The Sweet Hereafter (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)



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

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Mystical, elliptical and confoundingly beautiful film about a town that loses its children and maybe its soul.

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Ian Holm
as Mitchell Stephens
Sarah Polley
as Nicole Burnell
Bruce Greenwood
as Billy Ansell
Tom McCamus
as Sam Burnell
Arisnee Khanjian
as Wanda Otto
Alberta Watson
as Risa Walker
Gabrielle Rose
as Dolores Driscoll
Maury Chaykin
as Wendell Walker
Brooke Johnson
as Mary Burnell
Earl Pastko
as Hartley Otto
David Hemblen
as Abbott Driscoll
Caerthan Banks
as Zoe Stephens
Kirsten Kieferle
as Stewardess
James D. Watts
as Young Mitchell
Russell Banks
as Dr. Robeson
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Critic Reviews for The Sweet Hereafter

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (16)

A delicate and touching story.

November 6, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Though this is Egoyan's first adaptation, The Sweet Hereafter could serve as a model for how to do it right.

February 14, 2001 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan's most ambitious work to date, The Sweet Hereafter is a rich, complex meditation on the impact of a terrible tragedy on a small town.

February 14, 2001 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The movie has an impact that extends far beyond the walls of a movie theater - a quality shared by a distressingly few of today's releases.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is one of the best films of the year, an unflinching lament for the human condition.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A beautiful elegy about family and community, death and healing...

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Sweet Hereafter


A smart moral and sociological exploration, much more subtle than I've come to expect from Atom Egoyan, but I suppose I wanted's pretty bland visually. It doesn't read low-budget by any means, but it sure as hell looks like it.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

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. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Sweet Hereafter is exquisite. Innocent, mysterious, prescient, nervy, calm - I love the whole concept of examining a town in the aftershocks of a tragedy; it's like exposing the bone and sinew of a body and running your fingers through the skeleton that remains.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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