Flatliners (DVD, 1997, Closed Caption; Subtitled and Dubbed in Multiple Languages) Reviews
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Flatliners (DVD, 1997, Closed Caption; Subtitled and Dubbed in Multiple Languages)

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Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, and Keifer Sutherland Face Death in Flatliners

Jul 20, 2007 (Updated Aug 8, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Cast. Interesting plot.

Cons:Not as suspenseful as I had expected.

The Bottom Line: Flatliners was an interesting movie worth watching for fans of the cast or for people who like this type of movie.


Over the years, I've come to enjoy suspenseful or even creepy movies. I've ended up watching and eventually enjoying some movies that I originally hadn't wanted to see because I thought they would be entirely too creepy and scary. Flatliners is one of those movies.

Nelson, Rachel, David, Joe and Randy were classmates in medical school. Nelson came up with the idea for them to do an experiment to see if there was life after death. They would stop brain and heart functions and then be revived. Nelson was determined to go through with the experiment and managed to convince the others to take part. Randy was very concerned and worried that they would be caught and kicked out of medical school.

Nelson was the first to die and be revived. He started to experience some very strange things that he kept to himself. Joe and David also experienced weird things, which lead to a confrontation with Nelson after Rachel was revived. Nelson continued to experience weird things that got worse as time passed. The others slowly started to figure out how to deal with what was going on.

Flatliners was made in 1990, when Julia Roberts was starting to become famous and popular. I don’t remember exactly what had been in the trailers I’d seen for it, but I do remember thinking it looked a bit creepy and even a bit strange. Years later I thought it could be interesting. It was only within the last several years that I first saw the movie when it was on television. I did really enjoy the movie and picked it up when I found it for $5.50

Before I first saw Flatliners, I thought it would be a suspenseful thriller type of movie. Overall, I still think it was even though it wasn’t as suspenseful as I had hoped. I wasn’t sure what would happen in several scenes and the movie did have a decent amount of suspense even though I have seen more suspenseful movies. There was a bit of mystery connected to what exactly was going on with them after they were revived. That did keep me guessing for a while. The explanation was somewhat predictable, but it still worked for the movie. There was also a little bit of violence in a few scenes that wasn’t excessive. Dark lighting was used in much of the movie which did help add to the creepy, spooky atmosphere.

Flatliners really didn’t include any romance even though there were some sexual situations in the movie. Most of those were connected to Joe and how he would video tape himself having sex with different women he’d picked up even though he was engaged. Little bits of some of the videos were shown once or twice and Joe was shown having sex with one or two of the women. There did seem to be some kind of tension between Rachel and Nelson like perhaps they had dated sometime before the movie had started. Rachel and David seemed to be moving toward a relationship. That didn’t detract from the main plot.

Death played a very big part in the plot of Flatliners. Nelson came up with the experiment and he acted like he was obsessed with death and finding out if there was some kind of life after death. Rachel had some issues with death because of something that happened in her past and she was still having some trouble dealing with it. Rachel had very different reasons for wanting to participate in the experiment that did make sense. She was working at the hospital, taking care of some very sick patients and that also played into her wanting to take part in the experiment. The movie was very serious overall and could possibly be depressing for some viewers. A tiny bit of humor was added in a few scenes, mostly with something that Randy said.

Nelson tended to act arrogant with the others and was insistent on performing his experiment. He pushed the others into taking part. He experienced several strange things after he was revived that he kept silent about so the others would continue to take part. Nelson was very selfish through most of the movie and he really wasn’t that likable. Kiefer Sutherland was good in the part.

David had done something before the movie started that got him suspended. He was a bit more willing to risk taking part in the experiment because of that. He was Nelson’s friend, but he got very upset once he realized that Nelson had kept things from the others. David actually figured out how they could deal with the things going on. Kevin Bacon was really good in the part. Rachel had some very personal reason tied to her past for wanting to take part in experiment. She did have some kind of conflict with Nelson. Julia Roberts was fine in the part.

Joe didn’t act serious that often. He was engaged but he still chased after women and had sex with as many as he could. On top of that, he even hid his video camera in the room to tape the sexual acts without the women knowing. He was not a nice guy or likable in at all. William Baldwin did fine with the part. Randy really didn’t do too much. He was the most nervous and concerned about the experiment and if they would get in trouble. That didn’t stop him from continuing to take part though. He did have an odd sense of humor that helped to lighten the mood in several scenes. I did like Oliver Platt in the part.

Main Cast

Kevin Bacon - David
William Baldwin - Joe
Oliver Platt - Randy
Julia Roberts - Rachel
Kiefer Sutherland - Nelson

Joel Schumacher - Director

DVD Information

The DVD of Flatliners that I have has the widescreen version on one side and the full screen version on the other side. There were no special features on the disc.

Flatliners was a somewhat creepy, suspenseful movie that I did enjoy. It wasn’t as suspenseful as I had hoped it would be, but it was still entertaining and worth watching. Fans of the cast may also enjoy the movie.

This review is part of elvisdo’s 2007 Canadiania Write-off. Oliver Platt is originally from Ontario.

Julia Roberts Movie Reviews
America's Sweethearts ~ I Love Trouble ~ The Mexican ~ Ocean's 11 ~ Ocean's Twelve ~


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