After reading several "Hereafter" reviews I was surprised by many things. The first was that many people saw this as a Science Fiction movie and the second thing I was surprised by is that Clint Eastwood made this movie at age 80. I find this incredible that someone 80 could put together something this amazing.
I think many younger people sort of miss the point of the movie. As one ages, the point of life is not necessarily all the panic attacks, jumping off of cliffs, trying to have sex with as many people as you can like one finds in movies directed at the young (under 30) crowd. No. If you survive past 30 or 35 you find that life is not just a time of continual extreme experiences. Not many people survive continual extreme experiences past 35 or 40 years of age. The mind and body and emotions appear to only take so much without starting to break down.
So, life needs some thoughtfulness to be meaningful. This is a very thoughtful movie and subtle in it's powerful message. It is designed to underwhelm on some levels after the Tsunami experience. It is like a Zen Koan that grows more powerful as you contemplate the deeper meaning. It is like a beautiful painting that increases it's real meaning over hundreds of years. I think "Hereafter" is a Clint Eastwood classic that he likely wouldn't have made until at least his 70s. But to underestimate the power within this movie is to demonstrate ones youth and one's folly rather than the immortality of each of our souls. This movie demonstrates the immortality of each of us. How beautiful is that? How priceless is that?