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

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 700 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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: 30 out of 210
  1. Nov 1, 2012
    I loved this movie. I had just finished reading the book which is an incredible read, the language is just beautiful, and I was curious as to how they could film it, but they did an incredible job. It deserves to be seen on a big screen because the special effects are mesmerizing. And although they changed the structure of the book, which is triangular, the intercutting of the film actually connects the stories in a more coherent fashion. The use of the same actors over and over again is great fun and enforces the concepts of souls moving through time. It's my favorite film this year, all my friends have seen it and loved it, and we all want to see it a second time. Just beautiful and moving! Expand
  2. Koz
    Feb 25, 2013
    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.
  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 29, 2012
    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. BKM
    Jun 18, 2013
    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. Collapse
  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 210 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. 2012 Fall Film Festival Roundup: The Verdict on Films Screening at TIFF, Telluride, and Venice

    2012 Fall Film Festival Roundup: The Verdict on Films Screening at TIFF, Telluride, and Venice Image
    Published: September 17, 2012
    Find out what critics are saying about over two dozen key movies that debuted at fall's three major film festivals, including "Silver Linings Playbook," "Argo," "To the Wonder," "Cloud Atlas," "Frances Ha," and more.