Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Life Before Her Eyes is an intense and visually evocative drama about the loss of youth, investigating how a single moment in time can define an entire life. Based on Laura Kasischke's visionary novel, the story hinges on a pivotal confrontation: two high school girls held captive by a gunman and forced to make the terrifying choice as to who will live and who will die. The Life Before Her Eyes explores the reverberations stemming from the collision of past and future, reality and dream. Life can end in an instant--yet the echoes of possible futures remain inescapable. Moving backward and forward in time, it combines the dramatic intensity of Sophie's Choice with the eerie mystery of a ghost story like The Others. (Magnolia) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 25
  2. Negative: 11 out of 25
  1. Emotionally sophisticated, humane and worth talking about for hours.
  2. Though atmospheric and occasionally suspenseful, its gimmickry keeps it from being transcendent.
  3. Boasting two terrific performances by Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood as the adult and teenage versions of the same character.
  4. Tidy, predictable, excruciatingly fussy in its details and lacking the tiniest glimmer of humor, The Life Before Her Eyes contradicts the director’s claim in the production notes that the movie “is not a perfectly ordered experience with clear causes and effects.”
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    While "House of Sand and Fog" remained (somewhat precariously) balanced on the knife-edge that can turn tragedy into bathos, this picture doesn't fare nearly as well, and begins weighing down the viewer with its putative significance only minutes after its opening credits.
  6. Perelman eases the transitions between the past and the present with echoing phrases and situations, but they all seem rather pat and contrived. Does he really think that repeated refrains from the Zombies oldie, "She's Not There," won't be a dead (so to speak) giveaway?
  7. Consider this more a consumer warning than a movie review: The Life Before Her Eyes will draw you in, then intrigue you, then bore you, then bewilder you, then make you crazy with its incessant flashbacks and flash forwards, and finally leave you feeling like the victim of a fraud.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Richard.
    May 4, 2008
    The critics could not be more wrong. This is the most profound and emotional film of the year so far. It's sad that many people will not see it based on the copycat critics reviews. Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2013
    Yes, this movie is definitely the best thriller I've seen so far. It is very emotional and profound, and I like the fact the movie reflects on the adulthood messed up by a psychological drama. Expand
  3. Brynhotness
    Apr 24, 2008
    I thought this movie was phenomenal and i watched some of this movie was shot on the street right next to mine and i think all fo the actors and actresses did a teriffic job!!!!!!!! Expand
  4. ChadS.
    May 2, 2008
    When the good girl met the bad girl in Catherine Hardwicke's "Thirteen", the bad girl exerted her will on the good girl, and the good girl became bad. The good girl was played by Evan Rachel Wood. This time, in "The Life Before Her Eyes", she's the bad girl, who meets a good girl, and she becomes a good girl, too. The good girl is played by Eva Amurri. Diana McFee(Uma Thurman) can thank Maureen for the woman she is today. But where is Maureen? The last time we saw her, she was in a high school girls' bathroom with her best friend and the gunman. Since "The Life Before Her Eyes" predicates itself as a sort of "Donnie Darko" for women, Maureen's fate isn't wholly determinisitic, because the past is present, the past is fluid, as Diana rewrites her history, her husband and child's history, and especially, Maureen's history from a contemporary epoch(the weeks leading up to the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre) that runs parallel to the past. Like Alejandro Agresti's "The Lake House", this "My So-Called Elephant" is sci-fi for women who don't like sci-fi. Expand
  5. Enrique
    May 4, 2008
    Barely convincing. Uma Thurmann is fine but the script is too contrived. A big disappointment.
  6. PaulB.
    Apr 20, 2008
    Uma Thurman continues her losing streak in a poorly-constructed script punctuated with ridiculous lines such as, "I don't know about you but I could use some soup!" Expand