Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 36
  2. Negative: 10 out of 36
Watch On
  1. It’s a movie that tips toward overkill--even Ronan’s voice is amplified into a weird whisper. More quiet would have helped.
  2. Hovers just this side of "Ghost Whisperer" kitsch but remains compulsively watchable thanks to its smart ensemble cast
  3. A sad-but-hopeful, dramatic-but-gentle fairy tale intentionally made less upsetting for teens.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    How do you literalize heaven? It's a problem moviemakers have struggled with forever, and Jackson hasn't solved it.
  5. Jackson and his team tell a fundamentally different story. It's one that is not without its tension, humor and compelling details. But it's also a simpler, more button-pushing tale that misses the joy and heartbreak of the original.
  6. 50
    The Lovely Bones has been fashioned as a holiday family movie about murder and grief; it’s a thoroughly queasy experience.
  7. 50
    For all its successes, Bones remains more crafted than sincere, more meant to look achingly pretty on the screen than to resonate in the heart.
  8. 50
    The filmmakers’ evident affection for the book expresses itself as a desperate scramble to include as much of it as possible, which leaves the movie feeling both overcrowded and thin.
  9. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    If The Lovely Bones, at least for this critic, fails, it's certainly not for lack of metaphysical gumption...It's when the movie returns to earthly life, the prosaic world of suburban cul-de-sacs and family relationships, that it falters.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Some books are not meant to be adapted to the big screen. Alice Sebold's best-selling The Lovely Bones falls into that category.
  11. By turns warmly sentimental, serial-killer sinister and science-fiction fantastical, The Lovely Bones was an unlikely book to achieve worldwide success. In the film version, those mismatched elements come back to haunt the story, so to speak, making the final product more hit-and-miss than unblemished triumph.
  12. As the murderer, Stanley Tucci is intensely creepy but, like almost everybody else in this movie, he’s more gothic figment than flesh and blood.
  13. 50
    The story told by Jackson's The Lovely Bones is the same as the one related by Sebold, but it lacks the complexity and empathy evident in the book.
  14. It's a competently made movie - in Jackson's hands it could hardly be anything but - yet rarely a moving one.
  15. Jackson has not cast himself well, though. He has slathered the imagery in the wrong kind of wonderment and hyperbole, both on Earth and in heaven.
  16. The Lovely Bones is difficult viewing, a meticulously crafted experiment that, it turns out, wasn't worth it.
  17. The book floats sublimely above its dark theme; the movie sinks into the ridiculous.
  18. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Jackson undermines solid work from a good cast with show-offy celestial evocations that severely disrupt the emotional connections with the characters.
  19. I watched the film in an agitated space between engrossed and aghast.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 80
  2. Negative: 15 out of 80
  1. BillyS.
    Jan 25, 2010
    5
    The Lovely Bones is technically a beautiful film, the acting, music, cinematography and production design are excellent, it could be a 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
    6
    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 madeDespite 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 movie...at least from a technical viewpoint here. Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2011
    7
    Saoirse Rohnan leads The Lovely Bones to victory with a mind blowing performance, and Peter Jackson doesn't do a good job by differing visualSaoirse 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 »