User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 682 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 682

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  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 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. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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 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
  7. 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 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
  8. 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 movies of this year. Expand
  9. 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 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
  10. 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 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
  11. 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
    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
  12. 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. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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,
    and don't listen to anyone else! Expand
  15. 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 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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 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
  18. 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 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
  19. 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 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
  20. 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 be the best film of the year I did not know there would be as great as a film as Cloud Atlas. Expand
  21. 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 big picture I truly enjoyed it. Expand
  22. 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!
  23. 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.
  24. 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 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
  25. 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 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
  26. 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 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
  27. 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 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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 see this movie. Expand
  30. 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.
  31. 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 see it....but give the movie a shot, it's awesome. Expand
  32. 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, "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
  33. 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.
  34. 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 like this from the big studios! Expand
  35. 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. 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
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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
    clear enough. This is a spectacular, thought-provoking movie. Expand
  39. 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!
  40. 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 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 Collapse
  41. 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.
  42. 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. : 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
  43. 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.
  44. 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 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
  45. 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.
  46. 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
    excite the intellect. Expand
  47. 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, 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
  48. 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 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
  49. 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
  50. 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
    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
  51. 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.
  52. 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 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
  53. 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.
  54. 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 is probably The Best Movie in 2012. Expand
  55. 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 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.
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  56. 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, 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
  57. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    It's crazy and mind-blowing.
  58. 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,
    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.
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  59. 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 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
  60. 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!!
  61. 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.
  62. 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 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
  63. 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.
  64. 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. 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.
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  65. 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 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
  66. 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 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
  67. sLm
    Jan 25, 2013
    9
    Great movie. At first, it is hard to separate each period, as it happened with Memento, but after a while your brain adjusts everything at its time automatically. Like watching six movies all in one.
  68. Nov 23, 2012
    10
    This is actually not one, but 6 great movies in one nice packing. The movies are connected by the idea of modern humanism (mostly the idea of freedom), by the recurring actors (some play up to 6 different roles) and certain catch phrases. Agent Smith is brilliant in all his roles, especially the female one. This movie has a little bit of everything: futuristic sci-fi, drama, action, a little bit of comedy, a little bit of a detective story, some love, some friendship, but at the same time it's very different from what Hollywood usually has to offer in a good sense of novelty and originality. Expand
  69. Oct 30, 2012
    9
    It was epic, funny, visually stunning, dramatic, suspenseful, mysterious, intriguing, bewildering, and ultimately entertaining from start to finish. The ethical ruminating was mostly subtle, with none of the ham-fisted navel-gazing of the second and third Matrix movies. And if you were a fan of the first Matrix, then the Sonmi-451 sequences will have you riveted. A unique movie adapted from a unique novel. Expand
  70. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    amazing movie,i need to see it again!
    Forget the critics,go see it! cloud atlas is one of the best movies of the year!
    and you never will see a movie like this anymore.
  71. Feb 10, 2013
    10
    That's it ,the best film I ever seen.Perfect implementing from the awesome book.Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis conjure a unforgettable cinema-adventure. Wonderful.
  72. Nov 23, 2012
    10
    This is a profoundly 'good' film. Not only in it's production, it's plot and the quality of the directing, acting, music and visual effects, though all are impeccable.

    It is also a genuinely touching film, making the world a slightly better place just by having been made.

    We only get gems like this a few times in a lifetime, I would easily count this among the best movies I have ever seen.
  73. Dec 4, 2012
    9
    If you didn't like this movie then you weren't intelligent enough to get it. And if you were obsessed with believing that this film is racist in any way then you REALLY didn't comprehend it. That's all I have to say on the matter. Wonderful piece of art.
  74. Dec 23, 2012
    10
    Possibly one the greatest movies I've seen. The Wachowski's have done it again. I created an account just for the sole reason of writing a review on this film. It inspired me so much. This is what visionary cinema is all about. Yes, its 3 hours long. Yes, it's complex. Yes, there where moments where I couldn't quite work out what was happening, however, I accepted this challenge and the rewards were immense. If you are awoken, you will see the undercurrent to this movie. That's the people giving it 10 scores. Those who give this anything less than 5 should perhaps restrict themselves to movies such as the Expendables or the Transformers franchise. Something that lasts 1hr15mins to keep the attention and with a plot line you could follow as a 5 year old. This is NOT that film. I've never watched the same movie twice at a cinema.. this will be the first. It's a master piece and will be a cult classic. And the soundtrack is glorious! Expand
  75. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    Incredibly incredible and amazingly amazing. Some say that the six stories are not connected, I would say you are not paying attention. The stories are so separated and united at the same time, all is about the theme of the film that "our lives are not our own, we are bounded to others. Past and present, by each crime and every kindness, rebirth our future." Those are the lines that connect all the stories so tightly. It's about Karma and causality, that we still have to be responsible for what we did in a way or another, sooner or later.
    There is a Chinese old saying, "The sea admits hundreds of rivers for its capacity to hold." and Cloud Atlas is also a movie that is capable to hold thousands of years and different kinds of culture and emotions, you can feel excited, sad, happy, funny, desperate cross over the whole movie. Moreover, fighting for what they wanted is also another subject. they fight for their friends, even he is just a slave, for their love, maybe your gay lover or your cloned girlfriend, no matter what 's their intention, sacrificing and fighting for our love are always so beautiful and emotionally engaging. All those little pieces synthesize such a incredibly and amazing film.
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  76. May 13, 2013
    10
    This is a movie that affect human soul like a great symphony, It is not easy to tell a story about human eternity, but in this movie the "holy music" that I assume is beating everyday inside everybody's soul was successfully translated into some sort of convincing, beautiful, visual phenomenon.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. Jan 5, 2013
    10
    This movie was so amazing . I love the screenplay and visual effects. They did a good job with adapting the story into a great movie. The directing for the movie is superb. The story is a grat blend of genres. The movie might be a little to arty for but for the ones that enjoy movie that tell the story from the style of directing and visual effects , you will love the movie. I live all the characters to the movie, this is my pick for movie of 2012. It is a very risky movie to shoot and it should have more buzz than it has now. The score to the movie was .outstanding . Expand
  80. Jul 19, 2014
    10
    I simply do not understand why some critics didn't enjoy this. A truly unique and ambitious film with an ensemble cast and great story. I personally think the film did well at mixing all eras instead of doing it all chronologically.

    Think I might have to buy the book now.....
  81. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    One of the characters gives empathy a divine virtue status by saying that 'the ability of looking through someone else's eyes is the truth'. Best sentence to be in a movie ever,
  82. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    It is the first movie I saw on this year and I am already convinced that will be the best, I don
  83. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    Ambitious, symbolic, beautiful and utterly breathtaking; with impressive visuals, a great story arch and brilliant acting and directing, Cloud Atlas is a successful attempt to turn an "un-filmable" novel into a well-adaptated masterpiece.
  84. Jan 28, 2013
    10
    Most brilliant movie I have seen in years, possibly in my life. A true under appreciated master piece. It saddens me that this movie is not well known and the ratings are lowered by people without the intellectual capacity to understand it. No there is no guts, blood, explosions or non stop action which most people these days love. But there is an amazing story, perfect script, beautiful scenery, costumes, design and amazing actors and their portrayals of the vast number of characters. The movie raises and inspires your imagination in so many different levels. I am disgusted the Academy awards did not nominate this movie for best picture. Just goes to show you how politics play a huge role in everything these days. If you're like me a loved this movie, I think we should write to the Academy Awards committee which decides on nominations with our anger that this movie didn't get included. Expand
  85. Mar 2, 2013
    10
    Truly epic in both scale and accomplishment, Cloud Atlas delivers a powerful, moving, thrilling experience that is sure to entertain on every level. May leave the audience scratching heads at the beginning, but it's worth sticking around the entire 172 minutes it takes to sweep you off your feet. This movie takes you from the life of a composer in 1936 to the life of a Fabricant in a Blade Runner-esque Korea in 2144. Truly amazing on every level, Cloud Atlas is brilliant enough to warrant several viewings. Expand
  86. Apr 20, 2014
    10
    I was skeptical at first with this movie. I dind't get many good review from my friends and great part of the internet was telling me not to give it a chance, but... I gave it a shot. And, hell, man, it showed me things I would never expect finding in any 3 hours of my day. All the storys are evolving. I laughed, I got excited, and, sometimes, even bro tears almost appeared. I cannot give less than a 10 to such wonderful piece of art. I'm going to give a chance to the book, and if I find something half as good as the movie, I'll be more than satisfied. Don't listen to the haters. Do it as me: Give it a shot. You won't get dissapointed. Expand
  87. Jan 2, 2013
    10
    This is by far the most inspiring, emotional, exhilarating, funny and action-packed 21st century philosophical work disguised as a really good movie! The brothers have done it again!
  88. Mar 5, 2013
    9
    Everything about this movie screams 'cult classic'. Critics are decidedly mixed but most can find something good in there. It is too well acted by the cast to be dismissed as a resounding flop. I left the cinema with my head buzzing with questions and wonder and even now find myself returning to scenes in my head to play them through and see if I missed something. It is exceptionally rare for a film to do this.

    It is essentially a parable about the impossibility of enslaving the soul, told through humour, love stories and exciting action. The ambition is tremendous and each tale would make a good film on its own, which perhaps is part of the reason it has been quite harshly criticised by some. I note on the whole however that both those who admire it and those who dislike it struggle to articulate why. My hunch is that while this polarises people, the people who like it will win out over time, and it'll still be talked about years from now for doing something so radically different.
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  89. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    One of the most epic films ever made. Amazingly beautiful, and a huge tear jerker. It is incredibly visceral in places, and never really gets to the point for some plot lines or actions. Its very well executed, but the well discussed theory of the 'Cloud Atlas effect' is rarely actually demonstrated in the plot. You're never really shown how some of the separate storylines connect.

    I
    can imagine that both points of view are valid. This movie is amazing, but it can also be coked out of its mind. Calling it racist, though, is totally invalid. Its perhaps a 'if you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup' sort of thing. Cloud Atlas doesn't go out of its way to idealise people, but it does go out of its way to make most everyone seem human. By that I mean, a slave may be uneducated and in need of the help of some whiteman, and he himself is loyal and skillful, if wise, rather than particularly intelligent. That's too realistic for most newspaper based reviewers.

    It does idealise 'bad guys' as emotionless forces of evil rather than people, and the movie uses this trope over and over again. There's a lot of ideology tied up in the film, and at times it seems like ideology trumps having a stable plot. Or, rather, the plot is a vessel for illustrating ideology.

    To dislike this film, I feel as if you'd have to be of a particularly annoyed, serious, and non-introspective mindset. There's a lot to learn here, but I'd say perhaps read the book. The gratuitous nature of the film is downright disgusting at times, and does little to serve the plot. Still, this is an incredible, complex, massive achievement of the film industry. Its the premature rebirth of Holliwood's golden age; the days of huge set and budgets, with actors who could do anything. Those days aren't coming back, but Cloud Atlas showed us what it would be like if that period had never gone.
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  90. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is AMAZING. I don't know why there's a meta score of 55, but it doesn't matter. Cloud Atlas is a masterpiece, even if after reading the book, it could have been better, but the movie itself is pleasant, great to watch, and far better than the others at the same time in theaters, for example.
    Watch it, and like it.
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  91. Dec 24, 2012
    9
    A three-hour investment to watch a film that has generated ridiculously bad reviews from most of the major critics is such a risky decision especially when the film has also failed at the box-office meaning that not even the audiences have liked the film. BUT! Cloud Atlas is much more than that. This is not a child's play to incorporate six different storylines in a single film especially when they all are so complex and their interrelation seems nearly impossible at times. Hats off to the Wachowski Brothers and Tom Tykwer for their tremendous effort by making a film whose novel is already complicated but the way they have executed the entire film is marvelous. I don't have words to describe how impressed I am with their work on this film, it is utterly excellent. Honestly, at first, the film seemed like a disappointment to me, I was trying so hard to figure out what does all of it mean which was preventing me from the main purpose i.e. enjoying the film. But gradually, throughout these three hours, I started understanding what is going on and it finally started making a LITTLE sense. Of course, everyone has their own interpretations about the film but the real and common one is that "everything is connected, your past may affect your present as well as your future." This can be thought of like that every individual's actions in a particular storyline affects the actions of other individuals in the different storylines. It can be seen like a phase in a human life, in which a person is bad at first, then he realizes that he is doing wrong and then in the end, he finally stands up for what is right. But this explanation doesn't fit all the individuals' stories like Hugo Weaving, he is evil in all of the storylines and maybe it's because his soul never realizes that it is doing wrong. Neither does it fit Tom Hanks' stories because he is a bad, greedy guy in the first storyline and then he becomes a good person and after that he becomes a bad person again and then finally, in the last stoyline, he becomes a good person, which doesn't make any sense. The more you try to figure out the plot of the film and interpret it in different ways, the more you start finding different explanations of how it could be possible. The film's brilliant (and far more complicated than I first thought) storyline is supported by phenomenal performances by the entire cast members. Every single one of them has played his/her roles wonderfully and that is also supported by the factor of beautiful make-up and styling to completely adapt them in their respective roles in different storylines. It completely blows you away, you can't even recognize that there are the same individuals in all of the storylines. Visual effects are great and so is the cinematography. Screenplay is really clever, because I have been reading that it varies from the novel and inverts the ending of all the storylines and it still has been incorporated properly and doesn't seem wrong. I might not read the novel because if I do, I'd be confused again and I don't want that. This is really not an all-audiences film, most of the people are not liking it because of the complications in the storylines and the confusing narrative but what it actually demands is your complete concentration because without it, you cannot understand what the real message and the purpose of this film really is, what exactly are the Wachowski Brothers trying to deliver to us, why did they choose to make this movie. All of the questions are answered if you watch the movie with complete attention and remember everything from the beginning until the end, it is really important. Cloud Atlas is easily one of the most complicated and daring films I have ever watched in my life. From the rough idea, you can guess that it would fail miserably but the Wachowski Brothers still made it for us because it is necessary to remind everyone what the real power of filmmaking is! Expand
  92. Mar 17, 2013
    10
    You'll probably ether love or hate this movie. It blew my mind, so many amazing things happened throughout it, but it is pretty hard to watch, and it took me till about 3/4 of the way through to realize what the movie was actually about, but that's the magic to it I guess.
  93. Dec 15, 2013
    9
    After deciding to watch this film with little to no expectations I can truly say that I was blown away. Every story in the film was extremely interesting and the idea of interlocking lives was great. The cinematography was stellar and the soundtrack went extremely well with how beautiful the imagery on screen was. The film is ambiguous but in a way that allows for you to really think about what you watched and not in an infuriating way. I will bet that years from now critics will reevaluate Cloud Atlas and it will become a classic just like other films, such as Blade Runner, that at the time were snubbed by film critics but revered now. Expand
  94. Jan 5, 2013
    10
    An unexceptionable film. One of the best I have ever seen, in fact. The movie is an amalgamation of 6 lives and how their karma effects their reincarnation into difference spaces along the path of time. Some characters learn and grow, and others fall further down into the wellspring of bad karma, but the overall themes of the film, that love grants salvation, is something everyone can relate to. It may require at least two sittings to pick up all the details of each story line, but this film is worth every moment. The idea that karma does not distinguish between race, gender, or even space and time is repeated through several timelines, and while it make take you a moment to work out how they are all connected, when you go, the aha-moment will have you falling in love with this film. At times gruesome, at times poignant, at times amusing, but always entertaining and fulfilling. Expand
  95. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    Possibly the greatest but certainly the most ambitious film of the year. Watching it for the first time I knew i was in for a movie that would require and invite repeated viewings. Absolutely breathtaking. Every is storyline is spectacular and gets enough screen-time in the near-3-hour timespan. The only complaint, albeit a very minor one, is that the casting decisions are sometimes a little distracting. Expand
  96. Jul 23, 2013
    10
    Visually brilliant and outstanding, Cloud Atlas is one of the most unique and well done movies I've ever seen. I was quite shocked and surprised when I first heard the nominations for the 2012 Oscars and didn't hear 1 category for Cloud Atlas. Particularly make up, visual effects, or original score. I've watched this movie three times now and still havn't quite figured out how each time difference is connected. But that's what is so great about this movie. Is that you really don't have to get or understand it. It's still just amazing to watch. Expand
  97. May 6, 2013
    10
    Many movies bore at times and seem predictable at times. Cloud Atlas has its story telling in a buzz and the storylines of each individual time should of been a little longer and more in-depth. But don't judge its quality by the complex plot, the movie blended in beautiful themes. Its mystery, romance, comical relief, dramatic, and actiony si-fi themes fit perfectly in one and I would probably never find a movie that did this again. Expand
  98. Feb 11, 2013
    9
    I went to see the movie with mixed expectations. I had read reviews beforehand that warned of a messy plotline with multiple stories. I was positively surprised on how untrue that was. The stories play well out in terms of pacing and characters. There are a lot of them in total, but each part (or you could say "act") has only a couple central characters, like you would expect from any typical story. The different stories are very easy to follow because they are so different, yet they are the same on many levels. I specially like how the film expects you to think. You can watch this movie just for the visuals, but to really appreciate it, you need to think what happened and because of what. Some reviews I've read say that the stories are not connected. I would say that if that is how you feel, you did not pay attention at all and were expecting the movie to give everything pre-chewed to you. Instead the movie expects to you to fill the missing bits, notice references between the stories and to imagine what has happened between the transitions from one story to another. There is even an exchange of lines in the movie which can pretty much be summed up as the characters saying to the audience that we won't tell you everything, you can imagine and fill the blanks yourselves.
    The movie has a message and after you've processed the stories, it should be quite obvious. It might not be exactly the same message as I got, but still. Music and sound effects were good, not exceptional or bad, but satisfying and did their part well. The locations and visual effects were really nice and at times stunning, fitting for the events that transpired and interesting. Acting was good, the characters were played well and the actors fit their roles neatly. My only criticism is about the masking same actors played different roles and genders, and the masking department had not been up to the task at all times. Or maybe it is that I perceive female actors playing male characters and vice versa a bit hard to digest due to the different body/facial structures of genders.
    I would recommend the movie if you want to see something that requires paying attention and ability to concentrate for nearly three hours, but in exchange gives food for your thought and imagination. Don't watch this if you just want to hang out with friends and chat at the same time.
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  99. Jul 20, 2013
    9
    It might take a capable mind to fully understand its endless swath of challenging structural nuances, but, with that trained mindset, one should clearly be able to ascertain that "Cloud Atlas" with its great performances, cinematography, script, and editing is truly quite a sight to behold.
  100. Feb 9, 2013
    10
    I not entirely sure how to sum up my feelings about this film in all honesty. I went in knowing it would be very in-cohesive so I assume that's the reason I didn't hate it, although I loved the idea anyway. It has you thinking that people are just reliving things that happened in past lives and the storylines of each 'segment' doesn't connect whatsoever to the next which is true. However, there's an absolutely miraculous moment at the end that makes the entire thing fall into place and I genuinely believe it's one of the most beautiful moments in the history of film. This moment makes the entire thing connect and it's so overwhelming and empowering that I couldn't help but sob a little.

    I firmly believe that people who didn't like the film are the ignorant souls who want a straightforward film to laugh like an imbecile at or watch the pretty explosions. Clichéd as it is, If you open your mind just a fraction you'll be absolutely amazed at what's been done here.

    And why should everything be so black and white? Ambiguity is half the fun of it.
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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.