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Parents' Guide to

Henry Poole Is Here

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Faith-themed dramedy has heavy themes, drinking.

Movie PG 2008 100 minutes
Henry Poole Is Here Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

I thought it was good!

I really enjoyed this movie. It was beautiful and tragic at the same time. Some may debate on this topic, because of it's religious aspects, but overall, I think it is more spiritual than religious. It's definitely an interesting watch.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Though it's hobbled by a murky, sometimes mawkish script, HENRY POOLE IS HERE is still surprisingly interesting, if only because it dares to wear its faith on its sleeve. Irony doesn't live here, and that's very refreshing -- as is the courage to take on such a complicated subject. Wilson is perfect for the job; he's the picture of man defeated, shuffling to an inevitable death. Henry fights any hope that's sent his way -- including the appropriately named Esperanza -- and Wilson makes his struggles palpable. Here is a man who doesn't want to believe but is confronted with many reasons why he might want to.

Still, you have to wonder how much stronger the movie would have been had the filmmakers trimmed down some of the more portentous bits. Nearly every epiphany is foreshadowed, and situations are rigged for maximum tearjerking effect, which, of course, renders them that much less potent. For instance, must grocery girl Patience be saddled with such an obvious name (not to mention Coke-bottle glasses) when she is, quite plainly, supposed to be the character who sees life so clearly? Tonally, too, the movie is all over the place; one minute it's funny, the next it's somber. Even though we already want to believe, director Mark Pellington makes sure to milk the emotion in nearly every scene so that nothing's left to serendipity, leaving little reason for us to take a leap of faith.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 15, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: January 20, 2009
  • Cast: George Lopez , Luke Wilson , Radha Mitchell
  • Director: Mark Pellington
  • Inclusion Information: Latino actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Overture Films
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG
  • MPAA explanation: thematic elements and some language.
  • Last updated: January 23, 2023

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