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

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 682 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 208
  1. 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. 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 29, 2012
    8
    An epic, sweeping assembly of stories, each interwoven into its siblings. The genre's range from sci fi action, to comedy, to period tragedy and more but the parallels in each are continuously reinforced through narration and visual symbolism. The biggest complaint I've heard so far is that the stories seem incoherent and don't mesh. Not sure how anyone paying attention could arrive at this. Reoccurring themes of human interaction, institution vs progress, absolute truth, and more are interwoven throughout each of the stories to the point that the sheer task of editing these pieces together is in some ways more impressive than the acting, makeup, and cinematography (all of which are great.) I can't guarantee you'll like it, but I feel fairly safe in saying you've never seen anything quite like it, which in a world of sequels and remakes, should be a valid argument on it's own. Expand
  6. Apr 27, 2013
    6
    Ambitious, featuring six stories all set in various time periods. Often times with a film like this, there is always that one storyline that is just not as good, or in the case of Cloud Atlas, 2 or 3 storylines that fail to compare to the others. That's really the main problem I had with this film, the performances, music, and visuals are all top notch, but not all the stories were that engaging, diluting the effectiveness of the major themes. I still really enjoyed the film. My favorite parts were set in Korea and the 1970s. Expand
  7. Nov 4, 2012
    0
    Cloud Atlas is one of the biggest pieces of unadulterated crap that Hollywood has released in a number of years, and god only know they had there share of Sh-t. Its all over the board. There are a number of books that should never be brought to film and this "pure puke of a movie is one of them.The writers should be stoned!! Expand

See all 208 User Reviews

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