Hereafter was a disappointment to me and will be, I suspect, to anyone with any real interest in the metaphysical. Never a fan of plot devices (in this instance, three strangers who eventually meet) I found the entire film lacking - not only in terms of plot but in regard to character development as well. A real problem given that the producers have almost completely ignored the mystical aspects of the spirit world in favor of interpersonal drama.
While each character experiences various forms of upheaval as a result of their experiences with the hereafter most seem oddly unaffected. Their lives change externally and these are the events of the film but the characters themselves have almost nothing to say about phenomena behind the events and only the youngest actor, struggling with the loss of his brother, appears convincingly motivated to understand what has befallen him.
Plot development seems very much an issue. A life altering book, written by the female lead, is researched, but never explained. In one potentially interesting scene, NDE related files are carried out of a hospice, but we are given no real specifics about the information contained. The protagonist (Matt Damon) experiences the realms beyond firsthand but offers little in the way of insight, appearing mostly annoyed by the inconvenience his psychic "curse" creates on a personal level.
Possibly intending to create an air of mystery, the film is - in my estimation - woefully understated, offering little in terms of either content or interpersonal drama. And yes, I do realize that I have broken the no negative reviews rule here, but firstly I think Matt Damon can take it. And secondly to take a topic about which so much can be said, and then say so little, is too disappointing to ignore.