Heavenly Creatures - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Heavenly Creatures Reviews

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March 3, 2016
Heavenly Creatures is the first film that's pre-Lord of the Rings for Peter Jackson that I watched, and I was curious to see what his style is for this movie, which after watching it, I had a pretty great time with it. First time actresses Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey are terrific in it and it's nice to see them be well known, given with their movie career that is. The writing is very well done as they know how to make a good relationship while still being creative with it. The effects look really good which are cool to see human clay forms. The story is great, and it does show why they did that and is very understandable to follow. The characters are memorable that you actually want the two main girls to make it work with their parents, until they go too far. Heavenly Creatures is a terrific movie that makes me hope that Peter Jackson goes back to films like this and his other past films after the Hobbit Trilogy.
½ February 2, 2016
A true story that's almost too good to be true, no portrait of youth and friendship has been this dark, engrossing, and unflinching.
½ January 28, 2016
With extraordinary performances (especially by Kate Winslet) and Peter Jackson at his most inspired, Heavenly Creatures is a masterpiece.
January 12, 2016
Peter Jackson shies away from shock value and immaturity to craft a sinister--if not always even--fantasy-drama.

V: 85%
½ January 3, 2016
Heavenly Creatures, directed by cult-director Peter Jackson, is a masterful telling of the disturbing true story of the Parker-Hulme murder case. Starring Melanie Linksey and Kate Winslet in their big screen debut as Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme respectively (both give excellent performances), the movie tells the story of their... close friendship and descent to madness in a way that is both personal and stylish. There's some humor, but it's an overall very dark movie. Congratulations for Peter Jackson, who with this movie proves a lot versitality (his previous movies were Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles) and estabilishes himself as a very promising talent. He gives the movie a quite unique tone and isn't afraid to experiment. For example, there are some scenes set in Borovnia (the fictional world created by the girls) and a sequence involving Orson Welles.
As I said before, both lead performances are pretty impressive and the supporting ones aren't bad too. I should also remark the excellent cinematography and a well-constructed script by Jackson and Frances Walsh.
I don't know if somewhere there's a better version of this story, but I know that if that version exists, it ain't very different from this one.
October 24, 2015
Absolutely compelling movie.
August 12, 2015
Slick, tense, and utterly spellbinding; 'Heavenly Creatures' is a fantastic display of Peter Jackson's talent and versatility, as well as the acting talents of Kate Winslet and the criminally underrated Melanie Lynskey.
August 6, 2015
Beautiful film, intense story, quite brutal being a reall story, but the times were indeed very harsh on those matters
July 21, 2015
Wicked imagination and strong leading performances makes this film stand out from the usual 'based on a true story' crowd.
½ July 1, 2015
I know the appeal to earlier Peter Jackson films is the insanity with the style. But of the pre-LotR films it's my biggest problem, I'd probably like this a lot more if it hadn't been for the style it's filmed in, it's hard to describe it if you haven't seen the films but boy did I want to give the filmmakers something to mellow them the f*@# out.
June 30, 2015
The movie is just as bizarre as the minds of these two killers
May 27, 2015
Peter Jackson's film is innovative, creative and lost in a haze of hysterical dreams that very quickly turns into a shocking example of human brutality. Based on true events. Both Winslet and Lynskey are as magical in this film as their character's created world.
½ May 14, 2015
The only good thing about this movie was Kate Winslet, but I had to gave it a 2 star because this movie was boring from beginning to the end, Don't understand all the 5 stars. I tolerated this movie to see the murder boring. So for this just not being there for me, even tho it was directed by Peter Jackson, I was hoping something better but got nothing good about it. I give "Heavenly Creatures" a C-.
May 13, 2015
A movie that balances a fine line of empathy for its characters while also highlighting their disturbances. This works in the context that it's actually based on a true story and thus makes you think rather than having that as a tagline to make you buy a ticket. Dark, mesmerizing and introspective, even for the filming standards of 1994.
May 9, 2015
Great, understated, enthralling drama, based on a true story.

A few years before Peter Jackson sold out and started making 9-hour 3-part fantasy movies for kids and nerds, he made this great drama, which is still, to date, his best film.

Set in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1953-54, the movie tells the story of two friends, schoolgirls with incredible imaginations. This, and their friendship, shapes their lives, and the lives of those around them, though, ultimately, not in a pleasant way.

Great build-up by Jackson. You see the relationship between the girls develop, and how their imaginations grow more and more active, blurring the lines between reality and fiction.

Quite funny at times too.

Superb performances by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey in the lead roles. Winslet was only 18 at the time and this was her first cinematic role. She is fantastic - her exuberance and funny-yet-nonchalant antics are a sight to behold.

Good supporting cast too.
April 8, 2015
Peter Jackson at his finest
March 26, 2015
A spectacular achievement. After a string of gleefully gory and gross movies, Jackson takes a disturbing true crime story and turns it into a compelling drama with incredible lead performances from first time movie actresses and vivid imagery. It turned Jackson and wife Fran Walsh into Oscar nominees and opened the doors to Hollywood
½ March 12, 2015
This is the first film I've seen from Peter Jackson's pre-Lord of the Rings career, and it demonstrates what a talented filmmaker he was even before he was given huge budgets and incredibly rich source material. It also has the first film appearances from Melanie Lynskey, who is now a star of the excellent HBO comedy-drama Togetherness, and Kate Winslet, who is now Kate Winslet.

The story follows two teenage girls in 1950s New Zealand, whose friendship becomes so overwhelmingly intense as to threaten their connection to their families and, indeed, to reality itself. I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that things get darker and darker as their relationship progresses.

It might seem surprising at first that a filmmaker now known primarily for enormous-scale fantasy epics would be interested in a story about adolescent friendship and madness, but when you watch it, you can see some resemblances to his later work. For one thing, this movie has an extremely intense visual style - Jackson is almost constantly swooping the camera in and out, left and right, and generally engineering shots for maximum visceral impact. Compared to this film, the camerawork in Lord of the Rings is actually often tame by comparison. Some of the fantasy sequences, which take place entirely in the girls' imaginations, resemble scenes from Lord of the Rings. There are even a few shots of Lynskey glaring at her mother that make her look uncannily like Gollum. Above all, the film shows that Jackson was always a filmmaker with a world-building bent, whether the world is Middle-Earth or two girls' imagined refuge from reality.

The performances by both Winslet and Lynskey are great, especially considering how young they both were when they made the film. Lynskey progresses so gradually from awkward and sympathetic to hostile and creepy that it's hard to say just where the transition lies. Winslet nicely conveys both charm and a disturbing degree of insularity and self-regard. Overall, this is a very fine film, marred only slightly perhaps by its rather abrupt ending.
½ February 15, 2015
The look into the imaginations of these two girls is as real as the horrific act they committed. The fact that Juliet went on to become a well-known novelist after her release from prison adds a fascinating end to this story. The girl's stories WERE good enough to be published after all. Unfortunately, they have to carry this burden with them for the rest of their lives (they're both still alive at the time of this writing.) What a story. And what a fantastic movie.
½ February 7, 2015
Peter Jackson's deliriously bizarre and profoundly disturbing Heavenly Creatures is a brilliantly directed and written examination of deteriorating mental states
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