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The Lovely Bones
Format: DVD|Change
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on January 30, 2016
Read the book to understand the movie. The book has less dreamscapes but more rich plot development where characters are believable and fully engaging. Small things like Susie s charm bracelet, and minor characters play a more intricate role in the book. The movie did an amazing CG work of weaving Suzie and her Heaven and outreach to her family - but misses the richness of the books probing depths into the rape of innocence , both the child and the era, the 1970s. Stanley Tucci gives a superb performance and truly captures the chilling sociopath without including all of his characters totally vile and depraved nature you will find in the book. I'm glad I had the roadmap of the book to light the way and bring the text to life----all the characters in the book are perfectly, well, brilliantly cast and when I read the book a second time the movie illuminated the authors vision in colorful and imaginative detail.
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on March 22, 2014
{4.25 stars}

At first glance, THE LOVELY BONES looks like it could be rather corny and underdone. Nevertheless, this is a very unique and satisfying film. Though some of the acting and directions are not the greatest, Saoirse Ronan and several others give good performances here. THE LOVELY BONES is one of those films that is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking.

THE LOVELY BONES is an interesting mix of fantasy, teen drama, and horror with Disneyesque--and I mean that in a good way--special effects and props. The afterlife scenes are absolutely breathtaking, and, although the plot-line wavers in places and has its share of holes, it's never dull, keeps your attention, and doesn't come out anywhere near as predictably as you might think. Set in the 1970s, THE LOVELY BONES captures that period most convincingly. While it sometimes has the feel of an After-School Special, there is one pretty gruesome (for a PG-13) post-murder dream sequence, which contributes still more to its interesting blend of qualities.

Never seen anything like it, and highly recommend!
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on June 19, 2017
This is an excellent film by Peter Jackson. It's wonderfully shot. Thrilling and tense. The surreal elements are stunning and inventive, and yet it is probably more compelling in what it chooses not to show. The acting is solid all around (Wahlberg is sort of the weak link here, but not terrible by any means -- if anything, he seems miscast), but the real stand-out is Saoirse Ronan. It's amazing that she can be so young and yet display such sensitivity and nuance in her performance. This isn't just raw talent but the polish of an actress many many years into her career. The conclusion, I thought, wasn't exactly fulfilling. It felt a little too simple and very much lacking in seeing through the telos of all the emotional turmoil Suzie's death had wrought. The reconciliation as well felt rushed. There was definitely a beat or two of story missing from it. But up until this moment I thought it was a pretty incredible ride.
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on October 17, 2016
Saoirse Ronan is brilliant in "Brooklyn" - so I took a chance ordering this film and was very pleased with her performance. Quite a different theme from "Brooklyn" - however, the acting is fantastic (especially Stanley Tucci) and the cinematography is beautiful.
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on December 14, 2013
I've seen this film reap more than its fair share of criticism, an outcome I find disappointing as this film is far better than it has been made out to be.

Indeed, there are flaws to be seen in the film. I personally did not read the book so I cannot judge whether it digresses from the book distinctly. The timeline is not always clear, some scenes feel out of place, like they should have gone elsewhere. The film is muddled and unclear in places. Yet these criticisms, while certainly valid in their own right, truly miss the spirit of the film.

This is not a film about justice, crime solving, or spirituality. One need only keep in mind emotion to enjoy this film. It does a remarkable job of tearing your heart out and eating it alive. Throughout, you follow the characters through successive stages of heartache and grief: you share their worry when Susan goes missing, their agony when they realize that she isn't coming back, you feel the wound of loss, the deep gaping hole which will never be filled. You feel your world collapse around you as the characters do. I, as a grown man, was teary-eyed throughout. Eventually, one must move on, yet, even though you do, you share the change that these sad events has forced upon the characters. You can truly be sucked into this film, feel its emotion, on account of the remarkable performances by all the actors involved. I truly felt like I was sitting beside them, sharing in their pain. The soundtrack is somber and reflective, and always does its job of amplifying emotion.

Now, the reason this film merits 4 instead of 5 stars. This can be summed up quite succinctly: if you go into this film trying to be critical, trying to spot the flaws, you will not enjoy it. This vortex is difficult to escape at times, but if you can overcome this, you will truly enjoy this movie.
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on November 29, 2016
This is and always will be my favorite book! Although it has some age sensitive content i recommend it to any mature teen! Make sure to watch the movie too which is as amazing as the book
3 helpful votes
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on June 8, 2016
Like most movies, I liked the book better. Read the book, please! The author's vivid and colorful descriptions of emotions and character interaction cause your imagination to picture a much better movie in your mind! And actually to be fair, the family goes through a long period of time dealing with the untimely death and murder of their daughter that can be transitioned better through a literary story than through an hour and a half movie.
2 helpful votes
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on October 3, 2013
The movie has its graphic moments, which was the reason I turned off the movie midway. However, the depictions of the afterlife and Saroise's soul penetrating eyes got me watching the movie again after reading the spoiler in wikipedia. The second time around I saw details and screenplay that I completely missed on the first viewing. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. The plot gave us a good message in the midst of tragedy, namely healing begins with moving on. The screenplay was full of unexpected twists and turns. For instance, the movie watcher did not even know the antagonist of the story died until 3 scenes later when the antagonist sees her murder soaking in a bathtub.

The acting --- it was beyond compare. Saroise Ronan (Susie) had a way of looking at you that utterly penetrated our soul. Her facial expressions were nothing short of magical - the watcher can read her every emotion and can't help but feel compassion for her. How can a 13 year old portray so perfectly such grave subject matter? I wanted to cry every time she cried. Wow. The murderer had the perfect look. He gives you goose bumps just by his slow and deliberate actions and his almost emotionless face - fitting of someone with no conscience. Perfect portrayal of a serial killer.

The symbolism - they are everywhere - the gondola, the candle, the tree of life, the bracelet, the safe, the iceicle, the sinkhole - just to name a few. But you'd miss them if you watch the movie just once. Along with the message of the movie, these symbols glue the plot elements together in a way I have never seen in any other movie. Focus especially on the icicle, the gondola and the sink-hole. Watch the movie twice and you'll see what I mean.

The message. Regardless of your faith, the movie has some positive messages behind an otherwise tragic plot.
- healing begins with moving on
- to move on once must confront one's fears and confront reality
- our loved ones live on in our memories, but don't let it be a barrier to moving on

Overall, despite the critics' negative reviews, I think it is an extremely well acted out movie with an exceptional screenplay built on a surprising plot that manages to portray healing and growth after tragedy. It is a phenomenal movie. Just watch it more than once. Better yet, read wikipedia and then watch it.
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on May 25, 2017
Very different story, unlike anything I've ever seen before. It's not about revenge, justice or anything you might expect from a film about a serial killer. It's about the peace of mind that comes from forgiveness. And karma. Karma makes a guest appearance. So it has a happy ending.
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on June 11, 2013
The movie is good, tho I still reccomend reading the book, which is AMAZING. this is definatly a sad story, and if you have any emotion at all, you will cry. this is the opposite of a fairytale, dont expect a night in shining armour to come to the rescue. bad things happen for no reason, and not always by strangers. I first read the book in 10th grade and loved it. had to read it again before the movie came out, too. And yes, there are parts of the bok, not well depicted in the movie, but its still well done, and I personally loved what they did with heaven- its what every kid wants heaven to be.
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