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Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 823 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Based on the best-selling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a story that unfolds in multipleBased on the best-selling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a story that unfolds in multiple lifetimes as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. Each member of the ensemble cast appears in multiple roles as the story moves through time. (Warner Bros. Pictures) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 45
  2. Negative: 4 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 26, 2012
    100
    Its too-muchness is also the source of its power; I was absolutely never bored, and felt surprised when the movie ended. It's an amazing, baffling, thrilling and (for many, it would appear) irritating experience, and for my money the most beautiful and distinctive big-screen vision of the year.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 24, 2012
    83
    Cloud Atlas is certainly out to be a ''visionary'' mindbender, but the film's secret is that it's a nimbly entertaining and light-on-its-feet Hollywood contraption, with the actors cast in multiple roles as if playing a game of dress-up.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 25, 2012
    75
    Despite some weaknesses, a sense gradually emerges in this film- not just an idea, but a strong feeling mixed with an idea - about the dance of good and evil over time.
  4. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Oct 27, 2012
    60
    One has to ask: does it allow for immersion? Even as we applaud the dramatic machinery, are we being kept emotionally at bay? [29 Oct. & 5 Nov. 2012, p.128]
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 25, 2012
    50
    This would-be epic is beautifully photographed, elegantly crafted and adventurously cast. Unfortunately, though, it plays like a gargantuan trailer for a movie still to be made.
  6. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Sep 9, 2012
    50
    Not quite soaring into the heavens, but not exactly crash-landing either, Cloud Atlas is an impressively mounted, emotionally stilted adaptation of British author David Mitchell's bestselling novel.
  7. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Sep 17, 2012
    10
    A manifesto in the form of an enormously budgeted quasi-sci-fi epic, Cloud Atlas is evidently personal, defiantly sincere, totally lacking in self-awareness, and borderline offensive in its gleeful endorsement of revenge violence against anyone who gets in the way of a good person's self-actualization. The rest of the time, it's just insipid, TV-esque in its limited visual imagination, and dramatically incoherent.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 219
  1. 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 itI 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. Expand
  2. 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 II 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. Expand
  3. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    This was a remarkable movie, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I did not read the book but now I intend to. I understand that this is not aThis was a remarkable movie, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I did not read the book but now I intend to. I understand that this is not a movie for everybody, but it's a movie for adults. The music and editing was so well done and that is just a cherry on top of this homage to film, love, life, freedom and what it all means to us. Brilliant!!! Expand
  4. Oct 30, 2012
    9
    It was epic, funny, visually stunning, dramatic, suspenseful, mysterious, intriguing, bewildering, and ultimately entertaining from start toIt was epic, funny, visually stunning, dramatic, suspenseful, mysterious, intriguing, bewildering, and ultimately entertaining from start to finish. The ethical ruminating was mostly subtle, with none of the ham-fisted navel-gazing of the second and third Matrix movies. And if you were a fan of the first Matrix, then the Sonmi-451 sequences will have you riveted. A unique movie adapted from a unique novel. Expand
  5. 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 theirCloud 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. Expand
  6. 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 itselfThis 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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  7. 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

See all 219 User Reviews

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