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A 2010 movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

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Clint's Near Death Experiment

  • Oct 23, 2010
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 his legacy before he can no longer do so.  It seems then a natural choice for Eastwood to take on the afterlife in his adaptation of Peter Morgan’s screenplay, HEREAFTER. In many ways, it is one of his most organic works but aside from acknowledging that an afterlife exists, Eastwood is nowhere closer to any insight on the subject.
It is also no secret that I am not a big fan of Eastwood’s work as a director.  I find he often oversimplifies the problem and renders complicated scenarios into clichéd lessons about what it means to him to be a good human being.  The idea of him tackling something as complicated as the passage between life and death was frightening at first, even if the writing was in Morgan's hands, THE QUEEN and FROST/NXON scribe. In HEREAFTER, Morgan tells three separate stories about three different people around the world who are dealing with death in different ways.  A French reporter (Cecile de France) is recovering from her brush with death; a young twin boy in England (George McLaren) has just lost his brother; and Matt Damon plays a genuine psychic in San Francisco who has retired in hopes of finding a normal life.  While all reasonably compelling separately, their plights never come together, which leaves the film feeling cold and detached.
There are moments in HEREAFTER that are genuinely engrossing and memorable, including an opening so intense, I felt I might soon know my own afterlife.  Eastwood lets go of his ordinarily tight grasp on the picture to allow its characters to speak for themselves and its often-haunting imagery to be just that.  At first, I was pleasantly surprised but then I realized that without Eastwood playing God that there was really no direction in HEREAFTER at all.  Subsequently, I wasn’t able to connect with a film about an experience that connects us all.

Thanks for reading.
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October 23, 2010
Nice review! I see we cannot agree on everything LOL! Yup. I like Eastwood's movies but I fear he may be starting to show his age. (I hope not) I didn't know Morgan did the script in those movies. (Those are good ones). I see this as good but way off because of its execution. I sure wished they didn't take the first draft this time. I know you said you didn't care for Eastwood's past films, you didn't like UNFORGIVEN either or MYSTIC RIVER?
October 24, 2010
I'm sure UNFORGIVEN is a good film but I was not in the mood for the slow Western pace when I sat down to watch it so I shut it off. I'll give it another go some day. Meanwhile, MYSTIC RIVER made me want to shoot myself. I thought it was whiny, misogynist bullcrap. Sorry, I know a lot of people really like that movie but a lot of people really think GRAN TORINO is an altruistic film about racial harmony when it is really just Clint's own ignorance manifest on screen. I truly enjoyed LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. There, I'll give you that one.
October 24, 2010
Oh yes! LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. That was indeed a great film. Hey, this is how we learn--from others' opposing opinions. :)
More Hereafter (2010 movie) reviews
review by . October 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: A Supernatural Drama About The Living And The Dead
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 …
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 …
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.
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … 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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