Heart and Souls (1993) Poster

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This movie will probably always be in my top 5!
malibu-76 February 2003
This movie has it all. I loved it the first time I saw it and still do every time I see it. The casting was perfect and the actors all have a wonderful chemistry together. I will never get tired of watching certain scenes, like the (last) stamp scene with Milo, when Penny realizes who the cop is and when Thomas hugs the cop (hilarious!!), when Thomas sings finally, when Milo has to say goodbye, there are just so many great scenes in this movie. And Robert Downey, Jr. just does a tremendous job - he is so talented. When the four spirits enter his body (at different times), it's amazing how well he portrays each one with such accuracy (especially as Penny), like he's really that person. The humor never misses a beat. This movie will probably always be in my top 5!!
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8/10
Nice Combination!
ccthemovieman-11 October 2006
This was another winner in a fantastic year for movies: 1993. In fact, there were so many good movies in this year that films like this were buried.

If you can just ignore the typically off-the-wall Hollywood version of death and heaven and just enjoy the wonderfully-sentimental and humorous fantasy- romance-drama story, you'll be very entertained.

The story is nicely told, entertaining start-to-finish in its 103 minutes. It really takes off after Robert Downey Jr. has become an adult and the "spirits" return to him.

As much humor as in here, in addition to fantasy and drama, the final 15-20 minutes are tear-jerking.
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10/10
Enchanting tale of man "possessed" by friendly spirits
mdm-1110 October 2004
Robert Downey Jr. is wonderful as the man who became the medium for 4 people who died in a bus accident at the same moment the hero was born. As a child these "friends" were known only to him, eventually leading to psychiatric evaluations because parents, teachers et al insisted something had to be wrong with this child. While still a small child, the "spirits" decide it's time for him to be "without his special fiends"...until at about age 30 they suddenly make contact again. They need a favor; 4 favors. Each one of the foursome died before they could take care of some important unfinished business. In order to go to Heaven and rest in peace, their "little friend" would need to allow each of them to enter his body (since they are only souls) to accomplish their missions.

The 4 scenarios are beautiful expressions of love and kindness, and although disrupting the young man's (love) life immensely, in the end he too is richer from the turbulence's. -- This is a wonderful fantasy, a big winner with romantic movie lovers. I have watched this film several times and will enjoy it again and again. The widescreen DVD version is particularly enjoyable. This is a sparkling gem of a movie!
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My all-time favorite
nancy-4627 February 2002
Heart and Souls would have to be the most heart-warming, funny, tear-jerking, feel-good movie of all time. I can't understand why no-one I know has heard of it till I rave about it and insist they watch it. After several viewings I feel that Julia, Harrison, Penny and Milo are people I know and care about, and as for Robert Downey Jr, every time I watch it I pray that he straightens out his own life, such a waste of talent to be in and out of jail. Heart and Souls ranks up there, for me, with Baghdad Cafe, Five Easy Pieces and Wings of Desire.
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7/10
STIRRING!!!
nifabs5 October 2003
Robert Downey Jnr & the supporting talent have made this sheer magic and a thrill to relive whenever it's shown.

The plots soars and soars and finally settles firmly in rediscovery. The four lost souls drift about not knowing their purpose though firmly tied to RDJ but they are without cause when they finally discover their unfulfilled purpose, they manage to use their their one earthly link to try and accomplish all they had unfinished on earth.

Robert Downey Jnr sails ahead of the story and cast and it takes the wit, earthiness, sass and charm of Sizemore,Grodin,Woodward and Sedgwick respectively to keep up with him which they do without dominating or underplaying their roles.

The underlying themes of repentance for Sizemore, personal victory for Grodin, rediscovery & bonding for Woodward and self forgiveness and sacrifice for Sedgwick are beautifully visited so much so that you're unaware of the depth till the the credits start rolling.

The final scene was a fitting climax for this simple but deeply stirring movie.

Never leave till tomorrow what you may able to do today,always live your dreams and follow your destiny but do so with your feet terra firma!!!

Hearts And Souls scores soundly : 9/10
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Very moving...
little_miss_minx8419 March 2002
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I laughed at its funny bits and cried in the sad bits. Robert Downey Jnr was excellent as the leading character and the bus passengers provided some light relief. Everyone should have friends like these! Marvellous!
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9/10
One of the Most Adorable Films of the 90's
Claudio Carvalho19 January 2012
In 1959, in San Francisco, the telephone operator Penny Washington (Alfre Woodard) leaves her three children to work in her night shift. The shy singer Harrison Winslow (Charles Grodin) is afraid of the stage and quits his audition. The waitress Julia (Kyra Sedgwick) is proposed by her boyfriend and she does not accept; then she regrets and leaves her job to seek him out. The smalltime thief Milo Peck (Tom Sizemore) tries to retrieve a valuable collection of stamps that he had stolen from a boy. They embark in a bus and the driver Hal (David Paymer) distracts while driving and has a serious accident, and driver and passengers die. Meanwhile, Frank Reilly (Bill Calvert) is driving his pregnant wife Eva Reilly (Lisa Lucas) to the hospital. Frank successfully escapes from the bus but Eva is nervous and delivers her baby in the car. The souls of the four passengers become the guardian angels and the invisible friends of the boy Thomas Reilly. Seven years later, Penny, Julia, Harrison and Milo conclude that they are harming the boy and they decide to become invisible also to him.

Thirty and something years later, Hal returns with his bus to take them four and the quartet learns that they had all those years to resolve the issues of their lives. They ask Hal to stall and give some more time for them to resolve their unfinished lives and they decide to come back to Thomas (Robert Downey Jr.), who is now a tough businessman and indecisive in his relationship with girlfriend Anne (Elisabeth Shue), and ask him to help them to resolve their issues and become free souls. In the end, Thomas also becomes a better man.

"Heart and Souls" is one of the most adorable films of the 90's. The writer uses the central idea of the successful "Ghost" (1990) to make a witty and delightful comedy, with state-of-art special effects in 1993.

Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Sizemore, Alfre Woodard, Charles Grodin and Robert Downey Jr. show an amazing chemistry and they really seem to have fun while shooting this film. Kyra Sedgwick shows a beautiful smile and Robert Downey Jr. is hilarious. The cameo of B.B. King is a plus that gives the status of cult to this film. The message in the end is very nice and I do not recall how many times I have seen "Heart and Souls" on VHS in the 90's. Yesterday I saw it on DVD for the first time and I only regret that there are no extras, only the film. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Morrendo e Aprendendo" ("Dying and Learning")
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9/10
One of my all-time favorites!
reinders114 April 2006
Just call me a sentimental sap, but This one is one of my favorite movies. Robert Downey Jr., Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin, Elisabeth Shue, Tome Sizemore, Dave Paymer where all excellent! What a Great combination! I saw this movie before my youngest son was born and it made such a lasting impression on me that it caused me to make bedtime rituals with him (Prayer, and what he calls his Lu-Lu's (a song We made up)). I've seen this movie maybe a half dozen times and stop and wait any time I see that it's on TV. THis movie made me a Robert Downey Jr. fan, and it made me a little more sympathetic to his personal issues. I'm happy to see that he may have finally turned the corner on his recovery.
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8/10
Sweet, Goodhearted, and a Pleasant Surprise.
MovieAddict20162 April 2003
"Hearts and Souls" is a pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy that I really didn't expect when I first watched the film years ago.

Robert Downey, Jr. plays a young man whose life is going very well: he's engaged to Elisabeth Shue, he's got a lot of money working as a lawyer or such...until some old friends of his drop in--imaginary friends, that is. Sort of. Dead imaginary friends that only he can see.

Many years ago, some people boarded a bus, including Charles Grodin and Tom Sizemore. The bus flipped over a bridge and everyone died, going to heaven. But then they came back down involuntarily to Downey as a child and stayed with him for a few years. Every time they tried to leave him, they were pulled back to him. Until he was about eight, then they somehow managed to leave because they were influencing his schoolwork and life (I don't remember how they got out of it). Now they're back to haunt him again, because they need him to help get to heaven.

I haven't seen this movie in a few years, so I'm a bit rusty on the plot summary, but I remember that I found it enjoyable and sweet. There aren't any big complexities here, just some good old fashioned fun.

Robert Downey, Jr. is convincing in his role, as is the rest of the cast. I've liked Charles Grodin and Tom Sizemore for quite some time, and they got to show off their talent here. Too bad Grodin left the showbiz scene, because I really did enjoy him in films. He wasn't over the top of crazy: he seemed very normal, and played very normal characters ("Beethoven," "Midnight Run").

I think that this is the perfect example of romantic comedies that have both wit and respect for the audience. In a time of cheap teen flicks and so-called romantic comedies, the rare FUNNY romantic comedy that comes along is usually very good ("When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," "While You Were Sleeping," "As Good as it Gets," etc.). While "Heart and Souls" isn't a great romantic comedy, it's above average, and definitely recommendable.

3.5/5 Stars
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9/10
Beautiful!
YFL20 April 1999
I never even knew this movie existed until they showed it on TV here ... and I'm so glad they did! If they hadn't, I'd have missed out on something great. The story was wonderful, not just a comedy, but a meaningful comedy ... with laughter, tears, ... it says a lot about life. This is one movie which deserves more recognition.
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10/10
One you can watch with your children and not be embarrassed.
JeanA1022 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Heart and Souls is a great movie. It is one you can watch with your children and not be embarrassed. It is also a great romantic comedy that can be watched with the love of your life. I don't understand why this didn't get a lot of attention when it came out. I just picked it up by chance for Valentines Day and am really glad I did. The acting was good and the story line well developed. The beginning is difficult to follow however. It starts with a short vignette on each of the key players but it doesn't make that clear. It is only later that you realize what the beginning was about. Well worth watching once, twice, even three times.
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Walk Like a Topper
tedg17 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
My original comment on this was deleted. As with the characters in the movie, this gives me a second chance.

I admit that I am an admirer of Downey. He is one of our few actors that can do what I call folded acting: a self-awareness that communicates itself. This is just a kind of language of mental mathematics — one that I believe makes people more susceptible to addictive behavior. This film was done right after the rather amazing "Chaplin," but before it was released. I think it is pretty effective writing and I will recommend it on that score.

But there are two scenes that really worked for me. One is the setup, the other the payoff.

The setup is the six year old Downey sings in the bathroom with his four ghost friends. It is 1965 and we are singing "walk like a man," already an iconic song. The walls reverberate like schoolboy toilet walls do — or used to when they were 100% tile and urinals were lined up. It has energy. The boy actor is terrific. The joke at the time is a nun looks in and sees and hears only the boy. Mildly funny. Mildly endearing.

Now move forward to later when the adult Downey re-encounters the ghosts. He has just done something companionable and likes hanging out. They are crossing Post street in San Francisco — a regular street. They break out into this song. The whole thing lasts only a minute or so before being interrupted by an iconic bus to heaven. But watch the ensemble do their strutting to the song, just as if they were still stuck in 1963, when the song appeared... except for Downey. Look at what he does here, hands in pockets singing the lead. When I saw this in 1993, I knew this man would be important. This 20 or 30 seconds.

It is because the context is all about inhabiting bodies and carrying selves. He does the "oh gosh, now I'm someone else," bit with awareness of both beings. In this scene, he is three persons: the child, the adult, the actor. He spoke about this at the time. Here you can see virtually everything he brought to "Tropic Thunder."

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Oh - man....
oh_hunuh22 August 1999
My favorite part is definitely the meeting where the spirits take over the body for the first time. Robert is awesome and I am very glad to see a film that makes you feel good. Definitely a keeper. This movie is a classic that I will enjoy for years to come and hopefully I can enjoy it with my kids one day!
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8/10
Best and great movie
smacky19 April 1999
This movie has humor, sadness and a very meaningful advice in its story line and does not have a bad special effect too..... one of the best movies i have ever seen.
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9/10
Positive and upbeat. Clean and refreshing.
Michael-1548 March 1999
This is a great family flick. In an era of filth, this is a welcome relief. I could watch this with my 12-year old daughter and not feel embarrassed. I could recommend this to my pastor or my 80+ year old mother without fear. Great ensemble cast -- actors who could sustain a movie on their own. Fun to watch; Tugs aat your heart strings.
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7/10
Gimmick movie made worthwhile by excellent acting ensemble
moonspinner5527 May 2006
Four spirits don't know why they're inexplicably tied to a baby boy, born on the night they perished in a bus accident in 1959 San Francisco; jump ahead 30 years, and the ghosts learn the now-grown man may be able to help them redeem their collective pasts with a mix of mortal and supernatural help. Highly commercial fanciful-comedy is slick but not particularly hilarious or moving, mostly just busy--very busy--with little sub-plots swirling around and everybody chattering at once. Yet the casting here is fabulous, and each player gets a chance to shine: baritone Charles Grodin (seldom without his hat) missed his chance to give a public performance; mom Alfre Woodard lost touch with her children; waitress Kyra Sedgwick left her beau hanging; and Tom Sizemore, in the film's best plot, is a thief anxious to return some valuable stamps. In the center of the happy chaos is Robert Downey, Jr., not the most subtle actor around but certainly nimble enough to tackle this physical role (he reminds one of Steve Martin in "All of Me", but this is a better picture). Good-looking, cheerful, satisfying movie doesn't have the time nor the room to flesh out a romantic sidebar with Elisabeth Shue, but that's OK because the spirits are the stars this time around. *** from ****
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No one can forget this movie.
movibuf196215 October 2003
Caution: While this story casts cynicism aside, it takes a bit of patience to follow. Downey is the only cynic in the film (at least in the beginning), but after his special encounters with four 'heavenly' strangers, his life is changed, perhaps for the better. That's the beauty of this movie. It is handled with deft physical comedy (Downey's table-tumbling at a stuffy board meeting as the result of souls invading his body is on a par with Chaplin and Keaton), but it is also one of the most loving stories with truly loving characters (even Sizemore) I've ever seen. The four vignettes with Sizemore (making a former bad deed right), Grodin (overcoming stage fright), Woodard (finding her children), and Sedgewick (tracking down the one that got away) are quite nice, even bewitching. Bewitching is the only way I can describe a moment like Woodard's recognition of a lost son or Sedgewick being granted a moment of mortal embrace- even if just for a second or two. This film will make you shed a few tears, if not downright bawl, but you'll be smiling- and that's no matter how many times you watch. So watch. Smile. Show your teeth.
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9/10
Steals Your Heart; Pierces Your Soul
Jerique23 January 2010
We open up the film with an introduction to Thomas Riley's soon-to-be-parents preparing for going into labour. We are then introduced to Harrison (Charles Grodin; Beethoven), a singer who has the heart and wisdom, but gets stage fright because he can't handle crowds.

We then meet Penny (Alfre Woodard; The Forgotten), a mom, struggling to find time to spend valued time with her kids between working. Following Penny is Julie (Kyra Sedgwick; "The Closer") who is working as a waitress but desperately loves her boyfriend, but passes on the chance to run away with him.

Harrison gets stage fright in his audition, Penny goes off for work, and Julie goes after her boyfriend to tell him that she is on board. They all get on the same bus, as we are introduced to Milo. Milo (Tom Sizemore: Saving Private Ryan), has stolen a kids stamps and got $50 for them, but at the thought of being a bad guy, Milo tries to steal them back. Milo fails and resorts to taking the bus along with Julie, Penny, and Harrison.

The driver of the bus gets distracted and runs off the road and kills himself and all 4 passengers. When they rise above as souls, they are dragged to the new born baby, Thomas Riley. For 7 years, they hang with Thomas, but have no idea why. When his parents and social workers believe Thomas has mental problems, they go invisible on the kid.

30 years pass and Thomas (Robert Downey Jr.; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is a grown man. Finally, the bus driver comes down to get them. When he arrives, the 4 souls aren't too happy to see him. He tells them what they were supposed to do. Using Thomas to complete their unfinished lives, one-by-one they all leave.

The cast itself is A-list. And the story is simply an amazing fairy tale style. With the amount of comedy and emotion that was in this movie, if you don't laugh or cry, you may need to check yourself for a soul.

There is a large "Walk Like A Man" and "Star Spangled Banner" musical number. It's a great family film. And even if you're not a kid, you'll love it as an adult and even the teens will too.

Plus it has some really great acting and special effects. Nothing wrong about this one folks.
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10/10
This movie has a magical quality I can't put my finger on.
abstudent2641619 January 2004
I especially liked the roles of Penny Washington (Alfre Woodard) and Thomas at age 7 (Eric Lloyd). It was such a warm movie with so many endearing qualities that I was drawn to it and hooked once I saw it, so much that I watched it four times in two days. It's a "feel good" movie with no lag in action; all the actors portrayed their characters well.
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A Classic!
Donna_142 July 1999
This is an awesome movie! I can watch it over and over and I won't get tired of it. It also has a great cast. Robert Downey Jr. did a fantastic job portraying Thomas and the rest of the characters. It's very touching and I strongly recommend it.
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One of the better comedies ever produced.
Marvin-2614 February 1999
The movie, reminiscent of "Ghost" or "Heaven Can Wait," (but a little different) has a plot that has been done before...but no way as well.

The interaction, alone, between the five main characters is worth seeing. The acting is superb. The comedy ranges from subtle to almost slapstick, and the production addresses your funny bone, your mind, and your heart.

This movie is a classic sleeper. Your whole family should see it!
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Great movie!
manipool-213 February 2000
I am a Robert Downey Jr. fan and this is one of my favorites. Made me cry. I loved it. Mr. Downey and the others are fabulous. What can I say? I'm watching it right now, back to the movie!
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8/10
Forever in my heart
au_law200116 January 2005
Oh, Robert Downey Jr. is funny again in this one, and he plays a man who can see the ghosts, who have not yet fulfilled things they wanted to do in their lives, thanks to that sleazy bus driver. It begins as young Thomas Reily, he can see and talk to these beings, and he seems to learn a lot from them until a psychologist and others including his parents have become concerned, that he something is wrong, the ghosts have to leave now, leaving poor little Tom sad. Now he is an adult, and has forgotten about them, but wait, they appear again, and Tom somehow manages to see them again, and that's not it, the bus driver has returned saying, he's come to take them to Heaven, after all those years, idiot, says he was supposed to get them, but went seeing some relatives, and the ghosts are sore at him, so they made a deal, he'll get them once they complete what they've wanted do. And Tom should help them since he can only see them, at the same time trying get things right with his girlfriend. Overall this is a very touching and heart warming movie, and a very good comedy everyone can enjoy, not a lot of violence or swearing, so anyone can enjoy it. And the ending theme is also great and touching.
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How Could Anyone not like this film?
patdwyer417 May 2004
I am most gratified to find so many folk in agreement with me about Heart and Souls. This is one of my top 5 guilty pleasure films of all time. Guilty pleasure?? Well, because I know that it grates a lot of cheese on my brain, but I STILL LOVE IT! I just recently bought the DVD and watched it again for the first time in a while. Downy is marvelous as the uptight yuppie fascist lawyer and makes the perfect "Topper-Like" foil to Sizemore, Grodin, Sedgwick and the great Alfre Woodard. My partner and I cry in all the right places and laugh at the jokes and then feel the warmth when it is all over. Shue's timing and frustration ads just the right comedic balance as the girl next door who's out of the loop about her boyfriend's strange behavior.

For anyone who actually has a soul, I highly recommend this film for a feel good experience.
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