Snow Angels (2007)

1 h 47 min2007R
Snow Angels is heartrending portrayal of three couples in various stages of life orbiting around each other in search of connection and meaning. A love lost and found in a small town.
David Gordon Green
Sam RockwellKate BeckinsaleMichael Angarano
English [CC]
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Supporting actors
Jeannetta ArnetteGriffin DunneNicky KattTom NoonanAmy SedarisOlivia Thirlby
Lisa MuskatCami TaylorDan LindauR. Paul Miller
R (Restricted)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

162 global ratings

  1. 60% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 14% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Karen D.Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
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SNOW ANGELS captivates while ensnaring you in a very deeply distressing and excruciating morose story, which is thankfully imbued with superior performances by an amazing, magnificent cast (who I cannot imagine would have, even as professional actors, found it very easy to "shake off" after completing SNOW ANGELS!)

The always engrossing Sam Rockwell plays Glenn, who we see early on is not merely emotionally tormented, but is actually struggling with serious mental illness. (For the Sam Rockwell "uninitiated", this is an actor who is barely recognizable as the same person from one film to the next, as he seems to "become" the character he is portraying...the mark of the very finest caliber actor). Annie, played by Kate Beckinsdale (who continues to enlighten as to just what a truly gifted actress she is in each role she takes on & this is certainly one of the boldest steps in her career) plays the single-mother to her estranged husband, Glenn & their 4-year old daughter.

That is one story-line & that is the dour & cheerless one. The co-story line revolves around a high-schooler, Arthur, in the school's marching band, whose parents are also in the midst of separating, while simultaneously Arthur is falling for his first-love, Lila, played by a charming, vivacious young actress who brings her own sunlight to this ominous, woeful tale set against a dreary cold, grey, gloomy snowcapped small town background. The common link here is that Annie & Arthur work in a local Chinese Restaurant and Annie was Arthur's babysitter, in his formative years.

Glenn is trying to rebuild his life and have a relationship with his young daughter, while at the same time, trying, unsuccessfully, to win back his estranged wife Annie, who has a restraining order against Glenn, doesn't want to see him, nor feels he can be trusted with his daughter. In almost every scene, we see Glenn, showing up hopeful, trying to be patient, gallant and kind, despite Annie's flying into rages that he continues showing up in her life, which, eventually, wears Glenn's efforts down, as each time he's becoming more spiritless, despondent and disengaged, yet also more threatening, culminating at a point where he completely dissembles. As things are unraveling even further for this family, we see the opposite effects taking place for Arthur with Lila, and ultimately with his parents, too, as they are seeming to be trying to patch things up between themselves, for both their own sakes & their child's. And, therein lies the juxtaposition of SNOW ANGELS...

SNOW ANGELS is actually a very in-depth character study of the human all its' frailities and strengths, the effects of which ripple throughout, and depending on which, can either bolster a family or tear it asunder. The unwavering underlying message, depicted by the parallel stories, is to show firsthand, how forgiveness heals, not only yourself, but those around you; your loved ones and how hanging on to resentments will have the exact opposite effect, potentially leading to an entire family's complete break, breakdown(s) and, ultimately, destruction & heartbreaking tragedy.

Not a story for the faint of's actually quite grueling to watch & told with spartan unadornment. However, once you've begun, you can't help but be drawn in and feel empathy for these characters & are hoping, against hope that all will work out for everyone. SNOW ANGELS is a seminal film which should probably be shown in Psych courses. The director/screenwriter David Gordon Green lies everything bare & his choosing to tell this story with a parallel story within a story, is an ingenious concept, for without that, there would seemingly be no hope for the human condition, but he strives to show that indeed there is & we can either find it, or continuously shoot ourselves in our own foot, getting in our own way & the potential outcomes with whichever is the chosen path.
16 people found this helpful
M. AckermannReviewed in the United States on February 19, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
High-quality, honest film - but make sure you know what you're getting into
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Really struggled with how many stars to give this film. It's extremely well-acted (5 stars), but is a scrupulously unvarnished portrayal of real human darkness and pain (not evil, an important distinction). And, for the most part, it's pretty hopeless, so minus at least part of a star - for me, anyway. Given the energy I'll need to bounce back, can't honestly say "I loved it". But that's totally subjective. I wanted to put the extra star back for being blatantly unafraid of showing extremely difficult human truth, but the destroyed state I'm in after watching it just won't let me - so maybe I should have waited a week or more to review, as other reviewers have also said.

I found the film deeply compelling but inordinately difficult to watch. That may be in part because I have close personal experience with a very violent paranoid schizophrenic with religious delusions, so the part of Glenn (Sam Rockwell) probably hit way too close to home, especially as his mental state deteriorated toward the final climactic scenes. The only glimmer of hopefulness - very compellingly acted - was the quirky romance between a couple of misfit high school kids who found beauty and love in each other's differences. And the fact that an important character escaped into the snow (trying not to be a spoiler, but a different outcome would have really propelled me over the cliff of utter despair).

Be sure you are ready and in the right state of mind for this film. It's very heavy, with no "easy" mainstreamed, focus-grouped, feel-good ending - well, just a momentary glimmer of one, but not enough to rescue you from the pit of existential pain you may find yourself in while the crushing weight of the whole movie is still hitting you. If you're in the mood for an extremely well-acted, unvarnished tale of dysfunction, agony, unbearable loss, mental illness & the role religion can play in abetting that, all with only a snow-kiss hint of any possible redemption, then go for it. But if you're already feeling down, this may be a high-quality, insanely honest movie to put on hold for a stronger, brighter moment in your life.

PS - Major props to Kate Beckinsale for taking on the role of Annie. There is nothing "pretty little actress girl" about it, and this film was certainly never about box office. She showed some serious acting skill in this difficult and highly nuanced part. I like her even more than I did before, when I "only" deeply appreciated how enjoyable it was just to look at her :)
9 people found this helpful
Belinda KingReviewed in the United States on September 27, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Bleak setting perfectly defines a depressing movie
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Kept waiting for an upturn, a break from the dour presentation perhaps by the actors. But it was not to be, the dive into the abyss of emotional patheos. Death of a child, attempted suicide, mental illness, extramarital affairs, betrayal of friendship, overweight, aging Mother who disdains caring for herself, disobedient child, low-level jobs, unemployment...there's more, but hardly worth going on. And Kate B. disappoints as the hapless women unable to break out of this dance. Don't watch it.
3 people found this helpful
QT MothReviewed in the United States on March 24, 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
Haunting, Disturbing, Depressing
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At first I thought, "what a depressing waste" - another movie where everyone is either miserable, hopeless, or both. I guess I wanted something lighter.

Months passed and I still thought about some scenes in the film. Long after I forgot the title, I couldn't shake the images and feelings.

Now I look forward to watching it again. If anything I wish it had gone into more depth.

Without spoiling anything, I think Rockwell's character depicts that kind of desperate, joyless, religion - all form and no substance - that comes out of court-ordered conversions. It's the form of Christianity and not the substance, not the change of heart and rebirth in the spirit that comes with true conversions. The way some people have to attend several AA meetings a week, have to fill the emptiness, as though it's a chore.

The film further illustrates the deep pain and dysfunction of a broken home. I thought Rockwell's brief and awkward visits with his daughter were spot on. His parents, especially the mother, also nailed the heartache of having their grown son move in with them, straining to hope for the best in a bleak situation.

I'm not sure whether this is an endorsement or a warning.
9 people found this helpful
L.Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Masterful Casting, Acting, Direction for a contemporary tragedy
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One of the amazing things about Sam Rockwell is that no two of his roles are actually comparable, but this tragedy utilizes his distinctive gifts in much the same way as the mostly-comedy 'Way Way Back', in which Rockwell also shines. As other reviewers have consistently noted, Kate Beckinsale and all the rest of the cast are also impressive in this heart-breaking but thought-provoking film.
3 people found this helpful
Preferred CustomerReviewed in the United States on July 13, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
We're all angels
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This film is something of beauty, of terror, of love, of redemption, and false promises and disappointments. Sam Rockwell(Choke, Moon) plays Annie's(Kate Beckinsale of Underworld awesomeness) estranged husband, trying, hopelessly, to get back with her. It's inferred that Glenn(Rockwell) has just gotten out of either rehab or a mental hospital, I wont give away necessarily why he went there. He is still very much in love with Annie, and wants to be a good, full time father to their young daughter, which Annie isn't very comfortable with. The film has duel story lines, one with Glenn and Annie, and an intersecting one with Arthur and his first "love" Lila. Arthur is seventeen, in high school, and facing his parents seemingly inevitable divorce. The scenes with Arthur and Lila are really the heart, soul and hope of this film, where the sad, depressing, and haunting scenes with Glenn are the nightmare of the film. I have seen few other writer/directors who can fully encapsulate both sides of human nature as well as David Gordon Green(Who also makes great comedies, see Pineapple Express, director). This one side, tragedy and absolute loss, juxtaposed with youthful love and hopefulness, that basically gets down to the bare elements of this film. At time terrifying, and at time life-affirming. The beautiful cinematography, and editing, the incredible acting by Sam Rockwell as the deeply disturbed and born again Christian fundamentalist, ranks up there with De Niro's Travis Bickle, in terms of craziness, also the grand acting abilities of Kate Beckinsale, which we rarely get to see because of her type casting and oft critiqued films, here she shows her vulnerable, sad, inflicted and yet trying to hold on side, her strength and beauty still visible and her trying to hold herself, her daughter and her mother together, whilst dealing with Glenn. The film does end in tragedy, but also hope, hope that it'll get better, and that perhaps like a phoenix from the ashes, we'll rise from this tragedy better than before it. This really is an intense, beautiful, and heartbreaking film, one you can rarely still find in America. It'll make you laugh, cry, angered, frustrated, and in the end, you wont know what to do, but sit and ponder all that you've just seen.
3 people found this helpful
PCReviewed in the United States on December 20, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
No saving grace
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Depressing film! Don’t know why it’s got this title
LoriReviewed in the United States on March 28, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
The ending
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The movie was some what better than the book.
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