Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 639 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Based on the best-selling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a story that unfolds in multiple lifetimes as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. Each member of the ensemble cast appears in multiple roles as the story moves through time. (Warner Bros. Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 45
  2. Negative: 4 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 26, 2012
    Its too-muchness is also the source of its power; I was absolutely never bored, and felt surprised when the movie ended. It's an amazing, baffling, thrilling and (for many, it would appear) irritating experience, and for my money the most beautiful and distinctive big-screen vision of the year.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 24, 2012
    Cloud Atlas is certainly out to be a ''visionary'' mindbender, but the film's secret is that it's a nimbly entertaining and light-on-its-feet Hollywood contraption, with the actors cast in multiple roles as if playing a game of dress-up.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 25, 2012
    Despite some weaknesses, a sense gradually emerges in this film- not just an idea, but a strong feeling mixed with an idea - about the dance of good and evil over time.
  4. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Oct 27, 2012
    One has to ask: does it allow for immersion? Even as we applaud the dramatic machinery, are we being kept emotionally at bay? [29 Oct. & 5 Nov. 2012, p.128]
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 25, 2012
    This would-be epic is beautifully photographed, elegantly crafted and adventurously cast. Unfortunately, though, it plays like a gargantuan trailer for a movie still to be made.
  6. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Sep 9, 2012
    Not quite soaring into the heavens, but not exactly crash-landing either, Cloud Atlas is an impressively mounted, emotionally stilted adaptation of British author David Mitchell's bestselling novel.
  7. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Sep 17, 2012
    A manifesto in the form of an enormously budgeted quasi-sci-fi epic, Cloud Atlas is evidently personal, defiantly sincere, totally lacking in self-awareness, and borderline offensive in its gleeful endorsement of revenge violence against anyone who gets in the way of a good person's self-actualization. The rest of the time, it's just insipid, TV-esque in its limited visual imagination, and dramatically incoherent.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 197
  1. Oct 30, 2012
    This is a fantastic attempt at adapting a book which many considered unadaptable. The disparate mishmash of genres that make up the movie somehow come together brilliantly when taken as a whole. Of course, there are 'weaknesses', as is the case in almost any work of art, but that does not prevent this from being a brilliant, audacious movie. We need more risk taking and original films like this from the big studios! Expand
  2. Oct 26, 2012
    It's dedication to staying grounded in the reality of each narrative introduced could be this movie's Achille's heel, but it surpasses this by creatively connecting its numerous subplots. The level of performance from the actors is outstanding. To play such uniquely different characters must have been exhausting but a tremendous achievement in the end. This is a movie that you need to pay attention to while watching and even then you'll need to watch it again to miss the Easter eggs and subplots, etc it is worth it. It makes you think about larger themes through the small details of a characters life. it tells you life can be big and amazing and sad and violent and things that start out small like a first glance can turn into soul mates who span the greatest of distances and ripple across time. To conclude: one great fantastic domino effect. And a great soundtrack. Expand
  3. Oct 29, 2012
    This was a remarkable movie, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I did not read the book but now I intend to. I understand that this is not a movie for everybody, but it's a movie for adults. The music and editing was so well done and that is just a cherry on top of this homage to film, love, life, freedom and what it all means to us. Brilliant!!! Expand
  4. Oct 28, 2012
    This is an outstanding epic of a movie. Daring, brilliant, compelling, tragic, triumphant. It is one of the finest movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching. This is a genre busting work of mad genius that does justice to the book while being completely satisfying as a stand alone telling. Expand
  5. Oct 26, 2012
    Not quite understanding all the hate for this film. It's really like nothing else I've ever seen, with each parallel story differing in scope and scale but matching in emotion and entertainment value. This movie gives you a lot to think about when you leave the theatre, but while you watch it, it washes over and envelops you like great cinema should. Expand
  6. BKM
    Jun 18, 2013
    Cloud Atlas is a daring film that juggles multiple story lines strewn across different time periods while wrestling with the notion that all mankind is bound to one another across space and time. It's never dull, but it never quite enthralls either. The stories never really feel connected to each other which is the film's ultimate downfall. Expand
  7. Nov 4, 2012
    Cloud Atlas is one of the biggest pieces of unadulterated crap that Hollywood has released in a number of years, and god only know they had there share of Sh-t. Its all over the board. There are a number of books that should never be brought to film and this "pure puke of a movie is one of them.The writers should be stoned!! Expand

See all 197 User Reviews


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