User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 672 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 672

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  1. 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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  2. 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
  3. 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.....
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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!
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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 .
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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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  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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!!
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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
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.