Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is a man on a mission. Giving vital parts of his body to those desperately in need of a donor - parting with a kidney, some bone marrow and a portion of his lung - Ben's philanthropy may be extremely welcome, but it's driven by more than generosity. As he searches out new candidates for his help, picking them based on whether he feels they are worthy of the gift of life, Ben meets Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a beautiful young woman at risk from a deadly heart condition. As Ben falls for Emily and begins to open up to her, it becomes clear there is something dark in his past that compels him to commit these apparent random acts of kindness. Seeking redemption for his part in an incident he can never forget, Ben soon has the lives of several people, include his own, in his hands.
Collaborating once again with Gabriele Muccino, who directed him in The Pursuit of Happyness, Smith delivers another of the consummate, serious performances that have become a cornerstone of his career. While cynics may argue that the ambitious Smith is consciously seeking out Oscar approval with such dramatically heavy roles, there's no denying that he is one of the few A-list movie stars who unfailingly delivers performances of depth, intensity and power.
While Independence Day might have been a lot more fun to get through than this often gloomy meditation on guilt, death and redemption, Smith is in a class of his own and, backed up by an extremely strong supporting cast, he ensures that Seven Pounds is never less than an engaging, intriguing, life-affirming experience.