Box art for What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

drama, romance

Dr. Chris Nielsen dies in an accident. Unable to leave his despondent wife to a miserable fate, Chris must transcend the boundaries of heaven and hell in a love story bigger than life itself

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Lush drama is worthwhile for thoughtful teens.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has brief strong language and disturbing imagery.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Chris' relationships with his children, and how he thinks about what he should have done differently after their death. Teens may also like to learn about the myth of Orpheus, to see the similarities and differences.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews


- Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Rotten: This ambitious afterlife romance introduces provoking themes, but Williams eventually leads the way back to familiar hackneyed ground. The grandiose art direction provides moments of wonder, but the muddled script gives them no raison d'tre.

- Carlo Cavagna,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Has two things going for it--its spectacular, Academy Award-nominated special effects and the fact that it ends. Everything else about this ridiculous, three-hanky film sends it sharply into nightmare.

- Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

You know you LOVE somebody when you go to Hell & back for them.A GREAT movie!!!

- dukeakasmudge, Thursday, October 29, 2009

2 stars

The original story is beautiful, and it should and could have been a great film had it been given to a more competent director with a totally different cast. It's sickly sweet, like putting sugar on cream, visually stunning but far too schmaltzy for its own good. A real shame and a missed opportunity. Werner Herzog has a bizarre 'blink and you'll miss it' cameo that's worth looking out for.

- SirPant, Friday, September 4, 2009

4 stars

Why this movie first sailed me by without notice (or the cinemas in general for that matter) is and will always be a great mystery. But I'm sure glad I found it, because this was one of the best movie experiences I've ever had. Not only was it visually breathtaking, but it had heart and soul and its idea of heaven is so much like my own that it gave me goosebumps several times. No movie has ever come so close to my own spiritual beliefs, especially as it doesn't work in favor of any particular religion. There is a heaven and a hell, and the subject of reincarnation, but it leaves a lot of things open for interpretation and it illustrates what I think is a more believable version of everything. Therefore, I really loved it, despite the fact that it could have used some polishing in its script and story. Some scenes also felt overly melodramatic, but thankfully it never got to the point of cheesyness. Anyway, despite these minor flaws, this movie is one I will remember for a long time to come. And if heaven is half as amazing as it was here, we should all have something to look forward to. But of course, the road to heaven begins with what we do right here on Earth *wink*

- CloudStrife84, Thursday, September 13, 2007