User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 708 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 708

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    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!!!
  2. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas is a unique movie, and that should be enough to go see it. You want more? It's also emotionally powerful, funny in the right places, exciting on more than one occasion and it has a message it wants to deliver
  3. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas places you in the lives of six individuals, separated by race, gender, time and culture, and establishes a feeling akin to walking into a library, filled with timeless books of the past, present and future, with no intent to leave. Each story is intelligently edited and narrated, as common themes and plot progressions flow into one another. The acting, makeup and imagery areCloud Atlas places you in the lives of six individuals, separated by race, gender, time and culture, and establishes a feeling akin to walking into a library, filled with timeless books of the past, present and future, with no intent to leave. Each story is intelligently edited and narrated, as common themes and plot progressions flow into one another. The acting, makeup and imagery are also excellent. This is a movie about love, institution, freedom, power and the amazing simplicity of the human nature. I do believe this philosophical dreadnought could not be steered by any other than the Wachowskis, and is most aptly described by many viewers as ambitious for its scope and diversity. As one of the characters describes, "A half-finished book is a half-finished love affair", I would, too, feel truly incomplete if the stories met no conclusion and were stopped short. I am not disappointed in the book-movie incongruities, as these two items establish themselves with different goals and visions of the same plane. While I understand this type of movie is not everyone's cup of tea, you will most definitely leave the movie theater acknowledging that it was a few dollars well-spent. Expand
  4. Oct 26, 2012
    0
    Incoherent. Had about 40 places where it could have ended. Worst movie of the year. Just lost 3 hours of my life never to retrieve. Beware the same fate.
  5. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    Never while watching a film, have I been so utterly perplexed. Even as the credits began to roll, my jaw was dropped, my eyes glued to the screen. What had I just witnessed? At that point, I wasn
  6. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    Very unique movie. I was thoroughly entertained throughout! The scope and performances are exceptional. This is a MUST SEE. Ignore the critics! The public rates this movie above an 8 everywhere and believe me, it deserves it. One of my favorite movies of the decade.
  7. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    This is simply the best movie ever made. Nothing else in cinema history has ever come close to explaining what humanity is as cloud atlas details. DO NOT LET NAYSAYERS detract you. If you are a real person who makes real decisions and who has an attention span over three minutes you WILL appreciate this movie. It touches base on every single **** thing a human could ever want. I leftThis is simply the best movie ever made. Nothing else in cinema history has ever come close to explaining what humanity is as cloud atlas details. DO NOT LET NAYSAYERS detract you. If you are a real person who makes real decisions and who has an attention span over three minutes you WILL appreciate this movie. It touches base on every single **** thing a human could ever want. I left the theater in tears, in a good way. Explains all the mysteries in the world meaning it explains nothing and leaves all thought pondering questions aloft, just like we already had and like it. GO SEE IT SHANIQUWA!!!!! ITS AMAZING CHANGED ME FOR THE BETTER Expand
  8. Oct 26, 2012
    8
    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.
  9. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    I read the book about a year ago, and this movie coming out had me excited to see how the Matrix directors would treat the source material. Overall, the movie was very well put together, even to the point where I felt more informed by the movie than by the book. The editor for this film should definitely get an Oscar nomination for best editing, because the way the film is put togetherI read the book about a year ago, and this movie coming out had me excited to see how the Matrix directors would treat the source material. Overall, the movie was very well put together, even to the point where I felt more informed by the movie than by the book. The editor for this film should definitely get an Oscar nomination for best editing, because the way the film is put together really helps with pacing. I could have done without the homosexual makeout scene in the beginning, but other than that it was worth seeing. Expand
  10. Dec 16, 2012
    5
    The movie was nothing special. It was 40 minutes longer than it supposed to be. The stories (and the story as a whole) was cliché ridden and very predictable. The "meaning" or "message" of the movie could be told in 20 minutes. I did not like how the directors cast their actors to different sexes, races. I think it was very distracting at some points. I did not like that someThe movie was nothing special. It was 40 minutes longer than it supposed to be. The stories (and the story as a whole) was cliché ridden and very predictable. The "meaning" or "message" of the movie could be told in 20 minutes. I did not like how the directors cast their actors to different sexes, races. I think it was very distracting at some points. I did not like that some stories were too "funny" (retirement home storyline) and some stories were very dark in tone (Neo-Seoul storyline). I didn't feel the stories were coherent enough. Maybe with less directors it could have been a better movie. Overall average. Expand
  11. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    It's obviusly that some critics don't understand this amazing masterpiece. Cloud Atlas is one of the best movies of this year. The trama is complex but is excellent the development. The performances of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Strugess, Hugh Grant and the rest of the cast are awesome. And the screenplay, uff, is excellent. Cloud Atlas is one of the most wonderful moviesIt's obviusly that some critics don't understand this amazing masterpiece. Cloud Atlas is one of the best movies of this year. The trama is complex but is excellent the development. The performances of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Strugess, Hugh Grant and the rest of the cast are awesome. And the screenplay, uff, is excellent. Cloud Atlas is one of the most wonderful movies of this year. Expand
  12. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    "Impressive". That's the best description I could come up with after being asked about my thoughts on Cloud Atlas immediately following the film's second-ever public screening in September at TIFF. This may be one the most ambitious and epic films I've ever seen, demanding rapt attention from viewers as they're taken on a two hour and forty three minute odyssey that spans the globe over"Impressive". That's the best description I could come up with after being asked about my thoughts on Cloud Atlas immediately following the film's second-ever public screening in September at TIFF. This may be one the most ambitious and epic films I've ever seen, demanding rapt attention from viewers as they're taken on a two hour and forty three minute odyssey that spans the globe over 500 years and hopscotches between numerous interwoven storylines that incorporates just about every film genre available, featuring actors playing several different roles each. Cloud Atlas is based on British author David Mitchell's best-selling 2004 novel and was a huge challenge for the filmmakers to adapt and finance (its estimated budget of over $100 million also makes it the most expensive independent film ever made). The architects of this beautifully twisted madness are directors/writers/producers Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and The Matrix's Wachowski siblings, Andy and Lana (Lana was Larry until a gender transition that was completed about five years ago). The Wachowskis, notoriously press shy, were surprisingly on hand (along with Tykwer) to introduce the film's second screening the morning after its star-studded TIFF world premiere on September 8th. A movie this expansive should have a large cast, considering how many characters appear - not so in this case, though. Principal actors Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, and Xun Zhou each take on multiple roles that plays loose and fast with the actors' ages, races, and genders (Susan Sarandon, Keith David, James D'Arcy, and Doona Bae also have smaller roles). Having so many dimensions to explore with all of their characters must have been acting nirvana for this lot. For the most part, they pull off the various requirements of the roles, many of which require a significant amount of prosthetics and makeup. Several of the roles were so well disguised that I was completely clueless that a certain actor had played the role until the end credits visually made some of the big reveals. Sticking around until the end is an absolute necessity for Cloud Atlas - the oohs and ahhs from the theatre audience as they discovered who actually played some of the parts was a wonderfully unique filmgoing experience for me. For all of the positive aspects that the race bending and gender bending idea brings to the film, there is the distinct whiff of gimmick attached to it. Things do get a little silly when you have Weaving seemingly playing an Asian character whose makeup produces more of a Vulcan look (which may have been intentional on the filmmakers' part), as well as in full drag playing a Nurse Ratched-like character. The latter obviously has parallels to Lana Wachowski's own life and although the nurse character provides some decent laughs, I was a little hung up on how it seemed one of the character's main functions was to generate laughs purely based on the surreal sight of Weaving playing one truly ugly looking woman. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it. Weaving does provide one of Cloud Atlas' most memorable roles, as the seriously creepy Old Georgie, who terrorizes one of Hanks' many characters. Hanks does some of the best work I've ever seen from him, playing four different characters that range from an unscrupulous doctor in the 1800s to going far against type with maybe the film's standout character, a modern-day thuggish British writer named Dermot Hoggins who gets the ultimate revenge on a critic for a bad review. Berry is excellent with her main roles playing an ambitious reporter in 1970s San Francisco and a political figurehead (from what I could grasp) aligned with one of Hanks' characters in the far future, in one of the film's few storylines that doesn't quite work. Also great is Broadbent as both a composer and playing a man tricked into living in a retirement home, who provides the film's best comic relief. The weighty Cloud Atlas themes of interconnectedness, philosophy, reincarnation, oppression, and destiny, along with the film's highly challenging pace and complex non-linear storytelling construct will prove daunting to many - I was certainly lost a number of times. This is the type of daring film that demands multiple viewings to completely grasp the filmmakers' grand scope and there's nothing wrong with a little audaciousness from Hollywood once in a while. Even with a big-name cast, it'll be very interesting to see how the otherwise difficult-to-market Cloud Atlas will fare at the box office come late October. Expand
  13. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    This was a fantastic film, one that deserves to be seen and hopefully, whether you love or hate it, you will agree. I have not seen a movie in recent memory that has critics so divided. At one end you have Ebert giving it an absolutely perfect score, and at the other professionals giving it almost a 0. The movie begs to be experienced and not described. Watching the trailer will tell youThis was a fantastic film, one that deserves to be seen and hopefully, whether you love or hate it, you will agree. I have not seen a movie in recent memory that has critics so divided. At one end you have Ebert giving it an absolutely perfect score, and at the other professionals giving it almost a 0. The movie begs to be experienced and not described. Watching the trailer will tell you really all you need to know, and it will give you most of the story as well. This is about the thirst for freedom and finding love along the way, as some natural, unmovable phenomenon. But it's also about simply being alive. Very worth a watch, but don't get up to pee, or you'll miss everything. Expand
  14. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    The movie starts off asking for forgiveness through, through a narrative, for telling a story simultaneously from different vantage points. I decided to give the story the benefit of the doubt, and settled in for a ride without criticising it as it unfolded.

    Many people say that the stories were loosely tied together, and were not that fundamentally symmetrical. That's the point imo. It
    The movie starts off asking for forgiveness through, through a narrative, for telling a story simultaneously from different vantage points. I decided to give the story the benefit of the doubt, and settled in for a ride without criticising it as it unfolded.

    Many people say that the stories were loosely tied together, and were not that fundamentally symmetrical. That's the point imo. It is a story that shows how actions we choose echo through both past and future creating a new set of conditions which we have to then choose between. As we choose, the consequences good or bad echo through the ages yet again. That we are agents of free will but also have great influence in the creation and destruction of the possibilities we encounter. That Karma from our actions cascades back and forth between our 'past and future lives', and if we encounter events which we believe are out of our control in this life, it is because of our actions in another life are re-writing the conditions we face.

    Overall I really enjoyed the story, the concept, the visuals, and sound. Really good movie.
    Expand
  15. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    So 3 months ago I made this facebook group "Cloud Atlas Changed My Life: The Group" (look it up) to mingle with others who had their little minds blown by the 5 minute+ CLOUD ATLAS trailer. Now, after seeing the film last night and then sleeping on it, I feel it is one of the most ambitious, thought provoking, and dare I say "Libertarian" films of our time. In other words I LOVED IT. WhenSo 3 months ago I made this facebook group "Cloud Atlas Changed My Life: The Group" (look it up) to mingle with others who had their little minds blown by the 5 minute+ CLOUD ATLAS trailer. Now, after seeing the film last night and then sleeping on it, I feel it is one of the most ambitious, thought provoking, and dare I say "Libertarian" films of our time. In other words I LOVED IT. When I got home and began chatting in the group we were informed that the two editors of the trailer were hiding out in our group all along. It was the trailer that inspired me to do something about my weight and lose 40lbs since seeing it on July 27th. So I got to thank them, and I have to say that is pretty sweet indeed. Expand
  16. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    This is a must see movie by far the best movie of the year. If you didn't like the movie it's probably because your close minded or you didn't pay attending. Movies like this are ahead of there time. I will be buying this movie when it comes out.
  17. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    This movie will change you. You will love it or you will hate it, but you have to see it. Don't let the voices of others impede you from having a truly incredible experience!

    Be open minded, laugh at the silly things that sometimes occur ( do note awesome things happen WAY more!) but never miss the overall message. It's entertaining, it's beautiful, and it will change you. Go see it,
    This movie will change you. You will love it or you will hate it, but you have to see it. Don't let the voices of others impede you from having a truly incredible experience!

    Be open minded, laugh at the silly things that sometimes occur ( do note awesome things happen WAY more!) but never miss the overall message. It's entertaining, it's beautiful, and it will change you. Go see it, and don't listen to anyone else!
    Expand
  18. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    This is the best movie i've seen in years. I'll admit that 3 out of the 5 people in my group could not grasp what the movie was going for or understand how each story was connected, but I found this movie to be engaging and keep my brain attentive and intrigued. I liked the way it gave you a little of each story at a time and switched back and forth to the point where you're about toThis is the best movie i've seen in years. I'll admit that 3 out of the 5 people in my group could not grasp what the movie was going for or understand how each story was connected, but I found this movie to be engaging and keep my brain attentive and intrigued. I liked the way it gave you a little of each story at a time and switched back and forth to the point where you're about to burst with excitement by the time they wrap everything up. It is immersive and fun, with laughs and wit trucked everywhere. If you have trouble following a seemingly random and rambling storyline or don't have an appreciation for the cosmic and endless battle of good verses evil, this movie may not be for you. I don't want to give things away or spoil the movie, but this is not a "normal" movie and if you don't pay attention, you won't get it and you won't like it. If you have an open mind and are looking for excitement and entertainment, look no further. Amazing movie. More than just a flash in the pan "here's 10$ can I see some explosions and/or **** While it does have both, they are certainly not the focal poi t of this movie. Just go see it for yourself. Expand
  19. Oct 28, 2012
    4
    Cloud Atlas literally comes down to a jumble of incoherent stories that were supposed to be tied together in one way or another. However when attempting to tie these stories together the movie fell short and the only reasoning it gave you for why these stories are linked is the recurrence of characters and that is it besides some loosely based similarities in the stories that my friendsCloud Atlas literally comes down to a jumble of incoherent stories that were supposed to be tied together in one way or another. However when attempting to tie these stories together the movie fell short and the only reasoning it gave you for why these stories are linked is the recurrence of characters and that is it besides some loosely based similarities in the stories that my friends and family sadly attempted to convince me of. If I were you I would save the money to go see this movie since I doubt most will be able to make any sense of the movies plot. I will only give this movie on more shot when it comes out on DVD and I can snag it for $1 at a RedBox to attempt to try and understand the story one last time. I say once more wait for this movie to come out on DVD and you get rent it for $1 because that is about all the movie is worth. Expand
  20. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas is perhaps the most ambitious film ever made, with a masterful pay off. The spectacular inventive storing-telling is incredibly captivating. Cloud Atlas entirely redefined what a film could be. The film truly is a one of a kind masterpiece.
  21. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    Epic Masterpiece - 10/10. But, should you disagree let's see "why" those who would rate Cloud Atlas lowly do so:

    1. "It was all over the place and made no sense." 2. "Please go see something fun!" 3. "The movie was full of filthy language." 4. "Immature sexual scenes that were almost "American Pie" in immaturity." 5. "The focus was very negative and dark with no hope of
    Epic Masterpiece - 10/10. But, should you disagree let's see "why" those who would rate Cloud Atlas lowly do so:

    1. "It was all over the place and made no sense."

    2. "Please go see something fun!"

    3. "The movie was full of filthy language."

    4. "Immature sexual scenes that were almost "American Pie" in immaturity."

    5. "The focus was very negative and dark with no hope of anything or any kind."

    6. "Too much focus on liberal values and viewpoints."

    7. "Conviluted."

    8. "Right at the beginning we find the first love affair is between two gay men..."

    9. "I would suggest responsible parents to keep children away from this film."

    10. "I think John Carter was a better made movie."

    11. "Speilberg should be ashamed!"

    The foregoing are associated with low ratings and these are their reasons. To my mind, they speak to the LCD of the American psyche.

    Go see Cloud Atlas. Now. It is majestic - You have no excuse.
    Expand
  22. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    An incredibly ambitious and gorgeous cinematic masterpiece. Cloud Atlas tells the story of the human experience and the transcendental traits that link us through time, race, gender, love and hate. The challenge of the movie is to not be distracted by the varying story-lines that are are at once intertwined yet wholly independent but to allow the entirety of the experience to exist as oneAn incredibly ambitious and gorgeous cinematic masterpiece. Cloud Atlas tells the story of the human experience and the transcendental traits that link us through time, race, gender, love and hate. The challenge of the movie is to not be distracted by the varying story-lines that are are at once intertwined yet wholly independent but to allow the entirety of the experience to exist as one fantastic homage to humanity in all its forms and epochs. It is not one story but the entirety of the experience as it washes over you that you find the beauty in this film. Expand
  23. Dec 21, 2012
    4
    It tries too hard to tell 6 stories that simply are not interesting either independently or related to one another.
    Some of the make-ups were just atrocious.
  24. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    It's somewhat difficult for me to pinpoint why exactly I love "Cloud Atlas" as much as I do, but i think if I were to find one thing above all else (and this is something that has been true of the Wachowskis throughout their entire career) it is that the movie is not afraid to expect a lot from its audience without trying to come of as exclusive. Far too often, big blockbuster films areIt's somewhat difficult for me to pinpoint why exactly I love "Cloud Atlas" as much as I do, but i think if I were to find one thing above all else (and this is something that has been true of the Wachowskis throughout their entire career) it is that the movie is not afraid to expect a lot from its audience without trying to come of as exclusive. Far too often, big blockbuster films are sanded down to be as palatable as humanly possible. They can't be too complex or challenging or else they might scare off potential audience members. Similarly, movies that do expect a lot from their audiences generally proceed as though they are more interested in being ~artistic~ than actually engaging their audience. "Cloud Atlas" is a very rare mixture between the two. It is a very demanding film. It tries your patience, it doesn't try to simplify itself, and for some it will possibly offend. If some aspect of the film repulses you or you simply have a tendency to cynically disengage from films that actively try to be different or have a message, I imagine you will not enjoy this movie. And if you do wish to engage with the film on the level that it expects you to, then I can guarantee that you will feel exhausted by the end of it. But I also believe that if you do fully engage with the film, you will have a very powerful and deeply moving film-going experience. The film bounces between six different stories as a sort of stream of consciousness. The film is still somewhat chronological in that all of the simultaneous stories move along at roughly the same pace (you don't have situations where one film is climaxing while the other is still building) but the cuts between the stories ask you to multitask. Put one story on hold while you jump into another. As someone with ADHD, I would say this movie is the best way I could explain what it is like. Something in a scene sort of triggers a scene from a different story to pop out, leaving the previous story on hold until something brings it back. The movie is basically a stream of tangents that all end up moving together in the same general arc. Not only that, but all of the stories, while sharing the same basic themes, are vastly different in tone and genre. On TOP of that, the film makes use of makeup techniques that are inarguably racist in order to both maintain a sense of continuity and also to perhaps provoke that sense of racism so that we as an audience can carry that with us and connect it with our lives. This is a lot to ask of an audience, and while I acknowledge that not everyone wants to play along, the film is not taking these risks for the sake of self-indulgence. At least, that's not what I believe that it is doing. These decisions don't feel like they were made in order to be ~unique~ or whatever, but because they directors believed that they made the film better. I felt like the same conversation came up whenever they discussed how they should approach something within the film, if anyone involved expressed doubt that the audience would go for it, they insisted that they give the audience more credit than that. The film asks a lot of its audience, yes, but it's not shouting from a mountain of superiority, arrogantly proclaiming that if you don't get it than you are a simpleton. It humbly places itself into the viewers hands, respectfully asks for your patience, and then unfolds. It's true that I'm probably more inclined to be patient with this film than others might be. I've always been fond of the Wachowskis' work and pretty much all of the genres involved within the film are genres that I have some degree of affection for. Additionally, the film's unusual method of movement really clicked with me, perhaps because that tangential stream of consciousness is how my mind tends to work. But I'm not giving this film a 10/10 simply because I truly loved it, but because the movie was willing to be different in order to achieve that level of connection with the audience, even if it meant risking losing a part of that audience. And it wasn't just different for the sake of being different. Every time it did something that would probably make an executive nervous, it was for a very specific reason, and that reason was almost always "To improve the film". It wasn't breaking the mold for the sake of it. It was breaking the mold because there was no mold that could properly convey what this film was trying to do. The biggest problem with film (and other popular visual media) is that the creators are often afraid to say what they want to say exactly how they want to say it because it is generally believed that art should be able to speak to as large an audience as possible. The problem is that it is often misconstrued to mean that art should be LIKED by as wide an audience as possible. Even though "Cloud Atlas" won't work for a lot of people, it's not for lack of trying. "Cloud Atlas" knows what it wants to be and is very honest about it. To me, that is most admirable. Expand
  25. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    What an amazing experience watching Cloud Atlas was. The film on a visual level is astounding on so many levels. And what levels this film had. Too many critics have been saying how this film is about how we are all connected but they are mistaken. On a dramatic level I was thrilled and on a intelectual level I was engaged for three hours. When I guaranteed the Dark Knight Rises would beWhat an amazing experience watching Cloud Atlas was. The film on a visual level is astounding on so many levels. And what levels this film had. Too many critics have been saying how this film is about how we are all connected but they are mistaken. On a dramatic level I was thrilled and on a intelectual level I was engaged for three hours. When I guaranteed the Dark Knight Rises would be the best film of the year I did not know there would be as great as a film as Cloud Atlas. Expand
  26. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    Once you suspend your desire for a coherent story, you can relax and enjoy how the movie as a whole advocated a coherent theme. While the constant bridging between disparate stories can get on your nerves if you're looking for a full-film length fleshed out arc for each character, when you get upset over that you miss the greater beauty of the movie. Relax. When I focused on the bigOnce you suspend your desire for a coherent story, you can relax and enjoy how the movie as a whole advocated a coherent theme. While the constant bridging between disparate stories can get on your nerves if you're looking for a full-film length fleshed out arc for each character, when you get upset over that you miss the greater beauty of the movie. Relax. When I focused on the big picture I truly enjoyed it. Expand
  27. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    Words cannot describe how amazing this movie was. I felt so many things while watching this movie and still felt them on the drive home. Go and see it!
  28. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    For a fan of the novel, this movie adaptation was a wonderful gift, much better than we had a right to hope for. It captured both the creativity and the feel of the novel and embodied its themes beautifully. I have no idea how the movie would seem to someone who hadn't read the novel, though.
  29. Oct 30, 2012
    6
    This multi-level film is based on the novel of the same name, which interweaves 6 stories from various time periods with actors playing multiple characters. This means elaborate makeup, as they cast Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and other cast members in as many as 6 roles. The messages of universal continuity and connectedness are hammered home as the drama and action unfolds. While it'sThis multi-level film is based on the novel of the same name, which interweaves 6 stories from various time periods with actors playing multiple characters. This means elaborate makeup, as they cast Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and other cast members in as many as 6 roles. The messages of universal continuity and connectedness are hammered home as the drama and action unfolds. While it's realized with masterful skill by the Wachowskis (best known for the "Matrix" series) and Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run"), the slow-moving stories take up almost 3 hours. Visually, it's often spectacular (despite the sometimes embarrassing makeup), but as entertainment or inspiration it gets downright tedious. Expand
  30. Nov 20, 2012
    1
    When I went to see this film, I had just finished the book, and I decided to be mindful of the fact that the book is so uniquely structured and long, and as most people stated before the movie came out, "virtually unfilmable." So let me start with the good: I have to applaud the filmmakers for their ambitious attempts and I don't consider the film and utter failure, however: they made someWhen I went to see this film, I had just finished the book, and I decided to be mindful of the fact that the book is so uniquely structured and long, and as most people stated before the movie came out, "virtually unfilmable." So let me start with the good: I have to applaud the filmmakers for their ambitious attempts and I don't consider the film and utter failure, however: they made some fundamentally bad decisions, starting with the cast. It's not that I hate the actors they chose (I have neutral-to-generally-positive feelings towards most of them), it's how they chose to cast them for multiple roles: they were trying to instill the idea of reincarnation, which I think they conveyed just fine in their many many overdone narrative monologues. I also found the choice to cast actors for multiple parts of such different races distasteful: I hear people talking about the film deserving best make-up awards, but I did not, for a moment, believe that any of the characters looked like the race they were supposed to be portraying. The attempts were unsuccessful and frankly, to me (a European-Asian-American), genuinely offensive. The actors themselves, were neither terrible nor great. The intercutting of the different scenes was, for the most part, clever, and probably the best way they could have translated the structure of the novel into filmic language. There are also immense plot changes that I won't even bother to get into, because they alone are not my biggest gripe with the film. Its biggest flaw is that it robs the book of its ideology and turns what is a very complex narrative into what is in comparison, a banal film about interwoven love stories. David Mitchell expressed his full support for the film, but if I were him, I would be appalled at the overromanticized diluted three-hour mess the filmmakers turned a great novel into.
    If you enjoyed the movie as is, without the book, I can understand. However, consider reading the book. To me, it felt that when I watched the movie, I really only glimpsed the tip of the iceberg: there is so much more to the book and it's worth a read to get a better understanding and much more fleshed-out version of each nested story, not to mention some VITAL themes that were left out of the movie altogether.
    Expand
  31. Nov 18, 2012
    9
    This movies near-perfect editing is astounding. Sure, it may be a little gimmicky, but the real masterpiece to behold is the way they seamlessly transition from scene to scene with a related topic, yet it transitions to a different experience entirely. Best way I can explain it; you're flipping the channel between 6 movies for 3 hours, but every time you change the channel it relates toThis movies near-perfect editing is astounding. Sure, it may be a little gimmicky, but the real masterpiece to behold is the way they seamlessly transition from scene to scene with a related topic, yet it transitions to a different experience entirely. Best way I can explain it; you're flipping the channel between 6 movies for 3 hours, but every time you change the channel it relates to the movie you switched to, and it all has a time-transcending theme. The 6 movies not only differ in time, or character, but they also differ in Genre. Historical Fiction, Romance, Suspense Thriller, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Post-Sci-Fi (post apocalyptic). How they manage to lump it all together into an ADD-reminiscent experience, yet still be successfully coherent is beyond me. Expand
  32. Oct 28, 2012
    10
    I think cloud Atlas was a non stop action heart pounding movie, I love everything about this film. I think it should be up for best picture. The academy awards choose a movie this should be the one. The graphics were amazing and the frightening high places and death stunts were so frightening. There were plenty of wonderful story lines from so many amazing characters in the different rolesI think cloud Atlas was a non stop action heart pounding movie, I love everything about this film. I think it should be up for best picture. The academy awards choose a movie this should be the one. The graphics were amazing and the frightening high places and death stunts were so frightening. There were plenty of wonderful story lines from so many amazing characters in the different roles they all played in the pass and the present. One have to pay very close attention to this movie to understand where it is going at or you will miss the point, plain and simple. Halley and Tom did a splendid and job in acting and in action parts together. This is one movie I have not seen made before or I haven't seen a remake of this film either. This film was very original and very humorous at times. I also think the elderly seniors were very hysterical and very lovable, so hats up to them. I can not wait until it hits DVD. Expand
  33. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    Probably the best movie I have seen in a long time. This movie is only for those people who are opened-minded enough to see it. It takes you on a whirlwind voyage from past, to present, to future and, the funny thing is, if you watch it with the intention of learning where your place is in the whole scheme of things, the 2 hours 50 mins playing time seem like it comes and goes way tooProbably the best movie I have seen in a long time. This movie is only for those people who are opened-minded enough to see it. It takes you on a whirlwind voyage from past, to present, to future and, the funny thing is, if you watch it with the intention of learning where your place is in the whole scheme of things, the 2 hours 50 mins playing time seem like it comes and goes way too quickly. I never got bored once and my attention stayed on the screen as you walk, drift, and fly with each character in his/her story. A wonderful vision the collaborative efforts of both the actors and directors that culminate in a movie I will most certainly watch time and time again. I'm hoping the extended version of the directors' cut comes out on blu. Read the book, it helps with the details as the movie moves just a little too fast leaving out some details that add to each story (as is expected when a novel goes to the big screen). Expand
  34. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    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 payIt'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
  35. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    A symphony of film making. Cloud Atlas tied together multiple story lines in a powerful and elegant way. There were six movements, all with intertwined themes, that tie together to create a moving piece.
  36. Oct 29, 2012
    0
    This is the first review I've written on a movie. I actually went out of my way to make an account and write this review so no one else has to waste 3 hours of their life on this epic piece of garbage. This is the SECOND WORST movie I have ever seen in my life, the first being Gigli (rated 2.4/10 on imdb).

    TLDR: UNLESS YOU READ THE BOOK, DO NOT BOTHER WATCHING THE MOVIE This movie is
    This is the first review I've written on a movie. I actually went out of my way to make an account and write this review so no one else has to waste 3 hours of their life on this epic piece of garbage. This is the SECOND WORST movie I have ever seen in my life, the first being Gigli (rated 2.4/10 on imdb).

    TLDR: UNLESS YOU READ THE BOOK, DO NOT BOTHER WATCHING THE MOVIE

    This movie is so incoherent, I wasted 1.5hrs just being introduced to all of the various characters, hoping that their pointless lives would somehow connect and make sense. In the end you're left with several pointless protagonists, from different points in time, in different planets/universes/w.e. I will hate Tom Hanks forever ever after watching this piece of garbage.
    Expand
  37. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    This is an amazing movie and I enjoyed it immensely. There are commonalities in the different plots, but there's no need to strain to link them. Using the same actors for all the pieces in roles they would normally not be cast creates unusual and unique faces - something very much missing in Hollywood. The future-speak that some bemoan is a very cool touch. You should definitely seeThis is an amazing movie and I enjoyed it immensely. There are commonalities in the different plots, but there's no need to strain to link them. Using the same actors for all the pieces in roles they would normally not be cast creates unusual and unique faces - something very much missing in Hollywood. The future-speak that some bemoan is a very cool touch. You should definitely see this movie. Expand
  38. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    i think it's one of the best movie's i've ever seen. so hard to make, and they did such a good job. it's kind of like an impossible stage play. it has that literary adaptation quality to it, where it's almost rigid like a play at times, and yet so full of life too. and it just keeps rolling. it's very long and very entertaining the whole time. i don't know what to say to make you seei think it's one of the best movie's i've ever seen. so hard to make, and they did such a good job. it's kind of like an impossible stage play. it has that literary adaptation quality to it, where it's almost rigid like a play at times, and yet so full of life too. and it just keeps rolling. it's very long and very entertaining the whole time. i don't know what to say to make you see it....but give the movie a shot, it's awesome. Expand
  39. Oct 26, 2012
    8
    What to say about 'Cloud Atlas'? It is perhaps the most inspiring film I have seen in a long time. It's not perfect, but I couldn't stop smiling once the lights came back up.
    For a brief moment, I thought maybe everyone in the theater was going to turn and hug the person next to them.
    Love, freedom and hope for humanity. Or at least, that's what I thought about it. . .
  40. Oct 28, 2012
    9
    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.
  41. Koz
    Feb 25, 2013
    10
    Best movie I saw this year, probably one of the best I've ever seen. Wasn't bored for a single minute during the almost 3 hours. It had my complete attention. I can imagine why some people would not like this. It takes a certain amount of concentration and brain power to keep track of the six stories and to figure out how all of that is connected.
    I highly recommend this movie.
  42. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    I haven't had this much fun at the movies in a long, long time. I mean, this film is absolutely ridiculous. There are a million storylines, actors playing multiple characters (of different races), it spans hundreds of years... and it all somehow works, at least for me. The storylines were fleshed out, the actors embody each of their characters with remarkable skill... If nothing else,I haven't had this much fun at the movies in a long, long time. I mean, this film is absolutely ridiculous. There are a million storylines, actors playing multiple characters (of different races), it spans hundreds of years... and it all somehow works, at least for me. The storylines were fleshed out, the actors embody each of their characters with remarkable skill... If nothing else, "Cloud Atlas" is one of the most ambitious films ever made, and possibly one of the greatest. Of course, it all depends on whether or not you can accept the utter ridiculousness that comes with a narrative of this scope, but if you can, it's a ton of intelligent, crazy fun. Expand
  43. Mar 9, 2013
    3
    "Cloud Atlas" was ambitious and could've been done right, but the Wachowskis just weren't up to it, rare miss. First, they didn't have to use the same six subplots in the source material, they could've substituted far more interesting stories instead. Second, the subplot jump-editing style is fine for two, maybe three stories but not six, it's too confusing to follow. Third, it seems"Cloud Atlas" was ambitious and could've been done right, but the Wachowskis just weren't up to it, rare miss. First, they didn't have to use the same six subplots in the source material, they could've substituted far more interesting stories instead. Second, the subplot jump-editing style is fine for two, maybe three stories but not six, it's too confusing to follow. Third, it seems juvenile with its pop-psych platitudes, more suitable for tweens than for film-experienced adults. Finally, it's a series of gag love stories, and the public should've been warned far more clearly. Yes, chix love this stuff but sci-fi guys hoping for mind-twisting action, bitter disappointment. Expand
  44. Oct 26, 2012
    2
    An overly-long mess of a movie. Dialog that is either too low/unintelligible to hear, or in a "future-dialect" that can only barely be understood. For some reason, the same actors play multiple different roles in the various different storylines. At no time did I feel I understood what was going on, or what the point of it all was. Maybe you had to have read the book. The best part ofAn overly-long mess of a movie. Dialog that is either too low/unintelligible to hear, or in a "future-dialect" that can only barely be understood. For some reason, the same actors play multiple different roles in the various different storylines. At no time did I feel I understood what was going on, or what the point of it all was. Maybe you had to have read the book. The best part of the movie for me was the popcorn. I want those 3 hours of my life back. Expand
  45. Nov 11, 2012
    9
    From reading the mixed reviews, I expected Cloud Atlas to be an incomprehensible, wildly uneven mess of a movie, but that could not be further from the truth. It is an ambitious triumph of film-making audacity. If you pay attention, there is a strong theme - that in life one must make choices, and these choices are irreversible . Those that make courageous choices are celebrated. WeFrom reading the mixed reviews, I expected Cloud Atlas to be an incomprehensible, wildly uneven mess of a movie, but that could not be further from the truth. It is an ambitious triumph of film-making audacity. If you pay attention, there is a strong theme - that in life one must make choices, and these choices are irreversible . Those that make courageous choices are celebrated. We also see that the consequences of brave choices are variable, but that each choice a person makes has consequences that ripple out across whole worlds of people. The concept of spiritual connectedness is explored in great depth throughout all six interrelated stories. The ending is very moving. If you are contemplating seeing Cloud Atlas, but are afraid it will lose you in its complications, don't be. It is one of the few complicated epics I've seen that really works, even if you are left with questions afterwards. A really fine return to form for the Wachoiwski siblings and Tom Twyker, and a wonderful, sophisticated movie-going experience. Expand
  46. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    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 likeThis 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
  47. Oct 29, 2012
    1
    Cloud Atlas is attempting to be an intellectual film, and had the storytelling devices been different, maybe it would have succeeded. Unfortunately, the movie was too long, too badly cut, to create a coherent whole.

    The main issue I have with the film is the fact that before any of the storylines can really get going, the movie cuts to a different storyline altogether. Every time I
    Cloud Atlas is attempting to be an intellectual film, and had the storytelling devices been different, maybe it would have succeeded. Unfortunately, the movie was too long, too badly cut, to create a coherent whole.

    The main issue I have with the film is the fact that before any of the storylines can really get going, the movie cuts to a different storyline altogether. Every time I thought I might start getting interested, all the momentum and tension the scene had going for it would be dispersed when once again I was treated to another section. It didn't help that at times, the six different storylines didn't feel stylistically linked. The three chronologically earliest pieces have a serious tone and seem very grounded in reality; then we have the nursing home bit, which is far too comedic to match with any of the other pieces; finally there are the two futuristic sci-fi ones, which once again feel like a departure from the earlier, more "realistic" settings. And all the explosions felt out of place--Cloud Atlas is not, after all, supposed to be a summer-blockbuster action thriller.

    And yet despite all the attempts to add tension, the movie is just flat out boring because of the horrible pacing. There were several moments when I thought for sure the movie would be over, but no, it continued for another hour.

    I might have appreciated the six storylines individually; smushed together, they detracted from each other and made me not care about any of them.
    Expand
  48. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    Luminous but nearly undone by its own ambition, Cloud Atlas inspires nonetheless. I've read the negative reviews from a very small number of film nerd nitwits, and I seriously cannot comprehend the vitriol. I saw this film with a bunch of Hurricane exasperated New Yorkers in a packed theater, and the audience was stunned and riveted. Just see the film.
  49. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas was a great movie, although obviously not a movie for everybody. It makes you think and easily fills its two hour, forty-five minute run time. The acting is spot on and the story is compelling. I will certainly be buying this when it comes out. Best movie I've seen since Hugo.
  50. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    If you have no philosophical, reflective bones in your body I doubt that you will like this movie. There is a steady flow of poetic thoughts about the meaning and mess of our lives scattered through the movie.

    I was questioning the ability of anyone to keep me interested for three hours, but I was wrong. I was never bored; confused, yes, but I didn't care as the impression was always
    If you have no philosophical, reflective bones in your body I doubt that you will like this movie. There is a steady flow of poetic thoughts about the meaning and mess of our lives scattered through the movie.

    I was questioning the ability of anyone to keep me interested for three hours, but I was wrong. I was never bored; confused, yes, but I didn't care as the impression was always clear enough. This is a spectacular, thought-provoking movie.
    Expand
  51. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    Loved this movie! Truly one of the best movies I have ever seen. I can see why it might not appeal to everyone but I think most people will appreciate the unique story and sheer entertainment value of this movie. It has a little bit of everything that makes a movie great!
  52. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas is going to seriously divide audiences. It is one of the most ambitious films of all time, and every once in a while it falls flat under the weight of it's own ambition, mostly due to hugely inconsistent makeup. But it makes up for that by pushing the boundaries of storytelling, editing, artistic vision and hugely personal ambition. It's hard not to admire and respect this filmCloud Atlas is going to seriously divide audiences. It is one of the most ambitious films of all time, and every once in a while it falls flat under the weight of it's own ambition, mostly due to hugely inconsistent makeup. But it makes up for that by pushing the boundaries of storytelling, editing, artistic vision and hugely personal ambition. It's hard not to admire and respect this film for reaching to the stars in a time where very few movies try anymore. It flows wonderfully like a beautiful piece of music, which makes the near 3 hour running time a luxury and not a boring chore. We need more films like this, or else I have great fear for the future of cinema Expand
  53. May 18, 2013
    10
    I am in awe of this movie. How exactly did this not get on most critics' Top Ten lists? I loved it. Just about the quickest 3 hour movie I have ever watched. It was perfect. Every aspect of it was remarkable. So ambitious and brilliantly realized. Surely history will be kinder to this movie than the critics were. What a pleasant surprise.
  54. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    One of the best pieces of art that I have ever perceived. Weak minds, or distracted viewers, will give this film a bad name, please do not listen to them. I have the impression that this film has spoiled me; from now on I want my art as sophisticated, complex and captivating as this. If anyone who had something to do in this film reads this by any chance, I just want to tell you thank you.One of the best pieces of art that I have ever perceived. Weak minds, or distracted viewers, will give this film a bad name, please do not listen to them. I have the impression that this film has spoiled me; from now on I want my art as sophisticated, complex and captivating as this. If anyone who had something to do in this film reads this by any chance, I just want to tell you thank you. : I sometimes cry at films, and at the part of ''how do you imagine heaven?'' and the door being opened, I asked to myself ''why am I not crying?'', and realised that because it was something too beautiful to spill tears for; the music, the scene, the movement, the nods that were tied to that moment, simply amazing. Expand
  55. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    If you don't have an imagination, like to ponder, dislike thinking or feeling, don't watch this movie. This is one of those movies where you may have to watch a couple times to see all that it has to offer, for me that's a good thing, but some may not like that aspect.
  56. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    This is the type of movie where the first time you see it, it is merely an introduction. I can see myself watching it countless times over and over on blu-ray picking up things I did not realize before. AWESOME film. It is a shame that so many critics blasted it. If you check the movies that the critics that blasted this one rated high, it is evident that they have no business beingThis is the type of movie where the first time you see it, it is merely an introduction. I can see myself watching it countless times over and over on blu-ray picking up things I did not realize before. AWESOME film. It is a shame that so many critics blasted it. If you check the movies that the critics that blasted this one rated high, it is evident that they have no business being critics lol. I won't give it away, but there is a hilarious and truly gratifying scene involving a critic. I am guessing this scene is part of the reason some of them were sour in their reviews. 10+ Expand
  57. Oct 31, 2012
    1
    If the six stories were disentangled and laid out separately, it would be clear that none of them has much depth or surprise... Very hard to follow! Plot was not developed well and I feel like the whole movie is about all the special effects, CGI and costumes.. DO NOT WASTE time or money watching this movie.
  58. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas was a singularly phenomenal achievement; a testament to the presence and power of human dignity across time, cultures, genders, and genres, and the possibility of redemption for even the most sinister souls. I am unequivocally in love with this movie.
  59. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas may be the best movie the Wachowskis have ever made... and nobody is seeing it.

    Ironically, there's a line in the movie delivered to a composer: "You may write the best symphony of all time, but it won't matter because no one will listen to it." If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It is beautiful and complex and touching and rich. It will barrage your senses and
    Cloud Atlas may be the best movie the Wachowskis have ever made... and nobody is seeing it.

    Ironically, there's a line in the movie delivered to a composer: "You may write the best symphony of all time, but it won't matter because no one will listen to it."

    If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It is beautiful and complex and touching and rich. It will barrage your senses and excite the intellect.
    Expand
  60. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    As polarizing as The Tree of Life, Cloud Atlas is an original and ambitious film, blending too many genres to count and making bold risks that should only be admired. Taking place in the distant past, the far future, and everything in between, the movie tells six stories that are all interesting in their own right, slipping between the separate threads with surprising ease. Objectively,As polarizing as The Tree of Life, Cloud Atlas is an original and ambitious film, blending too many genres to count and making bold risks that should only be admired. Taking place in the distant past, the far future, and everything in between, the movie tells six stories that are all interesting in their own right, slipping between the separate threads with surprising ease. Objectively, Cloud Atlas is superb on a technical level, a fact that should not go ignored. Another fact: the visuals are stunning, benefiting from the wonderful cinematography. What is more, the acting is terrific, with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry really giving their best performances in recent memory. As I hope the academy recognizes, the makeup in Cloud Atlas is masterfully done, rendering even the most recognizable actors unrecognizable. On one hand, Cloud Atlas is not, as some critics have tried to label it, pseudo-intellectual garbage . On the other hand, Cloud Atlas is not a pretentious film that prides itself in being too "smart" for the majority of its viewers to grasp, hiding behind the guise of "art". Fortunately, the plot of the film is easy to grasp if you are paying attention, and there is far less ambiguity than you might expect. Most importantly, paying nearly three hours of close attention is worth it; Cloud Atlas builds to a sensational, emotional climax that is impossible to forget. Expand
  61. Jan 8, 2013
    1
    Really disliked it. Couldn't connect or relate to any of the characters. The 6 stories were a low blow and a badly made one at capitalism, but they didn't seem to connect at all. The stories were bad individually and collectively they are worse. It's three hours but it feels like ages. In my opinion it was also one of the worst performances made by Tom Hanks...
  62. BKM
    Jun 18, 2013
    6
    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.
  63. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    I loved this movie. I had just finished reading the book which is an incredible read, the language is just beautiful, and I was curious as to how they could film it, but they did an incredible job. It deserves to be seen on a big screen because the special effects are mesmerizing. And although they changed the structure of the book, which is triangular, the intercutting of the filmI loved this movie. I had just finished reading the book which is an incredible read, the language is just beautiful, and I was curious as to how they could film it, but they did an incredible job. It deserves to be seen on a big screen because the special effects are mesmerizing. And although they changed the structure of the book, which is triangular, the intercutting of the film actually connects the stories in a more coherent fashion. The use of the same actors over and over again is great fun and enforces the concepts of souls moving through time. It's my favorite film this year, all my friends have seen it and loved it, and we all want to see it a second time. Just beautiful and moving! Expand
  64. Nov 14, 2012
    1
    My wife had read the book and thought the book to be excellent. However, we both thought the movie had little if any any value on any level. It was pretentious, gratuitously violent at every turn, and came off as a murky vapid redundant stew of ludicrously trite pseudo-intellectual bunk. If you want something new, exceptional, with depth and quality, go see A Late Quartet before it'sMy wife had read the book and thought the book to be excellent. However, we both thought the movie had little if any any value on any level. It was pretentious, gratuitously violent at every turn, and came off as a murky vapid redundant stew of ludicrously trite pseudo-intellectual bunk. If you want something new, exceptional, with depth and quality, go see A Late Quartet before it's gone from theaters. Expand
  65. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Stayed true to a book that excited me and surpassed my expectations as a movie. Some of the make up was stretch- Hugh Grant as a Korean and Bae Doona as a freckle-faced redhead were disturbing. Expand
  66. Dec 9, 2012
    3
    A rather major (though not entire) misfire. The ostensible reason for switching back and forth among stories is that viewers could not follow the presentation in David Mitchell's original book where the stories are suspended in the middle and picked up hundreds of pages later, as well as to develop the "transmigration of souls" theme (which is also reinforced by the casting of the sameA rather major (though not entire) misfire. The ostensible reason for switching back and forth among stories is that viewers could not follow the presentation in David Mitchell's original book where the stories are suspended in the middle and picked up hundreds of pages later, as well as to develop the "transmigration of souls" theme (which is also reinforced by the casting of the same actors in all six stories). The problem with this approach (apart from the fact that the reincarnation idea is neither essential nor clearly developed in the book) is that the integrity or coherence (and hence effectiveness) of each of the stories is sacrificed in the process. It's hard for me to believe that anyone who has not read the book could possibly follow each of the stories as presented in the movie.( the stories could have been presented in serial order without interruption, or in an interconnected way that was perfected by, say, Robert Altman.) But over and beyond this, the degree to which each story is fractured and the speed with which the directors move back and forth among stories is completely unnecessary for their cinematic conceit.. In addition, much of the storytelling here, unlike Mitchell's book, is almost cartoonish in its exaggeration; and the Wachowkis' turning of the Somni-451 story into a Matrix/Star Wars epic is totally unforgivable for anyone who claims to have an appreciation of the novel. (The Somni-451 and the post-apocalyptic Hawaii stories are, admittedly, the weakest part of that novel--which is itself a bit overrated, in my opinion--but they certainly deserve a better translation than they receive here.) The attraction of Cloud Atlas as a novel is the way in which Mitchell presents six different stories in six different literary styles recalling or imitating six different literary genres. This feature is completely (and unnecessarily) obscured by the movie. What an expensive shame! Expand
  67. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    I rarely use this rating. But I left the theater saying and feeling that the movie was PERFECT. Well paced and cast. The Movie has so many small details that cause you to want to go back and rewatch it over and over again.

    Half the fun of the film is figuring out who is playing who in each time line and discovering the connections that bring each of the main characters together. The
    I rarely use this rating. But I left the theater saying and feeling that the movie was PERFECT. Well paced and cast. The Movie has so many small details that cause you to want to go back and rewatch it over and over again.

    Half the fun of the film is figuring out who is playing who in each time line and discovering the connections that bring each of the main characters together. The writing is top notch and so is the visuals. I can't wait to buy it and watch the movie at home with my wife.....for the 20th time
    Expand
  68. Oct 28, 2012
    8
    If I had written this review right after I walked out of the theater, I might've given it somewhere around a 3. The story isn't very coherent, and you get the impression that it takes itself way too seriously. The messages and themes are also not very subtle. However, the longer I think about this movie, the more I appreciate it. It does a very good job at showing how powerful certainIf I had written this review right after I walked out of the theater, I might've given it somewhere around a 3. The story isn't very coherent, and you get the impression that it takes itself way too seriously. The messages and themes are also not very subtle. However, the longer I think about this movie, the more I appreciate it. It does a very good job at showing how powerful certain decisions can be for the future. It has strong emotional power during several scenes, and it definitely makes you think. As a movie fan, I've been growing tired of seeing so many similar movies, no matter the genre or style. Action movies, emotional dramas, and comedies, mostly seem to each blend in with the other movies of their genre, so it was nice to see something unlike any other movie. It is thoroughly entertaining, and while you might get the immediate impression that it is pretentious, self-indulgent, and not deep or intelligent enough to back that pretentiousness up, just let it gestate it your head, and I think you will come to appreciate it for what it has to offer. Expand
  69. Nov 27, 2012
    5
    Cloud Atlas -- I don't get it. While I was mesmerized by many breathtaking scenes and actor's playing different roles, I just didn't get the point of the whole story. None of the stories made me care. I found myself trying to figure out which actor was behind some heavy make up.
  70. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    I just want to tell the world what a wonderful movie that is. I came out of the movie theater as a changed man. Can't stop thinking about it and I'm definitely going again as that was the shortest 3hrs I've ever experienced. I want, no, I NEED more. Already bought the book too. Do yourself a favor and go see it. Now.
  71. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    I went into cloud atlas with fairly high expectations. A close friend of mine was raving about it being a return to form for the Wachowskis. It's now been around 4 days after leaving the theater and the movie is still on my mind. I was amazed to see the backlash the movie received from the critics. In my opinion, it was a remarkable and moving epic, evoking themes rarely visited in cinemaI went into cloud atlas with fairly high expectations. A close friend of mine was raving about it being a return to form for the Wachowskis. It's now been around 4 days after leaving the theater and the movie is still on my mind. I was amazed to see the backlash the movie received from the critics. In my opinion, it was a remarkable and moving epic, evoking themes rarely visited in cinema let alone any art form. I'm planning on seeing it again; it is easily my favorite of the year. It seems that the people that came away disappointed were focusing on the details of each individual story not realizing that the big picture is what this move is all about. Don't get bogged down with the reincarnation theme. The spectacular stitching of stories and tone makes the six stories into one; strengthening the motif of interconnectedness of people between the times. I rarely get choked up when watching movies. Cloud Atlas is an emotional masterpiece. Expand
  72. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    They say its too long. They say it doesn't make sense. I was very surprised by these comments. At 3 hours I didn't want it to end. It takes you through the human experience and it doesn't spoon feed you. if you snooze while watching you won't get it. It's about getting involved with the stories. I Just loved it. Saw it twice and enjoyed it even more the second time.
  73. Nov 16, 2012
    0
    This movie tries so hard to be emotional by cramming in as many characters and story lines as possible, without ever making the audience care. Everyone that says it is so great, is in denial. This movie will not win any awards. I guarantee it. I have never walked out before the end of a movie until I saw this. Terrible.
  74. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    The movie is very complex, it consists of six different stories occurring in different time periods, but all of them are somehow connected to each other. The stories keep you thrilled during all three hours of this movie. There are some deep ideas here, though I'm sure that a lot of people will find this movie boring because of lack of action scenes. Summing up, I'd say that this isThe movie is very complex, it consists of six different stories occurring in different time periods, but all of them are somehow connected to each other. The stories keep you thrilled during all three hours of this movie. There are some deep ideas here, though I'm sure that a lot of people will find this movie boring because of lack of action scenes. Summing up, I'd say that this is probably The Best Movie in 2012. Expand
  75. Oct 29, 2012
    8
    An epic, sweeping assembly of stories, each interwoven into its siblings. The genre's range from sci fi action, to comedy, to period tragedy and more but the parallels in each are continuously reinforced through narration and visual symbolism. The biggest complaint I've heard so far is that the stories seem incoherent and don't mesh. Not sure how anyone paying attention could arrive atAn epic, sweeping assembly of stories, each interwoven into its siblings. The genre's range from sci fi action, to comedy, to period tragedy and more but the parallels in each are continuously reinforced through narration and visual symbolism. The biggest complaint I've heard so far is that the stories seem incoherent and don't mesh. Not sure how anyone paying attention could arrive at this. Reoccurring themes of human interaction, institution vs progress, absolute truth, and more are interwoven throughout each of the stories to the point that the sheer task of editing these pieces together is in some ways more impressive than the acting, makeup, and cinematography (all of which are great.) I can't guarantee you'll like it, but I feel fairly safe in saying you've never seen anything quite like it, which in a world of sequels and remakes, should be a valid argument on it's own. Collapse
  76. Nov 6, 2012
    9
    Ever since the first time I saw the trailer for this film, I've been intrigued as to how such an intertwisting of differing tales could possibly be portrayed coherently and, more importantly, meaningfully on-screen (or in any medium, frankly). Intent on finding out, I decided to read the book before the movie was released. I was much exhilarated by the boldness of the book, and onlyEver since the first time I saw the trailer for this film, I've been intrigued as to how such an intertwisting of differing tales could possibly be portrayed coherently and, more importantly, meaningfully on-screen (or in any medium, frankly). Intent on finding out, I decided to read the book before the movie was released. I was much exhilarated by the boldness of the book, and only slightly disappointed by the weakness of some of the stories portrayed there. I say this not because the movie reflects such weaknesses, but because it takes the weaknesses and turns them into wild, weeping, glowing success. While the book follows each tale in a tiered, orderly fashion - alphabetically in chronological order: ABCDEFEDCBA respectively (A being the 1830s, F being some unknown date in the deep future) - the movie twists and contorts the entire story by switching almost randomly between each tale in a meaningful and telling way. Where in the book, a story may end on a somber and somewhat uneventful note, the movie wraps that ending amongst other happenings from the other stories to provide context the book fails to adequately capture or express. Albeit, this is mostly done by much-abbreviating each story and condensing general plot structures to super-saturated levels compared to the book's meanderings. Nevertheless, the movie does not fail to capture the essence of each.

    What struck me the hardest, however, was not the way each story was interwoven in the film, but how the film actually manages to improve many of the stories by condensing them. The characters the book familiarizes the reader with are suddenly granted the respect they deserve in their much-heightened Hollywood movie aspects, and I respect the filmmakers for giving them the chance to shine.

    The obvious downside to all of this is that reading the novel is an absolutely necessary prerequisite for watching the film. Otherwise, the pure joy you find in each story made new, each character given a better chance to fulfill their role, and the meaning behind the story-weaving device all become an incomprehensible muddle of six slightly disappointing tales told in a new but annoying fashion. Nevertheless, despite this downside, I cannot help but give this movie high marks; they took the material, absorbed it thoroughly, and from it built a glorious masterpiece. If only the book could be sold as appendices to the film's great triumph.
    Expand
  77. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    It seems that most of the negative reviews about the coherence between stories are similar to complaints about Inception when it first debuted - it was too confusing to follow all the different layers. If you have a small attention span and cannot follow complex plots, skip this movie and catch something a little simpler. If, however, you are able to follow along (not a difficult feat,It seems that most of the negative reviews about the coherence between stories are similar to complaints about Inception when it first debuted - it was too confusing to follow all the different layers. If you have a small attention span and cannot follow complex plots, skip this movie and catch something a little simpler. If, however, you are able to follow along (not a difficult feat, mind you), this movie will astound you. It's beautiful and moving in ways that not a lot of films are, and it will definitely stay with you for a while. Expand
  78. Nov 14, 2012
    2
    My wife picked this movie....that's the last time I let her do that. If this movie wins even one Oscar I might boycott movies. This movie is like that one kid in school who tries way way way too hard. Awkward and ultimately tragic. The only reason I'm not giving this the lowest score possible is because it has Halle Berry.
  79. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    It's crazy and mind-blowing.
  80. Apr 27, 2013
    6
    Ambitious, featuring six stories all set in various time periods. Often times with a film like this, there is always that one storyline that is just not as good, or in the case of Cloud Atlas, 2 or 3 storylines that fail to compare to the others. That's really the main problem I had with this film, the performances, music, and visuals are all top notch, but not all the stories were thatAmbitious, featuring six stories all set in various time periods. Often times with a film like this, there is always that one storyline that is just not as good, or in the case of Cloud Atlas, 2 or 3 storylines that fail to compare to the others. That's really the main problem I had with this film, the performances, music, and visuals are all top notch, but not all the stories were that engaging, diluting the effectiveness of the major themes. I still really enjoyed the film. My favorite parts were set in Korea and the 1970s. Expand
  81. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    Cinematically beautiful with a great cast but definitely played out like a bunch of trailers all ready and willing to make the next great film. The music in the film tried too hard and was over exaggerated half the time as well. This movie also could've told its story in less time, it drew out scenes which became confusing at times.
  82. Feb 25, 2013
    10
    To the critics who say that this is a muddled film devoid of clarity and purpose, you are wrong.
    To me, after I fell for the great and varied stories in different ages, I fell in love with the idea(s) that were embedded in Cloud Atlas which are mercurial at first but become clearer upon second and third viewings.
    The message of the film underneath all of the epic cinematography,
    To the critics who say that this is a muddled film devoid of clarity and purpose, you are wrong.
    To me, after I fell for the great and varied stories in different ages, I fell in love with the idea(s) that were embedded in Cloud Atlas which are mercurial at first but become clearer upon second and third viewings.

    The message of the film underneath all of the epic cinematography, unbelievable acting and interwoven and confusing (only upon the first viewing) stories, lies possibly the most progressive message ever contained in a film.

    The first message is a simple one: Liberty for all. The first story is one condemning slavery, the second condemns those against gay rights, the third (in the 1970's) condemns the misuse of corporate power and military power to obtain wealth at the expense of the public, the fourth is a condemnation of the mistreatment of the old, the fifth supports the rights of clones not yet born and introduces a messiah who is both woman and Asian (bucking the typical white male saints and prophets), and the sixth makes whites the confused and poor while the blacks are the advanced people with "fusion engines". This film is against racism, unabated corporatism, is pro-environmental (eventually humans are forced to leave the Earth and the sub levels of some future city are drowned and polluted) while at the same time it approaches spirituality through a point of view having far more to do with some kind of reincarnation (the characters in different ages who play the same actors fall in love over and over again) that also stabs at modern "hook-up" culture and points towards the idea of true love with one other person.

    ****Pay attention who Hugo Weaving is cast as, for he represents evil and the devil in nearly every role he plays in this film. That is what this film is against.

    For our mostly christian, anti-science, white male dominated, hook-up cultured, "business" obsessed (which is failing because it is concerned with moving money and not creating wealth or advancing science) world, these ideas are completely radical. Further it takes some commitment to watch the film and truly understand it.

    Personally I found the film to be worth my ticket and more.

    Roger Ebert wrote that "Life of Pi" could just as well be called "Life". The same is true for this film especially in it's treatment of love and the idea of the equality of all mankind (past, present and future). At the end of the day though, this film is just flat out entertaining and beautiful and takes film to a place where it hasn't been and probably will not go for a long time to come. It's lights and sounds, cgi, and acting with take you more places than you can imagine in 3 hours. And if it confuses you the first time, go see it again.
    Expand
  83. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    Outstanding weaving of storytelling and philosophy and ontology of good and evil. It is true that every evil or good act lives on forever through the human chain of birth and death. It is a butterfly effect through time. The movie shows and tells though dialogue and subtext an interpretation of Love and Morality though time. I do not believe in reincarnation, but our deeds and our loveOutstanding weaving of storytelling and philosophy and ontology of good and evil. It is true that every evil or good act lives on forever through the human chain of birth and death. It is a butterfly effect through time. The movie shows and tells though dialogue and subtext an interpretation of Love and Morality though time. I do not believe in reincarnation, but our deeds and our love goes on through time from our actions, for how else were each one of us born if not by an act of two other beings who met somehow in the complex web of life. The movie does require some concentration, but it is worth the effort by the lasting impression it creates in our minds. In my view, an adult "Inception" for mature viewers. Excellent film. Expand
  84. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    A genre-breaking classic!!!! One of the best movies I have ever seen!!! EPIC!! Tom Hanks is at his top of his career, and I am sure that in the next 3 years he will have won an Oscar!!! Watch this movie!!
  85. Oct 1, 2013
    10
    One of the only movies that has ever changed my way of thinking. Everything we do is connected to the future and how it will impact others. It gets you thinking that your life doesn't have a personal purpose, but rather a universal purpose that will affect all others someday. A beautiful, astounding, and perfect film. The masterpiece of all films for me.
  86. Feb 9, 2014
    10
    Excellent movie. Unique, very engaging, and with a story that keeps you glued to it. And the underlying message is one that everyone should hear, and yet many will deny they understand. But if you like mindless--keep looking.
  87. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    Impressions and expressions do matter. I did travel in past lives using new method techniques and this motion picture conveys something like that. I really admire the impact this movie caused in me. I would say it is the truetrue continuation of the matrix series.
    Impressions and expressions do matter.
  88. Feb 3, 2013
    3
    How does this movie show how one persons action changed the future? Wouldn't you need to shoot two endings for that? This movie is confusing and annoying, the only decent timeline is the Asian lady's in the takeout shop. Everything else seems more like a filler. Oh the racist boat timelines also good. But everything else just dampens the major message of the film.
  89. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Not a good film for the dumb. What you are experiencing is a complex weaving of lives, all of which are basically the same, lived from different points in time and space. The best way to understand the film is to walk around a populated area and image yourself as the other people. That old black woman, I was her once. She was me once. And so on. "Our lives are not our own." It's not allNot a good film for the dumb. What you are experiencing is a complex weaving of lives, all of which are basically the same, lived from different points in time and space. The best way to understand the film is to walk around a populated area and image yourself as the other people. That old black woman, I was her once. She was me once. And so on. "Our lives are not our own." It's not all THAT complicated. But that's the gist of the film. Reviewers who didn't like how it was done didn't stop to think about why it was done that way. That is exactly why it was done that way. Expand
  90. Dec 11, 2012
    10
    Anyone who doesn't like this movie is just stupid.

    It's way beyond the Matrix in terms of philosophy, plot complexity, and so forth. It's not as obsessed with action as it is the interconnected weavings of characters, which is central to the entire film. The point is that "our lives are not our own," and it shows this in a way no other film ever could.
  91. Oct 30, 2012
    9
    Cloud theoretically tries to be the best movie marketing event in history, balancing the whole "sphere" of what something can be to everyone in a single piece of art work. But in some ways I feel like Cloud is a movie version of Starbucks. Cloud tries to dominate delightfully bowing down to film makers everywhere throughout the movie. But I have to admit even... I... love Starbucks. SoCloud theoretically tries to be the best movie marketing event in history, balancing the whole "sphere" of what something can be to everyone in a single piece of art work. But in some ways I feel like Cloud is a movie version of Starbucks. Cloud tries to dominate delightfully bowing down to film makers everywhere throughout the movie. But I have to admit even... I... love Starbucks. So punk rock, anti-modernist, or hippie roots aside, this is still great coffee despite it's single flaw of domination.

    If you don't know by now Tom Tyker of Run Lola Run and Perfume worked on this film. It is probably influenced much more by the risqué smell of the latter. You may have heard that the creators of the Matrix series played God in this epic actor heavy film too, but don't forget that they also made Speed Racer and V for Vendetta. All their past experiences are thrown on the table for this theme park of a "flick". But don't worry you will get your money's worth, this picaresque film is a three-hour long "park special".

    As far as the actors. The Wachowski's and Tyker woefully and tediously molded these infamous creatures into the beauty that makes them ageless, and in someways I mean that literally. Then to make the play dough stick there are some little production perks that drizzle rewatchability all over this film, and they know it, as you will be treated to something special at the end of the film like a good waiter tending to it's guests.

    You will be happy you watched. In some ways I could see this masterpiece transcending time as one of the best films in history. But I'm not the judge, we the consumer are, and only one of our scientific gods, time, will tell.
    Expand
  92. Oct 30, 2012
    7
    This film is vast in scope. The downside is that, as a result of stretching so vast, some of the plots become rather thin. However, the synergy of these stories woven together still left me feeling like I had seen something epic and powerful. This movie has some staggering flaws that prevent it from being the masterpiece of cinema it could have been. Character development is one of theThis film is vast in scope. The downside is that, as a result of stretching so vast, some of the plots become rather thin. However, the synergy of these stories woven together still left me feeling like I had seen something epic and powerful. This movie has some staggering flaws that prevent it from being the masterpiece of cinema it could have been. Character development is one of the things that were spread thin, and in a movie like this, it needs to be paramount. The moral themes of the movie have all been beaten to a dead horse by other films. They're important themes critical to our worldview, but in Cloud Atlas it just comes across as preachy and obvious, which almost belittles the importance of these themes. On the plus side, the visuals and directing are amazing. Despite the setting shifting so drastically, they made all the stories somehow be consistent and interwoven well. That was critical in the main theme of the movie that "everything is connected." That theme has been done in other movie and television shows before, but Cloud Atlas has at least done that one exceptionally well, although on first view it can be difficult to piece it all together. I consider myself a fairly intelligent viewer: I was able to watch things like Inception and Looper without an issue following the plot. But Cloud Atlas left me scrambling to put the puzzle pieces together. I'm still not sure if this is due to bad writing or an incredibly good job at being cryptic and subtle. For a movie that tries to connect everything, it will be mindbogglingly difficult for most viewers to do so. Most will give up and just see the stories as an incoherent, garbled mess. Fortunately, the more I think about the film, the more I realize about its connections. I might even watch it again, despite its 3 hour length. The person I watched the movie with absolutely hated the film and would never consider watching again. But I'm a patient person who likes these kinds of movies, even if they are a bit over the top and contrived at times. If you have no problem with the willful suspension of disbelief and love longwinded but heartfelt fantasy movies, definitely see Cloud Atlas. If you have an "ADHD" approach to media, you might want to steer away. This movie is not for the impatient. It's for the inquisitive--those who love to keep wondering long after the video stops rolling. Basically, if you liked the ending of LOST, you might like Cloud Atlas. Vice versa... perhaps not. Expand
  93. Nov 18, 2012
    0
    There is so much wrong with this sludge of a "movie" that 5000 characters will simply not suffice to mention all the stupidities & failures. So I'll make it short: SECOND.WORST.MOVIE.EVER. (Tree fo Life is still holding the No. 1 position) Banging your head against the wall for 3 hours will be less of a torture than sitting through this abomination.
  94. Nov 20, 2012
    9
    This is probably one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. The problems with it are very minor that I see people making a large issue of, or it's that they didn't catch what the movie was portraying. Which I don't blame them. I didn't see nearly as much on my first viewing. The stories are very well tied together despite how it may make it look like they're not. They tend to focus a lotThis is probably one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. The problems with it are very minor that I see people making a large issue of, or it's that they didn't catch what the movie was portraying. Which I don't blame them. I didn't see nearly as much on my first viewing. The stories are very well tied together despite how it may make it look like they're not. They tend to focus a lot more on the storytelling than they do on the actual links between timelines. Understandably so, for the movie was already a bit long. Expand
  95. Aug 17, 2013
    0
    Don´1 know, what this movie was all about. Boring and potracted.
  96. Nov 1, 2012
    5
    I love the Wachowski Bros., but they should've made another movie after a 4-year absence since 2009's critical and commercial disappointment which is "Ninja Assassin." I saw the movie this weekend and it was supposed to be 3 hours, but 2 and a half hours? Well, I got a mixed feeling about Cloud Atlas. Some reviews were good, others having difficulty on why the action almost takes it to newI love the Wachowski Bros., but they should've made another movie after a 4-year absence since 2009's critical and commercial disappointment which is "Ninja Assassin." I saw the movie this weekend and it was supposed to be 3 hours, but 2 and a half hours? Well, I got a mixed feeling about Cloud Atlas. Some reviews were good, others having difficulty on why the action almost takes it to new heights. I knew it was a disappointment for both Tom Hanks and Halle Berry since it can't match any of the Matrix success. But I'll just have to wait for a rental. Expand
  97. Apr 23, 2013
    10
    A philosophical journey discussing how and why we live our lives and the ultimate repercussions of our actions on this planet. Sounds dull, you'd be dead wrong. Cloud Atlas tells many stories. In fact it tells 6 stories, each of them in different time periods, past, present and future. It follows revolutionaries in futuristic Neo Seoul, Composers in pre world war 2 Edinburgh and a group ofA philosophical journey discussing how and why we live our lives and the ultimate repercussions of our actions on this planet. Sounds dull, you'd be dead wrong. Cloud Atlas tells many stories. In fact it tells 6 stories, each of them in different time periods, past, present and future. It follows revolutionaries in futuristic Neo Seoul, Composers in pre world war 2 Edinburgh and a group of elderly inhabitants of a dictatorial nursing home planning a jail break of sorts. Cloud Atlas isn't just adventurous and bold in its risk taking but its also informative. Cloud Atlas is an education in not just philosophy but film making and all the reasons it was created as a medium. It's the ultimate canvas where you can tell any story, no matter how ridiculous or far fetched. When I say Cloud Atlas is ridiculous it is not to ridicule it, in fact it is a compliment because it tells stories that shouldn't link and brings them together into a grand narrative that is at times naive and idealistic but never dull and always thrilling. Unlike the book the film is based on, the film cross cuts across its many tales instead of telling them in half chunks. It connects its stories through the many themes and ideas that makes the film so inspiring from love to adventure. The thing that binds these stories and makes this story jumping possible is the use of the actors in multiple stories. The actors play multiple roles through time and part of the superficial charm of the picture is spotting Tom Hanks or Hugh Grant in their many disguises or failing to spot Halle Berry as a Korean man. It's a film that is equal part fever dream and epic poem. The film unlike the book isn't so much about one life, one soul throughout the ages (although a strange birthmark seems to represent the idea of one soul throughout eternity) but about humanity, our collective consciousness through the ages instead. This film is a look into the idea of the butterfly effect, the idea that chaos theory can also be seen the other way, that one action can bring about good instead of evil for years to come. for example a self absorbed, opinionated composer (a terrific Ben Whishaw) creates a piece of music used for years to come thanks to the actions of not just him but people long into the future. However it is a film that must build to its epic conclusion and for that reason the first hour is quite dense (dense as in full, this film is never stupid) and takes some concentration. Once you understand the characters, the ideas and stories you are being presented its easy to get lost in this idealistic look at the good we can accomplish as a race and the absolute evil we can cause by just not trying or choosing yourself instead of others. Overall its a near perfect picture because of its attention to detail and its desire to show something we rarely see at the movies, a movie that celebrates stories and the hold they can have on us. Expand
  98. Jun 9, 2013
    5
    A confusing morass of six story lines and a seventh that serves as epilogue and prologue--this film gives new meaning to the question, “What just happened?” A cast of eloquent and well-known actors plays multiple roles where in some cases they are virtually unrecognizable. The most outrageous include Hugh Grant as a tribal chieftain who is a confirmed cannibal, and Tom Hanks as a murderousA confusing morass of six story lines and a seventh that serves as epilogue and prologue--this film gives new meaning to the question, “What just happened?” A cast of eloquent and well-known actors plays multiple roles where in some cases they are virtually unrecognizable. The most outrageous include Hugh Grant as a tribal chieftain who is a confirmed cannibal, and Tom Hanks as a murderous physician from 1849 as well as a frustrated and equally murderous 2012 book author who kills his harshest critic at a party by throwing the arrogant and presumptuous cad over the balcony. Hanks is also a father figure in a primitive clan in 2346 Hawaii, although there he is highly recognizable, even though he is speaking a barely comprehensible pigeon English that can only be described as Hillbilly Jive. (To say “that's the truth” is “that's the true-true.”) Strangely enough, Hanks lapses into standard English in a few instances where he has to explain an important plot point. Subtitles would have been beneficial.

    The film changes geographical locations and time periods, as it ricochets between 1) 1849 South Pacific; 2) 1936 Scotland; 3) 1973 San Francisco; 4) 2012 Great Britain where actor Jim Broadbent is kept prisoner in a nursing home; 5) 2144 Neo Seoul (somewhere around old Seoul); 6) 2346 Hawaii; and 7) the frame story provided by the prologue and epilogue taking place about 30-40 years after 2346 Hawaii on a planet colonized by humans.

    Presumably the movie is about people finding their true inner selves, setting off on the path of that which is good, true and beautiful, and establishing a humanistic, worldwide faith where a divinity does not figure into it, except in the primitive society in 2346 Hawaii, where they falsely worship the little Korean girl from 2144 Neo Seoul, a clone who fought bravely against corporate consumer predators, and who was part of a workforce consisting of an army of clones, robotlike employees who worked 19-hour days for a certain amount of time, and were then murdered, recycled and fed back to the other clones as a protein drink, the only nourishment they were allowed. The resistance army for which the clone was a kind of Joan of Arc was called The Union. The clone, played by Korean actress Doona Bae, is the connective thread, while Halle Berry and Tom Hanks also provide secondary connective threads, to the extent that anything really connects in this movie.

    The philosophy of the film seems to be about incarnation and reincarnation, and how we are all a part of something much larger than ourselves, somehow reaching out to ancestors and descendents, on some subliminal level of consciousness that connects everyone and everything to everything else, and that has to do with the stars and outer space, with no mention of God, apparently because there are too many atheists who go to movie theaters.

    A noble effort that somehow went awry with too much sophomoric philosophy and too much amateurish make-up.
    Expand
  99. Apr 21, 2013
    3
    Watched it and I ended up with an head ache in the end because of spending 3 hours so much concentrated to see how would the plot turn up in the end, just to face some "nice" and "profound" truths about stuff we see in so many movies. Stuff like, "believe in yourself", "never give up", etc etc. No greeeeat revealing truth or something that tied all stories. Yes, the movie starts and endsWatched it and I ended up with an head ache in the end because of spending 3 hours so much concentrated to see how would the plot turn up in the end, just to face some "nice" and "profound" truths about stuff we see in so many movies. Stuff like, "believe in yourself", "never give up", etc etc. No greeeeat revealing truth or something that tied all stories. Yes, the movie starts and ends with about 4 or 6 stories, all mixed up and you just learn whats up along the way we, the viewers, are totally left in the dark. 3 hours watching a movie to see what it leads in the end. It's frustrating. I rather see Dances with Wolves enjoying all the movie and not wanting to see the end because it was a cruel one, rather than waiting 3 hours to see if what I've watched was worth the wait and find out there's nothing interesting about it. The acting was nice, nothing wrong with it. Just the plot and how it was told and its end. Expand
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 45
  2. Negative: 4 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Feb 18, 2013
    80
    Don’t let its commercial nosedive in the US tell the whole story. Cloud Atlas is a tough sell, but a rewarding journey all the same. It’s an adventure into the very concept of storytelling: magical, enthralling and thrilling as much as bewildering, pompous and potty. In other words, up in the clouds.
  2. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Feb 9, 2013
    60
    A grand folly that makes the Wachowskis’ "The Matrix" trilogy look prosaic, Cloud Atlas is a fascinating if flawed work that will leave you gasping one minute and gagging the next.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 27, 2012
    75
    Taken as little more than six disconnected shorts featuring the same group of players in different roles, Cloud Atlas works. It's entertaining and the manner in which it has been edited reduces one's tendency to lose patience with the less engaging stories.