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Universal acclaim- based on 638 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 638

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  1. Mar 5, 2013
    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.
  2. Mar 2, 2013
    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
  3. Feb 28, 2013
    Cloud Atlas it's the most amazing film that i seen ever. I don't know how you can't love this film. The plot is so exciting that you can not tear your eyes from the screen for three hours.
  4. Feb 27, 2013
    I could watch this film a dozen times, something I can't say for but a handful of movies. I like movies to clock in at 100 minutes, and I thought that the Dark Knight Rises was forty minutes long, but this film deserves the time, and it deserves a few rewatches. Its more of a work of art that you can't experience in a single visit to the museum you have to live with it, experience it multiplie times. In keeping with the themes of the movie, I'd say it requires six visits. There are layers of complexity, and they are worth unweaving. The Wachowskis ask sincere questions about who were are and why we are, and they make science fiction films that explore our metaphysical possibilities. Expand
  5. Koz
    Feb 25, 2013
    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.
  6. Feb 25, 2013
    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.
  7. Feb 21, 2013
    I don't want to give the Wachowskis or Tykwer all the credit, or even too much, because the real visionary here is David Mitchell, and this is a much more faithful adaptation of his book than anyone could have hoped for, I think, and whatever issues one could have with the spiritually far-reaching narratives on display stem from his nested story structure. And there have been issues galore. I don't think I've ever had so much fun witnessing a film's critical divide. This is a film critics secretly want to be soaring over people's heads, something the critic can understand and explain to the masses. Alas for them, it's a film Tykwer and the Wachowskis wanted everyone to enjoy. And so I did...very much so. This is indeed sprawling and ambitious but the biggest surprise for me, and maybe disappointment for others, was its solid delivery of an old fashioned experience a celebration of heroism and romanticism delivered with a dark sense of humor and a go for broke joy in delivering the goods without apology. Mitchell may have written the book, and he will openly state that he wrote it simply to see if it could be done, but the film seems to have been made by its three creators with the same sense of daring and flirtation with folly, one-upping the already mammoth scope with an equally daft notion of having all the actors play outside their genders or ethnicities. The whole business with the actors and the makeup and the noses may not work all the time, and it may not work at all for certain audiences, but it will always be inherent to me of the three filmmakers' attempt to do something totally insane, and too few in the business of making movies are even trying to push any envelope anymore. I came to love the use of the cast and the makeup when I realized about halfway through first viewing that the filmmakers had done so as a way of adding some heart into what Mitchell had created. There are some very bold and moving things being said in this film about love, responsibility and individuality that wouldn't have been so poignant without the utilization of the cast reappearing in each time period as a radically different self. This is not a folly. The fact that this not only works but has become one of the most addictively watchable movies in my memory has also made it one of my all-time favorites. And there are many reasons it works for me, one of them being that the film was made, I believe, with a strong yet sly sense of self-referential humor and the other being that the schematic structure of Mitchell's book has been replaced by a freestyle, musical approach. I don't think since 'Short Cuts' has there been such a major film of such length which has truly relished such a cascade of rhyming images and sensations simply for the enjoyment of it, like listening to a great album. One can be daunted by the many worlds on display here and try too hard to get on top of it all but the real fun is letting this movie just play in front of you, doing its free association dance through time. This is like the iconic shot in '2001' of the pirouetting bone which jump-cuts into a ship rotating around the earth, played out like a symphony. This either works for you, or not at all. For me, it's one of the great movie experiences of my life. Expand
  8. Feb 14, 2013
    This movie is not that complicated as some think and it's not trying to be, it's just puzzling, so you will need to pay attention and see it in one shot, otherwise you'll think just like many others, that it's a bad movie, but it's not and it's not your usual kind of movie, aside the story, like make-up, visual effects, soundtrack, etc, are well done.
  9. Feb 11, 2013
    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.
  10. Feb 10, 2013
    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.
  11. Feb 10, 2013
    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.
  12. Feb 9, 2013
    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.
  13. Feb 6, 2013
    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 Expand
  14. Feb 3, 2013
    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.
  15. Jan 28, 2013
    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
  16. Jan 27, 2013
    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.
  17. Jan 26, 2013
    that is a really great Film from director of matrix that i have expected , but that is unacceptable to take 55 number for this film , if i were a Critic i will take 100 to this film
  18. sLm
    Jan 25, 2013
    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.
  19. Jan 17, 2013
    The day after the election, I slept in late, watched Obama's acceptance speech, and saw Cloud Atlas, a film which perfectly examines the main themes of the election: love and charity and duty and patriotism. Connectedness. Oh, and greed, cruelty, and the 1%. It's the only action-scifi-romance I've seen where I checked the credits for Howard Dean and George Lakoff.

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

    If you haven't already seen Cloud Atlas, try to see it on the big screen. Take a few friends who like to talk about issues and meanings. If you are like me or Roger Ebert, you'll want to see it again right away and a third time soon. It's the perfect antidote to wallow-in-the-mire entertainment like the TV series Girls. But, you might say, some reviews have been bad. Depends on who you ask. Users love Cloud Atlas but the critics don't, just the opposite of Girls. Maybe that's because this is a fully adult film, one which encourages us to challenge authority and work together to achieve very long-term goals. And maybe because Cloud Atlas shows how depraved the opposite, selfish approach can become. I wish we'd been able to take every reluctant or undecided voter to see this film. But at least we can see it now, for nearly three hours of pure pleasure and a big recharge to the activist batteries.
  20. Jan 14, 2013
    This movie is the kind of stuff that often splits people in two: those who enjoy life as it flows, no matter if good or bad, and those who always keep checklists at hand, hoping that assessing and measuring everything will encompass reality and maybe prevent them from harm. This duplicity in audience approach to the movie is embodied in the film itself, and to me that is a proof of its importance. Tons of stories about light vs. darkness (and about their being insolubly inter-weaved) have been told throughout the eras; this is another great opportunity to clinch the message, not to find some never-expressed-before meaning. The way it's conveyed makes it worth to experience Cloud atlas. His holiness The Matrix itself wasn't free from referencing: we cannot neglect culture, after all, we're all imbued in it. So turn off the judging critic inside your mind and just enjoy the ride in the depths of complexity, it's one of those you Expand
  21. Jan 12, 2013
    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
  22. Jan 12, 2013
    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
  23. Jan 11, 2013
    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
  24. Jan 9, 2013
    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
  25. Jan 8, 2013
    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...
  26. Jan 5, 2013
    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
  27. Jan 5, 2013
    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
  28. Jan 4, 2013
    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.
  29. Jan 4, 2013
    Ambitious, symbolic, beautiful and utterly breathtaking; with impressive visuals, a great story arch and brilliant acting and directing, Cloud Atlas is a successful attempt to turn an "un-filmable" novel into a well-adaptated masterpiece.
  30. Jan 3, 2013
    It is the first movie I saw on this year and I am already convinced that will be the best, I don

Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

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