The Sweet Hereafter (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sweet Hereafter1997

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)



Critic Consensus: Director Atom Egoyan examines tragedy and its aftermath with intelligence and empathy.

The Sweet Hereafter Photos

Movie Info

Mystical, elliptical and confoundingly beautiful film about a town that loses its children and maybe its soul.

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Ian Holm
as Mitchell Stephens
Sarah Polley
as Nicole Burnell
Bruce Greenwood
as Billy Ansell
Tom McCamus
as Sam Burnell
Arisnee Khanjian
as Wanda Otto
Alberta Watson
as Risa Walker
Gabrielle Rose
as Dolores Driscoll
Maury Chaykin
as Wendell Walker
Brooke Johnson
as Mary Burnell
Earl Pastko
as Hartley Otto
David Hemblen
as Abbott Driscoll
Caerthan Banks
as Zoe Stephens
Kirsten Kieferle
as Stewardess
James D. Watts
as Young Mitchell
Russell Banks
as Dr. Robeson
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Critic Reviews for The Sweet Hereafter

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (21)

There's a mesmerizing clarity to The Sweet Hereafter': you're moved by it, but you never feel the filmmaker is milking your emotions.

March 5, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

That's the true power of Egoyan's film - how in shuffling the chronological deck, we see what once was in this town, both in its light and its darkness, and how none of it will ever be the same, no matter what Mitchell Stevens says.

December 14, 2017 | Full Review…

A delicate and touching story.

November 6, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

...Egoyan looks at the essence of guilt and the complexity of human relationships in all their rich variety.

April 17, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Though this is Egoyan's first adaptation, The Sweet Hereafter could serve as a model for how to do it right.

February 14, 2001 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan's most ambitious work to date, The Sweet Hereafter is a rich, complex meditation on the impact of a terrible tragedy on a small town.

February 14, 2001 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sweet Hereafter


A smart moral and sociological exploration, much more subtle than I've come to expect from Atom Egoyan, but I suppose I wanted's pretty bland visually. It doesn't read low-budget by any means, but it sure as hell looks like it.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

Quiet and solemn this work by Atom Egoyan is so beautiful and moving that I found myself gasping as the roots of a small town are ripped asunder by an unfortunate accident. Must see.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Sweet Hereafter is exquisite. Innocent, mysterious, prescient, nervy, calm - I love the whole concept of examining a town in the aftershocks of a tragedy; it's like exposing the bone and sinew of a body and running your fingers through the skeleton that remains.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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