Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 36
  2. Negative: 10 out of 36
  1. 38
    A deplorable film with this message: If you're a 14-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer, you have a lot to look forward to.
  2. 38
    The result is almost suffocating: a movie that has been tinkered and fussed with until there is no spontaneity left -- no warmth or life or messiness.
  3. It doesn't help any that Wahlberg, looking perpetually dumbstruck, is among the clunkiest line-readers working in movies today.
  4. Ronan, however, transcends the script. She's innocent yet wise, gentle yet forceful. She's the one thing in this picture that shows how great a movie The Lovely Bones might have been, had the people who made it believed in the book with all their hearts.
  5. How the devastating story of the senseless murder of a 14-year-old could be stripped of emotion is a feat in itself, though one of dubious achievement.
  6. 25
    It leaves audiences in a limbo every bit as torturous as the one the protagonist is in.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The Lovely Bones, then, is something special: A spectacular, cringe-inducing failure as both a book adaptation and a film.
  8. Peter Jackson siphoned out all the soulfulness that made the author's combination thriller/afterlife fantasy a best-seller. In its place is a gumball-colored potboiler that's more squalid than truly mournful.
  9. 20
    A perfect storm of a movie disaster: You've got good actors fighting a poorly conceived script, under the guidance of a director who can no longer make the distinction between imaginativeness and computer-generated effects. The result is an expensive-looking mess that fails to capture the mood, and the poetry, of its source material.
  10. 20
    In Jackson's hands, The Lovely Bones is doubly appalling. Part Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," part Fritz Lang's "M," the movie is horrific yet cloying, alternately distended and abrupt, sometimes poignant and often ridiculous.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 203 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 77
  2. Negative: 15 out of 77
  1. BillyS.
    Jan 25, 2010
    The Lovely Bones is technically a beautiful film, the acting, music, cinematography and production design are excellent, it could be a emotional film to get swept up in but there lies the problem, there's just too much going on to keep your attention on, is it about the afterlife?,a serial killer?, a crime story? a family drama? It's all of them and more! At on point I was actually reminded of Sally Field in Sybil, which is not what the makers were hoping for I'm sure, but I'll give It a 5 for the artistry and because Saoirse Ronan was so good. Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2011
    Despite it's fragile face-paced story that emotionally repeats what it's trying to say, Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" is a well made fantasy least from a technical viewpoint here. Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2011
    Saoirse Rohnan leads The Lovely Bones to victory with a mind blowing performance, and Peter Jackson doesn't do a good job by differing visual beauty which it has and utter horror where the whole story is, but it is actually a well made film. I give this movie a 72% of a good one. Full Review »