The Lovely Bones – film, USA, 2009 – reviews

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The Lovely Bones is a 2009 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Peter Jackson (Bad Taste; King Kong) from a screenplay co-written with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. It is a film adaptation of the best-selling 2002 novel of the same name by Alice Sebold. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli and Saoirse Ronan.


In 1973, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), a fourteen-year-old girl living in Pennsylvania with her parents, sister, and brother, dreams about becoming a photographer someday.

One day, Ray Singh (Reece Ritchie), a boy Susie has a crush on, approaches her at her locker and slips a note into her textbook. He asks her out for the following Saturday. As Susie walks home through a cornfield, she runs into her neighbour, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), who coaxes her into an underground den that he says he has built for the neighbourhood children.

Inside, Susie becomes uncomfortable in Harvey’s presence and attempts to leave; when he grabs her, she kicks him in the face and runs into the field and onto the street, rushing past classmate Ruth Connors (Carolyn Dando)…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Jackson’s film… shows less audacity and too much art. Susie’s unearthly home, in the book a minimally sketched, nondenominational purgatory where the dead loiter on their way to heaven and keep tabs on unfinished business down on earth, has been expanded into a digitally rendered Wonderland of rioting metaphors, crystal seas and floating topiary. It’s a mid-’70s art-rock album cover brought to life…” The New York Times

“Devoting an inordinate amount of time to Susie’s navigation of the afterlife robs the film of an ability to tell the family’s story in full. Short-cuts are taken, occasionally making actions seem poorly motivated or out-of-character.” Reelviews


“When you know the main character dies right from the beginning of the movie (or maybe a year ago when you saw the preview) you are left with a movie that should use all of its energy to make you care about that tragedy. Unfortunately, it is not here; instead it would seem that Jackson is more interested in making the “in between” world where Susie Salmon is stuck after she is murdered.” Dave’s Movie Reviews


“The one true highlight outside of the effects is Stanley Tucci as the creepy George Harvey. Tucci was excellent casting and he falls into the role with particular menace, but it’s not a role so dominating that it manages to completely turn the film into something above par. Instead, it just works within the environment created and sorts itself out with everything else.” Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon


Main cast and characters:

  • Mark Wahlberg … Jack Salmon
  • Rachel Weisz … Abigail Salmon
  • Susan Sarandon … Grandma Lynn
  • Stanley Tucci … George Harvey
  • Michael Imperioli … Len Fenerman
  • Saoirse Ronan … Susie Salmon
  • Rose McIver … Lindsey Salmon
  • Christian Ashdale … Buckley Salmon
  • Reece Ritchie … Ray Singh
  • Carolyn Dando … Ruth Connors
  • Nikki SooHoo … Holly (as Nikki Soohoo)
  • Andrew James Allen … Samuel Heckler
  • Jake Abel … Brian Nelson
  • AJ Michalka … Clarissa
  • Tom McCarthy … Principal Caden
  • Stink Fisher … Mr Connors
  • Evelyn Lennon … Susie Salmon (aged 3 years)
  • Stefania LaVie Owen … Flora Hernandez (as Stefania Owen)
  • Marley McKay … Nate
  • Ashley Brimfield … Teenage Girl in Parking Lot
  • John Jezior … Mr O’Dwyer
  • Anna George … Mrs Singh
  • Kirit Kapadia … Mr Singh
  • Richard Lambeth … Deputy
  • William Zielinski … Deputy
  • Glen Drake … Deputy
  • Nick Baker … Deputy
  • Dan Kern … Hospital Doctor
  • Greg Wood … Hospital Doctor
  • Freya Milner … Jackie Meyer
  • Katie Jackson … Leah Fox
  • Ruby Hudson … Lana Johnson
  • Tina Graham … Sophie Cichetti

Technical details:

  • 135 minutes
  • Audio: Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39: 1


  • $65 million

Box office:

  • $93,621,340

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