User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 668 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 668

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  1. Dec 26, 2012
    Entertaining and engaging. What else is matters? The stories piece together (some better than others) in a way that is a little confusing at first but soon feels natural and fluid. Great job with the editing. I can't imagine many films that'd be harder to edit than Cloud Atlas.

    It was fun seeing each actor take on so many roles, but even more fun when I realised my mind had started
    separating them, making them their own characters as they should be. This is a credit to the acting/direction and makeup of each character.

    I wish more people would give it a chance. It's a miracle the film got financed and made at all, and for it to come out so well is a testament to the love for the project the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer have, If only people would sit down and watch the film. Really watch it. Listen to every word. See every set, every costume, hear every atmos track. Just sit back and be drawn into this (read: these) worlds. There's no way you can't enjoy this film that literally offers something for everyone as it melds together so many genres.
  2. Dec 26, 2012
    This film will be unappreciated, mainly because of its complexity and length. But it is one of the best films I've seen this year. It has many themes and a great immersive story.
  3. Jun 15, 2013
    What an amazing experience. Not unlike the one I had upon reading the book the first time. In the beginning I was skeptical, and it took a while to get used to the narrative structure, but at a certain point I was sucked in and completely enveloped in the story. I have to say it was masterfully edited to keep my rapt attention throughout. The way they conceived it for the screen was brilliant.
  4. Jan 14, 2013
    This movie is the kind of stuff that often splits people in two: those who enjoy life as it flows, no matter if good or bad, and those who always keep checklists at hand, hoping that assessing and measuring everything will encompass reality and maybe prevent them from harm. This duplicity in audience approach to the movie is embodied in the film itself, and to me that is a proof of its importance. Tons of stories about light vs. darkness (and about their being insolubly inter-weaved) have been told throughout the eras; this is another great opportunity to clinch the message, not to find some never-expressed-before meaning. The way it's conveyed makes it worth to experience Cloud atlas. His holiness The Matrix itself wasn't free from referencing: we cannot neglect culture, after all, we're all imbued in it. So turn off the judging critic inside your mind and just enjoy the ride in the depths of complexity, it's one of those you Expand
  5. Jan 17, 2013
    The day after the election, I slept in late, watched Obama's acceptance speech, and saw Cloud Atlas, a film which perfectly examines the main themes of the election: love and charity and duty and patriotism. Connectedness. Oh, and greed, cruelty, and the 1%. It's the only action-scifi-romance I've seen where I checked the credits for Howard Dean and George Lakoff.

    Remember Lakoff's
    Don't Think of an Elephant!, about the power of framing to influence thought and action? At its core, that's what the book Cloud Atlas is about. The film shows this in a visceral way that will move those who would never read Elephant.

    If you haven't already seen Cloud Atlas, try to see it on the big screen. Take a few friends who like to talk about issues and meanings. If you are like me or Roger Ebert, you'll want to see it again right away and a third time soon. It's the perfect antidote to wallow-in-the-mire entertainment like the TV series Girls. But, you might say, some reviews have been bad. Depends on who you ask. Users love Cloud Atlas but the critics don't, just the opposite of Girls. Maybe that's because this is a fully adult film, one which encourages us to challenge authority and work together to achieve very long-term goals. And maybe because Cloud Atlas shows how depraved the opposite, selfish approach can become. I wish we'd been able to take every reluctant or undecided voter to see this film. But at least we can see it now, for nearly three hours of pure pleasure and a big recharge to the activist batteries.
  6. Dec 15, 2013
    Easily one of the top 10 films of 2012! I was worried after all the mixed reviews. In fact I waited until 2013 to see it. I totally regret it. I would have loved giving my money to see this in theaters. The film is like 2 hours and a half long and I never got bored, in fact, without even noticing it, I was more and more into it as the film progressed. By the last hour I was absolutely surprised at how much I was loving the experience. Only bad thing I can say is some of the make-up doesn´t look good, but even that was probably done on purpose. Each one of the stories adds something different and are totally enjoyable. I felt like the futuristic ones could have been a film on its own, with great and innovative special effects. The film is truly memorable, I plan on watching it several times in the future. My favorite story was the boy who was a musical genius, that was the one with more heart and with the best acting in my opinion. But really, all the actors are on point, and it´s absolutely incredible to think how they even managed to put all this together and make it work. Outstanding body of work, emotive, epic, funny, sad and everything in between. What an experience. One of those very few cases when I strongly disagree with the critics rating. But time puts things in its place, and I´ve already seen several of them taking back their negative opinions. Memorable. Expand
  7. Jan 26, 2013
    that is a really great Film from director of matrix that i have expected , but that is unacceptable to take 55 number for this film , if i were a Critic i will take 100 to this film
  8. Feb 14, 2013
    This movie is not that complicated as some think and it's not trying to be, it's just puzzling, so you will need to pay attention and see it in one shot, otherwise you'll think just like many others, that it's a bad movie, but it's not and it's not your usual kind of movie, aside the story, like make-up, visual effects, soundtrack, etc, are well done.
  9. Dec 12, 2013
    Humanidad, rebelacion y amor. No puedo pensar que en un solo segundo pudiera captar la esencia de una vida entera y la realidad de un hombre como es valiente en todos sus ambitos. La mejor pelicula que he visto en mi vida y una obra de arte que merece ser llamada la verdad. Somos el reflejo de lo que creemos y producto de lo que preservamos.
  10. Feb 21, 2013
    I don't want to give the Wachowskis or Tykwer all the credit, or even too much, because the real visionary here is David Mitchell, and this is a much more faithful adaptation of his book than anyone could have hoped for, I think, and whatever issues one could have with the spiritually far-reaching narratives on display stem from his nested story structure. And there have been issues galore. I don't think I've ever had so much fun witnessing a film's critical divide. This is a film critics secretly want to be soaring over people's heads, something the critic can understand and explain to the masses. Alas for them, it's a film Tykwer and the Wachowskis wanted everyone to enjoy. And so I did...very much so. This is indeed sprawling and ambitious but the biggest surprise for me, and maybe disappointment for others, was its solid delivery of an old fashioned experience a celebration of heroism and romanticism delivered with a dark sense of humor and a go for broke joy in delivering the goods without apology. Mitchell may have written the book, and he will openly state that he wrote it simply to see if it could be done, but the film seems to have been made by its three creators with the same sense of daring and flirtation with folly, one-upping the already mammoth scope with an equally daft notion of having all the actors play outside their genders or ethnicities. The whole business with the actors and the makeup and the noses may not work all the time, and it may not work at all for certain audiences, but it will always be inherent to me of the three filmmakers' attempt to do something totally insane, and too few in the business of making movies are even trying to push any envelope anymore. I came to love the use of the cast and the makeup when I realized about halfway through first viewing that the filmmakers had done so as a way of adding some heart into what Mitchell had created. There are some very bold and moving things being said in this film about love, responsibility and individuality that wouldn't have been so poignant without the utilization of the cast reappearing in each time period as a radically different self. This is not a folly. The fact that this not only works but has become one of the most addictively watchable movies in my memory has also made it one of my all-time favorites. And there are many reasons it works for me, one of them being that the film was made, I believe, with a strong yet sly sense of self-referential humor and the other being that the schematic structure of Mitchell's book has been replaced by a freestyle, musical approach. I don't think since 'Short Cuts' has there been such a major film of such length which has truly relished such a cascade of rhyming images and sensations simply for the enjoyment of it, like listening to a great album. One can be daunted by the many worlds on display here and try too hard to get on top of it all but the real fun is letting this movie just play in front of you, doing its free association dance through time. This is like the iconic shot in '2001' of the pirouetting bone which jump-cuts into a ship rotating around the earth, played out like a symphony. This either works for you, or not at all. For me, it's one of the great movie experiences of my life. Expand
  11. Feb 27, 2013
    I could watch this film a dozen times, something I can't say for but a handful of movies. I like movies to clock in at 100 minutes, and I thought that the Dark Knight Rises was forty minutes long, but this film deserves the time, and it deserves a few rewatches. Its more of a work of art that you can't experience in a single visit to the museum you have to live with it, experience it multiplie times. In keeping with the themes of the movie, I'd say it requires six visits. There are layers of complexity, and they are worth unweaving. The Wachowskis ask sincere questions about who were are and why we are, and they make science fiction films that explore our metaphysical possibilities. Expand
  12. Feb 28, 2013
    Cloud Atlas it's the most amazing film that i seen ever. I don't know how you can't love this film. The plot is so exciting that you can not tear your eyes from the screen for three hours.
  13. Mar 8, 2013
    I think this movie says truth. No enforcement, No comfirmation. Just shown that how does a phenomenon function. And it is not bad that action of this movie, Awsome impersonation, multiple acting is great.
  14. Apr 13, 2013
    For now this is my favorite movie of all times. I asked everyone I know to watch it. It's about love, about eternal souls and about the idea that not only our souls but what if our love can survive our death? What if we can meet each other the next time and feel, know and fall in love again? I saw it three times and every time I had tears by the end. It's... it's unbelievable.
  15. Jul 13, 2014
    Clever writing, most unique film I have ever seen in a long time. I loved the Cinematography done by Frank Griebe & John Toll. Of course you're thinking it's the Wachowski's... but they do have Matrix under their belt along with Jupiter Ascending coming soon, and Sense8 a new tv/netflix show. The Wachowski's have never disappointed me ever! I've enjoyed all their films including this one, probably their most weirdest, trippy, original, and mind-blowing visual movie to date!!! Although you got to sacrifice about 2 and a half hours. I think it was worth it! Expand
  16. Jun 14, 2013
    A visually stunning and groundbreaking epic. A modern art masterpiece. It's really impressive, the visuals were just out of this world. The characters were amazing. I will tell you this, the movie is a very dividing movie, some people for me consider it the modern art classic of today (I'm one of them) and other consider it a piece of crap. But I LOVED this movie. Its beautifully made and acted extremely well. Collapse
  17. Jul 4, 2013
    I realize people throw 10s out for movies that they kinda sorta liked because they're trying to balance all of the 1s that a-holes throw out just to be jerks, but I am not one of those people. This movie truly deserves a 10, it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
    I put off seeing this movie because of the mixed and negative critic reviews, but after seeing it today, I regret not seeing it
    sooner. The story is very ambitious, and yet somehow the filmmakers pull it off. I haven't read the book, and I think that's a good thing, as many of the people who did read the book first seem to not like the film.
    "This movie has everything" is an old cliche, but Cloud Atlas truly does have everything. It is sad, funny, uplifting, and entertaining. There are moments of visual wonder, and breathtaking action. It is so unique, its amazing they were able to keep it cohesive and engrossing. Everything, from the acting to the writing, the special effect, the cinematography, and the music are all top notch, and the directors succeed at bringing it all together to make a movie that is greater than the sum of its parts.
    If you haven't yet seen Cloud Atlas, do yourself a favor and watch it now.
  18. Jul 12, 2013
    Cloud Atlas is one of those movie which try something new. Sometimes it works, sometimes you just want to cry because you spend to much money to watch this movie in cinema.
    In this case, I have no regret because this six stories are like six little movies melting together. Some are maybe more interesting than other, but they all have their place.
    I spend a really good time seeing this
    six lives character, and I recommend to everyone to see this "ovni" at least once. Expand
  19. Jul 13, 2013
    To kick off let's talk about the first impression you can have, if you are not focused in the film since it starts you could probably have some problems on understanding the film but, surprisingly, you can an overall idea of what's happening because the film is at the same time hard and easy to understand, it seems like a contradiction but it's not:
    First of all there's a link between the
    stories of the films, that's easy to see, there's also a huge philosophy behind the film which is frequently ignored by the people that just want to see another sci-fi movie without stopping to see what's the meaning of the film and just basing their critics on "How good are the special effects and how much there are" "Could be the message of the film told directly or I have to use my brain?"
    Secondly, to be honest, the make-up not always does its job properly so sometimes the characters cannot hide their own facial features trying to be like another race, and sometimes it can be obvious.
    Finally I'd like to recommend this, it won't leave you indifferent for sure. Very very good story, really.
  20. Jul 17, 2013
    I really liked this movie. Yes, it was long. Yes, it was hard to follow, but it was an intelligent film with a profound message of perseverance and continuity of the human spirit soul with aspiring to all that is good in this universe. It contains within its core an explanation for the very reasons why we should do good for ourselves and others, how the consequences of our actions really do have a tremendous impact on not only our lives but the lives of all we touch, and how the only truly lasting and meaningful lessons we can derive from our existences are the ones shared interpersonally. I appreciate the message that through all our lifetimes together, the only thing of significance we are really doing with each other is learning how to transcend from the carnal, savage and selfish to the giving, loving and joyful which is the true essence of the universe. Expand
  21. Sep 5, 2013
    The 3 hours passed quickly and I wanted it to keep on going, though at the same time it ended each of the story lines in a today and reasonable fashion.

    The multiple stories cover a wide range of issues such as: slavery, corruption, big oil, the industrial food chain, elitism, conspiracies, aging, music, sexuality and above all else freedom. It doesn't get too preachy at any point it
    just lays idea a wide range of serious concerns for the human race now and delivers them with a variety of distinctive and attractive stories.

    Not too sure about the post apocalyptic Hugo Weaving version of The Hitcher from Mighty Boosh...
    Glad that the Wachowski's seem to like Noel Fielding's rendition of the nut job enough to include an homage in their film but Old Georgie seemed rather out of place.
  22. Jul 17, 2014
    A stellar ensemble cast, undeniably fantastic script, and stunning visuals make this cinematic masterpiece one of the greatest indie films of all time.
  23. Dec 1, 2013
    This film has some of the best acting and production value that audiences completely ignored. My only complaint about this fantastic movie is that the staff didn't assign a bigger marketing budget.
  24. Jan 10, 2014
    I GIVE THIS A 8.5 BUT IT GETS AN EXTRA 0.5 TO COUNTERBALANCE ALL THE HATE. I won't go over the same things again: people have gone over the multiple storylines, unconventional timeline and mind boggling plot numerous times. I will instead answer their accusations/praises: -Is it beautiful? Yes, yes it is. -Is it strange? Probably the weirdest movie out there. -Is it meaningful? In the first hour, NO. After you watch the whole of it AND PAY ATTENTION, it's life changing. At least for me.
    -Is it well executed? YES. Many people would say no, but the movie achieves its goal perfectly if you give it a chance. Now, if some want it to say something else than it intends to, that's their problem. However the storyline(s) interweave and function like a clockwork.
    -Is it funny? Well. Hm. It has some funny moments as well.
    -Is it dramatic then? This movie is not a drama. Nor a comedy. Nor science fiction. Nor action. Nor a love story. It's basically all of them combined. But in the end, my heart was swelling with emotion, I wanted to laugh, to cry and I felt connected to the world. Not in a heroic or villain way, but through the resonance of our actions. Which was exactly what the movie is trying to say: whatever you do, it changes the world. It doesn't say "be good" or "be bad". It just shows you how our present is the way it is, because of people that lived in the past.

    In conclusion, I think this movie is a must see. It broadens the mind.
    Now, some may not like it. Racists, homophobes, conservatives perhaps?
    In any case though, it deserves more than a 5, and whoever gives this a 0 is (frankly) an idiot.
    Way too much thought has been put into this to be reduced to a 0 (what do you give these crap-movies then? -19? People click that 0 way too easily.)
    All in all, it has changed at least one human's way of thinking (mine) and for that alone it's remarkable. (:
  25. Jan 17, 2014
    If you can't appreciate the story, then appreciate the way it was told. This is the most underrated film I have ever seen. It took three film crews across the world, three writers/directors to adapt a screenplay from a book that was deemed impossible to do. I don't care much for parts of the story, but the themes, editing, humour, suspense, and eye popping makeup design and special effects are sure to please any viewer. I've never seen anything like it, nor will there ever be. Expand
  26. Jun 12, 2014
    This movie is wonderful! The way all the events connect to each other is just amazing. The music, the ending and many more things are just beautiful. I'm planning on reading the book as soon as possible. Also, those negative critics are just - sorry for using such a childish word - dumb. This movie needs to be watched at least a couple times to be understanded completely. Most critics probably didn't do that, which is fine, but they shouldn't judge it so early. I'm no adult nor critic, and therefore my opinion on this movie may not count that much, but I can say I enjoyed it much more than many other movies (sorry if I misspelt something, Italian here). Expand
  27. Jul 4, 2014
    With Cloud Atlas, the Watchowski deliver a true masterpiece, mixing a large number of genres, from comedy (often funnier than the average comedy) to science fiction. Everything works. Every single actor is awesome. The soundtrack is great. The whole movie is so well film it achieves what many book adaptations fail to do: not being useless, and even transcending the source material. I could watch this over and over without ever getting bored. The film is so complex and clever you'll discover tons of new things every time you watch it. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.