Flatliners (2017) Poster

(2017)

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2/10
What Ever Happened To Original Ideas?
G G Gwalles30 September 2017
It's just depressing for a movie lover like me to see a film like Joel Schumacher's 1990 Flatliners remade. Why? Can anyone come out with something we haven't seen before or at least from a fresh new POV. Somebody told me that my reaction is "generational" - I fear that's true. It makes me feel really old. I almost walked out of Mother!, the other day - something I've never done - because I felt treated like a moron. To steal from Robert Polanski to do what, what? Here is even worse. They're stealing from Joel Schumacher without having any of the...what was it that the 1990 had that this one hasn't? Well let's say that the first one wasn't a remake. Where are the mavericks? The new ones. The ones I love are in their 70's or gone. I do apologize I'm just venting my frustration. Thank you for indulging me.
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2/10
Why Was This Necessary?
KJ Proulx1 October 2017
When it comes to remaking a movie, I'm all for it if it means that they're going to try and make a better movie out of something that wasn't all that impressive to begin with. That being said, if the original film was already solid or decently received by both audiences and critics, then why bother? Flatliners was a film that was released back in 1990, and I quite enjoy that film, even though the overall product has many issues of its own. I didn't see the reason for a remake, but I could see potential in improving it, so I was open-minded. Sadly, Flatliners is one of the worst films I've seen all year. Taking a solid premise and putting a supernatural spin on it for absolutely no apparent reason, bothered me to no end. Here is why Flatliners fails as both a remake and as an original piece to be shown to a new audience.

The idea of doctors being capable of flatlining people and bringing them back to life, being able to have conversations about what death is like and going through hallucinations as a side effect is quite interesting; However, this version of the film becomes a supernatural thriller by the time it reaches its third act, making for a very confusing film, due to the fact that there is clearly no physical entity that could ever accomplish these things. This version of this concept just strips away anything that was exciting or intriguing about the original film. Not to compare and contrast, but idea of Flatliners definitely benefits from a more subdued and subtle approach to things.

What bothered me was the fact that the majority of the cast seemed capable of being subdued, but the film's screenplay was such a mess that I found myself thinking these actors/actresses deserved better material. In particular, Diego Luna and Ellen Page were actually very good in their respective roles, making for a few emotionally resonant moments, even though the lines they were given were pretty lame. Quite honestly, with a better script, a title change, and a bit of originality, this cast could've worked in a much better movie.

Even though the performances are all decent, the fact that this cast was a bunch of youngsters actually annoyed me. The original film was about a group of experienced doctors who had a neat idea, and were much more capable of being able to bring each other back to life. This time around, it's a group of students who have just enough knowledge in maybe being able to bring each other back. This notion alone was a scripting mistake, because it just becomes a story about naive young students who become obsessed with someone's experiment. I found no attachment to any of these characters and none of them really had a reason for wanting to die (with the exception of one or two without spoiling anything), which left me not caring from frame one.

In the end, this film benefits from a strong enough cast (for the most part) and the concept itself is very interesting, but all you have to do is watch the original to see how it should be done. This film tries too many new things, and quite frankly fails at pretty much all of them. Having terrible dialogue, an unnecessary supernatural turn of events, and a climax that turns into a straight up horror flick, I found myself not caring what the outcome for each of the characters would be. The only thing redeemable about this film is the premise itself, which has been done better in the past, so I can't recommend this movie to anyone, but I do recommend checking out the original Flatliners if you haven't seen it yet.
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3/10
In Scotland we call this "pish"
scotrep1 October 2017
Terrible. Acting was OK but bordered on comical. Not scary at all and second part was a bit loose.

Could have been darker with more urgency but flapped around quite a bit. The ending was boring as hell and didn't seem to convey anything.

Should've got to see Kingsman instead.
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5/10
Unnecessary Remake
Claudio Carvalho16 December 2017
In 1990, Joel Schumacher directed the unforgettable "Flatliners", a original horror film with Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts., William Baldwin and Oliver Platt. The remake directed by Danish director Niels Arden Oplev has nothing new in he story. The cast is weaker with the awful and unexpressive Kiersey Clemons in one of the lead roles and the screenplay is corny. The cameo of Kiefer Sutherland is probably the greatest joke in this forgettable and unnecessary remake. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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3/10
More like... STUPID-LINERS RIGHT?
MisterWhiplash30 September 2017
Look, a lot of remakes or reboots or whatever you want to call them (Rebooquel sounds like something that might come from outer space so the less said the better), they are the same because they are based on the foundations of either good or great films - sometimes they can be something else that is interesting, but with the rare exceptions they don't improve on the originals. Flatliners had the potential, however, to be something more since the 1990 Joel Schumacher film was not very good, though it certainly had its ambitions and young stars who were game for a Frankenstein-cum-Elm-Street premise. The saddest thing is the remake does nothing visually to distinguish itself, and more infuriatingly does diddly squat at the script level to find new ideas for its premise.

Think about it: you can get someone to use some medical equipment to stop your heart, wait for a minute or two (or more!) while you are dead, and then can resurrect you so one can see what you went through while in that almost-all-gone phase of deadness. Is there a "light" at the end of the tunnel, or anything else? That's the meat that the 1990 Flatliners hung itself on, and while the script was mostly (surprisingly) under-cooked, in Schumacher there were no lack of off the wall visual ideas and the production design was off-balance, but it was certainly never boring. The 2017 Flatliners from the Swedish "Dragon Tattoo" director Oprev (and written by, of all people, the guy who scripted Source Code) is not interesting visually or striking in any way. This has the visual panache of tax attorney.

There is also some major mistaking going on at the casting level; at the least when you had that movie back in the 90's, you had that cast who had charisma to burn and could play off each other well (Oliver Platt had something to prove, man!) Here, with the exception of Ellen Page, no one is really bringing anything to the table and what the filmmakers have them do through the run time is either run-of-the-mill in terms of the story, or they kill off the *one* character that could keep us engaged with the material. Oh, and Keifer Sutherland shows up as discount House, MD, and what COULD be a connection to the original film - is this a sequel, may-hap - never materializes, making it simply an easy paycheck.

Why was this made if not a chance to explore some narrative or visual possibilities in the genre? Why not make it scary and push the R rating (this is PG-13) for audiences who are ready for a dark, suspenseful psychological thriller where young medical students who should know better have to grapple with the bad s*** they've done? This Flatliners isn't interested in that, either, and each character (Page included, and I don't count Diego Luna as he's the one who doesn't go for the flatlilining, and all we know about him is he's an ex-fireman, so who cares) has one note and only one trauma they have to re-experience in their half-hallucination-half-real state. The flaws from the original are not corrected, and the laziness amplifies it all. Not to mention at 110 minutes this feels punishingly long, and when the aforementioned character is out of the picture there's another half hour to go that feels like FIVE hours.

This is bland, stale, overheated garbage that made me literally BOO in my seat once it was done, not for anyone in particular in the theater, just because I could do it. It's one thing to get a remake that disappoints simply for existing (i.e. Ghostbusters last year), but it's another when you see what could have been in the hands of a twisted, hungry auteur out to show some shocking things - picture, for example, Tarsem circa The Cell, or Leos Carax or something - or a filmmaker who might want to just use the material for a straight drama and not go for the horror, which could also be done. Instead, Flatliners is stupid when it's not dull, and yet it's not stupid often enough to be an overall enjoyably bad movie (I did laugh here and there, but too little and too late). It's everything that is wrong with what SONY is currently doing in an overlong 110 minute package.
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7/10
Worth watching
english_artist19 December 2017
I read reviews on this movie and nearly did not watch it as some were so bad. But I thought I would give it a go as its peoples opinion.

First off it had some great touches like Kiefer Sutherland being in there like the fist movie but this time not one of the main characters but one of the main Characters did use his line "Its a good day to die" which was a nice touch to

On the whole the movie was just what I expected and very similar to the first movie so if you have seen that one then you will like this. I have no idea what all the hate was about and I actually waited for it to go down hill halfway through as some said but it never did and built up the tension nicely and with a nice clear ending and no silly cheap shock gimmicks at the end like some movies like this love doing these days.

Give it a go and don't believe the reviews on here. Try for yourself you might just enjoy it as I did
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3/10
Sometimes you need to stick to the formula that works
clementi-wong28 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing the already poor IMDb rating for this movie, I thought I'd still give it a go as I was a bit of a fan of the original. Boy, disappointment is an understatement.

It started off well enough, but the writer / director must've lost the plot somewhere.. 'Good Movie Scripts 101' tells me that if you have a significant event at the start of the movie, surely you don't just kill off this main character after you've developed the story around her right? It's just a recipe for disaster... unless you're Game of Thrones. Perhaps they were trying to give the audience some shock value or an element of surprise, but this has backfired completely in my opinion.

Somehow, another character (who really didn't have much of a background story) became the protagonist. The moral of the story became something about you shouldn't lie on an autopsy report. Really??!! Wouldn't it have been more relevant if the tragic loss at the beginning of the movie somehow tied into the ending, like uniting the 2 sisters that appeared to be key characters... until they weren't. The message of forgiving yourself would resonate a lot more with the audience this way I'm sure.

Oh, and don't get me started about why they brought Kiefer Sutherland into the movie and did absolutely nothing with his character.

Perhaps the plot wasn't so important, after all, it feels more like just another not-so-scary teen flick, but if it was meant to be something more, it well and truly flatlined... sometimes you just need to stick with the formula that works.
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3/10
It kinda fell flat.
Charicific3 October 2017
What started off as potentially a great film, suddenly turned into a complete boring mess. While going in a different direction to the 1990's version, I don't think the creators knew exactly what that direction was as it seemed to jump all over the place. While I giggled at certain ridiculous moments, the rest was spent thinking what exactly is going on? Ellen Page's performance was okay but I think the movie itself squashed what could have been a great acting role.
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2/10
Pointless remake of a pointless movie
Alanjackd2 October 2017
The 1990 original ( original ? haha) was not as good as we think we remember.At a time when the cinema needs to refresh itself and stop reworking old stale ideas..we get this ...utterly pointless.

Bad screen writing here..less than 1 dimensional at best and the acting is pretty atrocious in all honesty. The first 5 minutes made me wonder if it was gonna be any good...I could not foresee a movie go downhill so quickly...the ending was so daft I could hear people saying "What"? in the theatre.

Not even the addition of Keifer Sutherland could make this any less silly. Direction was lame and lazy...I get the idea they thought they were going to cash in..I also get the idea they are very much mistaken.

Rush release on DVD I would think to cash in before people catch on how bad it is. The story is really , really silly with enough plot holes to take the wind out the story.

Bad at best gave it a 3 because I'm in a good mood.
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1/10
It's not a remake, but that's still not an excuse.
Java_Joe1 October 2017
There's been this trend in recent years to remake iconic or at least popular movies from earlier years. For the most part these movies have been met with yawns, disinterest and have been rightfully savaged by the critics and viewers. Occasionally you get a good movie out of it but more often then not it's just a big, costly mistake. And so to get around this studios no longer refer to these movies as remakes, but "reimaginings". The idea is take the concept of the movie and and try different things. This still doesn't make it a good idea.

The 80's version of Flatliners was an interesting movie. The concept of a group of medical students flatlining and then coming back was original. It brought with it elements of horror, existentialism and how our choices can affect both ourselves and others.

This one? I struggled to find a positive to give to it and I still can't. This is a bad movie from every single point of view I can give. It follows the same story of a group of medical students who in effect kill themselves for a short period of time to see what's on the "other side". Then before brain damage can occur they are brought back but each brings back with them something from their past and they are in effect haunted by this.

It's really the same story as the original even if it's executed in a different way. There's nothing else that needs to be said. Same thing but worse.

Save your money and rent the original if you want to see this. You'll be happier and it won't cost you as much.
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5/10
The undiscovered country… which they shouldn't have returned to.
bob-the-movie-man6 October 2017
The movies have depicted the hereafter in varied ways over the years. From the bleached white warehouses of Powell and Pressburger's "A Matter of Life and Death" in 1946 and Warren Beatty's "Heaven Can Wait" in 1978 to – for me – the peak of the game: Vincent Ward's mawkish but gorgeously rendered oil-paint version of heaven in 1998's "What Dreams May Come". Joel Schmacher's 1990's "Flatliners" saw a set of "brat pack" movie names of the day (including Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin and Kiefer Sutherland) as experimenting trainee doctors, cheating death to experience the afterlife and getting more than they bargained for. The depictions of the afterlife were unmemorable: in that I don't remember them much! (I think there was some sort of spooky tree involved, but that's about it!)

But the concept was sufficiently enticing – who isn't a little bit intrigued by the question of "what's beyond"? – that Cross Creek Pictures thought it worthy of dusting off and giving it another outing in pursuit of dirty lucre. But unfortunately this offering adds little to the property's reputation.

In this version, the lead role is headed up by Ellen Page ("Inception") who is a great actress… too good for this stuff. Also in that category is Diego Luna, who really made an impact in "Rogue One" but here has little to work with in terms of backstory. The remaining three doctors – Nina Dobrev as "the sexy one"; James Norton ("War and Peace") as "the posh boy" and Kiersey Clemons as the "cute but repressed one", all have even less backstory and struggle to make a great impact.

Also putting in an appearance, as the one link from the original film, is Kiefer Sutherland as a senior member of the teaching staff. But he's not playing the same character (that WOULD have been a bloody miracle!) and although Sutherland adds gravitas he really is given criminally little to do. What was director Niels Arden Oplev ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") thinking?

In terms of the story, it's pretty much a re-hash of Peter Filardi's original, with Ben Ripley ("Source Code") adding a few minor tweaks to the screenplay to update it for the current generation. But I will levy the same criticism of this film as I levied at the recent Stephen King adaptation of "It": for horror to work well it need to obey some decent 'rules of physics' and although most of the scenes work (since a lot of the "action" is sensibly based inside the character's heads) there are the occasional linkages to the 'real world' that generate a "WTF???" response. A seemingly indestructible Mini car (which is also clearly untraceable by the police!) and a knife incident at the dockside are two cases in point.

Is there anything good to say about this film? Well, there are certainly a few tense moments that make the hairs on your neck at least start to stand to attention. But these are few and far between, amongst a sea of movie 'meh'. It's certainly not going to be the worst film I see this year, since at least I wasn't completely bored for the two hours. But I won't remember this one in a few weeks. As a summary in the form of a "Black Adder" quote, it's all a bit like a broken pencil….. pointless.

(For the graphical version of this review, please visit bob-the-movie- man.com. Thanks.)
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5/10
Had potential but fell short
kaylahunia25 September 2017
The first half of this movie was great - the premise was great, and the diverse cast set it apart from other "afterlife" type films. However, moving into the second half, things got very muddled. It seems that the director didn't know exactly which direction to go in, so he went in all of them. It was very anti-climatic, and also relied on cheap jump- scares to drive the film. Quite disappointing as it had great potential.
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8/10
Much better than people are saying. Very good combination between sci-fi and horror
nicolasj_gregorio13 October 2017
Flatliners is about a group of students who are not satisfied with their lives and thanks to the initiative of one of them (Ellen Page) they find something beyond comprehension that changes their perspectives about life. The plot itself: Promising.

The movie is half sci-fi, normal people trying to surpass the limit of science in a realistic way or at least tied to the ground which cannot be said about the other part, the horror one, where the movie takes another road, a supernatural one. But is interesting in it's on way and it's very well made, in my theater people were really scared. If you're willing to accept this two sides of the movie, you're enjoying it for sure.

The acting is good enough. Of course Ellen does a great job and the other actors did a good performance with what they were given.

So, why the bad reviews? Well, Flatliners doesn't have the best script and it has "teenager parts" but who wouldn't party after that? Anyway, this is not enough for so bad reviews. So, what is it? It's the comparison with the original one. Yes, in case you don't know, this movie is a remake of a 1990 movie. And what almost everyone is doing is comparing this new one with the oldest and it's tiring. What did I do up there? Analyze the movie I went to see to the cinema. And that's it. I don't know why they insist so much on talking about other movie.

Flatliners won't change your life but it's a good enough made movie, with good acting, good plot and an excellent combination of horror and sci-fi. Go see it, ignore the critics. You'll enjoy it.
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2/10
Flatliners: Will Bore You to Death!
brankovranjkovic3 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Less than 12 hours later and I've pretty much forgotten about this remake of a 1990's sci-fi, though this was trying to be more like horror.

Five unconvincing medical students carry out a deadly experiment on each-other, they use some obsolete hospital equipment to briefly stop each-others hearts to experience 'life after death' with some sinister dreamscapes and then revive themselves after 2 minutes. Apparently dying and resuscitation gives you superhuman intelligence and a need to party. I'm surprised none of them became latex wearing superheroes.

The plot was so poor, I couldn't help laughing where it was trying to be most scary. Besides some fairly good special effects and smoking hot Nina Dobrev, this film is not interesting, not exciting, not thrilling, and wasn't scary at all. Not worth seeing.
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6/10
As the Title Suggests, this Film Really Begins to Flatline as it Progresses
Derek Childs (totalovrdose)27 September 2017
When it comes to its great effects and spooky ambiance, Flatliners has a lot of style, but when it comes to its narrative, the film is significantly lacking in substance. As a fan of the original, alongside being an admirer of Ellen Page, I was really looking forward to this film, though by the end, left the cinema disappointed.

Flatliners begins with Courtney (Page) experiencing a tragic loss. Nine years later, she is a medical student, trying to convince her colleagues to help with an experiment. Later in the film both events are connected, though significantly more depth was required.

As one can guess, Courtney's experiment involves her death, in an attempt to record what happens to the brain after a person flat-lines. Her friends Jamie (James Norton) and Sophia (the beautiful Kiersey Clemons), originally discouraged with her intentions, quickly become involved, as do Ray (Diego Luna) and Marlo (Nina Dobrev) when things don't go according to plan.

When characters travel to the other side, the use of light, sound and motion are used wonderfully to create a fantastic experience, the world beyond often visualised as been very beautiful, the music also adding to the magic of the occasion. After returning from their near-death experiences, characters are miraculously gifted with greater intellect, an idea that is never elaborated upon. Moreover, despite the characters been perceived as studious and intelligent, unlike the characters in The Taking of Deborah Logan, rarely do the leads in Flatliners attempt to use science, or their training, to find a solution to the problems they face, instead behaving much like the stereotypes found in other genre films.

Though the always entertaining Kiefer Sutherland (who deserved a much larger role) has a cameo, don't mistake this as a sequel – this feature is in fact a remake, though it is disappointing we didn't get to see Sutherland's Nelson again after all these years.

Much like in the original, the characters begin to realise the consequences of travelling to the other side. It is during these moments, when the film fully embraces its dark material, that Flatliners is at its best. The music adds to the already well developed spooky atmosphere, and the performances of the cast further heighten the sense of dread. Though occasionally predictable, the feature has its share of unexpected scares, the chase sequences being very gripping.

Like the original, characters find themselves pursued by their 'sins', though the secrets the characters have been harbouring are rarely provided the required depth. Despite flirting briefly with the supernatural, the film pulls on this string only once, which was quite disappointing, the film rarely attempting to stray from the original. Though the original shone a flashlight on bullying, racism, sexism and betrayal, the remake is often centred around the competitiveness of the medical profession, which joins each of the characters together.

As the film progresses, the confrontation between the characters and their 'sins' becomes progressively worse, been far more malicious than what was experienced in the original. Though the film appears to be set for an exciting climax, it is here that the movie appears to run out of steam, and instead rushes towards a happy ending that does not do the film justice.

Flatliners is never boring, capturing the fun lives of the up and coming professionals of tomorrow, and the horror of when things go terribly wrong. The latter however is not given the depth it deserves, and coupled with its weak conclusion, the richness of the films potential goes largely untouched.
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5/10
Sequel, remake, or whatever. It feels like the same movie.
ramcamcole29 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A lot has been discussed about whether this movie is really a sequel to the 1990 version or if it's a remake. Whatever it is, it feels an awful lot like the same movie. The one thing that could distinguish between the two are the presence of Keifer Sutherland. After having seen the movie, I don't even know if he's playing the same character from the original or not. Having him appear here felt pretty pointless. There's also no references or mentions of the previous experiment from the first film, further proving that this is in fact more of a remake. The characters and the things they do felt a lot like the ones in the original. One positive I will say is, I was glad to see the movie had the guts to kill off a character. In the first one, other than Sutherland's character, you never feel like any of them are in any real physical danger from their post-flatlining experiences. Here it feels like the stakes are upped a little more.

All in all, it just felt like a really unnecessary sequel/remake that just didn't do a whole lot to set itself apart.
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6/10
Expecting more from the original
Abrantes_MoP27 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
So, I saw the first Flatliners years ago, and it was a film that somehow stuck with me. From what I remember raised me real questions about life after death, and had a dark psychological feel.

This remake starts well. It seems to go in the same direction, but then it goes on to seem more like any other supernatural terror movie, using the same old tricks to get you jumping of your seat. Yeah I was surprised sometimes, got that "he's behind you - don't look" felling, but I was expecting more.

And what's with the Kiefer Sutherland character? Should have a more active role than just being there - no connection to what happened to him in the 90s.

Expecting more psychological stuff and less "in your face" goosebumps, but it was fun to watch and to be actually a bit scared.
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7/10
We thought it was decent.
shiroverangnl7 January 2018
We thought it was decent, fun to watch. Could just be because we watched 'The Snowman' right before and that movie was god awful so anything after was going to be good.

Worth the watch imo.
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6/10
Yet another remake, which should not have been resuscitated
comps-784-3826526 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I understand that film making is a business and needs to be profitable.

But in recent years there has been a steady decline in seeing new films with a great and 'original' story.

Instead we have a plethora of, reboot/remake, as a guarantee of box office success.(or at least not loose money)

So you now have a glut of 'reboots' that bear only the most superficial resemblance, to their classic namesakes.

So many remakes/reboots, for no other reason, than to cash in on the name and glory of their classic forebears.

With few exceptions the reboots are substandard, ersatz, low grade, unoriginal and unworthy bearers of titles of former great films.

Sadly this film is no exception. The med students experimenting with 'after death' experience can have all the cgi and modern fandangos you like.

The original was hardly a 'classic' but it had a good story, good actors and (the real test) you could watch it more than once.

As with most reboots, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but is certainly no guarantee of quality. This film illustrates this.

Mediocre, watch once never again (unlike the original)
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1/10
I got bored..
adonis98-743-18650310 February 2018
Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience - giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife. Flatliners had one of the funniest openings i have seen in a while so thanks for that, now the rest of the film? it wasn't as good as i expected it, to be honest it was boring and above all not that interesting plus the acting was so-so, overall don't see it.
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2/10
Loved the first one
Keptinkaveman10 February 2018
I remember the first one, it was new, with bright stars who could act, and make people believe. This remake is atrocious. I originally watched it, because I was told kiefer sutherland made a cameo with his original character, but he doesn't, it's a different character entirely . Only got through half way, and had to turn it off, that#s how bad it was. It's such a shame that such a great great film was bused so badly :(
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1/10
Flatliners proves to want make your own be unconscious than sit through this.
noahaster12 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
For audiences who have watched the trailer for this film it pretty much says what your getting into here. A group of medical students go through near death experiences to curiously convey what happens when you die. We all get that already and now after we see this progression start then the film flies into a borderline careless plot that loses itself real quickly and bores you through the next hour or so. This suppose to be remake of the 1990 movie flat liners which wasn't a great film to remake either though nails it compared to the junk that was poured into here.

There are first of all too many scenes that don't point too anything after the first 45 minutes or less it completely loses track of what it's trying to be and it loses interest real quickly. After the episodes of dying and waking up where it starts to become maybe an interesting plot ahead it whacks off and feels like there are several different directors trying to dabble with ideas ideas but doesn't stack up to anything. One thing though I found very troublesome in this film and this is a major spoiler for whoever still wants to see this shouldn't read. Halfway through the film the main star Ellen Page dies and leaves us with these other buffoons to do what else they can throw here. Why kill off the main star right in the middle of this film just as the story evolves and instead turns to crap. This frustrated me and through the rest of the film off guard. Also we get the original cast member Kiefer Sutherland to have a role as the medical professor but his role is so vague and shows no resonance of what they were capturing or not from the original that it was meaningless.
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4/10
Technically competent, but sadly just as likely to bore you into a flatline as the defibrillators used in the film.
Pjtaylor-96-1380441 October 2017
To say that this dull, dreary and repetitive picture is conceptually questionable is to kindly downplay the sheer nonsensicality of its disoriented and incohesive plot, which feels like an amalgamation of two or three separate narratives carelessly and callously forced into the constraints of a single narrow-minded frame, though even this could perhaps be forgiven if the poorly paced piece provided a glimmer of genuine entertainment at any point, as opposed to the detached and passive experience that stemmed mainly from the fact that I developed absolutely no attachment to the unlikable and unintelligent characters; while it is mostly a technically competent film, with the scare sequences in particular being confidently crafted (if generic) and the music being occasionally inspired, I was never properly engaged with the piece and by the time a sequence which could be considered interesting rolled around, I was already so truly bored that nothing could pull me out of my almost comatose state, amounting to a feature that is so generic, monotonous and generally mediocre that it's almost painful. 4/10
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2/10
This line is completely flat
TheLittleSongbird3 October 2017
Personally liked the 1990 'Flatliners'. It wasn't perfect, but it was stylish, fun and with some chills, making the most of a concept that at the time was very different. It also strikes me as one of Joel Schumacher's most underrated films and an example of not all Schumacher's films being overblown camp.

Immediately had doubts hearing there was a remake, 'Flatliners' was one of those films that didn't need a remake in any shape or form. However, the cast didn't seem too bad on paper (Ellen Page and Diego Luna have shown performances that were at least capable in the past), it was written by Ben Ripley (who did some fine work for 'Source Code') and it was directed by Niels Arden Oplev of the excellent Swedish 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' fame. So actually, despite questioning the point, there was hope.

Sadly, 'Flatliners' (2017) failed to live up to any of its potential that it could have potentially had with the right execution. Questioned the point of it before watching it when it first came out last Friday, after seeing it to me it has to be one of the most pointless and dead on arrival remakes since 'The Wicker Man'. The concept of the original 'Flatliners' unlike any other, that's not the case anymore (having actually starting to wear well before this came out, being executed for example to not particularly good effect in an episode of 'Diagnosis Murder') and it feels very stale here, so no despite how appetising it appears in the summary it's hard to put "great premise" as a strength.

The cast do their best, the actors are the thing that come off least badly. That's not saying much at all (and it's only being said because everything else is done worse) because most of them still give very uninspired one-note performances. The most dedicated of the lot is Diego Luna, he makes a real effort to keep things together, even when things seem unsalvageable, and ends up being the best, and perhaps only good, thing about the film. The normally very capable Ellen Page plays her character in far too repressed a way, and the rest of the cast are either too histrionic or robotic. Kiefer Sutherland's cameo was even more unnecessary than the film itself.

With that being said, that the acting is not great is not the fault of the actors. They do have everything else in 'Flatliners' fighting them every step of the way. The characters are ones we learn little about, other than very over-familiar dilemmas and past traumas that are mentioned but not really expanded upon (certainly not in a way that would make one root for them), and one is just too frustrated by their very hasty and sometimes illogical decision making and inexperienced students-like behaviour (way too inexperienced to be doing something this advanced) to make one care for them.

Just as disappointing are the script and the direction. Anybody who remembers Ripley's taut, occasionally drolly humorous and emotionally weighty (in its exploration of loss and responsibility) script for 'Source Code' will be very disappointed to find a script here that makes one think whether it was actually written by him or a completely different person who was a complete rookie in script-writing. For this script was clunky, drab and tonally very muddled (trying to mix sci-fi, psychology and horror and making a complete hash of balancing them and properly doing anything with each individually) with some unintentionally funny elements.

Likewise it was hard to believe that such lazy ill-at ease came from the same director who brought so much tension, class, boldness and suspense in masterful, terrifying ways to the Swedish 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'. Everything single one of those completely and utterly absent here in a film as chilling as a wet blanket. Sorry for comparing, but it's hard not to when the glimpses of potential that actually persuaded me to see a film that didn't appeal to me in the first place, based on previous work that did impress me, disappoint so drastically.

Worst of all is the story, which is a disaster in execution and does nothing fresh with an idea that was quite unique back in 1990 but not so much over-time and feels incredibly stale and unimaginative here. It started off mildly intriguing, quickly became dull once it was clear that the characters were not engaging and the script and direction being as poor as they were (not to mention the pacing being leaden throughout) and then got really weird and forgot to make sense in the second half. The film tries to raise interesting questions but fails to answer them convincingly so many things feel unresolved or very, very vague (like all the strange goings on, the whole flat-liners concept and the unexplained physical forms thing that is more at home in a Stephen King novel). The ending is a fizzling whimper, nothing exciting or suspenseful at all about it, and indicative of the writers running out of steam and ideas.

Forgot to mention the production values. Visually it was very close to looking like straight to video fodder but just rose above that (only just) with some atmospheric lighting that is wasted by especially photography that was suggestive of a photographer either drunk on the job or had never shot a film in their lives. When reading that it was the same man who captured the bleakness of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' effectively, lack of refinement aside, there was shock. Some slapdash effects here too. One actually misses the interesting use of orange and blues of the original, which was far more interesting to watch than the dreary look here. Nathan Barr has done some great scoring for television but it's very ham-fisted in the few times it's memorable here.

Overall, completely flat. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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2/10
Should Have Gone to Richmond Instead
david-sarkies2 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Normally I wouldn't have gone and seen a film like this, except that I saw the original a while ago with a group of friends (and when I saw a while ago, I mean quite a long time ago, back when video stores still hired out video cassettes) and really enjoyed it. As such a part of me wanted to see this one, and then watch the original and compare the two, and to be honest, I really should have just watched the original and left this one to pretty much flounder and die for the travesty that it happens to be.

At first I was planning on watching the original so as to compare them, but due to other events I ended up simply watching this film. In the end I am glad that it worked out that was because I doubt that I would have been able to watch too much Flatliners in one weekend, and will simply leave the original for another time, if I end up actually getting around to watching it again (considering that there are so many other movies out there to watch).

Anyway, the film is about a group of medical students who decide that they want to see what happens when people die, and to also measure it scientifically. So they basically kill each other, measure what is going on, and then revive them (and I wonder whether this has actually happened in real life). On the positive side, this near death experience changes them for the better, making them smarter and able to recall things much better, but on the negative side it actually digs up sins of the past to haunt them.

This is interesting because the idea of being confronted with one's sins is something that is not just apparent in the Christian faith, but in numerous other faiths as well. Sure, many of us in the modern world simply believe that when we die then that is it, but the film does actually confront us with this other idea that what death brings about is a sense of guilt over what we have done in our lives, and that in dying these sins will constantly hound us.

However, going away from the theological perspective of the film, in the end it was pretty bad. It simply seemed to be like a lot of other films coming out of late which are taking what was a pretty awesome concept years ago and simply butchering them. It is almost as if Hollywood is looking back at some of these films, thinking that they have been sufficiently forgotten, and that modern audiences aren't all that impressed with the technology at the time, and attempting to up the ante – and failing abysmally. In the end, maybe just leave this films as if, and if you want to bring them back, digitally enhance the original, rather than creating something new.
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