The Sweet Hereafter 1997

The Sweet Hereafter

Critics Consensus

Director Atom Egoyan examines tragedy and its aftermath with intelligence and empathy.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 59

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,646

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Movie Info

A small mountain community in Canada is devastated when a school bus accident leaves more than a dozen of its children dead. A big-city lawyer (Ian Holm) arrives to help the survivors' and victims' families prepare a class-action suit, but his efforts only seem to push the townspeople further apart. At the same time, one teenage survivor of the accident (Sarah Polley) has to reckon with the loss of innocence brought about by a different kind of damage.

Cast & Crew

Ian Holm
Mitchell
Arsinée Khanjian
Wanda
Andras Hamori
Executive Producer
Robert Lantos
Executive Producer
Mychael Danna
Original Music
Paul Sarossy
Cinematographer
Susan Shipton
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The Sweet Hereafter

Critic Reviews for The Sweet Hereafter

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Sweet Hereafter

  • Oct 30, 2012
    Egoyan's masterpiece about a town who loses their children in a horrific bus accident. Marvellous.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2012
    A complex, multi-layered story of loss and secrets and lies, beautifully told by a master filmmaker. Ian Holm plays Mitchell Stephens, a lawyer who comes to a small Canadian town that has just experienced the loss of several of the children in a tragic bus accident. He hopes to get several of the affected families to sign on to let him represent them in a lawsuit and in so doing he creates a new tension and division in the townsfolk. The supporting cast was excellent, with Sarah Polley, as a teen who survives the wreck but is severely injured, and Alberta Watson, as a mother who lost her child, turning in especially fine performances. The stark winter landscape, the way the tale unfolds in the past, the present and the future, and the quiet reveals that illustrate just how much is hidden behind the veil of good reputations combined with the literary device that links the story to the Pied Piper of Hamlen all reveal the brilliance of the director, Atom Egoyan. This viewer had heard many good things about this film going in, which often only sets one up for disappointment, but happily, The Sweet Hereafter delivers.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2011
    Quiet and solemn this work by Atom Egoyan is so beautiful and moving that I found myself gasping as the roots of a small town are ripped asunder by an unfortunate accident. Must see.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2011
    A smart moral and sociological exploration, much more subtle than I've come to expect from Atom Egoyan, but I suppose I wanted more...it's pretty bland visually. It doesn't read low-budget by any means, but it sure as hell looks like it.
    Drew S Super Reviewer

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