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Hearts In Atlantis


MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Anthony Hopkins Stephen King


(pictures (c)2001 Warner Brothers)

Still shot from the movie: Hearts In Atlantis.

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Reviewed by

Overall A-
Run Time101

Making the Grades

WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES BRING BOBBY GARFIELD (David Morse) back to the home of his youth, he cannot help but ponder his eleventh year when the magical and innocent world of his childhood was lost forever, like the mystical city of Atlantis.

Hearts In Atlantis - Official site That fateful birthday was marked by disappointment for young Bobby (Anton Yelchin) because he didn't receive the bike of his dreams, and his widowed mother (Hope Davis) canceled their celebratory dinner due to work obligations. The one bright spot was the arrival of Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins), a new tenant for the upstairs apartment. With an almost uncanny ability to read the boy's innermost thoughts, the mysterious, well-read gentleman's quiet conversation offers solace to the neglected child.

Hearts In Atlantis - Official site A few days later, Bobby sees an opportunity to purchase the coveted bike himself when the old man with failing eyesight offers to pay Bobby a dollar a day for reading the newspaper out loud and watching for "Low Men"--a debased pack of strangers Ted believes are hounding him. Suspecting his friend suffers from paranoia (he lapses into odd trances sometimes), Bobby accepts the employment and promises, "I won't let the bogeyman get you."

As Bobby becomes Ted's eyes, he discovers the world is indeed full of low men who come in various shapes and sizes, including three school-aged bullies and his Mother's boss. His brush with the darker side of reality includes an introduction to the world of gambling, violence administered with a baseball bat, and sexual assault. These themes, along with some strong language, kisses exchanged between eleven year-olds, and the portrayal of extra sensory perception, may present concerns for parents.

Hearts In Atlantis - Official site Yet, as Ted provides the fatherly affection the lad yearns for, Bobby sees the world through a new window and begins to understand the power of love, courage, and self-sacrifice. These elements, and a poignant depiction of friendship between the boy and his neighbor Carol (Mika Boorem), make this compelling and nostalgic story a consideration for older teens and adults, who, like Bobby Garfield, may find that they too still have Hearts In Atlantis.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Hearts In Atlantis.

Ted possesses abilities that many consider a gift, but he describes as a burden. How do you feel about the responsibility that usually accompanies talent?

Although Ted and Bobby go through some very difficult incidences, they both claim “I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it, not for all the world.” Why is it that some of life’s toughest challenges can become our best or most cherished experiences? Are there bitter/sweet moments in your life that have left you feeling that way?

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG Violence, Coarse Language
AB PG Mature theme, not suitable for younger children
MB Not Rated Mature Theme
ON Not Rated Not Recommended for Children
QC G Not Suitable for Children

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Hearts In Atlantis...

Although we didn’t view Hearts In Atlantis (2001) on DVD, we offer the following for your convenience…

DVD Release Information:

  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Theatrical release date: September 28, 2001
  • DVD release date: February 12, 2002
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Production company: Warner Home Video
  • Package type: Snap case
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1
  • DVD encoding: Region 1
  • Available audio tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Available subtitles: English, French
DVD Extras:
  • Commentaries by director Scott Hicks
  • Director Scott Hicks interviews Anthony Hopkins
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Still gallery

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