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A Little Trip to Heaven

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a scam artist dies with a million-dollar life insurance policy, his sister and her husband try to collect... but an insurance investigator has very different plans. Insurance agent Abe Holt (Forest Whitaker) is investigating the suspicious death of the driver of a burned-out car. Holt has to work out whether the dead man, a con-man with a criminal record, could possibly have been the victim of an attempt to swindle the insurance company. When he meets Isolde (Julia Stiles), the dead man's sister, whose face is disfigured by severe scars, Holt slowly begins to lose his professional distance. Against the backdrop of a hostile, endless and harsh midwest winter, the characters reveal themselves to be multi-layered, involved in a curious yet balanced plot. In the end Holt must decide if doing the right thing is worth doing something very, very wrong.

Amazon.com

Moody dialogue, drab lighting, and characters who aren't quite who they say they are pepper the indie film A Little Trip To Heaven. Starring Forest Whitaker as Holt (an insurance investigator looking into a man's suspicious death), and Julia Stiles as Isolde (the frightened and sketchy sister of the deceased), A Little Trip's destination actually is closer to hell than heaven. Unevenly portrayed and not well-fleshed out, not one of the characters is sympathetic. Isolde's brute of a husband is the prime suspect, but Holt--who in a different film would be the story's hero--isn't exactly a saint either. There's a particularly creepy scene where he's little more than a peeping Tom, justifying his perversion as doing what's necessary to get his job done. As shown in films such as Half Nelson and Sherrybaby, imperfect characters can make for compelling filmmaking. The problem with A Little Trip To Heaven is that we want to root for someone--anyone--but there's just no one who's worthy of our interest. --Jae-Ha Kim

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Making of documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Forest Whitaker, Julia Stiles, Jeremy Renner, Alfred Harmsworth, Peter Coyote
  • Directors: Baltasar Kormákur
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Anamorphic, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • 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: Alchemy / Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KX0HFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,739 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Little Trip to Heaven" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theresa Daly on December 7, 2007
Format: DVD
Unlike some of the other reviewers I thought this was a great movie. The scenery was beautiful, acting excellent and I can't believe the number of people who didn't understand the story. It was fully revealed who the real Calvin was and in the end he tells his sister who actually died in the crash. It was revealed early on that he wasn't really her husband. As as for Frederick, look closely at the gravestone scene and the name on it. The insurance agent may have been protecting the agency's interest in the beginning but how he breaks from that and what he does for Thor is shear martyrdom. I highly recommend it but guess I must warn you to closely watch for all the clues.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Forest Whitaker gives a powerful but understated performance in this strange twisted tale of family loyalty, greed and murder. Characters are deeply realized, plot is rock solid, and the directing is superb. Loved it.
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Format: DVD
While I didn't hate this film, I didn't really love it either. It had an interesting plot, although sometimes it seemed hard to follow. I did think that Forrest Whitaker and Julia Stiles did good work in this film, but for some reason the plot never really got off the ground and the final resolution just defied belief and not just because of where Whitaker's character ended up. The wrap up was definately NOT in line with the psychological make up of the husband. He would not have done that. No how. No way. It wasn't in him. And Abe (Whitaker) - Maybe think of something unusual like, oh I don't know, how about calling the police when it involves a police matter. Despite the flaws though, I thought it was pretty well acted and a pretty interesting piece of work. This was not one of the best films I have ever seen, but if you like kind of off-beat, atmospheric movies this might be to your taste. Definately worth a try if you have a hard time picking out a rental
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Format: DVD
This rating is the bad end of two. The film was sewn together by a horribly convoluted story line. Took a while to work out and had to go through with someone after the film to actually ascertain who was supposedly who. Post-headache, it seemed it could be clever, only there were problems with how the guy would have ever got away with being the hubby despite the feeble cover-up and also not much explanation as to how someone could go from managing to gain an insurance policy worth one million to living in complete poverty. And as another critic said on here, he seemed ever so slightly less of a psycho than when he killed the passer-by, when the film started. I don't know how this film won awards but it was awful. There is a spate of films and detective style programs from Scandinavia, and every time what is presented is something depressingly unwatchable, which I put down to the lack of sunshine from this cold and dark region of the world mixed with a high number of melancholy writers severely affected by it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You just need to overlook the fact that it was filmed in Iceland while trying to appear to be Minnesota in the winter...in 1985. The volcanic lava sand gave it away, btw. I dont think they have that in Minnesota...the director is Icelandic. Good story, good dialog, good acting. Forest Whitaker as the insurance adjuster is terrific. Jeremy Renner plays a harsh, bit crazy and oddly charming character... And, Julia Stiles is terrific and intense. You will have to watch the movie to find out how the worlds of these people collide.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Forest Whitaker is one of the most diverse, brave and fascinating actors we will ever see.
Unlike more famous, if not as popular actors like John Wayne, Mel Gibson and even one of my favorites, Clint Eastwood; no one in movies has played a greater variety of fascinatingly oddball and complex characters so well.
Even the "Last King of Scotland", for which Mr. Whitaker earned a long overdue Oscar, did not present the acting challenge this grim and complex little gem presented.
This is a morality tale that's high on great ensemble acting, deep and profound ethical and moral considerations. And Julia Stiles at the top of her considerable acting game. This movie will keep you engrossed from its surprising start to stunning finish.
Peter Coyote's brief but memorable performance reminds you of the Konstantin Stanislavsky (the inventor of the famous Stanislavsky Method) quote, "There are no small parts, only small actors."
I finally decide to get my own copy so I wouldn't be at the mercy of a cable movie schedule with no appreciation of what a fascinating little gem movie is.
Jeremy Renner finally got his Oscar for "the Hurt Locker." But he showed those acting chops way back when this movie debuted
One of these days, Julia Stiles and Peter Coyote will be similarly rewarded, I'm sure!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this movie, there was not enough Jeremy Renner...but is there ever??? Lol. It was a quirky movie with little twists, but was really easy to follow. The stars all did a great job, and the ending was pretty good.
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Format: DVD
"A Little Trip To Heaven" has actually been on my "to see" list for a couple of years now. I love noir and this film seemed like something that would be right up my alley. With Forest Whitaker, Julia Stiles, Peter Coyote and the indispensable Jeremy Renner, I expected a heavenly tale of deception and intrigue. But while many of the plot elements were in place to provide an intriguing story, there is an awkwardness to "A Little Trip To Heaven" that derails some of the film's better elements. The initial scenes in which a fatal car accident is staged are crisp and alive--but soon the tension gives way to artifice and unbelievability. I firmly feel that a solidly plotted thriller is somewhere to be found, but it just isn't realized in the final screenplay or in the completed film.

Forest Whitaker plays an insurance investigator sent to evaluate a death claim from the previously mentioned accident. It's out to the country where the lawmen, naturally, are rubes. As any insurance agent is want to do--Whitaker decides to spend an extended amount of time in town, interview and insinuate himself into the lives of all those involved, and solve a little murder or two by traipsing around the desolate landscape as some sort of unquestioned authority. Heck, this is rural America--these country folk don't know any better! Renner, at least, provides appropriate menace as a prime suspect of wrongdoing. But the film steers into seriously unnecessary territory as some sort of romantic bond inexplicably forms between Whitaker and Stiles (who is as unlikable and as culpable as anyone in the film, but the filmmakers want us to view as a sympathetic heroine). It's all very awkward.
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