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Henry Poole Is Here
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Henry Poole Is Here More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Henry Poole Wasn't Here Nor There.

Author: samuelding85 from Singapore
17 April 2009

One can easily tell from the poster that Henry Poole is Here is not your typical watch it and forget when you step out of the theater movie. Luke Wilson is the main reason the film draws the attention. If not, one could easily give this independent production a miss.

Directed by Mark Pellington of The Mothman Prophecies, Henry Poole is Here keeps the story much more simpler, yet at the same time, discuss the complex inner conflicts between a man who believes he is dying soon, and how the faith of the Catholics around him makes him believed that there are miracles.

Henry Poole (Wilson) bought a house in Los Angeles to spend his last days in solitary, as he was told by the doctor he is dying of some rare disease (which keeps the audience guessing, as it was not mentioned in the film.) Believed that he is dying soon, he drowned himself in alcohol and junk food, which draws the curiosity of Patience (Rachel Seiferth), a cashier in their neighborhood hypermarket. When a stain on the wall appears in Henry's house, it draws the attention of his Catholic enthusiasm neighbor, Espenraza (Academy Award nominee Adriana Barazza of Babel). Espenraza strongly believes that the stain is a sign of Jesus and it brings miracle to the people around them, including Poole. Poole thinks otherwise, strongly believes that it is just a water stain.

Millie, the autistic daughter of Poole's neighbor, Dawn (Radha Mitchell), enters the life of Poole by taping down Poole's conversation with the people around him using a tape recorder. When Dawn strongly believes that it was the wall that makes Millie start to talk again, it changes the view and perception of life for Poole.

One do not need to think too hard to understand Henry Poole is Here. Dialogue are pretty straight and direct, where you can easily tell it is a conflict between a man who do not believed in the existence of miracle, and a group of people around him who believes that miracle on the other people brings hope to the people around them. At the duration of 99 minutes, this is easy to digest for everyone.

What has happened to Henry Poole and the people around him is a mirror reflection of our daily lives. It was well portrayed on the conflicts between an atheist and one who strongly believes in God. What was lacking in the movie was what makes Henry Poole do not believed in the water stains is more than something else. No explanation was given, which we could only see some old family photographs appears in Henry's house.

Being the leading character, Luke Wilson wasn't give much chance to explore on the depressed, inner bound personality to the movie. More rather, supporting characters played by Mitchell and Barazza was given more room to explore their world and their faith. The attention of the leading character has shifted to the supporting cast. So it doesn't makes sense to title the movie Henry Poole Is Here.

Despite it's flaw, it is still worth giving a try, especially if you are tired of the popcorn trash playing in the cinemas.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

No miracles in this one, just time well spent

Author: Tensman from USA
17 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very good film. It's not a religious film but rather more appropriately labeled a story about having faith in yourself and other people. The cast is excellent and the production has a handmade feel. Just when the story appears to be headed for typical movie themes such as illness or divorce, it surprises by finding the creative razor's edge between those lines. It's not a spoiler to say that "Henry Poole..." serves to remind you that everyone has suffered some kind of loss and seeks renewal in ourselves and each other.

There should always be room for films that seek to entertain without vulgar stupidity. In a summer filled with awful, profane vanity projects by well-known comedians, "Henry Poole is Here" is a thoughtful, often funny, always genuine alternative for anyone who is tired of this summer's overflow supply of stoner jokes or groin references.

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17 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Comedy-No. Religious propaganda-Yes

Author: vlad_kelowna from Canada
14 November 2008

Comedy-No. Religious propaganda-Yes. Absolute waste of time. I don't know why it was marked as comedy. There was none of that. Only a lot of justification of religious fanatics seeing JC in burned toasts and other random things. Acting is OK though. Sorry, this one I stole from one of the reviewers, but it says exactly what I felt: "The whole thing descends into nauseating, saccharine, formulaic cinema. Towards the end I was beginning to laugh out loud in the cinema at the predictable happy every after ending, it seemed almost like some kind of spoof or wind up it was so corny". I wish I had reviewed the other peoples comments before I wasted 2 hours of my time.

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6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

I loved this movie and I am an atheist

Author: susanmovies from United States
16 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved this movie because it was about hope and belief. I didn't see it as an affirmation of God, but more as an affirmation of wanting to believe in something, and speaking as an atheist/agnostic--we all want to believe in something, even if the something is science or existentialism--it doesn't have to be religion. In addition, the plot had other thoughtful themes--such as going backwards in the past to find happiness and finding stability in an unstable world.

This movie was old fashioned in many ways--the camera didn't jump around every three seconds. It's not a fast paced plot, it has no special effects, rather it's simply a story of relationships. Even the romance was old fashioned, and none the less sexy for lack of nudity or explicit scenes. Score one for using our imagination! Admittedly a few too many facial closeups--but thoroughly well acted and likable characters. And enough humorous moments too.

I think this should be a summer sleeper, but at the NYC theater I saw it during "prime time" it was basically an empty theater. So sorry the general public needs violence, trash talk, special effects or just plain stupidity to be entertained; seems a provocative plot and the subtleties of relationships aren't enough for the movie-going public.

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4 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

great movie

Author: alygtr-1 from United States
17 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

henry poole is the feel good movie of the summer. and i tell everyone i know to go and see it. its a modern day Jesus of nazerth base on what it means to have faith in something you cant see. the acting was top notch the story just flowed for one scene to the next. a little predictable but in the way that we love to see in movies. we all lose faith in our lives when face with adversity and we all need those people who push us not to give up and enjoy life. its good to see that the movie industry hasn't forgotten to tell stories like this in a time where there's chaos and war in this world. i really found myself relating to the main character in this movie and also for the rest of the cast. but don't take my word for it go and see it yourself.

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27 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

You must have a lot of faith to like this one

Author: aharmas from United States
9 August 2008

After a promising beginning, with the right tones, some subtle camera moves, and a quiet modulated performance by Wilson, the film starts picking up speed, volume, and a few other bad moves that derail the entire promising premise, one that could taken the film into amazing heights, would have most likely stirred some controversy, and could have gone a long way. Instead, this is a deadly long pseudo rock 'n' roll video that wants to be a movie.

Miracles in modern day are rare, mixing this with a touch of sarcasm, a dash of silliness, and some comic actors in the right place, and we could aim very high. It all appears to be there, but they have all been wasted, overcome by an extreme dose of ludicrous drama, a child that doesn't enhance but detract from the main idea, and some very annoying musical interludes.

In the end, the only word that comes to mind is waste of resources, again, and a shameful neglect of what matters the must: a well written script. Well, there is no miracle here.

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5 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Masterfully Crafted Movie On Every Level

Author: Paul (zefman2) from Midwest USA
15 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is simply a masterfully crafted movie on every level featuring remarkable acting, writing and directing. The film delivers true drama and true emotion. Some may label the pace of the film as slow but it's exactly how the story needed to unfold. It's amazing how a plot revolving around this concept can be presented in a way that's not heavy handed or even overly religious. Just like in life itself, the interpretations and ramifications of faith is wonderfully complex. The cynic may see coincidental happenstance but the believer will see so much more. I enjoyed how the events of this movie took on the same tone. What did we see and why? As the old saying goes…"For those who believe no explanation is necessary, for those who do not, none will suffice."


For those who believe, they'll get caught up in this tremendous, well acted story. A story about hope and what role faith and miracles of all degree play in life's journey. (A tip of the cap to the director... the scene where the image is being viewed by many and then is in jeopardy had my audience gasping and cringing just like the onlookers on screen.)

For those who do NOT believe, they'll get cheated by their own limitations and see nothing more then a guy that got shortchanged $30,000 for a run-down house. I truly feel sorry for those that fall in to this crowd.

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2 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Faith is all we have because otherwise we are all dead

Author: cute-bathing-suits_com from United States
26 September 2008

Oscar for best film, best actors, best script, best director, best soundtrack, and Oscar for faith for love for hope and for charity. a real movie for true real believers, Hollywood type fakes or socialist Europeans who lost their souls and their roots wont get it and will vote one. people with heart will get it, i hope those people are my neighbors one day in the future. can we move all the faithless to Illinois? i heard they are doing well there. go Alaska and go Arizona. god is great. socialism, lies about taxes and experience is not. Why when a film makes one feel like a human being, and gives one faith in miracles it doesn't get the press it deserves? what is wrong with the liberal press? isn't it a miracle that a sack of water with some molecules thrown in is typing to you right now??? even Einstein saw the divinity in design. by the way where does the big bang come from? my definition of god is where it comes from. I think the people who voted 1 probably look like the monkeys that they claim they came from-in their case i think its true!

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7 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

a well made movie with great acting

Author: mike-5319 from United States
25 August 2008

It was very refreshing to see a film that actually did not rely on car crashes, murder, and blood to sell. The movie had fantastic acting and great direction. Of course many will take the content and trash the movie because they hate anything having to do with religion. I would hate to think how bad most movies would be without the car crashes and rape and murder etc.

Go enjoy some believable actors cause that doesn't happen in Hollywood a lot. The story is fun and hope and dreams are what the movies can be. If you have a heart and want to be touched go see it. If you want to watch some terrible acting but see some great special effects go see dark knight.

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2 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

it is not the lack of evidence it is the lack of knowledge

Author: abdullah kesgin from istanbul
5 October 2008

Films being a communication gadget are often being used as carrying ideas, hopes etc. Some (like in this family film) are just cut for its own audience. This does not make religion UNPROVABLE. İt mostly depends on how we define EVİDENCE.

We cant see someones mind but we know it by its effects. We cant hear someones generosity but we know it by its results.

And we should not depend on films bear the pure concept of science of religion.

Do we seek evidence and reality? They are uncountable.

Detectives believe and find the characteristics of someone, although they haven't seen him/her. Sometimes by just one look at the scene.

İn a show, we see a man disappearing a person, we cant explain but we know there is a mirror or light work hidden, because he cant do it by his own powers.

We see some money crawling on the floor, we know someone behind the corner pulling it with an unseen rope, because it cant crawl by its own.


The water in our body makes and does wise stuff like transporting chemicals, compassionate stuff like carrying food to cells, mighty stuff like being the most important substance to life and reproduction.

İt has to cooperate and deal with all other body organs and scientific rules do make these happen. But water is NOT wise, compassionate or mighty, it İS a dead material without any knowledge. İt doesn't know itself as water, we give it its name. So there must be someone hidden, who is compassionate, mighty and wise, to rule water.

To rule one substance, all others should be defined and ruled.

Because the water in a far planet in far space, will act just the same as the water in our glass.

Once in a time people believed there is the father Odin, the mother Frigg and their heroic son Thor. Today there is the father Physics, the mother Chemistry and their cute son Biology.

Now where were we, huh, this is a family movie to watch for fun without any further expectations.

With all my respects to all IMDb fans :)

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