Seven Pounds - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Seven Pounds Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2008
the film was extremely jumbled and the love story was contrived, but everything else about this film was above average. smith puts in a characteristically solid performance, and the film was powerful despite being extremely predictable from the outset. i would have liked a bit more of the side stories, but i do see the point in drawing emotion from the story between dawson and smith's characters so the desire to see the other stories fleshed out is lessened. overall, good film.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2012
Is "Seven Pounds" as bad as all the critics said? Almost. The critics savaged this film when it came out, going a bit overboard, as they are wont to do. Perhaps in their puny subconscious minds Will Smith was due for some backlash, just as Halle Berry was when "Catwoman" came out.

"Seven Pounds" is not so much bad as under-developed. There is interesting subject matter, but first-time screenwriter Grant Nieporte appears not to have had any idea how to explore the ideas and develop a real story. What he did was basically just provide the outline for a story. The script has all the depth of something Kim Kardashian would write if she took a Creative Writing course.

Without giving away the details and surprises, I'll simply say that a man responsible for a horrific tragedy (the character played by Smith) attempts a form of redemption by making extraordinary sacrifices for others. I won't give away what he does for them, but it's not what you think.

This would be quite interesting to explore. How many stages of grief did the man go through? What difficulties has he had in figuring out a way to live again? How were his relationships impacted?

What sorts of attempts did he make at healing? Which ones were more successful than others and why? And what counts as "success" in grieving anyway?

How did he come up with the idea for the sacrifices he makes? What sorts of mixed feelings did he have about the sacrifices? What kind of complex emotions did the recipients of his generosity feel? There's the obvious gratitude. But surely a serious screenwriter would be more interested in the darker complexities of such situations.

Nieporte had no interest in any of this. All he wanted to show was simple grief, simple generosity, and simple gratitude. He clearly is not an artist. At heart he's probably a greeting-card writer. Very simple sentiment.

Italian director Gabriele Muccino, who first directed an American film in 2008 ("The Pursuit of Happyness," also starring Smith), seems to revel in the simplicity of the script. He directs in a mind-bogglingly pedestrian way, using one schmaltzy cliche after the next. The only real creativity is in the editing, which is at times intriguing. This film project could have gone somewhere. But unfortunately it never really got off the ground.

Even a good cast (Smith is joined by Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson, among others) can't do much with it. There's just so much actors can do when the screenwriter and director are aiming resolutely for superficiality.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2012
An IRS investigator journeys about looking for good people to give stuff to.
The first act of this film is spent trying to hide information from the audience. I suppose director Gabriele Muccino thought that revealing Ben's history provided more dramatic impact if than the story itself could provide, and so she resorted to gimmickry, but all it accomplished was pissing me off. I like stories about good people trying to do the right thing in the face of horrid circumstances, and this is such a story, but it's simply not told well. Also, I think the story would have been more realistic had more people, especially Emily, questioned Ben's motivations; after all, in the real world people who do nice things are almost always accused of having ulterior motives.
Will Smith's performance is reserved and stoic, but unlike his other dramatic turns, like in The Pursuit of Happyness, Smith's natural enthusiasm doesn't come out; it feels like he's choking himself to remind all involved that this is heavy-handed drama. Rosario Dawson is good, playing the sweet, charming, damaged character with charm and grace.
Overall, there are an awful lot of flaws in the way the story is told, but I like the basic premise.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2008
I held off writing a review for so long out of disgust that I kind of forgot what the film was about. So that's my review, one word: "forgettable." It's not quite so bad that you'll remember it, it's just boring and replaces any kind of emotional experience with bad music and bad montages. It never gives you enough information for you to empathize with the main character, and then, the reveal in the end doesn't make you feel anything, because all along, you were indifferent to the protagonist, anyway. I hadn't heard great things, so I wasn't disappointed per se, but I agree with most critics: this was a total misfire.
Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2011
Seven Pounds had a great cast and premise, but this was so boring I can't even explain. The plot was so slow and dull, and I wasn't even interested til near the end. The cast was great, Will Smith played a great performance. Overall I would watch this again because of the great acting and deep meanings, but not for story because this was a very boring film.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2010
This film truly has no idea of what it is trying to do! It tries to take itself way too seriously, and when a dramatic scene occurs, it will randomly switch to show a flashback which we have absolutely no backstory on, and the film jumps back and forth creating confusion all the way to the grand finale, which, in the end, is extremely over done. Will Smith tries way too hard, given an over-the-top performance, along with Rosario Dawson who also shares not even a hint of believable chemistry with Smith. This film is about a random IRS agent who is in the pursuit of finding honest people to donate his organs to. While we hardly see him ever do his real job, this film lacks not only on him, but throughout every frame on screen. I am not sure whether to like this film or hate this film, but I can honestly say that it is definitely not a good one. This was a pointless waste of time!
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2009
An emotional movie, it works to keep its secrets. When the tears come, it has earned them.

Lots of Tissues required!

Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is a serious, sad-faced stranger who walks into people's lives like some sort of angel. The first piece of the puzzle: Is he the Angel of Death or a guardian angel?
Ben's an IRS agent, so he has access to people's entire lives. He shows up, unannounced, and interviews folks -- interrogates them actually. He's tactless, a little rude. They're in arrears on their taxes, upside down on their mortgages, in failing health or leading lives limited by circumstances beyond their control.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2010
It took me a whole month to finish watching this. Can you believe that? Especially from a Will Smith's fan? No. But it's true. I never felt so bored while watching his movies. This was slow (and I made it more slow by watching a little day by day). It will take a hell lot of time to understand it fully. I was confused. My confusion was higher than enjoying this. The story was great. Deep in other word. But this is not something I will watch again.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2010
Not much to say about this film other than "HOLY SH*T HE JUST KILLED HIMSELF WITH A F*CKING JELLYFISH"
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2009
A good story, well told and Will Smith is growing on me as a serious actor. The main problem with this is it is far too obvious right from the off what is going to happen and why. We then spend a long time waiting for the build up to the conclusion. Still a fine film though, but it lost it's impact by being too predictable.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2009
A structurally flawed but still powerful story concerning a mysterious man who starts questioning random people if they're "good" or not. While the "twist" at the end is very predictable thanks in large part to the stupid way the film begins, once it comes it still hits the viewer hard despite the ridiculousness of it all. The acting across the board is very strong, with Will Smith giving a routine terrific performance and Rosario Dawson (one of the best actresses out there right now) giving yet another solid turn. I still found the film to be effective as flawed as it was, but that also doesn't mean it's an automatic recommendation. Some will be mad they called the twist from a mile away (I was a little annoyed) but others who didn't call it might fall in love with this film.
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2009
Never did I expect such a film to blow me away, I had not read the synopsis prior to watching this and hadn?t planned for such an emotionally charged film. I?ve only shed a tear at around 3 films in my life, but I have to admit, this one actually had me sobbing! (Did I just admit to that?)

The film itself sets a depressed tone from the start and whilst it does take a while to start moving and understand where the plot is being taken, the mystery soon unravels in tiny parts, right up until the very end. Without a doubt Smith?s finest performance to date.

A well written storyline with an original idea.
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2009
Seven Pounds is a remarkable story.
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2009
After viewing this film I was left wondering what I had just seen. I was oddly compelled even though I knew the "secret" after about 20 minutes of viewing (but knowing what compelled Smith was not as interesting as trying to figure out WHAT he was up to).
I was pulling for the love story, even though I knew it was doomed (as made obvious by the 911 suicide call), and the twist was surprising and yet somehow predictable. The final explaination was too pat and trite and made you feel jerked around by what had happened beforehand.

Too many rationalisations and too much revealed in that final coda, making it seem almost like a cliff note version of itself.

I just don't know - worth watching? I suppose. Recommended? Maybe. I guess that Smith was looking for good people to give to and it was just chance that he ended up falling in love with the one who needed his heart (how's that for heavy handed metaphor?).

Odds and ends: the scene with the brother outside the gf's house ended oddly - why did he ask for the keys to Will's car? And why did he say "I'll be waiting, don't make me come in after you". Huh? So he goes back in, makes some lame excuse, she kisses him anyway and they spend the rest of the night in bed - a nice scene - but wasn't the brother outside in the rain in Will's car?? Also, when Will gave his beach house to the battered Mexican woman and her two kids - umm, just wondering where the nearest school is and how the upper crust is going to enjoy torturing two kids from the bario. She may be safe there and able to heal, but she's still going to need a job and I don't imagine there's many opportunities for unskilled labor out at the beach.

I should also mention that Woody Harrelson was terrific in a small role as a blind beef salesman.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2009
It's very rarley that we see a movie by Will Smith that is not amazing; this movie is no exception as it too is simply amazing.

Will Smith plays a solid and touching performance; in comparison to other films such as Pursuit of Happyness and Ali, we witness another struggle of character.

The movie is awe in spiring, it has a great soundtrack, heart, courage, character, love - it's mysterious, it's semi-unpredictable, it's happy, and it's sad. The movie touches all bases and it is my opinion another classical fiilm by Will Smith that everyone should take time out too see.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2009
?Do not touch the jellyfish.? Wise words to live by. Will Smith stars in this heavy-handed drama about a man trying to make amends for his role in a fatal traffic accident. Smith is an IRS man on a mysterious personal mission. He?s interviewing several glum people waiting on organ transplant lists. If you cannot connect the pieces already, don?t worry because Seven Pounds will hammer every last point with forceful melodrama. The story structure is needlessly fractured, hoping to add more style to a fairly banal redemption tale. Naturally, Smith falls for a woman (Rosario Dawson) in desperate need of a heart transplant, complicating his scheme. And yet the movie sort of works on its own syrupy terms until those final moments involving that jellyfish. It is a jaw-dropping misguided move, one that rips you right out of the film. Just as Seven Pounds reaches its climactic emotional crescendo, you?re left scratching your head and laughing at the utter absurdity. It?s like tripping face-first right before the finish line. The jellyfish-infused ending is simply astonishing. Seriously, when was the last time an invertebrate sea creature played so prominently in a high-profile movie? In what would otherwise be an overwrought and unmemorable drama, the jellyfish gives Seven Pounds a certain bizarre immortality.

Nate's Grade: C
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2009
Will Smith proves once again that he can't go wrong no matter what genre of movie role he decides to take on, whether drama, action, or comedy. You'll wonder what his secret is the entire movie, if he's just playing around in the love story or if he's serious, and it works in the end, or actually all the way through.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2009
The more I think about this movie the more this character reminds me of the guy from Pursuit of Happyness. I'm not really sure what else to say about it. It was definitely a tearjerker.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2009
Another self serving change the world movie with Will Smith. The movie is really good despite the fact I really do not like Will Smith since Pursuit of Happiness. The story carries the interest, not the moopy sad eyes of the self serving actor Will Smith. Any other actor could have carried this movie just as well.
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