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Flatliners


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt
  • Directors: Joel Schumacher
  • Writers: Peter Filardi
  • Producers: Michael Douglas, Michael I. Rachmil, Peter Filardi, Rick Bieber, Scott Rudin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, Georgian
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 20, 1998
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0800177789
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,610 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flatliners" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Are you afraid to die? Kiefer Sutherland isn't. He's an ambitious, charismatic medical student who persuades classmates Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon to take part in a reckless experiment. To see if there is life after death, they will kill themselves: temporarily shut down ("flatline") their heartand brain functions to briefly experience clinical death. After Sutherland survives the first experiment, the others flatline for increasingly longer intervals. But their horror begins when they realize that although they've come back alive... they haven't come back alone. FLATLINERS is a chilling suspense thriller of obsession, fear and redemption that will take you across the line to a place where terror lives forever.

Amazon.com

What if you could stop your heart to simulate a temporary death, and then be revived so you could describe your near-death experience to others? The mysteries of life--and the afterlife--compel five medical students (Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt) to experiment with their own mortality, and what they discover has unsettling psychological implications. That's the intriguing premise of this neo-Gothic horror thriller, directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman & Robin) with his typical indulgence of vibrant colors and hyperactive, hallucinogenic style. The movie borders on silliness at times, and the near-death recollection of memories results in some repetitious scenes, but the dynamic young cast takes it all quite seriously, which is what keeps this gaudy thriller on the edge. The fascinating premise could have been made into a better film, but Schumacher's mainstream excess doesn't stop Flatliners from being slick, occasionally even provocative entertainment. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Five ambitious medical school students experiment with the fine line between life and death.
TREND700
The story, while silly at times, still manages to get its basic message across: "Be careful what you go looking for, you just might find it!"
Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
I have to say that I was extremely impressed with Keifer Sutherland, William Baldwin, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, and Oliver Platt.
LadyLestat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lagniappe on December 3, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I never had the pleasure of seeing this film on the "big screen" which is a shame, as it is often visually stunning, but I have revisited it on video numerous times over the years, enjoying it immensely every time. It definitely is on my personal list of favorite movies, and for more than just starring Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon, two of my "actors to watch."
Perhaps I appreciate this film so much because it appeals to my slightly off-kilter taste in entertainment. I like my movies a bit left of center - unpredictable and fresh. And whether or not you "believe" the story line of the film, you have to admit, it is different!
Everyone has different tastes and opinions, but my impression of some of the negative reviews of this movie is that the viewers never really saw past the surface level of this film. They got caught up in technicalities, "Why would there be green lighting in a subway?" or "Why would medical students pull such a stupid stunt?" and failed to see the artistry and psychological depth of the piece.
Yes, there are some medical and technical aspects that do not make logical sense, but if you are willing to suspend disbelief just a tad, this can be a very engaging film.
First, a note about the artistic quality of the movie. Some have complained about the murky lighting, and the illogical nature of the sets - but for me, the use of innovating lighting techniques, the plastic and sheet draped sets, the unusual settings in old buildings and dank, dripping tunnels, the use of statuary, rain and billowing curtains - all add a poetic flavor to this film, a haunting beauty that suits the dark nature of the questions being asked about life, death and forgiveness.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AAI on February 5, 2004
Format: DVD
Honestly I never heard of this movie until a few months ago. I am a pretty big fan of Keifer Sutherland and some of his movies and of course his tv show 24. So about a month ago I blindly bought this movie just for the hell of it. The Flatliners stars Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, one of the Baldwins, and of course Keifer.
The Flatliners itself is a pretty cool movie with a different concept than those in its genre. It deals with young medical students experimenting to find out if there is an afterlife. Once they come back from the afterlife they are haunted by the other side.
This is one of the ultimate "Do not do this at home" movies. Although after I saw it I couldn't help from asking my friends "How much money would you do it for", lol. I bet one you see this you will be asking your friends.
One area where it is lacking though is the DVD itself is lacking any kind of special features, interactive menus, and a decently layed out chapter selection. In all honestly the movie is pretty good but the DVD is terrible compared to other newer DVDs. To me things like that make a difference. The fact that it is cheap makes up for it though.
I think if you enjoyed movies such as Stir of Echoes, The Sixth Sense, Vanilla Sky, or even the Mothman Prophies (underrated movie) you probably will enjoy this movie. At times it is dark and sorta twisted but it always stays on track and never bores you. Definetly check this movie out if you are a fan of Keifer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon or Julia Roberts because they all shine in this movie.
Movie grade - B+
DVD Grade - D-
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anton Yakovlev (yakovlev@wpi.edu) on June 11, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Flatliners is a remarkably audacious, wildly original exploration of one of the taboo topics of science and religion. Like Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, this film cannot be considered an all-time classic due to a highly opinionated viewpoint that may deeply offend some viewers. However, as far as direction, acting and suspense are concerned, few films rival Flatliners in its all-around splendor. Underneath a deceptively linear and seemingly simplistic script, there is much symbolism and underlying subtlety to be found in Schumacher's brilliant vision. Unlike the roller-coaster scenes of The Lost Boys that never materialize to be anything more than a misplaced piece of high-style imagery, the eerie, sometimes sacrilegious images that are thrown into the plot of Flatliners in a seemingly random fashion (the statues observed by the main character in the beginning, the merciless display of surgical operations) serve their purpose in implying the motivations and internal conflicts of the characters. Charged with alternatingly surprising and desperately predictable scenes, Flatliners is an exciting experience that will either frighten you or fascinate you but definitely will not leave anyone indifferent.
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52 of 70 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on November 28, 2005
Format: DVD
I actually got to read the original screenplay of THE FLATLINERS just after the deal was made to make the movie. I read it and was blown away. It was awesome.

(I keep checking the screenplay websites to see if the original draft by Peter Filardi gets out but I haven't seen it yet).

A year later, I went to see the movie. Do the initials "WTF" mean anything to you?

About halfway through, I wondered what was going wrong. "I don't remember reading THAT." By the end, I couldn't believe what I was seeing: an incredible screenplay had been completely destroyed.

I went to the folks who'd slipped me the script and asked what in the world happened to FLATLINERS. They were as bummed out as I was.

Apparently, Joel Shumacher didn't like the spiritual aspects of the script. So he threw them out. Let me repeat that: he made a movie about the afterlife--and threw out the spiritual aspects of it. That's like making a musical and deciding that nobody would want to hear all that singing.

Then one of the stars became a Big Star going into production. Her people said, "She's a Big Star now and she can't do anything wrong."

I could just imagine someone with a brain asking, "But the premise of the film is that everyone has done something wrong and it comes back to haunt them."

"No. You don't understand. She's a Big Star and nobody wants to see her do anything wrong...and she won't."

So they butchered the script to satisfy the Big Star.

The heroin-addicted Vietnam Vet Daddy sequence replaced an exciting subplot of a professor wrongly accused of sexual harassment who killed himself and comes back to haunt the female lead.
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