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Overall Rating
3.04

Awesome: 8.33%
Worth A Look: 29.17%
Average: 22.22%
Pretty Bad38.89%
Total Crap: 1.39%

8 reviews, 24 user ratings


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Hearts in Atlantis
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by Jason Whyte

"A surprisingly dull Stephen King adaptation."
2 stars

"Hearts In Atlantis" is surprisingly aimless, a fine-looking film that is trapped in a mess of cliches, and something you'd expect more from a Stephen King adaptation. Not only that, you have the clout of Anthony Hopkins and the ambition of director Scott Hicks ("Snow Falling on Cedars," "Shine") invading the frame, which can confuse beauty with shallowness. "Hearts in Atlantis" shows some promise at the forefront and has some good performances, but ultimately never provides anything new to invest our time in.

The story opens on a funeral to set a bookend, where Bobby Garfield (David Morse) mourns over the loss of a childhood friend and returns to his old house. This is where we transport back to his childhood, where we learn about Bobby (Anton Yelchin as a child) some more. He has a widowed mother with little money to go around, and decides to rent one of the rooms in her house. Enter Ted (Anthony Hopkins), a mysterious looking man with secrets of his own, who befriends Bobby instantly. Ted becomes sort of a mentor to Bobby, helping him win the affection of Carol (Mika Boorem), his best girl/friend. It is soon discovered that Ted has some forms of power of his own, where he can look into the minds of anyone he wants. The power sort of passes to Bobby, who doesn't know what to make of it. And so on.

Hicks doesn't really let any of the coming-of-age material take off, nor the mystical subplot. The "bad guys" that Ted has to stay away from are rather lacking and feels underdeveloped. One has to wonder if that was Hicks' intention, but it still doesn't work. Not only did this film remind me of "The Green Mile" in terms of its mysticism of a certain character, it felt like it was shot with the same cameras. That said, this is cinematographer Piotr Sobocinski's last film, a man responsible for many of Krzysztof Kieslowski's films, and he does an outstanding job here, but the similarities are too noticeable to ignore.

Acting wise, the only praise I can give are to Anthony Hopkins and young Mika Boorem. Hopkins is always fascinating to watch, and here he brings an interesting charm to his Ted Brautigan. Boorem, who I've seen in small parts in films like "Along Came A Spider" and "The Patriot" brings just the right level of charm and spirit to Carol. She's a star in the making. Sadly, I was not that impressed with Anton Yelchin's Bobby, who didn't have enough charisma or grounding to keep me interested. And Hope Davis as Bobby's mother doesn't get further than a few single working mother stereotypes.

Hicks tries so much here but ultimately fails in engaging the viewer. It looks good and it sounds good, and certainly seems "Prestige" due to Hopkins' clout, but the film is awash with so many contrivances and such a slow pace, it kills any interest and lacks any way for us to care about anything that's going on.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5534&reviewer=350
originally posted: 04/08/04 16:59:48
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User Comments

7/21/09 scott lee I liked it a lot! 4 stars
11/26/08 Shaun Wallner Friiggin Awesome!! 5 stars
6/11/08 PAUL SHORTT A SOFT-CENTRED FILM, FULL OF GOOD IDEAS THAT NEVER GET PROPERLY DEVELOPED 2 stars
11/17/06 Alyssa Hale Very disappointing movie, not at all good. 2 stars
6/22/06 TB I wish I learn more about the mysterious man, but the story was about a boy 3 stars
12/23/04 Nick Boyd Very heartfelt coming-of-age story 5 stars
4/16/04 A Reader Makes mincemeat of the King book, but is surprisingly heartfelt, and may haunt you later. 4 stars
4/13/04 Chris I was really looking foward to it but it was very dissapointing. Shoulda been better. 2 stars
9/14/03 agustina magic land full of dreams 5 stars
9/13/03 Phil M. Aficionado Nothing special except excellent action and photography. 3 stars
1/11/03 Mitsaso Conventional-but still good. 4 stars
1/08/03 tina crap 1 stars
10/08/02 Rusty The book was great, the movie writer needs to be shot for butchering the book like this!!!! 2 stars
10/23/01 spaceworm Get it right: Olivier was the old Anthony Hopkins. 4 stars
10/14/01 E-Funk The book is a step above this effort, but the effort is respectable. Hopkins is great. 4 stars
10/05/01 Jennifer Hassell I thought it was rather slow-moving, but excellent acting and photography!!! 4 stars
10/03/01 toneely I liked the movie, but Erik the movieman is correct.that's why I am reading the book. 4 stars
10/02/01 travis one of the best films in a long time best picture nomanation 5 stars
10/02/01 Greyjack Erik pretty much nailed it. What was there was nice, but it just felt very incomplete. 3 stars
10/01/01 Suzz A bit of a different take on the coming-of-age theme. Ok for 2 hours of escapism. 4 stars
9/30/01 erik the movieman Ah Yes - The Intelligent Moviegoer and his Comments! Bravo! Go See Glitter - You'll Love It 3 stars
9/29/01 Anders Caught a sneak preview - decent, like a "Stand By Me" on mild hallucinogens. 4 stars
9/28/01 DON'T LISTEN TO THIS MORON "Erik the Movieman" IS A MORON@!! 5 stars
9/28/01 WHICH MORON GAVE IT 3 stars THE MOVIE HASNT COME OUT YET!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Sep-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  31-Jan-2002


Directed by
  Scott Hicks

Written by
  William Goldman

Cast
  Anthony Hopkins
  Anton Yelchin
  Hope Davis
  David Morse
  Mika Boorem
  Will Rothhaar



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