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Henry Poole Is Here (2008)

tomatometer

39

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 99
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 60

Full of Hallmark-truisms and pop songs presented with strained significance, this comic foible intends less to convert than to preach to the choir.

44

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 19

Full of Hallmark-truisms and pop songs presented with strained significance, this comic foible intends less to convert than to preach to the choir.

audience

52

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 9,343

My Rating

Movie Info

Given a grim diagnosis during a routine doctor's checkup, a man who once had it all finds his attempt to disappear into a working-class suburb and spend his remaining days subsisting on vodka and junk food hopelessly disrupted when he falls for the beautiful divorcée next door and a busybody neighbor notices a miraculous stain on his stucco wall. Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) had a comfortable life and a beautiful fiancée. But just when it seemed that the future couldn't look any brighter for Henry,

PG,

Drama, Comedy

Albert Torres

Jan 20, 2009

$1.7M

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All Critics (104) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (60) | DVD (4)

What, exactly, constitutes a miracle? Do they really happen? You'll be thinking about it, hopefully even talking about it, after the credits roll.

September 28, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

Good intentions, and a rare attempt to embrace spirituality on screen, aren't enough to make Henry Poole is Here a worthy destination.

June 1, 2009 Full Review Source: What Would Toto Watch?
What Would Toto Watch?

There is something contrived about this story in which people with major problems find a resolution.

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Drives home the themes in a natural and honest way that never comes off as preachy.

February 10, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Despite an excellent performance by Luke Wilson and a promising start, Henry Poole is Here ends up an overindulgent misfire. [Blu-ray]

January 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

One of the best films of the year. You'll laugh, You'll Cry... You'll truly appreciate life!

November 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Moviehole
Moviehole

It never even gestures at the philosophical heavy lifting of exploring alternate interpretations of ambiguous events.

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Comment (1)
Decent Films Guide

The Lord may work in mysterious ways, but the filmmakers behind sensitive, life-affirming indie dramas about brooding young men stumbling towards redemption are an awfully predictable lot.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Wilson plays disillusionment convincingly, the supporting cast (especially Barraza) is golden, and director Mark Pellington has just the right touch to bring off a teary-eyed inspirational drama.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A noble effort but misguided and largely bloodless.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

There may well be a market for simple-minded, high-budget tales of Christian redemption; if so, Henry Poole should do very well at the box office.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

There's a version of Henry Poole is Here that I would've liked to see, and the painful thing is that it's not that far off from the real thing.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: The Cinema Source

I went as someone who finds religion a 50-50 mix of fascinating and indigestible. I came out the same and have no expectations of encountering a stucco savior any time soon.

September 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A stronger script focus and less unanswered questions about Henry Poole might have made the film more appealing.

September 2, 2008 Full Review Source: ReviewExpress.com
ReviewExpress.com

Henry Poole Is Here is a movie that asks all the big questions and then, weirdly, wrecks itself by offering puny answers.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies | Comment (1)
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for Henry Poole Is Here

I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this film as much as I did. I didn't expect it to be good whatsoever, but it was. I thought that the film, though not perfect had a pretty interesting story, with a good cast. The film could have been better of course, but for what it was, it wasn't awful. The subject matter of the film is a bit too preachy, but even with that in mind, it doesn't go overboard. The cast makes this film worth watching, and the story is pretty good, and I enjoyed the film. I wouldn't call the film excellent, but for what it was, it was a fine little film with a good cast, and the cast made the story more interesting as the characters they played were quite interesting, and with that, the cast selected for the parts are perfect for the roles. I enjoyed the message the movie delivered, and it had a funny, heartfelt emotion story to it, which a lot of films lack. Luke Wilson, whom I'm not a fan of delivers a good performance here, and he has good chemistry with fellow actress Radha Mitchell. Henry Poole is Here has good comedic elements mixed in with good dramatic elements. What made this film good for me was the good cast who made the somewhat ordinary story to be better. Sometimes a good cast can elevated an ordinary plot into something pretty good and this is the case with Henry Poole is Here. An engaging story with a good cast makes this a film that is far better than one might think. I had low expectations with this film, I it surprised me at how good it really was.
October 1, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Didn't really warm to this. Not because of anything "controversial" about it - just found it depressing and boring. Radha Mitchell is good, as always, but this film is a snore.
July 25, 2010
romy861

Super Reviewer

So, it was another saturday...where I finally waltzed downstairs close to noon hoping for Hitchcock...I found this instead and was surprisingly delighted.

BFFFer -- I so think you would ADORE this one. Review, TBC.
December 19, 2009
"Henry Poole Is Here" is a wonderful little movie about the mystery of God (or whatever you want to call it) and the equally mysterious power of humans to save each other. It does at times get hokey and overly simple, and at other times the super-stylish direction becomes heavy-handed. But by and large, this film from director Mark Pellington (who has worked mostly in rock videos and television) is a refreshing joy.

Pellington, first-time screenwriter Albert Torres, and lead actor Luke Wilson all show impressive courage in going against the grain of a ferociously atheist pop culture by openly pondering questions about God and expecting an open-minded, intelligent, non-fundamentalist audience to stay with them.

Wilson plays a lonely man who's just gotten some difficult news and recedes into himself. He buys a non-descript, broken-down house in a disheveled, lower-middle-class corner of greater Los Angeles, where he leads the life of a morose shut-in. One day an image appears on the side of his shabby house, and an older woman who lives next door reads spiritual meaning into it. As a good college-educated atheist, the man of course laughs at her. But soon some inexplicable and powerful things happen that cause him and some other neighbors to start to wonder about the mysterious side of life.

A strong, almost eerie performance from seven-year-old Morgan Lily (a child actor whose career is definitely worth watching) expands the film nicely but does occasionally cause it to border on schmaltz. Wilson's consistent under-statement helps keep things from tipping too far in that direction, as does the nice, non-showy supporting work from Radha Mitchell. "Henry Poole" is recommended to anyone willing to consider the limits of atheist explanations of life.

The movie poster you see in the upper left makes the film seem sunny and light, which is not true at all. It's actually mostly dark and heavy.
December 1, 2009
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

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