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

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 667 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 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
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: 30 out of 205
  1. 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!! Expand
  2. 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.
    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 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. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    I haven't had this much fun at the movies in a long, long time. I mean, this film is absolutely ridiculous. There are a million storylines, actors playing multiple characters (of different races), it spans hundreds of years... and it all somehow works, at least for me. The storylines were fleshed out, the actors embody each of their characters with remarkable skill... If nothing else, "Cloud Atlas" is one of the most ambitious films ever made, and possibly one of the greatest. Of course, it all depends on whether or not you can accept the utter ridiculousness that comes with a narrative of this scope, but if you can, it's a ton of intelligent, crazy fun. Expand
  5. Oct 26, 2012
    8
    Not quite understanding all the hate for this film. It's really like nothing else I've ever seen, with each parallel story differing in scope and scale but matching in emotion and entertainment value. This movie gives you a lot to think about when you leave the theatre, but while you watch it, it washes over and envelops you like great cinema should. Expand
  6. Oct 30, 2012
    6
    This multi-level film is based on the novel of the same name, which interweaves 6 stories from various time periods with actors playing multiple characters. This means elaborate makeup, as they cast Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and other cast members in as many as 6 roles. The messages of universal continuity and connectedness are hammered home as the drama and action unfolds. While it's realized with masterful skill by the Wachowskis (best known for the "Matrix" series) and Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run"), the slow-moving stories take up almost 3 hours. Visually, it's often spectacular (despite the sometimes embarrassing makeup), but as entertainment or inspiration it gets downright tedious. Expand
  7. 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

See all 205 User Reviews

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