Is Anybody There?

2008, Drama, 1h 32m

117 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Though Michael Caine gives an excellent performance, Is Anybody There? features a cliche-filled story that ultimately falters. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Edward (Bill Milner), 10 years old, lives in a house his financially strapped parents converted into a nursing home. Though he doesn't like having elderly housemates, he searches for evidence of an afterlife by recording their dying breaths. When Clarence (Michael Caine), an aging magician, moves into the home, Edward finally has a chance to make a real friend.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Is Anybody There?

Audience Reviews for Is Anybody There?

  • Jul 10, 2012
    Clarence: Now for those of you who have never before sat in a seance, there is absolutely nothing to be fearful of. Ghosts... are very friendly sorts. I'll start by saying I got absolutely no enjoyment from watching Is Anybody There? outside of the central performance from Michael Caine. When Michael Caine can give a performance like this, and still not lift a movie over the hill, that is saying something. Caine is one of my favorite actors of all-time, so I'll watch anything he's ever been in. I mean I watched The fucking Swarm for godsakes. Is Anybody There? never gets anywhere in my opinion. It's predictable and annoying. The little kid in this one rivals any kid in movie history for me on the annoyance level. He's right there with that little fucker from Sleepless in Seattle. And when there's an annoying kid in a film, it just ruins the whole experience for me. He's the type of kid you just want to punch in the face. Edward is growing up in a nursing home which his parents run. By seeing a lot of death early on in his life, he has grown obsessed with death and the afterlife. He has ghost drawings hanging on his wall, and he spends his time trying to talk to the spirits in his house. Clarence shows up to take a room in the nursing home, and although the two start off on wrong terms, the two quickly become friends. I wasn't really buying the whole friendship in this one. I thought it was poorly developed, and didn't resonate the same power as say the friendship between characters in a movie like Secondhand Lions. Overall, I was fairly unimpressed by everything that was going on in this one. I found very little to take away from it, other than more reassurance that Caine is one of the best actors ever. It's a rather boring, dull, and uneventful film. 
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2012
    Michael Caine's gift of a performance as a lifelong ladies man finally and miserably alone at the end of the line (and whatever ruminations you yourself might be inclined to ruminate on regarding the subject of waiting to die) is the draw here. There's a secondary plot about a youth's sad and forlorn coming of age in a retirement home, and how these two oddballs come to save each other.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2011
    A brilliantly profound yet sad film with a great cast. It truly touched me and although the story was fairly predictable it was Caine that made the character. Despite his bad actions you still felt for him as he was genuinely sorry for what he did. The themes they explored were difficult to watch. Incredibly sad and I think I'll only watch it if I feel sad already.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2011
    A ten-year-old boy growing up in a nursing home run by his parents questions the great mysteries of life and death with the help of a kindly, though troubled, resident. I read multiple reviews of this film describing it as "little," or otherwise diminutive, but just because it is an independent film, I don't think it's not ambitious. In fact, I almost think that the inclusion of themes of death, redemption, loss, memory, and troubled childhood makes this film too ambitious, as though it might have bitten off more than it can chew. However, Jon Crowley's direction provides a sturdy hand to a potentially unsteady ship. It occasionally wanders into a side plot, but Crowley makes every effort to keep us primarily interested in the boy's journey rather than the supporting characters'. The film's highlight is Michael Caine's performance. He is amazing as the sometimes bitter, sometimes regretful, sometimes entertaining aging resident. Caine's tears seem as natural as his charm, and he once again proves that he can bring his A-game to a script that properly utilizes his talents. Overall, <i>Is Anybody There</i> may wander and may push the envelope too far, but it is ultimately worth watching.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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