Hearts in Atlantis Reviews

Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 6, 2008
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Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 6, 2002
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 8, 2002
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 3, 2001
Hicks ... coats the film in a bogus idyllic mist that substitutes cheap sentiment for blunt truth.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
October 2, 2001
The unblinking sympathy for kids struggling with evil and with the strange frequencies of prepubescent passion can, if your defenses are down, lay you out.
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
September 28, 2001
Hicks's film is magical, but its magic comes not from the inexplicable phenomena we most commonly associate with King, but from the charms of childhood.
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Rita Kempley
Washington Post
September 28, 2001
A precious respite from the postmodern era and all that it entails.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
September 28, 2001
Much of Hearts feels a little empty, a little unmotivated.
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Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
September 28, 2001
Unabashedly sentimental, it's meant to touch our hearts in profound and important ways, but misses the mark by drawing too deeply from a pool of schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
September 28, 2001
The story's enchantment feels forced and coy, its mysteries tricked-up and flimsy.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
September 28, 2001
A fussy piece of schmaltz that makes you long for Stand By Me, a vastly superior coming-of-age tale from King's pen.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
September 28, 2001
A sweet coming-of-age story set in the summer of 1960, akin in mood to [King's] Stand by Me.
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
September 28, 2001
Put simply, the movie drags.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
September 28, 2001
All that early promise goes for naught when the picture approaches the final act, whereupon the various mysteries yield solutions that prove to be silly or sentimental or both.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
September 28, 2001
The performances are all first-rate, reinforcing the promise Hicks showed in the beautifully acted Shine.
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
September 28, 2001
Going for transcendence, [Hicks] gives us lugubriousness.
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
September 28, 2001
A poignant and often beautifully acted film.
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September 28, 2001
The acting is so good, you almost want to forgive the fact that they're not saying anything, and the film has no real point.
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
September 28, 2001
A pungently evocative, beautifully burnished mood piece.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 28, 2001
All atmosphere and no action.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 28, 2001
Rarely does a movie make you feel so warm and so uneasy at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
September 28, 2001
A nostalgic fiasco so shameless it makes movies like Simon Birch and Frequency seem as austere as the work of Robert Bresson.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
September 27, 2001
Hicks seems uncertain how to tie up all his loose threads, framing a scene near the end amid diaphanous white sheets on a clothesline.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
September 27, 2001
You come out of the theater with nothing more specific than half-pleasant memories of baseball gloves, Ferris wheels and vintage automobiles. I've had naps that were more exciting.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
September 27, 2001
Hopkins turns his character's speeches -- like that one about Atlantis -- into little vaudeville routines. The whole performance, in fact, is one big, tricky shtick.
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Cody Clark
Mr. Showbiz
September 27, 2001
Too formulaic and discursive to engage our emotions.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
September 27, 2001
Hicks, whose style did not enhance Snow Falling on Cedars, proves to be a good match for this material.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Mike Clark
USA Today
September 27, 2001
Don't underestimate the appeal of a heart-tugger that's this well mounted.
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Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 27, 2001
Its heart is certainly in the right place, but its head makes some misjudgments.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 27, 2001
Watching it feels like leafing through an old photo album you've been forced to thumb through one time too many.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 27, 2001
Hearts in Atlantis is too poky and contrived to be a good movie, but its lushly serene atmospherics, given current events, make it a pure slice of sentimental comfort food.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
September 27, 2001
Hearts in Atlantis is, in many ways, a wonderful movie, but it's too clean and well behaved.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 27, 2001
At its best, the movie has that 'a tale told' quality that Goldman used so winningly in The Princess Bride.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Ebert & Roeper
September 27, 2001
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 26, 2001
For me, the turgid pace and uneven writing muted any appreciation I might have of what it offers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 12, 2001
Goldman's astute screenplay mirrors the way youthful recollections work.