Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 21, 2010
    100
    What's much more fascinating and enriching is Eastwood's Olympian vision, the sympathetic and all-encompassing understanding of the pain and grandeur of life on earth.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 21, 2010
    100
    This is a film for intelligent people who are naturally curious about what happens when the shutters close.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 21, 2010
    90
    This is quiet but potent filmmaking that believes nothing is more important than the story it has to tell.
  4. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 21, 2010
    90
    One of the reasons that Hereafter works as well as it does - it has the power to haunt the skeptical, to mystify the credulous and to fascinate everyone in between.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 22, 2010
    88
    As a result, Hereafter isn't so deep that it will change the way many people think about the afterlife. But it is heartfelt and thoughtful and, in a way, comforting.
  6. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 21, 2010
    88
    Eastwood and Morgan's movie, with its epic natural disasters (and a terrifying, man-made one) is optimistic. Hokey, even. But it's beautiful, too.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 21, 2010
    88
    It calmly examines death, grief and melancholy, packing an unexpectedly profound emotional gut-punch.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 21, 2010
    80
    Damon's portrayal is perfectly understated yet powerful. It's also sneaky; you don't realize how invested you've become in it until the final act, when the characters' stories merge in what seems like too much of a rushed coincidence.
  9. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Oct 21, 2010
    80
    The film never is less than intriguing, right from its tour de force opening sequence, and often full of insights into why people long for answers, sometimes with great urgency.
  10. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 21, 2010
    75
    Hereafter is a fascinating, absorbing motion picture, but will work only for those willing to surrender to the story as it unspools at its own deliberate rate.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 21, 2010
    75
    A multi-character melodrama about the supernatural that's affecting both in spite of and because of its flaws.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 21, 2010
    75
    Hereafter, set to a resonant Eastwood score, truly is haunting.
  13. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 21, 2010
    75
    There is plenty of excitement and pulse in Hereafter, as well as a reluctance to provide easy answers to life's great mysteries. I'm happy to see a great director take on the challenge of new and different material with his customary grace and impressive two-fisted technique intact.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 21, 2010
    70
    The movie will divide some Eastwood fans, conquer others. The naysayers will be grateful that, from this healthy, workaholic actor-director, there is always the promise of a good movie - if not here, then hereafter.
  15. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Oct 21, 2010
    70
    A beguiling blend of the audacious and the familiar; it dances right on the edge of the ridiculous and at times even crosses over, but is armored against risibility by its deep pockets of emotion, sly humor and matter-of-fact approach to the fantastical.
  16. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Oct 21, 2010
    70
    Lacks the toughness of Eastwood's best work.
  17. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 21, 2010
    67
    The signature Eastwoodian music that the director lays over the proceedings - piano tinkle, guitar pluck, and an echo of Rachmaninoff out of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter - can't hold the assemblage together.
  18. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 21, 2010
    60
    Though I found Hereafter meandering and occasionally sentimental, I couldn't help but admire Clint Eastwood's ambition in taking on-headfirst-the greatest fact of human existence.
  19. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Oct 21, 2010
    60
    It's as if everyone involved in the film figured they could keep Hereafter from turning ghost-story hokey by making it grounded, beautiful and matter-of-fact. And it sort of works. There are no inadvertent giggles here; it just doesn't add up to enough, after.
  20. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 21, 2010
    55
    It's hard to know how much of what's wrong with Hereafter stems from Morgan's screenplay, which lacks the characteristic tartness (and brains) of other movies he's written, like "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon."
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 24, 2010
    50
    His (Eastwood) first boring film.
  22. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Hereafter is a consistently identifiable Clint Eastwood movie only in the sense that the prolific filmmaker shows that he still has the ability to confound our expectations of him.
  23. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    It starts out with a tsunami - and ends up standing in a puddle.
  24. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Damon, trapped in an inert character, shows little inner turmoil.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Morgan and Eastwood are scrupulous in keeping their notions of the afterlife as general and inoffensive as possible. They have no religious or spiritual worldview to sell. As I say: Many admire this film to no end. I found its use of recent tragic events, including the London underground bombing, to be more than a little cheap.
  26. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Starts out feeling formidable in scope and theme but ends up awfully small and precious.
  27. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    When an 80-year-old director turns his attention to death, you hope for some insight, or gravitas, or even whimsy or anger. Hereafter has none of that.
  28. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Hereafter is unpredictable enough to be consistently watchable.
  29. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Though Hereafter has plenty to give you pause: its plot flatly insists there's an afterlife without really doing much with the matter, metaphorically or otherwise.
  30. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Hereafter doesn't feel like a Clint Eastwood film; it's more like a very special edition of John Edward's psychic TV show.
  31. 50
    Hereafter occupies some muzzy twilight zone, too woo-woo sentimental to be real, too limp to make for even a halfway decent ghost story.
  32. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    It's the first boring performance of Damon's career, although the bland inertia may not be his fault. The way Eastwood stages the "readings," they hold no terror for George.
  33. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    Just because a film takes place entirely in the long shadow of death doesn't mean it has to be this relentlessly dour.
  34. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 22, 2010
    42
    Eastwood and Morgan are not con artists, but their awe here is so unblinking that their film comes across as a transcendent con job.
  35. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 21, 2010
    42
    It isn't a lack of realism or philosophical consistency that rankles most, though, but rather the anticlimactic story and uninteresting characters that make this Hereafter not very sweet at all.
  36. Reviewed by: William Thomas
    Jan 24, 2011
    40
    Slow, ponderous and as shallow as it thinks it is deep, lifted only by an impressive opening and fine work from Damon and Howard.
  37. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 21, 2010
    40
    What was Clint thinking? (Or Martin Scorsese, when he made "Shutter Island," for that matter.)
  38. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 21, 2010
    40
    A movie that opens with a sensational bang and then proceeds to pursue the Big Questions about life and death in lovely, lugubrious and increasingly off-putting fashion, until all its drama has been frittered away in a dreamy, drifty haze.
  39. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 21, 2010
    38
    This Herefter, despite the odd engaging moment, is a terrible letdown, like investing in a belief system and discovering there's no "here" that you've been after all your life.
  40. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Oct 21, 2010
    30
    Hereafter is not just a stretch for Eastwood, it's a contortion. The irrationality of the premise is exceeded only by the strategic irrationalities of the plot.
  41. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 21, 2010
    30
    Either you buy their Vaseline-lensed visions of the hereafter, or you watch in stony silence, as I did, wondering why there's no one to care about.
  42. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 21, 2010
    20
    It doesn't help that Eastwood's laconic style is as torpid as it was in such misfires as "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and "Changeling."
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 69
  2. Negative: 18 out of 69
  1. Oct 16, 2010
    10
    To be fair, this is a lousy movie, but its more interesting as a subconscious message from Clint Eastwood stating that when you hit 80 years old, suddenly accepting things like psychics and spirits provide a psychological comfort. Sometimes watching the personal issues of a filmmaker translate onto the screen is an delightful experience that makes good art. This is just not one of those times. Sorry Clint, this is a sour and ironic note to go out on if its you final film. Full Review »
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    5
    The movie is definitely a well crafted one than its average. However, "Hereafter" doesn't give the strong impressions and profound air compared to Clint Eastwood's (the famous director who directed it) oscar winning movies. Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Good George Lonegan; he has a good will, integrity and compassion, someone who is probably too honest to be a psychic. In a field, or rather, a pseudo-profession, loaded with charlatans and quacks eager to bilk their clients with fallacious readings, George is the rare exception; he's for real, as his website advertises, this forklift operator, this weirdo with the gift, can genuinely speak to the dead: not in tongues, not as another person, and not with the usual theatrics and accouterments one would associate with readings. The most fascinating aspect about George, and "Hereafter", is that we're not necessarily dealing with a Christian, or the Judeo-Christian concept of heaven. Look all you want, high and low, in the foggy landscape of the souls that the near-dead(Marie Lelay, a French reporter who survives a tsunami, played by Cecile de France), and the instrument for the dead(our hero) have seen, or have access to, because God, "our" God, so to speak, the western model, is not necessarily in the diegetical details. The third protagonist, the emotionally dead(Marcus, a young English lad who is left behind with a drug-addled mother after his identical twin gets hit by a car, played by Frankie McLaren), in this filmmaker's beautifully executed triptych of incidental stories, attends a Christian funeral that is quickly replaced by a Hindu one, as a way to democratize the world religions, both east and west. George might be an agnostic, or perhaps, polytheistic. He makes no claim on knowing where all those souls he divines ultimately ascend towards. For spiritual nourishment, he turns to Charles Dickens, not the bible, or any other religious text. Enigmatic and stony, the moviegoer knows one thing for sure, the man is tired. While the hunting in the hereafter was good, George quit, when being a creep finally took its toll. Played by Matt Damon, who achieved stardom back in 1997 portraying the same sort of damaged person in hiding, the blue collar savant of Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting"(the janitor at MIT with a prodigious knack for mathematics and getting angry), differs from the wicked smaht maintenance worker in this key respect; he attitudinizes among the riffraff as a way of being alone, rather than to be part of a community(working-class Boston), a tribe. Both characters have best friends(in George's case, an older brother), nagging consciences at their disposal, the people knowledgeable enough to be horrified, by what they perceive to be as their buddy/brother's gross underachieving at dead end jobs. In "Good Will Hunting", Chuckie(Affleck) tells Will, "It'd be an insult if you're still here in twenty years," whereas Billy(Jay Mohr) reassures good George Lonegan that the chaos which surrounded their first go-around at the family business has been eliminated from the revamped organizational model. But math isn't a curse. George lives alone, eats alone, and sleeps alone, because unlike most psychics, the scam artists who tell people what they WANT to hear, the Victorian literature buff tells people what they NEED to hear. Against his better judgement, George relents and grants the woman he brings home from a non-credit course in Italian cuisine, Melanie(Bryce Dallas Howard), from Pittsburgh, a reading, and in the process, destroys, what he thinks, is his best and last chance for love. Partly out of anger, a momentary flare-up(shades of Will Hunting, perhaps), since Victoria prodded George to perform with such insistence, but mostly out of his inborn humaneness, the reluctant psychic transmits an apology from Melanie's father, who had apparently molested his daughter as a child. The fatalism of George's situation is unbearable; he's compelled to tell the truth, but the truth, as well all know, hurts, and as the words tumble out of his mouth, good George Lonegan knows the consequences from prior experiences in dealing with intimacy this potent. In all likelihood, she'll never talk to him again, but it's more important to him that the woman attains peace of mind...someday. And sure enough, Melanie is a no-show at the next class. Looking for answers, George ventures out on a literature-based pilgrimage to the U.K., where he visits a church of sorts, Charles Dickens' house, and with further extrapolation, a secularized miracle occurs, the reader of his audio-books, Derek Jacobi(read: priest), just happens to be making a public appearance at the London Book Fair. That's where the instrument for the dead converges with the near-dead and the emotionally dead, in which the trio of depressed strangers teach each other how to be alive again. It's not the holy ghost, but the ghost of Charles Dickens who looks over these sad, lonely people, and that's the subversive genius of "Hereafter". George Lonegan knows that life doesn't end after death, but he believes in "Little Dorrit" more than Jesus Christ. Full Review »