranormal drama, although I assure you, it is far from one of those. It's a different venue for director Clint Eastwood, who is talented and skillful, and has made a film that matches the quality of the mass majority of his productions. This isn't a masterpiece, and it's not the best Eastwood directorial feature, but "Hereafter" is worth seeing in its own little ways, for its own little reasons.  &nb …
review by . October 30, 2010
HEREAFTER is an engrossing but frustrating film. My interest was held throughout, yet when it was all over, I was extremely disappointed in how little my interest added up to.    Directed by Clint Eastwood, HEREAFTER would appear to be exploring the old question "what happens to us after we die," but really it is a character study of a couple of folks who have very atypical experiences with death. Ultimately, it isn't terribly meaningful because it is NOT universal.    The …
review by . October 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Many of us have a terrible tendency to pigeonhole filmmakers into the genres we think they're best suited for. When I first saw the trailer for "Hereafter," I, like much of the moviegoing public, was unpleasantly surprised at the thought of Clint Eastwood having directed a supernatural drama. Given his recent triumphs with films like "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," "Changeling," "Gran Torino," and "Invictus," it just didn't …
review by . October 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Clint's Near Death Experiment
HEREAFTER   Written by Peter Morgan   Directed by Clint Eastwood   Starring Matt Damon, Cecile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard and George McLaren       Billy: A life that is all about death is no life at all.       It’s no secret that Clint Eastwood is getting up there in years.  He has been churning out films on an almost yearly basis in the last decade as if he is trying to cram as much work as possible into …
Quick Tip by . April 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
While I liked the story and the themes being dealt with in Hereafter, I couldn't help but feel somewhat disappointed with the screenplay which feels somewhat exploitative in the way it utilizes contemporary events such as the London subway terrorist bombings and the 2004 tsunami as well as the concept of mediums. I couldn't help but feel that I was watching a film that much like the spiritualist revival movement after WWI wanted to instill its viewers with hope and a belief in the afterlife, …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I did like this movie, not because it was such an amazing story but it was more the visual experience and the way the different story lines all connected at the end. It will not change your mind about your beliefs of the afterlife or lack of it, but was enjoyable and thought provoking.
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William ()
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Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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About this movie


  • Opened October 15, 2010 (Limited NY-LA-Toronto 10/15; Opens Wide 10/22) | Runtime:2 hr. 6 min.
  • PG-13
    Mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language
  • An American laborer (Matt Damon), a French journalist (Cécile de France) and a London schoolboy set out on a spiritual journey after death touches their lives in different ways.
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Cécile De France, Daniel McLaren, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Genres: DramaSupernatural Drama
  • Poster art for "Hereafter"
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    Director: Clint Eastwood
    Genre: Drama
    Release Date: October 20, 2010 limited
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Screen Writer: Peter Morgan
    Runtime: 129 minutes
    Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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