Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    It's Malick's particular genius to make viewers feel like they're seeing the world, with all its beauty and danger, for the first time. [28 Nov. 2007]
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew Ross
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    The pictures — migrants leaping off a westbound train, a quick close-up of a face riven with conflicting emotions, locusts on a stalk of wheat — truly tell the story. [21 March 1997]
  3. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    Days of Heaven is a big advance, hauntingly beautiful in image, sound and rhythm, unashamedly poetic, brimming with sweetness and bitterness, darkness and light. [18 Sept. 1978, p.97]
  4. Reviewed by: Edward Guthmann
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    Days of Heaven is a visual poem. Slow and elegant, reverential in the way it celebrates the earth's contours and the play of light. [27 Oct. 1999, p.B3]
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    To hell with equivocation or beating around the bush: Terrence Malick's 1978 Days of Heaven is the greatest film ever made. And let the word film be emphasized, since Malick's sophomore masterpiece earns this exalted designation from its position as a work of pure cinema. [22 Oct. 2007]
  6. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    Rarely has a film bared itself to simple majesty...it feels epic yet runs barely over and hour and a half. [22 Oct. 1997]
  7. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    Largely lensed in the window between sunset and nightfall, it’s a magic-hour masterpiece. [26 Aug. 2011]
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 12, 2013
    100
    The film, with its transcendentally beautiful visuals...is a rich and rewarding experience. [1 Sept. 2011]
  9. 100
    Above all one of the most beautiful films ever made. Malick's purpose is not to tell a story of melodrama, but one of loss. His tone is elegiac. He evokes the loneliness and beauty of the limitless Texas prairie. [7 Dec. 1997]
  10. Days of Heaven is the grand climax of the whole "Bonnie and Clyde"-"Badlands" tradition of outlaw-lovers-on-the-run movies. Shot by Nestor Almendros and the uncredited Haskell Wexler, it's a cinematographic masterpiece. [20 March 1998]
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    100
    Director Malick endows this simple, timeless story with the enormous scope and resonance of myth through a clear vision unclouded by sentimentality and by a deft juxtaposition of image, music, and character.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Faires
    100
    Some movies are like Dorothy's twister; they just pick you up and whisk you away from the commonplace world you know to a world wondrous and astonishing. Days of Heaven is such a movie. [27 July 1998]
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    100
    A dramatically moving and technically breathtaking American art film, one of the great cinematic achievements of the 1970s.
  14. 100
    The result is a film that hovers just beyond our grasp--mysterious, beautiful, and, very possibly, a masterpiece.
  15. Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    Mar 12, 2013
    88
    Days of Heaven is so unapologetically beautiful, so calculatingly gorgeous, it is certain to arouse resentment in the minds of those who find visual hedonism a sin in movies, and to arouse suspicion, if not outrage, in those who require that movies have heart. [22 Sept. 1978]
  16. It seems almost incontestably...the most gorgeously photographed film ever made. [23 March 1999]
  17. 63
    The film has too much surface beauty not to earn it a recommendation, but Days of Heaven satisfies only on a sensory level.
  18. Reviewed by: Gary Arnold
    Mar 12, 2013
    50
    Days of Heaven leaves one wanting more: either a totally revolutionary approach to pictorial storytelling or traditional dramatic interest....It may be artistic suicide for Malick to continue his style of pictorial inflation without also enriching his scenarios. If he doesn't, he's likely to be remembered not for his undeniable pictorial talent but for his eccentricity. [5 Oct. 1978, p.B10]
  19. Reviewed by: Harold C. Schonberg
    40
    It is full of elegant and striking photography; and it is an intolerably artsy, artificial film.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Mar 1, 2012
    10
    Although the film is mainly dominated by sight and sound the film also delivers an intricate story more than what meets the eye. There are so many allusions present in the film that the story becomes more meeningful and so do it's images. A wonder ful film one of the best of all time. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2011
    9
    I can simply say, Music and Cinematography are the major aspects of the film. One can easily mesmerised with Texas prairie's serene beauty. Days of heaven did not seemed to be greatest story, but Terrence Mallick's way of film-making made it so. The entire story narration is clear, articulate and poetic at times. Full Review »
  3. JMH
    May 7, 2012
    7
    Days of Heaven is a confounding film. One thing it is not is a complete, fully formed masterpiece. Elements of the film are among the most impressive in the history of cinema; notably, the cinematography and the score. On these merits alone, Days of Heaven is in the realm of "must-see" cinema. The film's crutch rests in its narrative, or lack thereof. The plot is a bare-bones outline, plucked all but directly from Henry James' The Wings of the Dove -- a love triangle of a particular sort. Many viewers will likely find themselves asking: (1) whether this bare-bones plot outline amounts to a story, and (2) if it does, whether that story is well told. I'm inclined to answer (1) in the negative, making (2) a moot question. A film can be excellent without a rich plot or deeply mined story in the traditional narrative sense. In this regard, films such as Breathless, The Exterminating Angel, and In the Mood for Love come to mind. Days of Heaven is not among such excellent films. The absence of narrative in Days of Heaven feels, literally, like absence -- a thing missing. And Malick's significant achievements in the film do little if anything to justify or fill this critical gap. Watch the film because too much in it is too good not to see. But don't expect a compelling masterpiece, because Days of Heaven isn't one. Full Review »