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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Hereafter (03/15/2011)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language.

Directed by Clint Eastwood (Invictus, Gran Torino, Flags of Our Fathers, and Million Dollar Baby)

Starring Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard and Cecile de France

Todd's Rating: A Coaster

It was like I was in the hereafter…and not the good place.

Hereafter tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie (Cécile de France), a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might—or must—exist in the hereafter.

I know I was expecting some kind of twist ending or more to the story, but it really is just about a guy who can “talk” to the dead. Besides talking to the dead and giving messages to the living, the film has some very distorted views of the afterlife. Seriously, what would you expect from Clint Eastwood?

It’s no secret that Eastwood’s films tend to be on the slow side…and that’s me being gracious, but usually the movie is so good you really don’t mind the pace. This film has a weak story, a terrible cast (except for Damon) and the typical slow pace…put it together and you get a ridiculously slow movie.

I believe a lot of people will find comfort in this film. Even as I was walking out of the theater, people were crying and hugging, etc. But as a Christian, I found the empty promises and “what if’s” to fail miserably compared to the truth of God’s Word.

I’m still shocked by how much I didn’t like Hereafter, but it really is a Coaster!

Obviously the entire film deals with death so the mature themes may be too much for younger teens.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: The theme of this film is life after death. It’s a question we have all asked and wondered about.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

A: We can understand that this film and others like it try to do their best to comfort us concerning death and the afterlife. The good news is we do not need a movie or a cute story to make us feel better. We have the truth. The temptation we face is to be drawn in to a story like Hereafter and question or doubt the Bible.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

A: Often times it’s in the face of tragedy that we ask the “what happens when I die?” questions. But now Hollywood has given us the chance to have the conversation removed from a family member or friend’s death.

So what does happen when we die?

2 Corinthians 5:8 says “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
Simply put when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord.

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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