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Henry Poole Is Here Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The film has some amusing moments and can be intriguing when it focuses on the slow transformation of a hopeless, faithless man.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    It's less a tale of religious rebirth than a faith-based Hallmark card.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The biggest hole in this picture is not so much whether an audience will buy its miracles but whether an audience will care about Henry Poole. Wilson hits the same notes in virtually every scene without any change to his physical rhythms or moods.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Achieves something that is uncommonly difficult. It is a spiritual movie with the power to emotionally touch believers, agnostics and atheists -- in that descending order, I suspect.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 12+

Faith-themed dramedy has heavy themes, drinking.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this flawed-but-interesting dramedy takes on a potentially overwhelming topic -- faith -- and manages to make it approachable. It even stirs a bit of hope. That said, it's so geared up for a fight that it misses its chance to be a truly profound discussion movie. In some ways the content is age-appropriate for tweens -- language, violence, and sexual content are all mild -- but in others it's very mature. The main character is a terminally ill man who drinks like a fish and doesn't seem to care about living -- which may feel too tragic, or even scary, for young viewers. Even the religious themes (neighbors are having visions in the main character's back yard) may overwhelm some kids.

  • Families can talk about why Henry feels and acts the way he does in the beginning of the movie. Why does he drink so much? What are the consequences of that behavior? What makes him change -- and why does he resist that change? What messages is the movie sending? Can you think of other movies that deal with faith in a similar manner? What makes this movie different from other Hollywood films?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A man who is clearly an alcoholic seems hell-bent on performing a slow suicide by indulging in destructive behavior. He's also anti-social. But he goes through a change, fueled in part by his kindly new neighbors, and he opens his heart in the end.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Hints of a child's troubled childhood; a man on the edge knocks down an entire house by hacking at it with an axe; discussions about a child witnessing horrible fights between her now-divorced parents.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A kiss between two adults who are falling in love.

  • language false3

    Language: "Jerk" and "damn," and one use of "holy s--t."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Labels and signage for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Super Bueno Market, liquor, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking -- the main character, who is terminally ill and careless about life, drinks vodka and other liquor throughout the day as if it's water.