Hearts in Atlantis

September 28th, 2001


Hearts in Atlantis

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Still of Mika Boorem and Anton Yelchin in Hearts in AtlantisStill of Mika Boorem and Anton Yelchin in Hearts in AtlantisAnthony Hopkins at event of Hearts in AtlantisStill of Hope Davis and Anton Yelchin in Hearts in AtlantisStill of Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in AtlantisStill of Anthony Hopkins and Mika Boorem in Hearts in Atlantis

A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.8/10 (19,752 voted)

Critic's Score: 55/100

Director: Scott Hicks

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis

This is a gentle, innocent film about the reflections of an aging man, who returns to his home town after the death of his best friend. Memories of life at age 11 floods back as it was a magical time that changed his life. Three 11 year old children (Bobby, Carol, and Sully) share their lives. Carol and Bobby have a special affection for one another including sharing a kiss "by which all others will be measured". Bobby lives with his mother, a bitter, vain woman who looks for pleasures for herself without sharing much with her son. Into their lives comes a mysterious new boarder, who befriends the boy but generates distrust from the mother. As time passes, the man and boy share confidences and special powers are revealed. The man warns the boy to be on the lookout for the "lowmen", who were seeking him. The two share a summer's adventures and come to love one another before the inevitable happens. A confrontation with a school bully also changes everyone.

Writers: Stephen King, William Goldman

Anthony Hopkins - Ted Brautigan
Anton Yelchin - Bobby Garfield
Hope Davis - Liz Garfield
Mika Boorem - Carol Gerber
David Morse - Adult Bobby Garfield
Alan Tudyk - Monte Man
Tom Bower - Len Files
Celia Weston - Alana Files
Adam LeFevre - Don Biderman
Will Rothhaar - John Sullivan
Timothy Reifsnyder - Harry Doolin (as Timmy Reifsnyder)
Deirdre O'Connell - Mrs. Gerber
Terry Beaver - Mr. Oliver
Joe T. Blankenship - Richie O'Rourke
Brett Fleisher - Willie Shearman

Taglines: What if one of life's great mysteries moved in upstairs?


Official Website: NZZ Online - (German) | Warner Bros. [United States] |

Release Date: 28 September 2001

Filming Locations: Dinwiddie, Virginia, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $9,021,494 (USA) (30 September 2001) (1751 Screens)

Gross: $24,185,781 (USA) (2 December 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Scott Hicks calls the castle ruin figurine at the bottom of the carnival fish tank his "Atlantis reference" (commentary at 37:40).

Continuity: The money that Bobby throws at his mother changes from behind her feet to in front of her feet.

[first lines]
Bobby Garfield (Adult): Whenever it wants, the past can come kicking the door down. And you never know where it's going to take you. All you can do is hope it's a place you want to go.
Bobby Garfield (Adult): [answering machine message] Hi, you have reached the Garfield family. Jill and the boys are away skiing, you can reach them on their various cellphones. Me, I'm going to be on the road for a few days. I'll be back Tuesday.

User Review

A big, fat 'wow'


For some, Stephen King is just a mere auteur of horror stories. If you look closer, you'll see he is much more. Nearly all his stories are melancholic tales about the loss of childhood innocence. With a paranormal twist, but that really isn't the most important. I even think that Hearts in Atlantis would have worked even better, if the whole paranormal thing would have been left out. The most interesting aspects of the story are Bobby Garfield and his relationship with his mother, girlfriend and Ted. Whenever Ted brought up the low-men, my personal interest curve got a bit of a dip, but hey it's a Stephen King movie, I guess we'll have to live with it.

As it is, Hearts in Atlantis remains a wonderful film. It's the kind of film where the scenes in the present are filmed in gloomy blue and grey tones, and all the flashbacks get a golden sepia treatment. Sure it's been done before, but rarely have the effects been of such a shattering beauty.

Anthony Hopkins, never shy of giving a bombastic performance, is remarkably soft-spoken in this one, though I doubt that he was really interested in this movie. The star of the show, however, is Anton Yelchin as Bobby Garfield. He looks like the young Elijah Wood, with the same angelic blue eyes, and he's truly captivating. He even has genuine chemistry with the girl that plays his love interest. A big fat ‘wow' is in order here, let's hope he'll get the chance to exploit his talents further.

It's a shame this movie failed at the box-office, but then again so did The Shawshank Redemption. So let's all rent/buy this wonderful film, and boost that IMDb score.

I gave this one a 9/10.


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