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Flatliners 1Flatliners (1990)

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Written by Peter Filardi

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt

When a group of young medical students begins looking into life after death they begin a dangerous experiment. After bringing themselves to the brink of death the students realize that they’ve brought something dangerous to life. Now they are in the midst of a crisis as they try to undo the consequences of their experiment.

Flatliners 2This science fiction / fantasy thriller was written by Peter Filardi (The Craft) and directed by Joel Schumacher (The Client). The film features a list of big names including Kiefer Sutherland (Young Guns) and Kevin Bacon (Footloose). The cast also includes Oscar winner Julia Roberts (Notting Hill), as well as William Baldwin (Backdraft) and Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class).

Flatliners 6This is an interesting story that borders on fantasy and science fiction with a unique look at death. The premise is strong and the opening moments of the film really help to push the action and get things going. The film also features elements of horror or thriller types of suspense that come together nicely throughout the middle of the film. The dialogue also works nicely, allowing the actors characters to feel unique and authentic to the story’s premise. There are some weaknesses to this film as well. Mainly, the movie seems hesitant to take a stand on the major question of the film. Instead of committing to one solid conclusion, the writer opted for more ambiguous conclusions. This isn’t a killer for the story, but it’s an area that might disappoint some. Overall, this is a good story that seems to miss being great due to indecision.

Flatliners 5The acting in this movie is pretty good. The stars of the film all manage to create unique personalities for their characters. The strongest performance comes from Sutherland. He’s able to really carry a lot of the tension for the whole film in his role. Second to him, Julia Roberts does an awesome job. Kevin Bacon is also really good in this one, as are Baldwin and Platt. The cast fits together nicely, forming a group that feels like true friends. Their chemistry does a lot to keep this story working. Overall, good acting from all the main stars.

Flatliners 4The film has a lot of nice visual moments. The set design is just weird enough to fit. The locations used also help to keep the dark nature of the film from being lost. The camera work, special effects, and all the other visuals are all pretty cool. Overall, this movie features good visuals, but doesn’t do anything really exciting or new. The film’s only Oscar nomination came for Best Sound Effect Editing. The sound and score for this film are nicely done overall.

Flatliners 3This movie works despite the flaws, making it not much more than an enjoyable movie. The main issue comes down to the boldness lacking in the execution of the story. If you’re a fan of the stars this is still a good watch, but it’s not going to break any new ground for most people. This is a guilty pleasure of mine thanks to the acting. I give this one 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 115 Minutes


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