The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones Image
Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 238 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The Lovely Bones centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. (Paramount Pictures)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 36
  2. Negative: 10 out of 36
  1. 91
    As someone new to the material, I found Jackson’s film soulful, respectful, masterful, horrifying, rending and emotionally true. It may not be the Lovely Bones that you have in mind, but it’s a fine and powerful one.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    When else has the obscenity of child murder been the cause of such gravity and grace?
  3. Hovers just this side of "Ghost Whisperer" kitsch but remains compulsively watchable thanks to its smart ensemble cast
  4. The Lovely Bones is difficult viewing, a meticulously crafted experiment that, it turns out, wasn't worth it.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 83
  2. Negative: 15 out of 83
  1. JohnB
    Jan 5, 2010
    10
    Very beautiful and moving film. Love it lots, especially Saoirse Ronan, who is simply the Best.
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Coming to this long after the critics had mauled it, I was surprised and impressed with how good it is. I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on its fidelity to source material, but Jackson creates hyper-real worlds where saturated seventies garish and the usual unforgiving close-ups he adores somehow endow genre stereotypes with a peculiarly hallucinogenic depth. Oddly, the spacious landscapes of the afterlife somehow feel more real than the suffocating scenes of suburbia and the household, but perhaps that's wishful thinking!

    I can't help thinking that what was expected was a satisfying moral fable, and the unexpected conclusion will have disappointed those wanting earthly justice rather than just desserts. I wonder if that's why critics like Roger Ebert ("a deplorable film") could be so thrown off balance that that they don't even follow the plot (the "lovely bones" do not belong to Susie) and obsess about whether the heaven presented is factually accurate! The fact is that the ending is truer to life than Ebert gives it credit. As a fan of Brian Eno, I guess I'm biased, but I thought the climax of the film, accompanied by his "The Big Ship" had more emotional draw than either of the big endings of KK and LOTR. Tucci was fantastically creepy (though he seemed to have based his style on Dustin Hoffman's tics and murmurs) and anyone who thinks that Jackson shied away from the horror of the murder has just become desensitised by graphic violence, failing to sense the evil in even the most mundane encounters with George Harvey.

    My only caveat was that some scenes seemed a touch too long, but perhaps brisker editing would have turned it into the thriller that some thought it should have been, and it would have lost the lyrical, elegiac quality that made it so absorbing.

    Now, back to my Eno collection and 'Small Craft on a Milk Sea.'
    Expand
  3. May 30, 2014
    8
    A beautiful film that deals with vengeance and the effects that come when a loved one dies. This film needs to give thanks to Saoirse RonanA beautiful film that deals with vengeance and the effects that come when a loved one dies. This film needs to give thanks to Saoirse Ronan who carries this film with grace and beauty. Expand
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    7
    Just when you start to feel sad- BOOM THERES A DOUBLE RAINBOW!!! Sorry I couldnt be helped. But yeah, the contrast between grief and giantJust when you start to feel sad- BOOM THERES A DOUBLE RAINBOW!!! Sorry I couldnt be helped. But yeah, the contrast between grief and giant rainbows and butterflies is pretty nicely done. I actually enjoyed this movie. I love Mark W's constantly confused-looking face, it warms my heart. There was too much time spent in rainbowland, I agree with most people here, but one thing i disagree with is: Character development. This was decent enough, for the time spent in the real world. The father goes from obsessive ship builder to crazed obsessive maniac daddy from hell, the sister goes from being an extra to an active character (did she have any lines at all??), and the son, went from almost suffocating to a half mentally challenged cild, hooray. I did not like the mothers character. Waah, im portraying the familys grief, and im gonna go abandon my kids... Its not deep, but when you cut out all the rainbows the movie is rather short, and there wasnt much time for them to develop more than this. Definately worth a watch (or a stream) at leat once. Its great for someone like me, who lacks emotional capacity and is easily distracted by bright shiny rainbows ^^. Collapse
  5. Dec 20, 2015
    5
    "The Lovely Bones" is a very electrifying and poignant film, but not so much if they pass from one place to another quickly , if we tangle"The Lovely Bones" is a very electrifying and poignant film, but not so much if they pass from one place to another quickly , if we tangle much, but the visuals are perfect , the bad is that it's a bit boring , and Thematic has to do with the problem of sexual abuse, but that you are not interested . Expand
  6. Jan 4, 2016
    4
    The Lovely Bones has a lot going for it, but the more I thought about it, the more I truly came to dislike the film. The cast, led by SaoirseThe Lovely Bones has a lot going for it, but the more I thought about it, the more I truly came to dislike the film. The cast, led by Saoirse Ronan, is great. In particular, Stanley Tucci is phenomenal and really captures the perfect vibe and mannerisms for his character. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz are also good here. Additionally, the film is really well shot and the premise is very good. The special effects are also well done, but are really where this one starts to die. The special effects are wasted continuously on scenes that are simply not needed and add nothing to the film. In fact, they only serve to make the film dumber with their nonsense. The film's very base logic argues against itself, leading for a very troubling message to arise that it is okay to kill somebody for revenge and it is the only way to get into heaven. Numerous characters are so poorly written it hurts. Hell, most of them do not even need to be here. They themselves are fluff. Filled to the brim with fluff, the film continues to hurt itself by having scenes where character's motivations make no sense and an absolutely absurd romance. Overall, The Lovely Bones is far too pretty to completely disregard, plus Ronan and Tucci make this one well worth your time. However, as a piece of cinema, it is serious lacking. Expand
  7. LarryT.
    Jan 25, 2010
    0
    This movie has to be the worst of the decade! Pointless, boring, poor acting and script! You'll feel "taken" after spending the money to This movie has to be the worst of the decade! Pointless, boring, poor acting and script! You'll feel "taken" after spending the money to see such a failure. Hollywood doesn't get it! Movies like this give the industry a bad name. Expand

See all 83 User Reviews

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