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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 31
  2. Negative: 9 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    88
    Just Like Heaven isn't far short of a classic among romantic comedies with a teary chaser, sure to please fans of "Ghost" and "Heaven Can Wait."
  2. Crossing the life-death divide, Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo are a winning pair in this smart and tender comedy.
  3. 63
    The film, which comes way too close to preaching, lurches away from the control of director Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday) and ends on a stretched-out note so sappy it makes "Must Love Dogs" look like "8 Mile."
  4. There are moments when it is possible, with effort, to forget the plot and its tired premise and enjoy Witherspoon and Ruffalo's chemistry and imagine they are in another movie. But never for long.
  5. The leads are just too good to commit fully to something this baldly formulaic. It's sad.
  6. 40
    Witherspoon's oft charming perkiness is merely patronizing here, but mid-'90s MTV staple Donal Logue steals every scene he's in as an ethically challenged therapist.
  7. Sounds promising. What a disappointment then to report that Just Like Heaven is more like purgatory, a sweating, straining attempt to marry the wisecracking fury of the modern sitcom to the classic Rock-Doris, Cary-Kate romantic comedy.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. [Anonymous]
    Mar 22, 2006
    10
    this movie was an awsome and inspiaring lovable and laghabull movie.i really love it and i even bought it.
  2. Jul 8, 2014
    10
    Just like heaven is a hilarious romantic comedy with Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon. The movie has
    many laughs, romance and is touching.
    John Heder also has a nice role as a man who assists Mark Ruffalo.
    Heder works in a book store and they meet there. Overall the movie is very enjoyable for the whole family and the storyline is diverse from most movies. There is a supernatural aspect in the movie, if you haven't
    seen the movie you'll see what I mean.
    Expand
  3. MiaS.
    Feb 22, 2006
    9
    A truly enjoyable film. Yes, it pleases me to no end to see Reese WItherspoon comatose in her hospital bed after all the Blonde thing, or Mark Ruffalo clothed in bed after 'In The Cut', but forget chemistry, or believable sub plots or background, and chances are you'll be bawling your eyes out 90 minutes into the film. Both of them are wonderful actors and having seen all of Mark Ruffalo's films, this is probably one where he appears effortlessly hearbroken without having to crease his brow. Expand
  4. MarkB.
    Oct 10, 2005
    7
    Not every movie ever made has to reinvent the wheel, redefine cinema as we know it, or be Citizen Kane on a stick. (And let's be honest...each and every one of us would be physically as well as intellectually exhausted if they all did!) Sometimes you just want a movie that skillfully and pleasurably replows very well-trod ground; a Cellular, or a Mr. 3000...or a Just Like Heaven. Not that there wasn't any real reason going in for me to expect it to be something more along the lines of Just Like Purgatory at best: the poster tagline 'It's a Wonderful Afterlife' rips off the title of my all-time favorite film; the success rate of supernatural romcoms is about as low as Enron's 2005 gross earnings (for every Ghost there seems to be a dozen Chances Ares, Hearts and Souls or Heavenly Kids); and quite frankly, Reese Witherspoon had pretty much worn her cutesy-princess act down to the nub. You've got to have a Babar-like memory to recall when Witherspoon was The Queen of Indie Edge; the final straw was broken last year when she torpedoed Mira Nair's Vanity Fair by playing Thackeray's unlikable, manipulative Becky Sharp as the great-grandmother of Legally Blonde's Elle Woods. But Leslie Dixon's and Peter Tolan's solid comedy writing wisely gives Witherspoon some prickly, bristly qualities not seen since Election as a ghostly being visiting her old domicile and irritating its current resident, a bereaved, semi-alcoholic couch potato played by Mark Ruffalo, until they...well, you know. (Hey, I didn't say it was original; I just said it was enjoyable.) As in 13 Going On 30, Ruffalo is your go-to guy when you want to cast an endearingly ordinary, down-to-earth shlub--in other words, someone representing 90% of your male audience--as your romantic lead, and he and Witherspoon create a lot of very funny Oscar Madison/Felix Unger vibes in the early sequences. If you wanted to make the claim that Mark Waters is the best commercial comedy director currently working in movies, I won't give you THAT much of an argument; he did possibly the best Disney comedy remake ever (Freaky Friday) and both the best SNL-vets-on-film film since, oh, let's say Tommy Boy, AND the best high school movie since the aforementioned Election with last year's Mean Girls. Waters' handling of Heaven's two scenes involving Witherspoon's sister (Dina Waters, the director's wife, who presents a rare argument in favor of casting nepotism) rather dazzlingly blends all kinds of conflicting moods including slapstick, comic misunderstandings, cute-kid humor, life-or-death suspense and much more; at his best, the man's an alchemist. But then, his expert pacing of every scene in Just Like Heaven makes it a surprisingly effective and entertaining blend of laughs, tears, drama and romance. Not that it's perfect or without flaws; the sexy neighbor subplot looks like outtakes from The 40-Year-Old Virgin that Judd Apatow wisely had removed, and the casting of Napoleon Dynamite himself, Jon Heder, as a psychic bookstore employee would've seemed slightly less opportunistic if Heder limited his use of the term "dude" to every sixth word rather than every fourth. And some viewers will find the hospital-based climax a little too disturbingly close to a certain controversial event that dominated the news earlier this year; a few social liberals may even take offense at certain plot twists. As someone who often fits into that political category myself, I can only give two responses to these folks: 1.) It's. Only. A. Movie.; and 2.) Consider it tit for tat for the conclusion of a certain actor-director's Oscar-winning film from last year that annoyed certain conservatives...and let's call it even. Expand
  5. Aug 28, 2014
    6
    Nodding to classics such as Ghost and Heaven Can Wait, Just Like Heaven is another formidable entry into romantic-comedies venturing beyond life and love. Expand
  6. ChadS.
    Sep 22, 2005
    6
    For once, the trailer didn't reveal all of the film's secrets. When "Just Like Heaven" gets there, and you're a music fan who watched "120 Minutes" with Dave Kendall in the late-eighties, you'll smile, because the song it evokes came out the same year as The Cure classic. "Just Like Heaven" gets considerably better when the premise changes. Elizabeth(Reese Witherspoon) and David(Mark Ruffalo) become less irritating after she learns about her relationship with the world. Their bickering over who owns the apartment gets old real fast. When they open up to each other, it's not that painful to watch like your lesser romantic comedies, where the actors have little or no chemistry. A believable couple hides the contrivances of their inevitable coupling, typical of this genre. What's missing from "Just Like Heaven", however, is a romantic gesture that evokes the fatalistic whine in Robert Smith's voice. Expand
  7. AlexCole
    Sep 14, 2005
    1
    Witherspoon and Ruffalo's magic on-screen caused me to leave the theater early. And not even stoner-like, but real life mormon, Jon Heder, could save the day. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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