Hereafter Movie Poster Image

Hereafter

Intense drama asks what comes after death.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though the movie's themes are heavy, it has a somewhat hopeful message about life after death. Nobody is vilified in the film for either believing or not believing in the idea of the hereafter. There’s also a longing for connection that rings true.

Positive role models

Marie is fearless; when faced with incredulity about what she thinks comes after death, she sets out to make her case rather than giving in to avoid confrontation. George is somewhat closed off, but his attempts at being social are notable. The bond between Marcus and his brother is admirable and moving. These three don’t stop searching, which makes them fascinating to watch.

Violence

The movie opens with a frighteningly realistic portrayal of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed thousands of lives. Viewers see the water sweeping into the coast and engulfing homes and people, including a woman who gets hit by a vehicle. Another scene shows a boy being run over by a car as he tries to escape the clutches of a bullying mob. Frank discussion of death and how some people die; one character brings up a secret about sexual abuse.

Sex

Couples flirt, embrace, and kiss.

Language

Limited use of "s--t" and "f--k," plus "crap," "oh my God," and more.

Consumerism

Product names/labels shown include Nikon, Coca-Cola, Vicks, Virgin, and BlackBerry.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One woman is an addict; her arms are shown with syringe marks. Some social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Clint Eastwood-directed drama (which stars Matt Damon) deals with the weighty subjects of death and the afterlife and may prove too intense for tweens and younger teens. At moments -- especially when examining how death affects those left behind -- it’s steeped in melancholy; one child even loses his twin brother. The first 10 minutes (which recreate 2004's horrific tsunami) are realistically terrifying; there are also other upsetting sequences involving a car accident, some swearing (including "f--k"), and a character who's addicted to drugs. Still, the movie tackles its tough subjects with empathy and raises significant questions about faith and grief.

What's the story?

Famous French broadcaster Marie (Cecile de France) nearly dies when a monumental tsunami engulfs the resort town in which she and her lover are vacationing; for all intents and purposes, she was dead, but she's revived after being fished out of the water. In San Francisco, George (Matt Damon) is a psychic who’s no longer practicing his craft; doing so exhausts and saddens him, much to the chagrin of his brother (Jay Mohr), who thinks he’s brilliant at it and should make a living off his otherwordly skills. In England, 11-year-old Marcus (Frankie McLaren) is beside himself when his twin brother (George McLaren) is plowed down by a car, leaving him alone to deal with life and his drug-addicted mother. They may be from different countries and hold disparate world views, but all three characters are struggling to figure out whether there's an afterlife -- and if so, how to reconcile it with the here and now.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

HEREAFTER is compelling enough to stick with you long after you watch it. It’s earnest, serious, and inquisitive -- all good things in a movie, and certainly more than what you get in most movies nowadays. The actors are on their game, and director Clint Eastwood displays the same surety we’ve seen in his previous endeavors. He allows scenes to linger where other directors might have moved on from lack of confidence (or vision); he knows how to frame a shot so that we can’t take our eyes away.

But the film spends much of its currency almost immediately, staging an awe-inspiring and frighteningly realistic version of the tsunami that wrecked the Asian continent and claimed so many lives in late 2004. There’s such terror and immediacy in the first 10 minutes that what follows, by comparison, lacks power. Also, Damon’s George has a sluggish storyline and is maddeningly accepting of the isolation that his special skills bring him; when he finally moves to change his course, it almost doesn’t ring true. And though Eastwood appears to have a point of view on the afterlife, we’re left with more questions than answers. To paraphrase the song, “Alfie”: What is it all about, after all? Is it just for the moment we live?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What is it saying about the afterlife/hereafter? Is it trying to convince viewers to believe something specific?

  • Can you think of other movies that have imagined the afterlife? How does this one compare?

  • Were any parts of the movie upsetting/alarming? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 15, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:March 15, 2011
Cast:Cecile De France, Jay Mohr, Matt Damon
Director:Clint Eastwood
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Drama
Run time:126 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language

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Teen, 14 years old Written byTotally500 May 1, 2011

Not a good movie

After 49 minutes mt family turn it off. is not one of clints best movies yet.I dont get the movie and the stories.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheSuperman765 April 5, 2011

This movie is really slow ..... but good.

The good stuff * Messages: Though the movie's themes are heavy, it has a somewhat hopeful message about life after death. Nobody is vilified in the film for either believing or not believing in the idea of the hereafter. There’s also a longing for connection that rings true. * Role models: Marie is fearless; when faced with incredulity about what she thinks comes after death, she sets out to make her case rather than giving in to avoid confrontation. George is somewhat closed off, but his attempts at being social are notable. The bond between Marcus and his brother is admirable and moving. These three don’t stop searching, which makes them fascinating to watch. What to watch out for * Violence: The movie opens with a frighteningly realistic portrayal of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed thousands of lives. Viewers see the water sweeping into the coast and engulfing homes and people, including a woman who gets hit by a vehicle. Another scene shows a boy being run over by a car as he tries to escape the clutches of a bullying mob. Frank discussion of death and how some people die; one character brings up a secret about sexual abuse. * Sex: Couples flirt, embrace, and kiss. * Language: Limited use of "s--t" and "f--k," plus "crap," "oh my God," and more. * Consumerism: Product names/labels shown include Nikon, Coca-Cola, Vicks, Virgin, and BlackBerry. * Drinking, drugs, & smoking: One woman is an addict; her arms are shown with syringe marks. Some social drinking.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byjoshua martinez April 12, 2011
Hereafter is in ok movie about loss and tragedy with that being said these type of heavy themes maybe too much for your younger kids and parents you need to know that Hereafter has some mild violence due to the tsunami that destroy many lives there's also some strong language used and some drugs and social drinking used although besides the heavy themes this movie has a little positive message about life after death the role models are first Marie is fearless when faced with incredulity about what she thinks comes after death she sets out to make her case rather than giving in to avoid confrontation second George is somewhat closed off but his attempts at being social are notable and third The bond between Marcus and his brother is admirable and moving.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models