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Heaven (2002)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 87
Fresh: 64 | Rotten: 23

The story is the weakest link in this gorgeous and well-acted film.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 9

The story is the weakest link in this gorgeous and well-acted film.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 8,870

My Rating

Movie Info

German filmmaker Tom Tykwer helmed this feature, which was adapted from a screenplay co-authored by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. Philippa (Cate Blanchett) is a British schoolteacher living in Italy, whose husband fell victim to a drug overdose, as have several of her students. Marco Vendice (Stefano Santospago) is a powerful local drug dealer who sold the dope which killed Philippa's husband, as well as a number of neighborhood teens. Disgusted with the inability of the police to bring Vendice

Jun 17, 2003


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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (64) | Rotten (23) | DVD (15)

If Heaven doesn't quite achieve the transcendent power that Kieslowski might have attained, it comes close.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its compelling mix of trial movie, escape movie and unexpected fable ensures the film never feels draggy.

November 4, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Heaven doesn't exactly reign on high, but it does make for a soul-searching experience.

November 2, 2002
Arizona Republic
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There's much to admire about Twyker's movie, even if it runs out of gas once it hits the road.

October 26, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seems to have less to do with lived moral dilemmas than with the smug piety of its makers.

October 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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A daunting task -- to realize the work of a dead master -- well done.

October 24, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Casts a poetic, otherworldly romantic spell.

December 30, 2008 Full Review Source:

The story itself holds a sense of stark reality and raw emotions mixed with a sense of flight and fantasy.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

For those who are open to a languorous meditation on love and justice, Heaven is a rewarding, if slightly labored, experience.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

while Franka Potente fans may keenly feel her absence in this film, the addition of the absolutely phenomenal Cate Blanchett more than balances the books.

August 10, 2003 Full Review Source:

It was gutsy for Tykwer to finish the work of a genius. He's mostly successful.

June 19, 2003 Full Review

Blanchett is riveting.

April 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

A very interesting film and, if you are a thinking person, it will haunt you for some time after you have seen it.

March 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Heaven, beguiling as it is...eventually glides into the borderlands of pure mumbo jumbo.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

You live the mood rather than savour the story.

March 5, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

Its themes are also more relevant and understandable, but Heaven is still premeditated, conceptual, and vigilant.

January 22, 2003 Full Review Source:

This dramatic thriller stretches credibility so often that it almost seems more like a fantasy.

December 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Comment (1)
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

What begins as a conventional thriller evolves into a gorgeously atmospheric meditation on life-changing chance encounters.

November 29, 2002
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Arthouse hokum.

November 29, 2002
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

A penitent meditation on guilt, revenge, sacrifice, and redemption.

November 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Mixed Reviews

Too artsy by half, Heaven nonetheless casts a spell that doesn't break until you leave the theater.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Though death robbed Krzysztof Kieslowski of the opportunity, substantial contributions from the visually adept Tykwer allowed him to leave us a little slice of "Heaven."

November 14, 2002
Your Movies (

The search for redemption makes for a touching love story, mainly because Blanchett and Ribisi compellingly tap into a spiritual aspect of their characters' suffering.

November 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Tykwer is an intriguing filmmaker in his own right, and his creative approach to storytelling seems a bit stifled here. He sometimes reveals the same tale three different ways. While it's easy to see why he'd be eager to bring a coda to Kieslowski's legac

November 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

Audience Reviews for Heaven

Philippa: I don't want to escape punishment. I've killed four innocent people and I want to answer for that, but before I do, I want to kill him.

"What Would You Risk For Love?"

Heaven is a tough film to figure out for me. It's unique for sure, with major events happening at times you wouldn't expect them to. I never was able to fall in love with it, although I did thoroughly enjoy the whole film. It's wonderfully shot, the score is fantastic, and Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi are bother terrific. 

A woman, Philippa, is a teacher living in Italy who recently lost her husband to a drug overdose. She gets fed up with law enforcement's lack of care her information about the drug dealer whose pushing large amount of drugs. So she decides to kill him. She tries to kill him with a bomb, but things don't go as planned and four innocent people die, while the drug kingpin still lives. To complicate things more, she is detained for the bombing. 

This isn't a movie that really appeals to me too much, but I was able to find  quite a bit I liked and was able to take away from the film. I don't believe this to be a masterpiece or anything like that, but it is worth a viewing. If only for Care Blanchett, it deserves a look. 
April 19, 2014
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Philippa is in a hopeless situation. The drug dealers who have supplied drugs to her husband and students are supported by the Italian police who are questioning her. All seems lost until an young innocent translator helps her accomplish her goal.
March 25, 2013

Super Reviewer

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Remo Girone, Stefania Rocca, Alessandro Sperduti, Mattia Sbragia, Stefano Santospago, Alberto Di Stasio, Giovanni Vettorazzo, Gianfranco Barra, Mauro Marino

Director: Tom Tykwer

Summary: Deeply disappointed by law enforcement's lax investigation following her husband's drug-related death, Philippa Paccard (Cate Blanchett) takes the law into her own hands and ends up imprisoned in this moody romantic drama from director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi), a police officer involved with Philippa's questioning, falls in love with her and helps her escape, as they flee together to the Tuscan countryside.

My Thoughts: "The film has a beautiful back drop. The concept was interesting but failed to succeed in delivering a great thriller. Since there is little character development, you don't develop enough emotions for these character's to really care what happens. I wasn't convinced of the romance between Philppa and Flippo. I didn't see the right kind of chemistry brewing for them to make me believe they could be in love. When Flippo's father asks Philippa if she loves his son, I was so certain she would say no. But besides the lack of chemistry, there was a lack of action. I get the quiet thriller aspect of it, but there could have been a little bit more going on to keep the interest. It's a slow burning, but visually beautiful thriller that some will have the patience for where other's will try to stay awake to finish it. But as usual, Cate and Giovanni give stellar performances."
March 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

Blanchett and Ribisi have an uneasy chemistry that seems to work within the context of the story. An odd sort of film with texture and forgivable deficiencies.
May 24, 2011
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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