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

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Universal acclaim- based on 638 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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: 29 out of 196
  1. Oct 30, 2012
    This is a fantastic attempt at adapting a book which many considered unadaptable. The disparate mishmash of genres that make up the movie somehow come together brilliantly when taken as a whole. Of course, there are 'weaknesses', as is the case in almost any work of art, but that does not prevent this from being a brilliant, audacious movie. We need more risk taking and original films like this from the big studios! Expand
  2. Oct 29, 2012
    This is an amazing movie and I enjoyed it immensely. There are commonalities in the different plots, but there's no need to strain to link them. Using the same actors for all the pieces in roles they would normally not be cast creates unusual and unique faces - something very much missing in Hollywood. The future-speak that some bemoan is a very cool touch. You should definitely see this movie. Expand
  3. Oct 29, 2012
    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 11, 2012
    From reading the mixed reviews, I expected Cloud Atlas to be an incomprehensible, wildly uneven mess of a movie, but that could not be further from the truth. It is an ambitious triumph of film-making audacity. If you pay attention, there is a strong theme - that in life one must make choices, and these choices are irreversible . Those that make courageous choices are celebrated. We also see that the consequences of brave choices are variable, but that each choice a person makes has consequences that ripple out across whole worlds of people. The concept of spiritual connectedness is explored in great depth throughout all six interrelated stories. The ending is very moving. If you are contemplating seeing Cloud Atlas, but are afraid it will lose you in its complications, don't be. It is one of the few complicated epics I've seen that really works, even if you are left with questions afterwards. A really fine return to form for the Wachoiwski siblings and Tom Twyker, and a wonderful, sophisticated movie-going experience. Expand
  5. Oct 26, 2012
    What to say about 'Cloud Atlas'? It is perhaps the most inspiring film I have seen in a long time. It's not perfect, but I couldn't stop smiling once the lights came back up.
    For a brief moment, I thought maybe everyone in the theater was going to turn and hug the person next to them.
    Love, freedom and hope for humanity. Or at least, that's what I thought about it. . .
  6. Apr 27, 2013
    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
    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 196 User Reviews


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