The Lovely Bones

Drama | English | 135 minutes


As 14-year-old Susie Salmon walks home from school, she runs into her neighbor, George Harvey. Harvey coaxes her to an underground den he built that can serve as a clubhouse for Susie and her friends. While there, Harvey murders Susie. When Susie does not arrive home, her frantic parents, Jack and Abigail, call the police. Meanwhile, in a place between heaven and earth, Susie oversees her home and her friends. Susie’s afterlife begins to emerge as heaven as other children murdered by Harvey enter. Susie  painfully sees her parents beginning to heal. She reaches closure when  Harvey accidentally falls to his death in a ravine. This is Susie’s commentary at the end of the film:

“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absences: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent – that happened when I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without men in it. The events my death brought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.”

Saoirse Ronan (Susie Salmon) / Stanley Tucci (George Harvey) / Mark Wahlberg (Jack Salmon) / Rachel Weisz (Abigail Salmon)
Why Stream This Film?
Several critics found the film’s subject offensive. Other critics, admirers of the novel, found the film lacking. These are reasons the film received a low score with Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. But I concur with the film critic Shawn Levy, who wrote that “Jackson’s film is soulful, respectful, masterful, horrifying, and emotionally true. It may not be THE LOVELY BONES you had in mind, but it’s a fine and powerful film.” 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 32%
  • Metacritic Score: 42
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Stanley Tucci)
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Winner, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Stanley Tucci)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Stanley Tucci)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards: Nominated, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Stanley Tucci)
THE LOVELY BONES does a fantastic job with revered, complex source material. As terrific on terra firma as it is audacious in its astral plane, it is doubtful we’ll see a more imaginative courageous film this year.
Ian Freer


There are moments of heartrending grief in BONES, and of sickmaking dread, and breathless exhilaration. And in all, as ever, director Peter Jackson proves himself a born filmmaker.
Shawn Levy

The Oregonian

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