Hereafter Parent Guide
In the final minutes of the film, Eastwood manages to bring the trio together. Yet he doesn't seem to capitalize on what could have been a powerful climatic conclusion to the story.
Parent Movie Review
Director Clint Eastwood doesn’t waste a single bullet in the production of Hereafter. In fact, bullets aren’t even a part of the script. But that doesn’t mean people don’t die or leave others behind to deal with the aftereffect of their demise. Death, when depicted in this film’s natural disaster, an accident and supposed terrorist attack, is often sudden and startlingly realistic. But in comparison to those brief intense scenes, the rest of the storyline ambles along at an unhurried pace introducing the movie’s main characters. Though they live in different parts of the world, we know they will eventually find one another—even if we haven’t seen the trailer. Yet it takes most of the movie to make that happen.
On the San Francisco docks, George Lonegan (Matt Damon) works in a sugar factory. After hours, his brother Billy (Jay Mohr) badgers him to reopen an office and cash in on his gift as a psychic. Billy even goes so far as to show up at George’s apartment with the occasional client (Richard Kind). However George recognizes that knowing everything about a person weighs heavily on him and hampers the ability to build a long-term relationship. (Still, George is not opposed to trying to do so with his cooking class partner played Bryce Dallas Howard.)
Meanwhile Marie LeLay (Cécile De France), a French journalist, deals with the posttraumatic symptoms of being caught in the crushing waves of a tsunami while on vacation at an idyllic tropical resort. Her experience with seeing shadows of the afterlife has left her grasping for a deeper understanding about what happens when a person passes.
Finally, a young London schoolboy (Frankie and George McLaren) searches for consolation after the death of a close family member. But his succession of visits to psychics, who use mirror gazing, high frequency microphones and other measures to contact the dead, leaves him disillusioned and often unresponsive to the compassionate gestures of living people around him.
In the final minutes of the film, Eastwood manages to bring the trio together through a series of coincidences that even feel somewhat believable. Yet it appears to be all for naught. After building up some strong sexual tension in a kitchen scene and coaxing out convincing, emotional performances from many of his actors, Eastwood doesn’t seem to capitalize on what could have been a powerful climatic conclusion to the story.
While many of his other productions (among them Million Dollar Baby, Changeling, and Gran Torino) have given audiences plenty of opportunity to debate his characters’ actions, this script fails to justify the instant connection between individuals or the film’s seemingly abrupt ending. Still the possibility of life after death is an idea that will likely spark discussion among viewers once again. And with only a single strong sexual expletive and a handful of other profanities, the death scenes offer the most concerns for parents who may be considering an outing with their older teens to see this ammunition-free movie.Directed by Clint Eastwood. Starring Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard, Cécile De France. Running time: 129 minutes. Theatrical release October 22, 2010. Updated July 20, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Hereafter rated PG-13? Hereafter is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language.
Violence: A scene of a tsunami barreling down on a resort location includes surprisingly realistic and unsettling depictions of characters being engulfed by waves, pulled underwater and struck by floating objects. Extensive property damage, explosions and covered corpses are also shown. Some bloody injuries are shown. A child is harassed and chased by older teens. When a truck hits a character, the boy’s body strikes and breaks a car’s windshield before falling lifeless and bloodied onto the street. A bomb, apparently set by terrorists, explodes on an underground subway car filled with people. (No details of dead bodies are shown.) A woman dies in front of her family.
Sexual Content: Scenes of a woman in the bathtub, and later a man showering, are depicted without explicit nudity. A woman’s underwear is shown as she dresses. Characters talk about their sexual relationship. Child molestation is briefly discussed. Couples embrace and kiss.
Language: A strong sexual expletive is used in a nonsexual setting. The script also includes a couple of scatological slang terms, some crude anatomical references and terms of Deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A woman comes home high on drugs and downs part of a bottle of alcohol in front of her children. Marks made from drug use are seen on her arm. Teen boys smoke. Characters drink in social settings, at home, during a cooking class and in a bar.
Other: Characters attempt to hide their mother’s addiction problems. A young boy steals money from his foster parents. A child is taken away from his mother when she is committed to rehab.
Page last updated July 20, 2016
Hereafter Parents' Guide
Why does Marie’s boyfriend and coworker (Thierry Neuvic) appear to be uncomfortable about her interest in the afterlife? Why do the book publishers seem to have the same reactions? Why is death often an uncomfortable subject to approach?
How are psychics portrayed in this film? Do you believe in their abilities? Why do people often employ them?
George believes that it is often better to hold some things back in a relationship. Why does he feel that way? With his abilities, could he ever have such an association with another person? What kinds of things would you want to know about someone before becoming involved with him or her?
The most recent home video release of Hereafter movie is March 15, 2011. Here are some details…
Heareafter releases to DVD and Blu-ray on March 15, 2011.
Hereafter (DVD) offers:
- Focus Points (Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon lead a journey into Hereafter to explore the world of skeptics, psychics and mediums, and the possibility of life after death.)
- Tsunami! Recreating a Disaster
- Hereafter’s Locations - Casting the Silent Characters
Hereafter (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) includes all of the above plus:
- More Focus Points:
- Is There Life After Death?
- Clint on Casting - Delving into the Hereafter
- Twin Bonding
- French Speaking French
- Why The White Light?
- The Eastwood Experience
- The Eastwood Factor (90 minute documentary in HD)
Related home video titles:
Matt Damon may be best known for his role as CIA operative Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. He previously worked with Director Clint Eastwood and was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the captain of the South African national rugby team in Invictus. The examination of near death experiences appears to be a departure from his regular subjects for this movie’s writer Peter Morgan, whose previous films include among others The Queen, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Damned United and Frost/Nixon.