**/**** Image A Sound A- Extras B-
starring Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Mika Boorem
screenplay by William Goldman, based on the novel by Stephen King
directed by Scott Hicks
by Walter Chaw That there is a wistful framing device in Hearts in Atlantis announces from the beginning exactly the kind of Stephen King movie this is going to be. Directed by Scott Hicks, more of a visual stylist than a storyteller, Hearts in Atlantis is a hollow addition to the cottage sub-genre of non-horror adult contemporary King adaptations that includes The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and, most glaringly, Stand By Me. Scripted by two-time Oscar-winner William Goldman (who also adapted King's Misery and the forthcoming screen version of his Dreamcatcher), Hearts in Atlantis is a clunky bit of period treacle. It covers the requisite bases of magic-realism and bully intrigue without even satisfactorily following through on a major plotline concerning a really boss bicycle. Based on the novellas "Low Men in Yellow Coats" and "Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling" from 1999's Hearts in Atlantis, the film of the same name is inferior to its sources in its aversion to addressing the darker elements of childhood.