Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic 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. The biggest hole in this picture is not so much whether an audience will buy its miracles but whether an audience will care about Henry Poole. Wilson hits the same notes in virtually every scene without any change to his physical rhythms or moods.
  3. This may sound like a satiric comedy, and its intriguing setup carries a faintly comedic tone, but the movie becomes more straight-faced as it moves along and ends up being a fairly serious examination on the nature of, and necessity for, faith.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sappy and corny, but there are a few lovely moments.
  6. If inciting boredom is the worst sin a filmmaker can commit, being timid is right behind it. Whether I agree with your point of view or not, I want to hear it.
  7. 58
    To Pellington's credit, the performers eschew sentimentality.
  8. Unfortunately it’s all a bit dull.
  9. Handsomely photographed by Eric Schmidt and nicely underplayed by the actors, the film relies too much on its jukebox soundtrack to convey mood.
  10. Reviewed by: Reyhan Harmanci
    A strange and thoughtful little movie.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The film has some amusing moments and can be intriguing when it focuses on the slow transformation of a hopeless, faithless man.
  12. Reviewed by: Jason Anderson
    While his sincerity is admirable, Pellington is reluctant to offer any ideas that are more theologically complex than 'Faith is valuable' and 'Life is for living.'
  13. It's less a tale of religious rebirth than a faith-based Hallmark card.
  14. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    A film that could have used some of the genuine intrigue of Pellington's thrillers to help offset the increasingly doe-eyed narrative.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Picture's tendency to lecture on the power of faith and religion and on the demerits of science seems to assume an almost childlike audience that needs to be spoon-fed Pablum.
  16. 50
    This contrived situation leads to a debate over the power of faith.
  17. 50
    Henry Poole cycles through so many indie film clichés--that it continually skirts self-parody.
  18. Some touching moments, but too blandly inspirational.
  19. 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.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Though not strictly a religious tract, Henry Poole Is Here is undeniably selling spiritual reawakening. If only its makers believed that aesthetically useful adage: God is in the details.
  21. 33
    Every so often there's a tabloid news story about the Virgin Mary seen in a piece of toast or Mother Teresa on a tortilla, and most of us equate them with Elvis sightings. This film is for the rest.
  22. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    All that's missing from the director's new vision of the world is the pipe organ and the choir of angels.
  23. The film's spiritual deck is stacked. In the mawkish tradition of movies like "Simon Birch," "Wide Awake," "August Rush" and "Hearts in Atlantis," Henry Poole Is Here is insufferable hokum that takes itself very, very seriously.
  24. A not-quite-funny comedy that devolves into a tedious discussion of miracles and redemption.
  25. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Manages a fairly rare trick: It's a movie that's both deeply felt and completely phony.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Sep 16, 2014
    One of the single worst movies I've seen in my life. The acting, while decent, is nothing compared to the garbage script. I honestly like catholic movies, courageous is one of my favorites, but this movie just shoves Catholicism down your throat and tries to make feel sorry for a cast of completely unlivable characters. It is pure garbage, do not watch it. Full Review »
  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. Full Review »
  3. 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 Full Review »