Box art for The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

drama, thrillers

When 14-year-old Susie Salmon was murdered, she left her unfinished life behind. But now from her place in a strange but beautiful in-between world, she must help her father catch her killer and protect her family before she can finally move on.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Haunting mystery-drama examines a child's murder.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that director Peter Jackson's drama based on Alice Sebold's best-selling book The Lovely Bones centers on the aftermath of an enormous tragedy: the death of a child (though the actual death itself isn't shown on screen). The intense subject matter -- murder and molestation -- may overwhelm younger teens. Although the movie's messages about love and loss are ultimately positive, the film is often deeply sorrowful and, at times, quite violent (images include dead bodies, bloody clothes, and more). Language includes mostly name-calling; there's also some kissing, and one older character smokes and drinks in front of children.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. Do the violence and intense subject matter make it harder to see the positive take-aways, or do they come through?
  • How does the impact of the violence in a movie like this compare to that of an action/sci-fi movie? Which affects you more? Why?
  • Talk about the events that lead up to Susie's murder. What lessons can be gleaned from the tragedy? Why is Susie stuck in the in-between?
  • How did Susie's death affect everyone, including herself? Dothese reactions seem believable? How doeseveryone find peace?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 28
    see all The Lovely Bones reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's best-selling novel hovers just this side of Ghost Whisperer kitsch but remains compulsively watchable.

- Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rotten: Tone is the first thing sacrificed in this shapeless, overlong, mawkishly muddled pop-up illustration of a movie.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, January 15, 2010


- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out, Friday, November 18, 2011

Audience Reviews

2 stars

135 mins felt like eternity... If it was shorter or I better say, bit faster at action, it could be more watchable. Though ,the most annoying parts during the movie were the metaphysical mentions in the script which gave a bad fairytale atmosphere .

- MrsInsomnia, Friday, September 28, 2012

2 stars

Guh. This is like Supernatural without the brains. Or What Dreams May Come without the heart.

- MidnightMadwoman, Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 stars

superb movie :-)

- briandeguelle, Monday, July 30, 2012