Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A disillusioned man goes into hiding in placid suburbia only to discover he cannot escape the forces of hope. (Overture Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. 88
    Achieves something that is uncommonly difficult. It is a spiritual movie with the power to emotionally touch believers, agnostics and atheists -- in that descending order, I suspect.
  2. 63
    A large part of the movie's appeal can be attributed to Wilson, more dour than he's been in ages and yet more interesting, too.
  3. 58
    To Pellington's credit, the performers eschew sentimentality.
  4. 50
    This contrived situation leads to a debate over the power of faith.
  5. It's less a tale of religious rebirth than a faith-based Hallmark card.
  6. It's easy to see how a film so unafraid of religious touchstones could become a phenomenon among the faithful. Nonbelievers, however, need not apply.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Manages a fairly rare trick: It's a movie that's both deeply felt and completely phony.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Aug 17, 2010
    Luke Wilson gives it his best shot in this altogether middling film in the indy genre. The first half of the movie implies a fascinating history and character development for Mr. Poole, a dejected, dying man in the final throes of life. His interactions with (ultimately minor, unfortunately) characters such as the supermarket cashier give insight to his life, and intimate to the audience that there is hope that maybe Henry Poole will have some redeeming qualities beneath his rough exterior. Dismayingly, the film does nothing to follow through with the promise of its strong start. Instead of being a fascinating character study, the film takes a decidedly Hollywood approach to Mr. Poole's troubles. After finding a stain in the shape of the Virgin Mary on the wall of his house, the entire neighborhood, comprised largely of stereotypical Hispanic Catholics, come to pray and turn his house into a religious destination site. This is of course troubles Poole, who only wants to be left alone. This turn of plot, and the introduction of a religious element, marks the downfall of this film. As beautiful as the concept of a magical religious figure appearing and saving everyone is, this idea works only in theory. The movie plays out essentially a deus ex machina-style scenario to conclude the film, something which does not fit the tone of the first half at all. If we never got a chance to really learn about this character, then why would we accept that he deserves this massive salvation? Overall, this movie plods along and doesn't go really anywhere, despite a good first impression. It is unfortunate, because I could see how, without the cheesy religious aspect that made it feel so artificial, this movie could have been an excellent little flick- not to mention showcase for Luke Wilson, who, as per usual, manages to deliver a great performance in spite of the story. Verdict: Movie Meh Expand
  2. Apr 30, 2012
    What a sweet movie. It is in no ways a complex film; thus don't watch it to stimulate your movie critic side. This is a film about hope - not nearly as intense as The Shawshank Redemption (and shouldn't even be compared). This is a movie about hope in a modern context and subtly touches things we have become stubborn to admit or talk about. It also touches our possessiveness over privacy and the alienation to our immediate surroundings and pain of our communities. Expand

See all 5 User Reviews