Flatliners (1990): Schumacher’s Oscar-Nominated Supernatural Thriller, Starring Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland

In Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners, a well-acted supernatural thriller, a group of medical students decide to play with the very sacred values of life and death.

To that extent, they play games, putting themselves in suspended animation, electronically inducing a near-deathlike state and then pulling out of it at the last moment.

One of the students (Kiefer Sutherland) becomes obsessed with real death, wishing to experience the Afterlife before being revived.

In one of her first dramatic roles, as a sensitive young student, Julia Roberts gives a compelling performance.

The highly publicized off-screen romance between Roberts and Sutherland helped to market the picture and make it commercially successful.

The secondary cast includes Kevin Bacon and William Baldwin.


Oscar Nominations: 1

Sound Effects Editing: William Austin

Oscar Context

The winner was “The Hunt of the Red October,” which also starred Alec Baldwin.


Running time: 114 minutes.

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Written by Peter Filardi

Released: August 10, 1990.

DVD: January 20, 1998

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment