User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 765 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 62 out of 765
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  1. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    If you don't have an imagination, like to ponder, dislike thinking or feeling, don't watch this movie. This is one of those movies where you may have to watch a couple times to see all that it has to offer, for me that's a good thing, but some may not like that aspect.
  2. 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.
  3. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    I rarely use this rating. But I left the theater saying and feeling that the movie was PERFECT. Well paced and cast. The Movie has so many small details that cause you to want to go back and rewatch it over and over again.

    Half the fun of the film is figuring out who is playing who in each time line and discovering the connections that bring each of the main characters together. The
    I rarely use this rating. But I left the theater saying and feeling that the movie was PERFECT. Well paced and cast. The Movie has so many small details that cause you to want to go back and rewatch it over and over again.

    Half the fun of the film is figuring out who is playing who in each time line and discovering the connections that bring each of the main characters together. The writing is top notch and so is the visuals. I can't wait to buy it and watch the movie at home with my wife.....for the 20th time
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  4. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    This is the type of movie where the first time you see it, it is merely an introduction. I can see myself watching it countless times over and over on blu-ray picking up things I did not realize before. AWESOME film. It is a shame that so many critics blasted it. If you check the movies that the critics that blasted this one rated high, it is evident that they have no business beingThis is the type of movie where the first time you see it, it is merely an introduction. I can see myself watching it countless times over and over on blu-ray picking up things I did not realize before. AWESOME film. It is a shame that so many critics blasted it. If you check the movies that the critics that blasted this one rated high, it is evident that they have no business being critics lol. I won't give it away, but there is a hilarious and truly gratifying scene involving a critic. I am guessing this scene is part of the reason some of them were sour in their reviews. 10+ Expand
  5. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    Cloud Atlas was a singularly phenomenal achievement; a testament to the presence and power of human dignity across time, cultures, genders, and genres, and the possibility of redemption for even the most sinister souls. I am unequivocally in love with this movie.
  6. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    It seems that most of the negative reviews about the coherence between stories are similar to complaints about Inception when it first debuted - it was too confusing to follow all the different layers. If you have a small attention span and cannot follow complex plots, skip this movie and catch something a little simpler. If, however, you are able to follow along (not a difficult feat,It seems that most of the negative reviews about the coherence between stories are similar to complaints about Inception when it first debuted - it was too confusing to follow all the different layers. If you have a small attention span and cannot follow complex plots, skip this movie and catch something a little simpler. If, however, you are able to follow along (not a difficult feat, mind you), this movie will astound you. It's beautiful and moving in ways that not a lot of films are, and it will definitely stay with you for a while. Expand
  7. 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...
  8. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Not a good film for the dumb. What you are experiencing is a complex weaving of lives, all of which are basically the same, lived from different points in time and space. The best way to understand the film is to walk around a populated area and image yourself as the other people. That old black woman, I was her once. She was me once. And so on. "Our lives are not our own." It's not allNot a good film for the dumb. What you are experiencing is a complex weaving of lives, all of which are basically the same, lived from different points in time and space. The best way to understand the film is to walk around a populated area and image yourself as the other people. That old black woman, I was her once. She was me once. And so on. "Our lives are not our own." It's not all THAT complicated. But that's the gist of the film. Reviewers who didn't like how it was done didn't stop to think about why it was done that way. That is exactly why it was done that way. Expand
  9. Dec 11, 2012
    10
    Anyone who doesn't like this movie is just stupid.

    It's way beyond the Matrix in terms of philosophy, plot complexity, and so forth. It's not as obsessed with action as it is the interconnected weavings of characters, which is central to the entire film. The point is that "our lives are not our own," and it shows this in a way no other film ever could.
  10. Nov 27, 2012
    5
    Cloud Atlas -- I don't get it. While I was mesmerized by many breathtaking scenes and actor's playing different roles, I just didn't get the point of the whole story. None of the stories made me care. I found myself trying to figure out which actor was behind some heavy make up.
  11. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    I just want to tell the world what a wonderful movie that is. I came out of the movie theater as a changed man. Can't stop thinking about it and I'm definitely going again as that was the shortest 3hrs I've ever experienced. I want, no, I NEED more. Already bought the book too. Do yourself a favor and go see it. Now.
  12. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    I went into cloud atlas with fairly high expectations. A close friend of mine was raving about it being a return to form for the Wachowskis. It's now been around 4 days after leaving the theater and the movie is still on my mind. I was amazed to see the backlash the movie received from the critics. In my opinion, it was a remarkable and moving epic, evoking themes rarely visited in cinemaI went into cloud atlas with fairly high expectations. A close friend of mine was raving about it being a return to form for the Wachowskis. It's now been around 4 days after leaving the theater and the movie is still on my mind. I was amazed to see the backlash the movie received from the critics. In my opinion, it was a remarkable and moving epic, evoking themes rarely visited in cinema let alone any art form. I'm planning on seeing it again; it is easily my favorite of the year. It seems that the people that came away disappointed were focusing on the details of each individual story not realizing that the big picture is what this move is all about. Don't get bogged down with the reincarnation theme. The spectacular stitching of stories and tone makes the six stories into one; strengthening the motif of interconnectedness of people between the times. I rarely get choked up when watching movies. Cloud Atlas is an emotional masterpiece. Expand
  13. Nov 7, 2012
    10
    They say its too long. They say it doesn't make sense. I was very surprised by these comments. At 3 hours I didn't want it to end. It takes you through the human experience and it doesn't spoon feed you. if you snooze while watching you won't get it. It's about getting involved with the stories. I Just loved it. Saw it twice and enjoyed it even more the second time.
  14. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    The movie is very complex, it consists of six different stories occurring in different time periods, but all of them are somehow connected to each other. The stories keep you thrilled during all three hours of this movie. There are some deep ideas here, though I'm sure that a lot of people will find this movie boring because of lack of action scenes. Summing up, I'd say that this isThe movie is very complex, it consists of six different stories occurring in different time periods, but all of them are somehow connected to each other. The stories keep you thrilled during all three hours of this movie. There are some deep ideas here, though I'm sure that a lot of people will find this movie boring because of lack of action scenes. Summing up, I'd say that this is probably The Best Movie in 2012. Collapse
  15. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    It's crazy and mind-blowing.
  16. Nov 28, 2012
    4
    I was so excited to see this film and i ended up being pretty disappointed. I think it was a good idea but executed entirely wrong. I will give a nod to the actors, it was not their performance that ruined it for me but the storyline was just plain confusing. It kept jumping from era to era and with the same actors playing mainly different roles I had trouble remembering what story I wasI was so excited to see this film and i ended up being pretty disappointed. I think it was a good idea but executed entirely wrong. I will give a nod to the actors, it was not their performance that ruined it for me but the storyline was just plain confusing. It kept jumping from era to era and with the same actors playing mainly different roles I had trouble remembering what story I was in. I would suggest seeing it but prepare to be fully confused for the 20 minutes and then slightly confused for the rest. I think it takes a certain kind of person to like this movie. It just wasn't my cup of tea. Expand
  17. Dec 28, 2012
    5
    Cinematically beautiful with a great cast but definitely played out like a bunch of trailers all ready and willing to make the next great film. The music in the film tried too hard and was over exaggerated half the time as well. This movie also could've told its story in less time, it drew out scenes which became confusing at times.
  18. 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!!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 murderousA 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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  22. 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 endsWatched 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
  23. Dec 2, 2012
    8
    If the source novel from David Mitchell is claimed to be "the most impossible one to be adapted to a feature film", the true grit behind the director trio alone merits some accolade. But the critical box-office feedback firmly suggests they will never retrieve the gargantuan budget (over 100,000,000$ for production and nothing else), while being under the barrage of divisive reviews fromIf the source novel from David Mitchell is claimed to be "the most impossible one to be adapted to a feature film", the true grit behind the director trio alone merits some accolade. But the critical box-office feedback firmly suggests they will never retrieve the gargantuan budget (over 100,000,000$ for production and nothing else), while being under the barrage of divisive reviews from the critics, an ominous pre-watch hunch could never be dissolved until I finally watched it on the super-big screen (not as large as an IMAX) in the cinema, and I must confess it comes out far "stunning" than I had expected.

    Graphically bountiful visual stunts of 6 inter-linked stories which stretch across different eras (from primitive tribe to a clone-ed future world) certainly has paid off its lengthy running time, 172 minutes passed by fleetingly with more anticipation was still hanging there when the ending credits inconveniently started to roll. CLOUD ATLAS is a cleverly designed omnibus, using same actors playing multiple roles in different sub-stories, consistently establishes a sense of reincarnation and an almost sacred disposition to influence a more elusive and conscience-contingent point-of-view into its viewer
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  24. Dec 25, 2012
    8
    Cloud Atlas is a curious film. It sets its ambitions to astronomical levels but at the end of the days does what it does well but is not at all a revolutionary film nor is it free of flaws. There is an emotional prize at the end if you can bear with the long convolution plot with six distinct stories played by a handful of the same actors and actresses that transcend race and gender. MyCloud Atlas is a curious film. It sets its ambitions to astronomical levels but at the end of the days does what it does well but is not at all a revolutionary film nor is it free of flaws. There is an emotional prize at the end if you can bear with the long convolution plot with six distinct stories played by a handful of the same actors and actresses that transcend race and gender. My biggest gripe with the movie was without a doubt the inclusion of unnecessary scenes in the movie. Sure, the 1936 plot involved a bisexual male but did they have to really articulate homosexual innuendos to such degree? Its one thing to vouch for gender equality rights and another to gross the crap out of the audience. Every single person in the room who saw this film with me felt extremely uncomfortable at the gay scenes involving the 1936 music composer. I mean, sure he's gay we get that and we can empathize with his lovelife but I felt that the Wachowski's went overboard with the 'feel sorry for homos' stuff. On the other hand, was the revealing if mercifully brief sex scene involving Sonmi really necessary? A kissing scene would have sufficed. If I want to watch the intimate shots of an Asian woman GRINDING on some guy's penis, I would simply go to a porn site. Oh and what the hell is with the White-guy-with-Asian-makeup-to-make-them-look-Asian **** I dont mind the gender swaps in some of the plotlines. In fact, it just shows how talented actors like Weaving, Berry, Hanks and Grant be. Putting prosthetic makeup on a white guy to make him look Asian is not only laughable at viewing but is also ultimately offensive. Why not just hire a Asian actor? Would the plot really have suffered if they had not used the same actor seen in other plotlines? Apart from those little niggles, the film excels in other departments. Cinematography is excellent, the acting brilliant and the film score...one of the best in recent times. I just felt that the Cloud Atlas Sextet is ultimately underutilized in the film as a whole. Its often too faint to be heard or too brief to make an impact. Thankfully, the credits serves this purpose but at the end of the day, had they used the score more and in appropriate scenes, I felt that the movie would have benefited a lot more. While all six plotlines are great, in the end, the ones that felt most well done and enjoyable are without a doubt Rey's 1973 plot, Cavendish's 2012 plot and the Post-Apocalyptic Zachary plot. On the note of Zachary's story, it actually got me intrigued on the premise of it - so apparently the world collapsed under some cataclysm and humanity had been reduced to primitive tribes and a handful of still advance humans. I would've love to hear more about what happened at The Fall, how the Prescients had survived this and where they were in this era, what happened to the empty lands of the world after The Fall and on the colonies on the other planets. All in all, Cloud Atlas is a brilliant film that rewards the viewer with an emotional gift but at the expense of sitting through nearly 3 hours of elongated plotlines filled with action, drama and dull, unnecessary moments. This should've been a 2~2.5 hour film in this standard OR a 3 hour that's filled with info. Instead we get a 3 hour film that is essentially a 2 hour film stretched to its brim with rudimentary moments. You may hate it, you may love, but at the end of the day, it will have an impact on your movie-watching experience. An ambitious title that could've been a lot better had its significant flaws been ironed out and the Cloud Atlas sextet been utilized more frequently. Expand
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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 CloudAs 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
  29. 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 regularlyThis 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
  30. Dec 21, 2012
    4
    It tries too hard to tell 6 stories that simply are not interesting either independently or related to one another.
    Some of the make-ups were just atrocious.
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.