[Screen It]

 

"HEREAFTER"
(2010) (Matt Damon, Cecile de France) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Heavy Heavy Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Minor None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Extreme Extreme Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Three unrelated people must contend with their varied connections to death and interactions with the hereafter.
PLOT:
Marie LeLay (CECILE DE FRANCE) is a successful TV reporter and host for French TV who's vacationing in Indonesia with her boss/lover, Didier (THIERRY NEUVIC). But what appears to be another morning in paradise quickly turns to hell when a massive tsunami sweeps across the beach and into town, taking Marie and others with it. She initially drowns and is then revived, but not before experiencing what she believes was a glimpse into the hereafter, completed with bright white light and various silhouetted figures. She's so shaken by the experience that she becomes distracted once back at work, what with her priorities severely realigned, and sets off to investigate and write a book about life after death.

Meanwhile, Marcus (GEORGE McLAREN) and Jacob (FRANKIE McLAREN) are young brothers in London who've bonded closer than normal due to having to care and cover for their mom, Jackie (LYNDSEY MARSHAL), an addict whose behavior has drawn the suspicious watch of two social workers. Marcus' life is upended when his brother is killed in a freak accident, followed by Marcus then being placed with a foster family while his mom tries to get her act together. Missing his brother greatly, Marcus then sets out to try to contact him, going through various fake psychics and such who claim to be able to reach Jacob but can't.

One who could is George Lonegan (MATT DAMON), a sugar factory employee in San Francisco who gave up a lucrative job of doing readings for people desperate to contact their dearly departed. With the simple touch of their hands, he can make a connection to the hereafter and report from the deceased back to the living. While some would view that as a gift, he sees it as a curse and thus doesn't hold such readings anymore, and certainly doesn't want anyone to know about his ability, including his new cooking class partner, Melanie (BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD).

Yet, his brother, Billy (JAY MOHR), won't abide by George's decision and keeps pushing for him to take up his old vocation. As he, Marie and Marcus deal with life, death and the hereafter, their lives eventually intersect.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
They might if the subject matter interests them, or if they happen to be fans of anyone in the cast or director Clint Eastwood.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MATT DAMON plays a man who's decided to have nothing to do with his ability to do psychic readings for people in connecting them with their dearly departed in the hereafter. While he once profited from that, he now considers it a curse and doesn't want to do it anymore. Yet, from insistence first by his brother (for a client of his) and then Melanie, he returns to that world and isn't happy with the results. He drinks some in several scenes.
  • CECILE DE FRANCE plays a French TV show host and reporter whose life is upended when she survives a near death experience in a tsunami. Distracted by her brief contact with the hereafter, she takes time off from work and ends up researching and then writing a book about life after death. Before that, she was sleeping with her boss, Didier, and she has drinks with him in several scenes.
  • GEORGE McLAREN plays a young boy who's devastated by his brother's death, especially since they were a close team who cared and covered for their troubled mom. Desperate to contact Jacob, he goes from psychic to psychic, hoping they can help him.
  • LYNDSEY MARSHAL plays Marcus and Jacob's mother, an addict whose behavior has caused social services to keep a close eye on her and the family home life. She's devastated by Jacob's death and then agrees that having Marcus go off to a foster home is the best thing to do at this time. We briefly see her drinking after she returns home high and/or intoxicated.
  • JAY MOHR plays George's brother who won't abide by George's decision to no longer do any readings and keeps pushing him to do so, apparently because it makes money for him (Billy).
  • BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD plays a young woman who takes a liking to George due to them taking a cooking class together. After she urges him to do a hereafter reading for her, however, she's too disturbed by what he brings up from her past (sexual abuse) to continue.
  • THIERRY NEUVIC plays Marie's boss and lover who's initially supportive of her need to take some time off following her traumatic experience, but apparently then becomes involved with her TV show host replacement. He drinks some.
  • FRANKIE McLAREN plays Marcus' brother who's similarly concerned about their mother and ends up dying in a freak accident.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. There's brief, non-explicit sexually related dialogue, a woman is twice seen in her underwear (and sex between her and her boss is suggested but not seen) and then a bubble bath where her breasts are nearly seen, while a scene of two people feeding each other in a cooking class has some underlying sensuality.

    Violence consists of a tsunami that sweeps through a resort town (killing many and causing extensive damage), a boy being struck and killed by a truck (with bloody results), and a mostly unseen subway tunnel bombing. Those scenes, along with some of the supernatural material (nothing overtly scary) might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Drinking occurs in various scenes, while a mother is noted as being an addict and arrives home high and/or intoxicated. Tense family material (including that and regarding familial deaths) occurs, while bad attitudes are present as are various thematic elements. Some potentially imitative behavior is present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's camera movement during a tsunami assault on a coastal town.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Marcus and Jacob's mother returns home, drunk and/or high, and she retrieves a bottle of booze and drinks straight from that.
  • Going to fill his mother's prescription, Jason has Marcus look it up on the Internet, and they learn it's something that blocks the effects of opiates.
  • Miscellaneous people have what looks like champagne on a plane.
  • Marie has a glass of wine by her while she bathes.
  • George takes a cooking class where wine is seen on the tables. The instructor then has the students drink some (he does as well) as they begin.
  • One of George's audio books has a line about what sounded like the smell of burning rum.
  • Marie and Didier have champagne in a restaurant where others drink wine and such. Didier asks if she wants more and she replies in the affirmative.
  • George has a beer while Billy has a drink.
  • George has a beer with dinner.
  • Marie and Didier have wine with dinner, as do others around them.
  • George has wine with dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Jacob takes off running from some punks, with them in pursuit, and darts out into the street where a large truck hits him (we don't see the impact). He then lands on the windshield of nearby car, smashing that. We then see him lying on the street, somewhat bloody with a small pool of blood behind him, dead or dying.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some punks harass and surround Jason, and they shove him around before stealing his phone. Their actions ultimately result in his accidental death.
  • Marie signs a contract with publishers to write a book about Mitterrand, but instead delivers the first few chapters of her new book about the hereafter.
  • Some viewers might not like Didier stating he thinks there's no hereafter or anything after death.
  • Marcus' foster parents report that he stole 200 pounds from them (we then see him visiting various psychics in hopes of reaching his late brother).
  • Various fake psychics try to or do take Marcus' money to take advantage of him wanting to contact his late brother.
  • When Didier states it will be hard to bring Marie back to her old TV show now that there's a new (female) host, Marie asks if he's sleeping with that woman. He asks how she can ask that, but she can tell by the way he answers that he is.
  • Despite knowing George doesn't want to do readings anymore, Billy takes advantage of his brother's employment woes by trying to set him back up into such a business (from which Billy will also make money as his manager).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • For those knowing the tsunami is coming (from real life and/or the marketing, but nothing the movie has done up to this point), the scene of Marie being on the beach and then shopping in a street level market could be unsettling and/or filled with dread.
  • From a distance, we see a tsunami approaching the beach resort. The big wave first runs under a large boat and capsizes smaller ones. It then sweeps across the beach, taking people, trees and property in its rapidly moving path. At the same time, Marie is shopping in a street level market when she and others see and hear something coming in the distance. When they spot trees being moved upwards and then other such destruction, they take off running in the opposite direction (Marie holding the hand of a young girl she's just met). But the wave catches them and others, sweeping all of them (along with cars and other debris) down the street. Marie and others are taken under the water and she loses the girl, and then comes up, still being swept along in the rapids. She then gets trapped under the water but frees herself and returns to the surface where she tries to avoid hitting things, including live electrical wires or the like that are sparking. She then manages to grab hold onto something, but a vehicle then slams into her, sending her back under the water, this time losing consciousness and her life. As she slowly sinks, we hear her heartbeat fading and then stopping as her open eyes then go dead. She then sees the white light and human type figures in it, but is yanked away from that by two men trying to performer CPR on her. They give up, thinking she's gone, but she then comes to by herself, spitting out water and coughing, etc.
  • Some punks harass and surround Jason, and they shove him around before stealing his phone. He then takes off running, with them in pursuit, and darts out into the street where a large truck hits him (we don't see the impact). He then lands on the windshield of nearby car, smashing that. We then see him lying on the street, somewhat bloody with a small pool of blood behind him, dead or dying.
  • With nothing directly traumatic occurring to her, Marie again sees the while light and human type figures in that.
  • A gust of wind blows Jacob's cap off Marcus' head in a subway station and he scrambles to grab it amongst all of the legs and feet of those in the station, desperate not to lose that last connection with his brother.
  • George's various readings into the hereafter aren't scary in terms of content, but some viewers might be unnerved by the general context.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • After a subway train disappears into a tunnel, we hear and see the flashes of several explosions. We later hear on the news they were bombs, but we don't know how many people were wounded or killed (as that impact is not seen).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Mumbo-f*cking-jumbo," "Psychic sh*t," that's "B.S.," what sounded like "D*ck-head," "Suck," what sounded like "Smart ass," "Jerk," "I have no freaking idea what this is," "A whole load of crap" and "Freaks."
  • Some punks harass and surround Jason, and they shove him around before stealing his phone.
  • Upset while dining alone in his place, George throws his plate into the kitchen sink.
  • Various so-called psychics try to take advantage of Marcus and his attempts to contact his deceased brother (using audio recordings, starring into a mirror, etc.).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sound that occurs when George connects into the hereafter might startle some viewers the first time it occurs.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words (with another said as "B.S."), a possible slang term using male genitals (what sounded like "d*ck-head"), 1 possible ass, 1 crap, 2 uses of "God" and 1 use of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see Marie in her panties and a shirt, while Didier is still in bed, shirtless. When he later gets up, he's seen in his boxers.
  • From a distance, we see a woman in a bikini top and a shirtless guy on the beach.
  • We see Marie in a bubble bath, but don't see anything explicit (although it appears we will with the water and bubbles moving about her chest).
  • We see a head and shoulders view of George showering.
  • As instructed by their cooking teacher, George and Melanie take turns feeding the other who's blindfolded (as a means of identifying tastes, etc.). As George does this for Melanie, the scene somewhat takes on a sensual vibe (her open mouth, waiting for him, etc.).
  • George hesitantly does a reading for Melanie despite his objections but due to her insistence. He then connects into the hereafter and we learn not only that her father died of a heart attack last year, but that he also wants to apologize for abusing her in the past (presumably meant sexually). This shakes and upsets her, and she leaves, never to be seen again.
  • A poster on a wall features a female model showing some cleavage.
  • When Didier states it will be hard to bring Marie back to her old TV show now that there's a new (female) host, Marie asks if he's sleeping with that woman. He asks how she can ask that, but she can tell by the way he answers that he is.
  • We see Marie in her bra and panties while getting dressed.
  • George imagines kissing Marie.
  • SMOKING
  • Some punks briefly smoke on the street.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • George is upset with his brother for bringing in a client for a reading (of seeing the dead) when he knows George doesn't do that anymore and has no desire to resume such activities. George nevertheless reluctantly does a reading for the client, and we learn the man's wife died recently after suffering from multiple sclerosis.
  • Marcus and Jacob love their mom and cover for her, but are obviously unhappy with her behavior (that includes addiction). When social workers show up to check on all of them, the boys frantically try to make things look as best as possible to avoid being taken away from their mother.
  • Marcus hears (on the phone) the accident that claims his brother's life and then rushes to the scene where he finds him lying on the street, somewhat bloody with a small pool of blood behind him, dead or dying.
  • A woman shows up at George's place, pleading for him to do a reading for her, stating she lost her only child. He says he doesn't do that anymore and closes the door as her pleading continues.
  • We see Marcus attending his brother's funeral, with the casket lowering into the church floor. Marcus is then ushered out the front door and told he can pick up his brother's ashes in the back (and he does).
  • Marcus is upset to learn he's being sent off to a foster home, and while his mom cries about that, she says it's for the best at this time.
  • George hesitantly does a reading for Melanie despite his objections but due to her insistence. He then connects into the hereafter and we learn not only that her father died of a heart attack last year, but that he also wants to apologize for abusing her in the past (presumably meant sexually). This shakes and upsets her, and she leaves, never to be seen again.
  • Marie goes to visit a doctor at a hospice facility. While waiting, she wanders the hallways and stops to watch as a woman dies with her family by her side, grieving.
  • A gust of wind blows Jacob's cap off Marcus' head in a subway station and he scrambles to grab it amongst all of the legs and feet of those in the station, desperate not to lose that last connection with his brother.
  • Despite knowing George doesn't want to do readings anymore, Billy takes advantage of his brother's employment woes by trying to set him back up into such a business (from which Billy will also make money as his manager).
  • Marcus eventually convinces George to do a reading for him, and George channels Marcus' late brother. That prompts Marcus to cry and ask his brother not to go.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • What happens after death.
  • The comment that a life about death is no life at all.
  • Grief.
  • Having a parent who's an addict.
  • Marie being distracted from her work by the trauma she experienced with the tsunami.
  • George saying his ability to do such readings and connect with the dead is a curse rather than a gift.
  • Marcus is upset to learn he's being sent off to a foster home, and while his mom cries about that, she says it's for the best at this time.
  • Charles Dickens -- George escapes by listening to audio book recordings of his works.
  • George hesitantly tells his back-story to Melanie, including that he got sick, that got worse, and that he died and was brought back in surgery, all of which lead to his "gift" of being able to peer into the hereafter.
  • A hospice doctor tells Marie she was an atheist until enough patients' very similar near death experiences changed her mind.
  • Various fake psychics try to or do take Marcus' money to take advantage of him wanting to contact his late brother.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Many people are killed or injured and all sorts of property damage occurs (including a large ship having several explosions on it) when a tsunami races through a coastal town.
  • Some punks harass and surround Jason, and they shove him around before stealing his phone. He then takes off running, with them in pursuit, and darts out into the street where a large truck hits him (we don't see the impact). He then lands on the windshield of nearby car, smashing that. We then see him lying on the street, somewhat bloody with a small pool of blood behind him, dead or dying.
  • Upset while dining alone in his place, George throws his plate into the kitchen sink.
  • After a subway train disappears into a tunnel, we hear and see the flashes of several explosions. We later hear on the news they were bombs, but we don't know how many people were wounded or killed (as that impact is not seen).



  • Reviewed October 14, 2010 / Posted October 22, 2010

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.