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 12, 2014
    10
    A true film masterpiece. A beautifully written adaptation of the novel of the same name. Although there are differences to the novel, the film takes a different approach and links all the 6 mini-stories in a non-linear mosaic. This is art with a beautiful story behind it with many layers of meaning and symbolism.

    The cast are all amazing. The best performances from Tom Hanks and Hugo
    Weaving that I've ever seen in any film.

    The beautiful musical score is award winning and there is no question about why it is.

    10/10. One of the greatest films ever made.
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  2. Sep 2, 2014
    8
    Unusual, amazing and mysterious. The plot is so twisted it grabs you from the very beginning till the end. But to be honest way too twisted. I had to review the movie to understand it. I don't know is it good or bad. Nevermind me, movie is awesome and worth watching.
  3. Aug 24, 2014
    6
    This is one of those movies that had such a trailer I wasn't sure I wanted to see the actual film or not. Luckily, the actual movie itself proved to be more than about that one song - although "Cloud Atlas" rather interestingly carries through most of the stories in the movie.

    And, the stories: in the beginning they seem jumbled and mismatched, jumping from one era to the next, with
    familiar faces all around, portrayed by the same actors.

    That was both the intriguing part and the pitfall: some of the portrayals were amazing and I couldn't immediately recognize a well-known face we had already seen filling more than one pair of on-screen shoes. Unfortunately, the attempts to make a Western actor look like an Asian - and the opposite - managed to pull off a kind of 'horribly failed plastic surgery'-vibe. That was kind of distracting.

    All in all, once the stories got going and I started remember who was who and what they were going on about, the film gained momentum. They didn't drag things out for too long, and balanced storylines out quite nicely, considering how many plots they had to cover.

    I think I preferred the futuristic worlds to the older/modern ones. The visual effects looked natural, and there were several memorable characters.

    However, overall, this probably wasn't a film for me, and its complexity became a bit too artistic to move forth fluently. Also, as fun as it was to spot same faces in different roles, I'not sure whether simply casting more people would have worked just as well, if not better (especially in those few disastrous make-up tumbles).
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  4. Jul 28, 2014
    7
    Cloud Atlas is a remarkable film, right from its breathtaking opening sequence, and a piece of wonderful cinema. It does fail, though, when it comes to connection to its audience. While the plot is generally comprehensible and it's not difficult to understand connections between characters and topics discussed, it promises something too big to deliver. I felt like the film collapsed under its weight, like even its makers could not really understand what they were trying to express and they were simply in awe of its overwhelming potential. It is, however, a true spectacle, with a touch of originality and the dark tone its wonderful sextet creates, that can prove more worthy of future acclaim than many of its contemporary critical successes. Expand
  5. 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.....
  6. Jul 17, 2014
    10
    A stellar ensemble cast, undeniably fantastic script, and stunning visuals make this cinematic masterpiece one of the greatest indie films of all time.
  7. Jul 13, 2014
    10
    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
  8. Jul 4, 2014
    10
    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
  9. Jun 12, 2014
    10
    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
  10. May 18, 2014
    8
    Visualy stunning. Storyline like a puzzle. It's interesting, fun to watch. One of those you can watch over and over again, not get bored and always discover something new. Costume design, props and make up effects are amazing, great job on that!
  11. Apr 28, 2014
    0
    6 crappy stories chopped up, wasted 15 bucks on the DVD, I would not buy this DVD for $1, if there was time in my life I wish I could get back it would be watching this load of garbage. The actors were wasted and uninspiring, the dialogue was drivel. I had my finger on the fast forward for most of the movie it was that bad. I thought less of these actors after seeing the movie, I can only guess they all needed something to do on their weekends or needed to buy a new car or two. Expand
  12. 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
  13. Mar 8, 2014
    5
    This is one of those films that I figure that it would be really good, but in the end, it's not a big disappointment, but it's not what you expected. I mean, the scope of the film is big with some really good acting, but the character development behind the characters are pretty weak. It's also too long.
  14. Mar 3, 2014
    3
    Over rated this be . Can a movie have more pretension and blatant killing of subplots that are sub par . Reincarnation is a gradually change of betterment that you , other people or the world effect you . Actors gave some great persona changes and performances but the story was jacked and camera work was terrible . Also boring and full of hot air .
  15. 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.
  16. Jan 25, 2014
    3
    Incoherent, dull, lacks a narrative and characterization. Nothing spectacular visually, baffling - no, embarrassing decision to use prosthetics to make western actors look Asian. A few interesting ideas, but ultimately; six supposedly linked sub-par stories. In one respect the film was faithful to the book: terribly boring and overblown.
  17. Jan 17, 2014
    10
    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
  18. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    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. (:
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  19. Dec 31, 2013
    6
    Filme cansativo, arrastado o roteiro não la grande coisa mais tem uma proposta interessante, porém graças o seu ritmo lento e grande duração faz desse filme uma experiência miserável.
  20. 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
  21. Dec 15, 2013
    9
    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
  22. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    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.
  23. Dec 1, 2013
    10
    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. Nov 16, 2013
    1
    If your looking for a relaxing movie that will help you fall asleep, you have found the movie you are looking for.This movie has a few thing that kept my interest, but I feel like they could have done it in a much better style.I had to fast forward through the last hour.
  25. Nov 15, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A lot of people do die in this movie and there are many main characters. However, out of the main characters the homosexual commits suicide and the Asian "clone" is executed. The rest of the main characters go on to live happily ever after. I guess if you put Tom Hanks and Halle Berry together at the end of a movie, surrounded by a bunch of children, then close with a view of the stars in the sky (shooting star included) all can be forgiven. Expand
  26. Nov 3, 2013
    8
    This movie is really 6 good movies in one. 5 of the 6 stories are very compelling, memorable, even haunting, with the six being just good. The only drawbacks to this film are that some of the stories have only tenuous connections to one another and sometimes the makeup they put on the actors to make them look like different races (or even demons) looks ridiculous. That being said, the characters and environments created in each segment would be memorable enough to stand on their own as feature films, and I find myself thinking about the characters, worlds, even languages portrayed in this film long after the end credits rolled. Expand
  27. 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!!
  28. 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.
  29. Sep 8, 2013
    5
    It was entertaining and had a wide variety of emotional and memorable moments butt it felt a bit too loosely put together. The film was rather long and the plot progression was good but ultimately was too drawn out. Overall the movie is good but probably could have been more impactful if it was somewhat shorter.
  30. Sep 5, 2013
    9
    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.
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  31. 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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  32. Aug 20, 2013
    8
    While not without its flaws, Cloud Atlas is an ambitious, thrilling, and emotionally gripping film that explores the interconnectedness of human lives throughout time. Despite its long run-time, I was engaged in the movie throughout and felt compelled to keep watching until its exhilarating finale. Its unique style of interweaving multiple stories throughout (but to my relief, still giving a lot of screen time to Tom Hanks' multiple roles) was unlike anything I have seen before. Stay focused through all 172 minutes and you will be delightfully rewarded. Expand
  33. Aug 17, 2013
    0
    Don´1 know, what this movie was all about. Boring and potracted.
  34. 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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  35. Aug 6, 2013
    5
    This film I guess is a valid attempt at a great film like "The Hours" that just fails to hit the mark. Pretty vapid and bad, the metaphors the morals, the quotes, the philosophy's expressed the time sliced plot switching are all awful, the parables trite, if this is representative of the novel, I pity the novel to. This film seems to be a barometer of those who think they can identify a quality film, whereas really its just an idiot test. The themes are played too much Hollywood Disney style similarly the stereotyped characters, the oppressed winning through, the cultural reversal, the playing upon other story's too greatly, soy-lent green anyone its all so very child like and ham-fisted. And not helped by the fact they have used the same actors for so many parts with only poor make up, to set the characters apart as different from the small range of the actors faces used, and it doesn't really work, nor is it convincing or even logical, and certainly if the intention was to make the cross time parallel character scenario pairings rub nose obvious, its awkward and unnecessary, European's trying to play Asian's, Asian's trying to play western belles and Mexicans etc it just comes off as awkward in fact I don't see how its any less racist than blacking up, you want to portray people of a certain race why not simply hire people to play such roles instead of using makeup and prosthetics to this extent or was it a budgetary constraint yes one can quite clearly see how it would tickle an actors ego, to be in such a film as they get to attempt to demonstrate their range in the same film, but really its just jarring for the film and there is an effort to try to crudely and artificially stitch the time lines to each other in some ways cross time to end up with some many lives interacting metaphor etc, but some of the lines in this film are heinous and hackneyed, most of the scenario and character relationships you see coming before they're even on the screen practically. The fact this film is rated is so highly is an indictment, I find it hard to believe people cant see through this films general film flam. Its valid to attempt such films but when it fails, its seems more dis-ingenuous, then those films that are at least honest about limited intellect popcorn schlock. It also mildly wreaks to some extent vague populist propaganda of white European's and intolerance of any sort to anything as bad and other globally exported American cultural philosophies. Worst point it plays to a American multicultural audience with ponderous stereotypes, the pseudo Mexican Asian woman (again real bad makeup) who quips "don’t call me a wetback" over the corpse of the evil white gunman who she has bludgeoned to death for shooting her Chihuahua dead, this is cheesy playing to the audience style humour. The philosophical lines such as "love could outlive death" and "it will never amount to more than a single drop in a limitless ocean" which was sadly followed by "what is an ocean but a multitude of drops" I mean really really if this kind of trite display of child philosophies that appeal to the masses then I guess my review is nought more than let me see which rubbish metaphor shall I pick? A drop of intelligence in an ocean of ignorance?

    I also submitted this review to IMDB not that it will be visible amongst the flood their.
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  36. Jul 29, 2013
    8
    One of my favourite books now on the screen. David Mitchell's book is engaging, extremely clever, and ambitious. While the film is quite different in its structure and the way in which it flags the labyrinthine interconnections, it is equally ambitious and for that alone it is worth the ticket price. In fact, this is the sort of film that gets better with multiple viewings. Once you get past Tom Hanks, almost everything else works extremely well. The few clunky bits are completely overwhelmed by some breathtaking action, laugh out loud comedy (courtesy of Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving in story 4), and sprawling and tragic love stories. After reading reviews I didn't expect to like this movie near as much as I did. Forget the naysayers, this it top cinema. Expand
  37. 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
  38. Jul 21, 2013
    1
    One of the most incoherent horrid movies ever. A complete disaster from start to finish. Story was unbearable, emotion was nonexistent, and everything in between make this movie terrible. Some might say it is a one of a kind movie; I say it is pure stupidly.
  39. Jul 21, 2013
    6
    I wanted this movie to have more, and I waited until the credits, disappointed. The idea is smart, but I felt that it just needed a better edit (maybe a year or two from now?) that would make it more seamless and the ideas presented stronger.
  40. Jul 20, 2013
    8
    Probably a beat to death opinion but its a movie that you probably have to watch twice if you weren't able to keep up. I got the chance to watch this film with a few friends and I gotta say it was definitely a trip.
  41. 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.
  42. Jul 17, 2013
    9
    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
  43. Jul 15, 2013
    7
    Cloud Atlas is an unbelievably ambitious film that makes the head reel when thinking about structure and logistics. The movie requires patience as it's opening third is genuinely baffling. But Cloud Atlas finishes strong, with a good emotional kick and a life-affirming message.
  44. Jul 13, 2013
    9
    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.
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  45. Jul 12, 2013
    9
    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
  46. Jul 9, 2013
    0
    I knew this was going to be bad. But I didn't know it was going to be THAT bad. Turned it off after 20 minutes. Seeing Tom Hanks pop up in a bunch of different roles was just too distracting.
  47. Jul 8, 2013
    7
    Simply, I thought it rocked. It was incredibly entertaining, with some pretty strong performances and great special effects. It's obvious while watching it that it is a movie that will polarize audiences. Personally, I want to watch it again to put more pieces together.
  48. Jul 4, 2013
    10
    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.
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  49. Jun 28, 2013
    8
    This is a difficult movie to place a score on. The message of the film, I think, is an eternally important one. The only people who would say it is "cheesy" or "cliche'" are the most jaded of us. It's cliche' because it's true. It's a vulnerable message that Cloud Atlas tries to bring home, and I think it is a message that is disturbing to the American mainstream mindset. Cloud Atlas wants you to know that you aren't safe from other people... for better and for worse. It succeeds in doing that and it feels satisfying. What drags the film down though is the length and the multiple storylines. I appreciated the purpose they served, but felt I could have done without so many. There were several characters I simply wanted "more" of, but didn't really get. It left me wanting more development for individual stories, but then again, maybe that's just another way Cloud Atlas drives home its central message. It's a good movie. See it with someone you care about. Expand
  50. Jun 19, 2013
    6
    To be honest I don't think the movie came together well, but I did enjoy some of the individual stories and the film is well directed. I think the film is worth watching at least once.
  51. BKM
    Jun 18, 2013
    6
    Cloud Atlas is a daring film that juggles multiple story lines strewn across different time periods while wrestling with the notion that all mankind is bound to one another across space and time. It's never dull, but it never quite enthralls either. The stories never really feel connected to each other which is the film's ultimate downfall.
  52. Jun 15, 2013
    9
    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.
  53. 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
  54. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    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. Expand
  55. Jun 9, 2013
    5
    A confusing morass of six story lines and a seventh that serves as epilogue and prologue--this film gives new meaning to the question, “What just happened?” A cast of eloquent and well-known actors plays multiple roles where in some cases they are virtually unrecognizable. The most outrageous include Hugh Grant as a tribal chieftain who is a confirmed cannibal, and Tom Hanks as a murderous physician from 1849 as well as a frustrated and equally murderous 2012 book author who kills his harshest critic at a party by throwing the arrogant and presumptuous cad over the balcony. Hanks is also a father figure in a primitive clan in 2346 Hawaii, although there he is highly recognizable, even though he is speaking a barely comprehensible pigeon English that can only be described as Hillbilly Jive. (To say “that's the truth” is “that's the true-true.”) Strangely enough, Hanks lapses into standard English in a few instances where he has to explain an important plot point. Subtitles would have been beneficial.

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

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

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

    A noble effort that somehow went awry with too much sophomoric philosophy and too much amateurish make-up.
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  56. May 19, 2013
    4
    As if Speed Racer wasn’t enough, the Wachowskis were able to convince Warner to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars to embark upon the mission of Cloud Atlas, an impossibly ambitious adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel that spans space, time, and all varieties of viewer patience. Any film that focuses on cyborgs and spacecraft will appeal to a certain sci-fi demographic, but Cloud Atlas is ironically enough all over the map, just as interested in secret early 20th century gay affairs as it is in robotic ethics. It’s fascinating to watch simply because the Wachowskis (along with co-director Tom Tykwer) swing so wide they can’t possibly pull it off. Enlisting A-listers like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry to play multiple parts some of which involve Cro-Magnon growling and grunting and putting their effects team to work with gusto, Cloud Atlas quickly becomes fascinatingly big for its britches. This is kitchen-sink filmmaking at its most audacious: it can’t be argued that Cloud Atlas goes out of its way to do everything it can to connect with those tolerant enough to stomach it. There are cavemen and Farrah Fawcett-Majors haircuts, futuristic automatons with delusions of grandeur, gruff musicians and the suicidal boys who love them, airplane explosions, ultra-vivid car crashes again, Cloud Atlas has a lot of dramatic real estate to offer. Yet while its vastly ambitious intentions of representing the implicit entropy of the universe are uniquely inventive, the whole thing feels like an expensive, convoluted mess. But sometimes grandiose missteps like Cloud Atlas end up being ingenious time wasters. On Blu-ray, experiencing the Wachowski/Tykwer vision frequently prompts viewers to ask themselves, ‘Who green-lit this?’ Any movie with Tom Hanks’ name above the title is bound to sell a ticket or two, but fantasizing about Warner brass seeing the final print of this kaleidoscopic rubbish is too delicious to resist. Let’s leave it at this: Cloud Atlas is a mess, but few movies from 2012 were this jaw-droppingly stupefying. Expand
  57. May 18, 2013
    3
    Ambitious but ultimately flawed. Long stretches of near endings, six separate story lines to keep track of, and all interconnected to the freedom of human blah blah blah....The two hour mark I surrendered.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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
  61. Apr 27, 2013
    6
    Ambitious, featuring six stories all set in various time periods. Often times with a film like this, there is always that one storyline that is just not as good, or in the case of Cloud Atlas, 2 or 3 storylines that fail to compare to the others. That's really the main problem I had with this film, the performances, music, and visuals are all top notch, but not all the stories were that engaging, diluting the effectiveness of the major themes. I still really enjoyed the film. My favorite parts were set in Korea and the 1970s. Expand
  62. Apr 27, 2013
    6
    This movie is one of the most polarizing movies right now. It's basically like Animatrix with 6 mini stories that's related to each other. The environments for each timeline is appropriate, the standouts being the 5th and 6th story which takes place in the future with awesome futuristic technology that I soooo want to have. One problem though, this movie is a complete mess. It regularly jumps all over the place from the past to the future then to the past again that I can't think of any other thing to say but "what the hell does this movie want to be?" Every timeline has different themes to them. First and second story is drama movie, 3rd is suspense thriller, 4th is a comedy, the 5th and 6th story in the future is all action. The movie jumps back and forth between all the stories that it's just a complete mess. I tries to link them together by having the themes when it jumps similar, eg: a battle in the 6th jumps to a battle in the 3rd, but in all honesty it's completely unnecessary. The theme of the story is the first story leading to the next will influence the actions of each story's main characters, and that's it. It's better to just play it in order from the first to the last story like Animatrix or some other short movie compilations so it's easy to follow and fun to enjoy. Maybe one day someone on Youtube will do that, I'm looking forward to seeing these stories in order so it'll be more enjoyable to follow. Expand
  63. 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
  64. Apr 21, 2013
    3
    Watched it and I ended up with an head ache in the end because of spending 3 hours so much concentrated to see how would the plot turn up in the end, just to face some "nice" and "profound" truths about stuff we see in so many movies. Stuff like, "believe in yourself", "never give up", etc etc. No greeeeat revealing truth or something that tied all stories. Yes, the movie starts and ends with about 4 or 6 stories, all mixed up and you just learn whats up along the way we, the viewers, are totally left in the dark. 3 hours watching a movie to see what it leads in the end. It's frustrating. I rather see Dances with Wolves enjoying all the movie and not wanting to see the end because it was a cruel one, rather than waiting 3 hours to see if what I've watched was worth the wait and find out there's nothing interesting about it. The acting was nice, nothing wrong with it. Just the plot and how it was told and its end. Expand
  65. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    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.
  66. Apr 4, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Cloud Atlas is a hot mess. There is about half a good movie here. The themes presented are relevant: love, dignity, freedom. Unfortunately they are sometimes presented in such a way as to seem trite or even cliched. There are also some strange and baffling elements that just don't work.

    I'm also going to get this out of the way right now: I was not a fan of the use of yellowface and whiteface on non-Asian and non-Caucasian actors, but not for the politically correct reasons a lot of people were. I didn't feel that the characterizations were racist or offensive. My main problem was that with a few exceptions, it looked really unconvincing.

    Of the six stories, I was most fond of the tale of Sonmi-451 (Neo Seoul, 2144). Her story was dark and tragic yet hopeful at the same time. The world she inhabits is a glitzy dystopia built upon the worst excesses of contemporary corporate culture. Of all the sequences, this one and the story of Robert Frobisher (Cambridge and Edinburgh, 1936) would have made enjoyable full-length films in their own right.

    I liked the sequence set in the UK, 2012, starring Jim Broadbent as Timothy Cavendish in what was essentially a dark comedy vignette about an aging publisher and his gangster client (Tom Hanks). Even a throwaway joke about soylent green being people actually relates to a disturbing element in the Neo Seoul sequence.

    The story set in the South Pacific in 1849 about a young lawyer who falls sick during a voyage and is under the care of a doctor who it emerges is poisoning him in order to steal his belongings but is saved by a runaway slave fell flat. Tom Hanks as Doctor Goose had a false nose and prosthetic buck teeth which made him look like a character from League of Gentlemen (the British comedy series, not the crappy adaptation of a good Alan Moore comic book). Predictably the lawyer, who is helping the slave by hiding him and then later gets him work as a sailor on the ship, become friends. When the lawyer returns home he declares to his slave-owning father-in-law that he and his wife will go east to aid with the abolition efforts. It should be powerful but it just feels cliched and somewhat cheesy.

    I don't have too much to say about the sequence in which Halle Berry plays the main role. It was neither good nor bad and felt like an homage to movies of the era in which it was set, namely the early 1970s, featuring a tough, independent black journalist whistle-blower uncovering a conspiracy at a nuclear power plant run by an unscrupulous business man. Taken on its own, it could have made a rather average thriller with a few good moments of tension.

    The sequence set on a post-apocalyptic Hawaii in the year 2321, just stank. It reminded me of Battlefield Earth, but with better production values and no use of dutch angles that I can remember. Tom Hanks plays a superstitious coward belonging to a tribe of people with vaguely Maori-like tattoos on their faces. He is plagued by hallucinations of Hugo Weaving as a character that can best be described as a goblin with a top hat, who I think is supposed to represent his fear and religious hang-ups. Tom Hanks' people live in constant fear of cannibals on horseback with fearsome facepaint. Halle Berry plays a character from some nice,shiny utopia where they have pretty, shiny vehicles and fusion power. She's on the island looking for some ancient secret which she tells Tom Hanks is "The true true." or some such childish baby-talk. It's all very confusing and stupid and ends with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry living happily ever after on some distant planet with two dozen grandchildren sitting around a campfire listening to Grampy Tom Hanks tell stories.

    I haven't read the book, so I can't really compare it the source material. The principal cast appears throughout the movie in multiple roles because they're reincarnations of characters from earlier time periods, but it's not presented in chronological order. Some of it is intriguing. Some of it is hard to care about. Other parts are just plain weird and not always in a good or compelling way.
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  67. 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.
  68. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    Life played out like beautiful jigsaw puzzle, each piece a fascinating piece of color and wonder, but in the end quite putting the big picture together. Time well spent and entertaining to behold. I both aspects much like life it self, I guess
  69. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    Epic in scale and in ambition. Cloud Atlas just falls short of brilliance. Ultimately it turns out to be too confusing for it's own good. It is however, never short of riveting. So, even if you are unsure what is happening, you continue to watch, hoping that the next time jump will solve a piece of the puzzle.
  70. Mar 10, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was certainly a rather....unique movie. I have neither read or heard of the book before, nor this I really know what the movie was going to be about. I was in for a mixed surprise. I really liked the concept of there being multiple stories within multiple time periods and the transitions between them are seamless. However (at least in the movie) these stories seem to be connected rather loosely. The only thing you get to see is how these individual stories are being transferred. (For example the first guy writes a diary which is read by someone in the next time period. That guy writes letters to his lover about his story and so on and so forth.) At first I though that if this is the only way these stories are connected, that's kind of lazy. But then came the credits in which you could see which actor played whom. This is probably the most revealing part of the movie, which now that i think about it is actually rather amusing. Still, i decided to do some research about the story to get some explanations about things that I might have missed. And so i found out that this movie was supposed to be about reincarnation throughout time periods. This makes sense after seeing the credits, but it's not really explained throughout a movie. As a movie, this kind of fails because important things that might have been explained better in the book are not really to be seen in this movie. However as an experience, this certainly was interesting. Do some research before you watch this movie. You'll certainly be enjoying it more afterwards. Expand
  71. Mar 9, 2013
    3
    "Cloud Atlas" was ambitious and could've been done right, but the Wachowskis just weren't up to it, rare miss. First, they didn't have to use the same six subplots in the source material, they could've substituted far more interesting stories instead. Second, the subplot jump-editing style is fine for two, maybe three stories but not six, it's too confusing to follow. Third, it seems juvenile with its pop-psych platitudes, more suitable for tweens than for film-experienced adults. Finally, it's a series of gag love stories, and the public should've been warned far more clearly. Yes, chix love this stuff but sci-fi guys hoping for mind-twisting action, bitter disappointment. Expand
  72. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    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.
  73. 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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  74. 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
  75. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    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.
  76. Feb 27, 2013
    9
    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
  77. 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.
  78. 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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  79. Feb 21, 2013
    10
    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
  80. Feb 14, 2013
    10
    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.
  81. 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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  82. Feb 10, 2013
    0
    shockingly bad, confusing and seriously disappointing. i fell asleep several times I was that bored. I expected great things but after seeing Django Unchained last week (a fantastic movie that has you gripped throughout) I felt it necessary to comment on this. I would have walked out but my fiance wanted to see it through. Glad I got free tickets or I would have been even more disappointed.
  83. 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.
  84. 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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  85. Feb 6, 2013
    7
    What you might feel after watching thiz movie? You may be confused, you may be disappointed or if you watch closely enough, you may find a hidden philosophy inside. Thiz movie has six stories with six different time periods, from little island in South Pacific to the post-apocalyptic Hawaiian Islands, from the primitive year 1849 to far in the future 2321. The stories come from any direction and finally meet at one point. The story is meant to be connected to one another, however, don’t be surprised if you eventually find that the connection is very minor. In point of fact, you may miss the connection if you’re not careful. “Cloud Atlas” is the latest project from Tom Tykwer and The Wachowskis, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, Ben Winshaw, James D’Arcy, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Doona Bae and Xun Zhou. All Actors have more than one role during different time periods. As a matter of fact, some Actors are so buried underneath their makeup that we could hardly recognize them. To make things even worse, some of them are seemingly drawn into comical performances such as Hugo Weaving, James D’Arcy, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant. The better performances come from Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Ben Winshaw. And the scene stealer is definitely Doona Bae who depicts a genetically-engineered clone named Sonmi-451. Doona Bae delivers a complex and inspiring character. On the directorial side, Tom Tykwer carries out 1936’s, 1973’s and 2012’s segment. On the other side, Andi and Lana (used to be Larry) Wachowski handle 1849’s, 2144’s and 2321’s segment. Personally, I prefer Wachowskis’ direction. They can keep up the pace of their stories and prevent it from being boring. It reminds us of how good The Wachowskis really are when depicting futuristic tales, just like what they did in “The Matrix” (1999). On the other hand, even though I love the previous Tom Tykwer’s works such as “Run Lola Run” (1998), but thiz time, he seems to have put anything one-dimensional. In other words, Tom Tykwer’s direction is boring. If it’s not because of the intriguing futuristic tale of Sonmi-451 which is directed by The Wachowskis, thiz movie will undoubtedly become an unnecessary B-Class movie. In the end, thiz is something bigger than you think. It’s all about a belief in the universality of mankind. Basically, there is no difference between countries, races and even genders, where white can become black, black can become white and white can become Asian. We are all one, we are all the same, learning and strive for a better condition. Visit My Blog on JONNY'S MOVEE http://jonnyfendi.blogspot.com Expand
  86. Feb 3, 2013
    3
    How does this movie show how one persons action changed the future? Wouldn't you need to shoot two endings for that? This movie is confusing and annoying, the only decent timeline is the Asian lady's in the takeout shop. Everything else seems more like a filler. Oh the racist boat timelines also good. But everything else just dampens the major message of the film.
  87. 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
  88. Jan 27, 2013
    8
    Cloud Atlas is a visionary wonder. It is a movie that gives you so much and even at a 3 hour length, the six story lines each have their brilliance. A movie that connects in so many ways.
  89. Jan 26, 2013
    10
    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
  90. 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.
  91. Jan 17, 2013
    10
    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.
    Expand
  92. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    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
  93. 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
  94. Jan 12, 2013
    7
    If this film does one things it's show off what state-of-the-art make-up artistry can do: a select all-star cast plays a ton of different characters across six different timelines which are all interwoven and interconnected. The plot (and film) is meant to be epic -it does look it- but it doesn't feel like that to me. Somehow dispite all the exellent VFX, make-up, acting and poetry-like dialogue it fails to connect emotionally. It is however commendable that they at least try to engage the audience with a more complex story than say robots and screaming teenagers, but the utter failure of this movie at the boxoffice doesn't bode well for the more intellectual type of scifi entertainment -even if it doesn't fire on all cylinders like this one. Even if you might end up hating it I would recommend spending the 3 hours coz it might be a long time before we see something similar again :/ Expand
  95. Jan 11, 2013
    2
    Quick summary of Cloud Atlas: a movie that ties 6 stories together, they all suck, so it's necessary to keep them alternating in order to avoid a lot of focus in an specific one, otherwise anyone would notice it's innumerous flaws. Also, why does Cloud Atlas tries to teach you "life lessons"? It's ridiculous, it's like the writer though his philosophy was the only truth so he has to put in the movie things like "you have to help the others", "afterlife exists", etc. That is pointless, what about this: anyone believes in whatever they want and period. Expand
  96. Jan 9, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One: Hugo Weaving and yellowface don't mix. Two: all the religions in the world is supplanted by a hot-chic-asian-submissive-cloned-prostitute-prophetess with nothing substantial to say other than, "be excellent to each other," minus the, "party on dudes." Three: the Irish doctor Tom Hanks plays is ironically exactly what Tom Hanks looks like without makeup and plastic surgery, he's magically delicious! Four: There are more flashbacks and flashforwards in this one movie than I have seen in a lifetime. Five: If this is reincarnation than Karma is broken. Six: Oh I get the Soylent Green line now, a little "foreshadowing" thing going on there; hint hint wink wink. Seven: WTF?! Expand
  97. Jan 8, 2013
    1
    Really disliked it. Couldn't connect or relate to any of the characters. The 6 stories were a low blow and a badly made one at capitalism, but they didn't seem to connect at all. The stories were bad individually and collectively they are worse. It's three hours but it feels like ages. In my opinion it was also one of the worst performances made by Tom Hanks...
  98. 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
  99. 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
  100. 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.
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.