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The Lazarus Project Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

December 3, 2011
Ok, well, I thought that this was a decent movie. Paul Walker did a great job, as did the entire cast. Some people compare this to Shutter Island. Ok, I admit it was a similar premise, but I didn't like Shutter Island...and I did like this. I DO, however, wish that they had ended this movie differently. I was left with a little of that "now what" feeling. But, I didn't dislike the ending enough to take away from my rating. This was more of a drama, than a thriller, though.
Bobby H

Super Reviewer

November 13, 2011
Paul Walker plays a character sentenced to death - but wakes up after his lethal injections to a new world, or is it?
This was supposed to be a psychological thriller in which I thought did its part throughout the majority of the movie. Within the last half hour it starts to unravel to the point in which it's not technically a psychological thriller in my opinion at all but a dramatic film based on the morals of humanity; the choices and mistakes we all make as humans; and the response to correcting those who make those mistakes.
The correctional system is an interesting concept to me (maybe because I am a student in Criminal Justice) but noting the fact that our system jails individuals by the masses (7-8x the population of other countries) and our crime rates while they've decreased since mass incarceration has started still doesn't reflect the lesser crime rates of countries who jail at slower rates - brings about questions of rehabilitation, our over population of prison inmates, and the inhumane responses we take to try to curb society for our own gratitude. The American prison system (despite the 12million individuals that circulate through it each year) is one of the best kept secrets in the country hiding the conditions and inhumanity that goes on inside them from assaults, humiliation, rape, and the subject to deadly diseases that our Government fails to treat prior or take notice in before releasing them back into society on us. While this all fact, and this movie itself as a response was fiction, the movie in my opinion was less about the story inside the movie and more about the future of our prison system that we all can either continue to ignore ("Kill you? But to the rest of the world, you're already dead") or humanity can wake up and understand even those on the inside deserve forgiveness and some sort of dignity.
I was an obvious fan of the thoughts it left you with, the awareness of what could happen without us ever even considering or knowing (and what does happen not in this movie but other issues), and the greater morals behind the film. The film itself was great and dark throughout it but the ending was slightly bland, a bit predictable, with questions on how that'd even be a possible scenario after what was supposed to have happened previously in the prison. (Will not say that as to not spoil the movie on here - but anyone else who has seen the movie should pick up on what I mean)
Pretty good film, but best for that in which it brought to mind and awareness off film.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

August 22, 2011
A very interesting story with great characters and plot line. It does copy Shutter Island a little though. It opens up discussion for how some released convicts are forced to reoffend simply because they can't get a job to get money any other way and also how ridiculous the American law system is for sentencing him to death for playing a part in the robbery. He had nothing to do with the deaths. He didn't cause them per se, he was just part of a robbery. The only problem is that I felt they didn't really explain what the Lazarus Project actually was. It felt like it came as an after thought.

Super Reviewer

November 6, 2009
Paul Walker, Piper Perabo, Brooklyn Proulx, Shawn Hatosy, Bob Gunton, Linda Cardellini, Macolm Goodwin, Lambert Wilson, Leigh Enns


A former criminal is drawn into a criminal endeavor and subsequently finds himself living an inexplicable new life working at a psychiatric facility.

This movie had the potential to be great. But instead it they made it too long and boring when they could have went with exciting or thrilling. It was just blah. But like I said, it could have been really good. But for what its worth the acting was decent and some of the ending was good. But really wished it took it to another level.

Super Reviewer

February 19, 2010
what a bunch of old bullocks!
The movie is slow, boring and the storyline is pretty poor!!
The sotryline annoyed me a bit as they sent him to death for murder even though he didnt even kill anyone and then when you find out whats happening they say its a way of changing people and giving them a second chance making me want to scream to the top of my lungs 'he didnt bloody kill anyone'!!

Boring movie, not worth the watch!!

Super Reviewer

October 13, 2008
A Pretty good supposedly "psychological thriller"... but probably more drama. It would be great if it had more tension and a sinister conspiracy around it... but then again doesn't it always.

I guess the idea was for Paul Walker to carry the movie on his acting abilities... which isn't much, sorry to say. But this is one of his better films, and I think he's exploring new grounds... which can make him better on screen.

It is dark a lot of the time. And you do meet an odd assortment of characters... some driven to the point of insanity. which kinda underlines the whole idea of the movie. Which is worse, death, or living in a fantasy which will drive you insane?

Well... I dont know. But I guess the movie shows theres always a third option.

Anyways, it wasnt great, but it was good. But its a drama, not a thriller and the suspense was.... flat.
Todd S

Super Reviewer

November 4, 2009
The Lazarus Project is a highly imaginative film and a refreshingly original concept by writer/producer John Glenn. The story follows Ben Garvey (Paul Walker), a family man with a troubled past. When his family hits hard times, the only thing left for him to do, is turn to what he is good at, committing crime. Unfortunately for him, this time someone dies during the crime and he is given a death sentence. As he's in the execution chamber, the drugs pump into him, and that should be the end of the story, but it's not. Garvey awakes seemingly unharmed and reborn in a small Oregon town, in the middle of nowhere. He's told that he's been given a second chance, but quickly figures out that all is not as it seems. The Lazarus Project is full of twists and turns and is kind of similar to Shutter Island. We see a lot of things and changes that we're not sure are real or in Garvey's imagination, that's why I loved this movie. The film makes you think and actually figure things out for yourself. Unlike many similar films, Glenn doesn't just assume we're a bunch of idiots and puts us right alongside Ben Garvey as we figure out what's going on. The story is pure genius, but if this way my project I would have chosen a different star. Sure, Paul Walker is nice to look at, and does an adequate job, but this is a highly emotional story that doesn't play to his strengths as an actor. Walker didn't convincingly portray the emotions of the given situations and made their effect less dramatic. This film is also painfully slow at times, but the good most definitely out weighs the bad. The Lazarus Project is original and will keep you guessing, which sadly, is something most films today can't claim.
Sarah P

Super Reviewer

May 20, 2009
The whole story was pretty lame. It picked up in the last quarter of the movie, but by then it was too late to be saved.
May 12, 2013
A descent psychological thriller, albeit the premise seemed somwehat familiar. Very good acting from not so well known cast. It felt though as more could have been done with the story, it was a bit underwhelming and there were too many unanswered questions.
August 26, 2012
Now he's a two time loser but he doesn't deserve the death penalty for this crime, but since he's in Texas it's the law. So sad and tragic for his wife and daughter. After he dies he wakes up confused not knowing where he it heaven or hell, somewhere in between...we keep wondering. These types of movies are weird and pretty entertaining, at one point I did think of a similarity to Shutter Island. If some of the emotional reactions would have been better acted, which is most likely the Director's fault, I would have rated it a little higher. This was an ok movie and if you really like this kind of stuff, you would probably enjoy it.
December 4, 2011
This movie was decent, Paul Walker did a pretty good job. It was well acted throughout. It plays a little more like a drama than a thriller which is ok. The movie would've made much more of an impact if you didn't get the sappy happy ending, and maybe something a little more dark.
August 2, 2011
Not too bad... atleast not as bad as people make it out to be. Although not the greatest thriller, this was an okay movie, so I thought.
July 16, 2010
kinda a cross of the sixth sense and the green mile but doesn't have the payoff at the end those 2 movies do.
April 24, 2010
Time 1.30 to 1:40 Paul's character back from prison & a day fresh off parole/probation.. ends up getting himself into trouble. (partial thanks to his brother) sentenced to death for a robbery gone awry kinda drags but Paul Walker is good in it. Is it limbo a 2nd chance things don?t sem to make sense when you just ?wake up? in a mental hospital as a groundskeeper. C
September 9, 2009
I'm kind of sick of movies that try to be mysterious but have no real follow through. I was extremely disappointed as I actually spent money on this rental. I sat through the ending credits so I could BOO the staff's names as they shamelessly passed by.
June 22, 2009
Very entertaining for a movie I'd never even heard of. Good acting, and will get u thinking, just go into it with low expectations like I did and you will enjoy it.
June 14, 2009
This was a good premise for a film that just wasn't executed that well. Walker was decent but wasn't good enough to carry the film.
June 8, 2009
A carefully constructed and intelligently made psychological thriller with a unique story and a phenomenal performance from Paul Walker. The Lazarus Project is one of the most original and compelling psychological thrillers I have ever seen. Paul Walker can really carry a film. I was surprised by the high quality of his performance. Linda Cardellini is not only adorably cute but also a wonderful actress who gives a phenomenal performance. Bob Gunton, Piper Perabo, and Shawn Hatosy are great as well. John Glenn is a skillful filmmaker who I will definitely keep an eye on in the future. The Lazarus Project is a masterpiece of American filmmaking and one of the greatest psychological thrillers of the past decade.

Paul Walker is clearly an actor capable of a lot. I've always really liked him but he caught me off guard here. His performance is realistic and beyond impressive. He's really an exceptional actor who is sort of underrated. Linda Cardellini is so damn beautiful and im always interested in everything and anything she's involved in. The supporting performances are great but Walker completely owns this film. He's a brilliant actor.

The Lazarus Project is a brilliant film with an original story and a phenomenal lead performance from Walker. This film is a masterful thriller and one of my favorite films.
June 8, 2009
This movie started out pretty good. It had potential to be a good movie. The ending was totally disappointing.
June 2, 2009
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this one and I think that was a good thing. It sorta keeps you guessing as to what was going to happen next and what is actually happening now. You can guess a few parts on your own but they leave enough doubt to keep you interested. It is a little bit out there but if you stick it out it's too interesting not to watch.
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