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After Life
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After Life

1998
Drama
1h 59m
After people die, they spend a week with counselors, also dead, who help them pick one memory, the only memory they can take to eternity... (imdb)
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After Life

1998
Drama
1h 59m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 67.72% from 716 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(715)
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Rated 28 Jun 2010
88
89th
Recommended for fans of Haruki Murakami's novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, or the anime series Haibane Renmei. This film is simple and documentary-like (lending credence to Koreeda's reputation as a modern Ozu), while the concept of an "old home" where people reflect on their lives after death is familiar and resonant. It also comments on the nature of memories and reality, film, etc. If the one thing you choose to remember is a dream, can it be real?
Rated 02 Oct 2010
80
61st
After Life is a touching film with a lot of heart, and it never stoops to crass sentimentality. In fact, I don't believe there was a single crying scene, which is actually quite remarkable when you consider the subject matter. The concept behind the movie is the type that can haunt your thoughts for a long time. (I've been thinking about little else for the past few hours.) That alone is a pretty good achievement.
Rated 15 Sep 2008
81
75th
It's easy to tell Koreeda has a background in documentary, as half the film takes the talking head concept and turns it towards a fictional narrative. This is a quaint little film with a lot to love, as its high-concept is told through relatively simple aesthetics. The ending - an interesting take on the transcendence of Cinema - is unfortunately marred by a too-slow middle.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
82
73rd
I usually enjoy films that explore the nature of memory, and this one is no exception. It also has an intriguing concept of the afterlife, and manages to avoid filling in every little detail without frustrating the viewer with too many unanswered questions. The movie occasionally gets a little sentimental, but never maudlin. Koreeda is a pretty good director, but his work has yet to really grab me.
Rated 23 Jan 2008
86
81st
Quiet, beautiful, and moving. Seems so terribly authentic, too.
Rated 01 Feb 2009
75
88th
Wandafuru Raifu is not your typical film about the afterlife. It plays like a documentary, with counselors interviewing the recently deceased about their happiest moment. The acting was terrific, some performances felt like in fact it was a documentary, the experiences of the individuals came to life, and it was further reinforced with the representation on tape of their memores. The film was simple, it told beautiful stories that took time to tell.
Rated 10 Jan 2009
74
90th
A quaint yet substantial humanistic drama exploring life and memory. As others have said, it isn't maudlin, but it is subtly emotive. By neither smothering the viewer in philosophy or melodrama, the film does itself a great service. It is -- in several ways -- an interactive film. It demands conscientious reflection, and the film gives plenty of space to enable us to do this. Artistic camerawork, attractive setting, and gentle steps of imagination bring After Life into its own plane of appeal.
Rated 03 May 2011
60
35th
Its not perfect. Its too long and, despite the fact that its realistic minimalism is inspired, Koreeda misses the opportunity to use natural sound and light fully, which would have not only make the film more real but has an importance to the subject as memories are more than just the images. The ideas are still thoughtful though, and for a film to avoid sentimentality completely is an achievement. The depiction of the afterlife as an office block also is wonderfully unconventional.
Rated 12 Jan 2014
65
36th
The concept is brilliant, and the non-sentimental documentary-like style is great... but the actual content is pretty dull. Like with every other Koreeda film I've seen so far, it just fails to hold my interest.
Rated 14 Jul 2009
60
24th
I tried very hard to like this. Most of the characters are well-defined, and it's quite touching in many cases. However, the story really dragged on and I don't like the concept of having only one memory to take into eternity - life is made up of many memories, good and bad, and I honestly think it's absurd that the people in this movie are expected to sum up their lives in one moment.
Rated 15 Apr 2010
89
97th
Wandâfuru raifu is the memory i have selected.
Rated 18 Dec 2016
90
90th
This was lovely. Gentle, caring, wholly unsentimental. I really loved the almost documentary feel the interviews had in the first act of the film (and was pleased to find out that rather than being all scripted some of them were actual non-actors reminiscing about their own lives - clearly Koreeda really succeeded in getting the feel that he was going for here!).
Rated 30 Jun 2020
50
38th
First of all, it was a boring film and hard to watch. Second, which supports my first argument, I felt like there was some plot holes in it, I didn't get the motivations of characters in many instances. Third, which supports both of my arguments, while the idea about this limbo situation before going to eternity is great, the world (the atmosphere, the place, the characters) Kore-eda created lacks the vision I was excepting and the story seemed to be too obviously sentimental and nostalgic.
Rated 02 May 2011
80
86th
Very touching, and a very clever concept to boot. The execution of the concept is even better, and the characters are all fleshed out wonderfully.
Rated 21 Oct 2020
70
30th
heartwarmingly existential, but it overstays its welcome
Rated 06 May 2019
75
69th
A lot to digest and think about here, but my personal preference leans toward his more intimate and personal works rather than the more distant documentary style here.
Rated 05 Nov 2018
79
65th
it's not bad but the pace is slow and it is without a particularly strong narrative, I have to admit it took more than one sitting to get through
Rated 26 Oct 2018
4
72nd
The structure is amazing - the way the stories flow especially. Last act a great gut punch
Rated 28 Jan 2021
55
30th
I would like this if it were 15 minutes long. After you get the idea it's so pointless to watch the staging and filming of memories.
Rated 14 May 2021
90
60th
Such a comfy movie
Rated 15 Jun 2021
81
78th
The film has a great, if slightly ridiculous, concept that it uses to present a collection of authentic-feeling and genuinely moving anecdotes and short stories. The documentary-style format really brings it all together.
Rated 12 Aug 2021
65
39th
3daystopick+remakelikemoviesetlol+oldladylilgirldancememorywassadandcutelol+staffguyfindsoutfiancepickedmemoryofhimbeforewarkilledhimsohechoosesamemory
Rated 03 Dec 2014
85
92nd
(2nd viewing)
Rated 29 Aug 2022
92
95th
I was transfixed by the down-to-earth, non-ethereal style for a movie with this concept, and the beauty that shone through anyway. The things this film has to say on memory, nostalgia, and the power of cinema are so beautiful, empathetic, and profound. This is the kind of movie all filmmakers should aspire towards.
Rated 15 Jan 2023
83
80th
A lot of times these especially talky movies don't work for me, but I found this one fascinating and conceptually intriguing and thought-provoking. The idea of some after-life bureaucracy is not a new one, having been used before (ie A Matter of Life and Death) and since (TV's The Good Place), but what makes this stand out from those is how grounded it is. The bureaucrats don't have any fun supernatural powers or anything--they're essentially counselors and filmmakers with the same limitations.
Rated 23 Apr 2013
80
78th
It's a risky concept but Koreeda capably pulls it off and then some, evoking poignant moments that are virtually free of sappiness.
Rated 28 Jun 2009
74
85th
Good Movie
Rated 18 Mar 2018
92
93rd
A very personal and touching portrayal of life
Rated 27 May 2010
90
88th
A fascinating and thought-provoking study of the subjective nature of memories and filmmaking. While the sequences with the talking heads goes on slightly long, they are ultimately necessary and provide the heart of the film. I love how low key the aesthetics are, despite such metaphysical subject matter.
Rated 15 Aug 2011
80
58th
While the overall premise sounds a bit cheesy, Koreeda handles it with appropriate care, focusing on the memories with static close ups in non-descript rooms. This helpfully drains away much of what might be played for sentiment, instead allowing the viewer to engage the memories of these characters simply and in a straightforward fashion. The basic idea of thinking about your happiest memory is a provocative one though, prompting plenty of personal reflection as others go through the process.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
98
93rd
Though it drags a little (hence the less than perfect score,) this is honestly one of the most moving films I've ever seen. The concept is intriguing and the execution works.
Rated 23 Apr 2009
4
71st
"This is a delightful addition to anyone's filmic memory."
Rated 10 Oct 2015
92
97th
One of the most brilliant, creative and original films I've seen in a long time. You never know what to expect next.
Rated 19 Jan 2011
75
64th
Nice little gem of a movie.
Rated 13 Feb 2009
100
97th
I wish I could rate it above a hundred.
Rated 19 Feb 2011
84
93rd
A wonderful, warm, thought-provoking film, shot in a documentary style with very naturalistic performances. What cinema is all about.
Rated 21 Dec 2015
1
13th
Very dull. Very long.
Rated 08 Oct 2021
86
91st
This shit was beautiful
Rated 05 Dec 2012
75
83rd
Inventive and philosophically interesting premise that's slightly let down by a mediocre conclusion.
Rated 26 Apr 2011
86
84th
Fantastic first half, full of little anecdotes and a light but poignant tone. The second half is pretty good too, though a little more uneven, with great moments of humanity counterbalanced by the relatively uninteresting machinery of the plot. Overall it opened up some interesting avenues of thought and that's an achievement in itself.

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