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The Life Before Her Eyes Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

… a big M. Night Shyamalan-ish twist ending … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    38

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Consider this more a consumer warning than a movie review: The Life Before Her Eyes will draw you in, then intrigue you, then bore you, then bewilder you, then make you crazy with its incessant flashbacks and flash forwards, and finally leave you feeling like the victim of a fraud.

    Read Full Review

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Perelman pays such cooing attention to surfaces that our response to violence carries no more importance than our response to the delicate jewelry around the adult Diana's neck.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Beautiful, horrifying, exasperating and just plain weird.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Boasting two terrific performances by Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood as the adult and teenage versions of the same character.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Of the two timelines, the one featuring the teenage Diana is more involving than the one featuring the adult version. Both lead actresses give fine performances, but Thurman has less material to work with.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Life Before Her Eyes reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Disturbing school-shooting drama is a puzzler.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this R-rated drama, which may interest teens thanks to starlets Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri, explores dark, disturbing themes. The story revolves around a woman still haunted by a mass shooting at her high school; scenes from the tragedy are shown repeatedly, with plenty of blood and gore and very realistic scenes of the teen gunman shooting at victims. A teen gets an abortion, and there's also a fair amount of swearing, some suggestive scenes (one involving a couple in a swimming pool), and some underage drinking and smoking.

  • Families can talk about the movie's sensitive subject matter. Why do you think filmmakers wanted to make a film about a school shooting? Do you think they intended for teens to see it? If so, what messages do you think they were trying to send? Families can also discuss the relationship between Diana and Maureen. How is their friendship portrayed? Is it realistic? What about their friendship makes the movie's final moments so harrowing and powerful?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film itself is ultimately quite moving, but the lead-up to the final moment includes a violent school shooting by a gunman who seems far from remorseful. Also, best friends say harsh things to each other, hurting each other's feelings and threatening their friendship. A teen gets an abortion.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: The film deals with a Columbine-like mass shooting at a high school and shows how events unfold as the gunman goes on his rampage. There's plenty of bloodshed, as well as the disturbing sounds of people shrieking and dying. Some close-ups of the gunman pointing his weapon at victims' faces.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A teen couple is shown making out, and it's implied that they have sex -- the girl winds up pregnant. Two 17-year-old girls engage in frank discussions about boys and sex; one describes herself as a "whore" and seems to be acting out. She also jokes about seducing an older professor at a local college.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "s--t," "p---y," and "f--kheads."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Some signage (Brooks Pharmacy, Hillview High School), but nothing excessive.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A teen is shown smoking pot and cigarettes. Some are also shown drinking.

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