Seven Pounds is among the dumbest prestige films to vie for an award in this season of half-baked Oscar contenders,” said Robert Davis in Paste. “Some of my favorite films reveal their secrets gradually, and I love them for it.” But Gabriele Muccino’s purposely-vague new drama starring Will Smith as an IRS agent (watch the trailer here, via YouTube) “withholds information artificially, with flashbacks that end too soon” and “bread crumbs tossed out to string us along”—this movie is a waste of “time” and “talent.”

This movie is “a weeper wrapped in a mystery centered on an enigma,” said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. “But whatever pains cast and crew go to preserve its mystery, the movie's tears are righteous, as is its message.” Seven Pounds is “an emotional movie at the most emotional time of the year,” and “when the tears do come, it has earned them.”

“But it's only Smith's performance that makes the tears worth crying,” said Bill Goodykoontz in The Arizona Republic. Seven Pounds is an “occasionally convoluted, manipulative and sentimental” movie, but Smith “is so good in the central role of a man trying to redeem himself that it forgives many of the sins of the screenplay.”