The term life review, or flashback before death, refers to a phenomenon widely reported as occurring during near-death experiences, in which a person rapidly sees much or the totality of their life history. Life review is often described by people claiming to have experienced this phenomenon as "having their life flash before their eyes".
Research and phenomenology
Commentators note that near-death experiencers undergo a life review in which the meaning of their life is presented to them, but also how their life affected other people, as well as an awareness of the thoughts and feelings of these people. Bruce Greyson  described the life review as a "rapid revival of memories that sometimes extends over the person’s entire life". The memories are described as being "many". The review might also include a panoramic quality. According to Jeffrey Long the experience of a life review is often described from a third-person perspective.
Life review, or My Life Flashed Before My Eyes, also refers to a widely-used trope in fiction, film, and television where a recap montage of a character's life is shown in a sequence before that character's death.
- In Armageddon when Harry detonates the bomb, images of his daughter and wife briefly flash on the screen.
- In Vanilla Sky, David experiences this when jumping off a building.
- In Train to Busan, after being infected with the zombie virus, Seok-woo has a flashback of himself holding his daughter as a baby and he smiles then jumps off the train seconds before fully transforming into the undead.
- In American Beauty, After Lester Burnham is shot, he narrates through a series of important life events.
- In The 12 Days of Christine, an episode of Inside No. 9, it is revealed that the entire plot is Christine's life events replaying as she dies of a car accident.
- Mass hysteria
- Aerial toll-houses
- Clinical death
- Out-of-body experiences
- Effects of adrenaline on human memory
- Terminal lucidity
- Donnelly, Laura (2017-01-29). "Your life really does flash before your eyes before you die, study suggests". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
- "My Life Flashed Before My Eyes".
- Hagan, John C. Near-Death Experiences. I Hope You Are Comfortable With Them By Now! Missouri Medicine, 112:2 March/April 2015
- Long, Jeffrey. Near-Death Experiences. Evidence for Their Reality. Missouri Medicine, 111:5, September/October 2014
- Greyson, Bruce. Implications of Near-Death Experiences for a Postmaterialist Psychology. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2010, Vol. 2, No. 1, 37–45