The Lovely Bones

  • 12
  • Peter Jackson (2009)
  • US / UK / NZ
  • 129 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

After realising Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings saga, director Peter Jackson presents a vision of the afterlife for this contemporary fantasy. Unfortunately there's too much emphasis on visual effects, as a teenage girl (a suitably wistful Saoirse Ronan) observes from on high the aftermath of her brutal murder and sees her killer (a rather too obvious Stanley Tucci) prepare for his next strike. Alice Sebold's original novel presented an incisive examination of the changing dynamics of a family in grief, but Jackson's soft-focus approach robs the story of its power. And while Mark Wahlberg delivers a poignantly childlike performance to echo the loss of his daughter, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Rose McIver (as mum, grandma and sister, respectively) feel superfluous. Consequently, the finale - though tense - lacks that visceral gut punch. Ultimately, Jackson spends too long in the clouds and loses touch with the real drama on ground level.

Plot Summary

Director Peter Jackson's fantasy drama, adapted from the bestselling novel by Alice Sebold, starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan. Following her murder, teenager Susie Salmon watches from a powerless position in the afterlife as her family disintegrates and her killer remains at large.

Cast and crew


Jack Salmon
Mark Wahlberg
Abigail Salmon
Rachel Weisz
Grandma Lynn
Susan Sarandon
Susie Salmon
Saoirse Ronan
George Harvey
Stanley Tucci
Len Fenerman
Michael Imperioli
Brian Nelson
Jake Abel
Amanda Michalka
Ray Singh
Reece Ritchie
Lindsey Salmon
Rose McIver
Principal Caden
Thomas McCarthy


Peter Jackson

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 19 Feb 2010
Certificate 12