Hereafter review buzz has not been entirely promising. The initial Hereafter review responses were not too good, after Clint Eastwood’s latest movie premiered in Toronto. Since then, the film has had its champions, as most Eastwood movies do. However, there may not be enough of them to bring Eastwood back to the Oscar stage. In the long run, Hereafter reviews suggest this movie will be in the middle of the pack in Eastwood’s filmography.
Countless critics have called the movie Eastwood’s Babel, as he interconnects several characters from all over the world. They are united by near death experiences, as a French woman survives a tsunami, a young British boy loses his twin brother in the London subway bombing, and Matt Damon deals with the dead as a reluctant psychic.
The Hereafter review scores on Rotten Tomatoes have been split for weeks. Fittingly, the movie is now at 50 percent positive, with 51 fresh and rotten reviews each. The Tomatometer concludes “Despite a thought-provoking premise and Clint Eastwood’s typical flare as a director, Hereafter fails to generate much compelling drama, straddling the line between poignant sentimentality and hokey tedium.”
When the film had a limited release last week, the rating was fresher. Yet the Rotten Tomatoes scores have slid a bit this week, as more critics got to rule in. Although critics are divided on whether it’s flawed but powerful, or flawed and disappointing, they seem to agree that this isn’t Eastwood at his best.
The blame isn’t laid entirely on Eastwood, as writer Peter Morgan is also criticized heavily. However, Eastwood has the bigger bullseye on his back, making the Hereafter review buzz look worse by comparison. Since Eastwood has set such a high bar, anything less than another Unforgiven, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby looks more disappointing.
Yet Eastwood hasn’t hit that bar in a while, after the mixed responses to Changeling, Gran Torino and Invictus. However, Changeling and Invictus still got Oscar attention, and Gran Torino was a box office hit. This movie stands to have a harder time getting both, as its awards hopes have stalled, and box office potential might be limited.
The Hereafter review comments don’t stand to help on either count. Although the tsunami sequence has already been called one of Eastwood’s best, the interconnected drama, and the way the movie handles the afterlife – or doesn’t – have gotten less approval. The final efforts to show how the three plotlines really tie together are also criticized.
Since Eastwood works so frequently, the mixed Hereafter reviews and buzz likely won’t stop him for long. Given that he’s already planning a biopic on J. Edgar Hoover with Leonardo DiCaprio, it seems he will be out to get back on top quickly.
Rotten Tomatoes- “Hereafter”