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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 189 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)
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
    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. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 73
  2. Negative: 15 out of 73
  1. Jun 22, 2011
    A beautifully crafted film that resonates with evil, love, vengeance, and the devastating effects of the death of a child at the hands of a serial killer. The critics who pan this movie must be bereft of sensation. I thought it was mesmerising! Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    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.'
  3. Jul 22, 2012
    Great film actually! It make me think a bout revenge and let think go for greatest good.Beautiful portrayal of the abtract and ethereal consequences of tragic loss - an amazingly accurate portrayal of a unique and thought provoking novel. Expand
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    Just 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 ^^. Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2013
    A depressing tale of the young Susie Salmon, whose life is cut short by her serial killer of a neighbor. This film had good actors, but something was missing. Susan Sarandon's role brought some humor into the story, where many parts were sand and gloomy. As I've heard, some points of the novel (that the film is based off of) weren't well translated from text to screen. Expand
  6. Feb 2, 2011
    When I went into this movie, I was expecting nothing but the best because Peter Jackson was directing. After I watched it, I was disappointed, because the only thing that was wrong with the movie, was the directing... He attempted to make a movie that represented two completely different ideas: a thriller about getting justice on the murderer and a fantasy film about the family moving on with the girl watching from an area between life and death. Because he had so much story to tell with these two ideas, he left certain aspects unexplained and weak, while focusing too much on others. Even though I'm ashamed of this movie, Peter Jackson is still a legend (Who could forget the fantastic directing of Lord of the Rings?) Expand
  7. Sep 25, 2010
    A really bad film! the characters had no depth, the scene seemed to go from bad to worse and dragged on and on. Coupled with a lack of realism and what looks like and LSD job, the movie fails to deliver completely.
    There's instances where you feel drawn in, but then the story just throws you out again, even the end doesn't seem to be a conclusion, just something left cos the director had his pizza delivered. A real hack job of a movie, although I hear the books isn't much better.

    Something to watch while you're having a lobotomy, cos it'll feel like you've had one after watching this.

See all 73 User Reviews


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