Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Christmas 1987 marks the one-year anniversary of Lark Hall’s opening for business as an old age home in an English seaside town. But ten-year-old Edward isn’t much in the mood to celebrate. He has had to give up his room; and his Mum and Dad don’t have as much time for him as they used to, overwhelmed as they are with the day-to-day management of the home and the struggle to stave off financial ruin. On the other hand, living in an old folks’ home offers a curious, clever child like Edward the chance to explore what, exactly, comes after death. And went a retired magician moves into the home, Edward shows him to believe in magic again. (Big Beach) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    It is also hard not to see remnants of a younger Michael Caine -- beautifully seductive and enigmatic all those years ago in "Alfie." He has said his wife cried when she saw the performance; you understand why.
  2. 80
    The sentimentality is held in check by Caine, who rises to the occasion with a bleak, angry performance.
  3. 75
    A kid-meets-curmudgeon comedy that transcends its formulaic skeleton thanks both to the veteran actor's charm and a smarter-than-average screenplay.
  4. More deft than it first appears, director John Crowley's gentle-but-not-sappy drama features another late-day masterpiece-in-miniature from Michael Caine.
  5. Requires us to repress any thoughts about stale material and keep Caine's heartfelt performance front and center.
  6. What balances the movie is Mr. Caine's exceptional portrayal of old age as the accumulation of a lifetime's experience. In his performance the child, the youthful rogue and the forgetful codger all live at once.
  7. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Even Crowley, who seems to have a knack with overloaded material, can't quite bring the thing in for a safe landing in all the slush.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. TassiaB
    May 1, 2009
    This movie is the whole package. Go for the gallow's humor, stay for the emotional payoff. You won't regret it!
  2. danm
    May 3, 2009
    Although this movie has some cliches, it also has some fine acting and an uplifting underlying spirit . The bittersweet ending is especially well done. This is Caine's movie and it shows his magnificent range. Expand