User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 723 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 723
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  1. Apr 29, 2013
    4
    Pretentious and forcefull attempt to make you belive in god.
    Zero plot qualities, still, great visuals and awesome work with the tiger, not worth it.
  2. Dec 9, 2012
    5
    This is a movie that is trying way too hard. While trying to be completely inclusive in talking about religion as a christian I feel that it alienates everyone. Our protagonist is instantly drawn to each new faith he comes upon, while we are given very little reason as to why he does. The acting during the book ends of this movie is pretty poor, and the script is sub par. The middle thirdThis is a movie that is trying way too hard. While trying to be completely inclusive in talking about religion as a christian I feel that it alienates everyone. Our protagonist is instantly drawn to each new faith he comes upon, while we are given very little reason as to why he does. The acting during the book ends of this movie is pretty poor, and the script is sub par. The middle third of the movie is the strong point, and also where the movie excels visually. I was impressed with the way that they built Pi and Richard Parker's relationship. I expected Pi to be cuddling with his tiger moments after being stranded alone on the boat with him. Instead there are many moments of dread and even after one moment where he can touch Richard Parker he still respects him as a wild animal at the end of their journey. The second bookend has as many problems as the first, and the emotional punch that they are trying to achieve at the final reveal is neither earned or evokes much emotion. Overall this is a rather mediocre film. Expand
  3. Dec 29, 2012
    6
    Having read the book by Yann Martel and knowing that Ang Lee was at the helm, I was really looking forward to seeing Life of Pi. I thought the film would be visually stunning and an emotional roller coaster and truly expected it to be my film of the year 2012, an expectation encouraged by the brilliant trailer. Therefore, I was very disappointed to realise that the actual movie onlyHaving read the book by Yann Martel and knowing that Ang Lee was at the helm, I was really looking forward to seeing Life of Pi. I thought the film would be visually stunning and an emotional roller coaster and truly expected it to be my film of the year 2012, an expectation encouraged by the brilliant trailer. Therefore, I was very disappointed to realise that the actual movie only partially delivered. The main problem is with the adaptation of the book which many people felt was un-filmable. The novel is good, not great, but it does present the boy's willingness to embrace all religions in a very entertaining way, sometimes almost comically. The first half of the film meanders from scene to scene giving us no reason to invest in his religious beliefs. Another problem, having read the book, is that the sequence involving the four animals in the lifeboat has been excised from the screenplay to spare us their gory and prolonged deaths. Whilst I'm exceedingly grateful for this on the one hand, it does tend to dilute what the book did so well in showing the true horror of survival. On the positive side the film has a great asset in its young actor, Suraj Sharma, and its visual effects. The storm sequences are the best in the film and Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger, is a great creation. The cinematography too is, on occasion, quite beautiful. However, I am less sure about the 3D. It may have something to do with the cinema in which I saw the film, or just be due to the print under review, but I was constantly aware of a blurring of images on the periphery of scenes. This was not only annoying, but distracting. I had to check my glasses on numerous occasions and it became an issue as the film progressed. Overall Ang Lee does make a good stab at parts of the story, including a couple of emotional moments and when the boy and tiger are alone on the open sea, but it is a case of stabbing rather than sleight of hand. Expand
  4. Jan 17, 2013
    5
    Life of Pi is marvelous to look and has some of the best visuals in a long time. The problem is the middle of the movie. It becomes repetitive and monotonous which makes the entire movie sag.
  5. Nov 23, 2012
    5
    The 90 minutes in the center of the 2 hours and 6 minutes of the movie
  6. Dec 31, 2012
    5
    I'll start off with the positive. The CGI in this movie was some of the best I've ever seen, with incredible stunning visuals. Other than that however, it had the feel of a made for t.v. special. The story was interesting at times, but I kept waiting for the movie to be brought to the next level, and it just never happened. I would say this movie is good for a rental (although theI'll start off with the positive. The CGI in this movie was some of the best I've ever seen, with incredible stunning visuals. Other than that however, it had the feel of a made for t.v. special. The story was interesting at times, but I kept waiting for the movie to be brought to the next level, and it just never happened. I would say this movie is good for a rental (although the stunning visuals will not be as impressive on a small screen). I don't necessarily think this was a bad movie, but to be in the 8 plus category?? I give it a solid middle of the road 5. Expand
  7. Jan 8, 2013
    5
    Dreamlike movie with beautiful cinematography. That was it. The plot was cliche although could be better because it was metaphorically portrayed. I like how it includes beliefs in God in many ways, but the message was unclear at the end; whether he's a Christian, Muslim or Hindu.This movie lacks a genuine and rawness essence to it. The emotional part did not reach to me. Everything is justDreamlike movie with beautiful cinematography. That was it. The plot was cliche although could be better because it was metaphorically portrayed. I like how it includes beliefs in God in many ways, but the message was unclear at the end; whether he's a Christian, Muslim or Hindu.This movie lacks a genuine and rawness essence to it. The emotional part did not reach to me. Everything is just not quite there and it's too stagnant. No climax at all. Expand
  8. Feb 11, 2013
    6
    Life of Pi is a pleasant family friendly commercial cinema and nothing more. As a 3D film, Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" is a far more accomplished visual experience
  9. May 4, 2015
    4
    Rests entirely on the visual experience. There isn't anything else to it. I'm very patient with films, but felt the urge to skip ahead since I simply didn't care about the main character, and there was no story progression.
  10. Jan 20, 2013
    6
    I hardly believe any book is un-filmable; yes, some are harder to adapt than others, but with the right vision it is possible to adapt any book to the big screen. Ang Lee
  11. Apr 22, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm stuck in the middle when it comes to this movie. It is a cleverly written film using animals as a metaphor for people who experience an awful adventure. It is also boring at times because the film uses great visuals to excuse the slow pace.

    I really wanted to love this film. However the story though, whilst interesting, is not anywhere near as amazing as it might make you believe. Also, it all came to an abrupt end once the adventure finished; I thought why spend so much time slowly telling a tale just to end it quickly once it's told !?

    I did like how this film let's you the viewer choose which story to believe. That is the greatest aspect.

    If you are unsure whether to see it I'd say yes. But don't expect it to be life defining and give you a new perspective on anything.
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  12. Mar 26, 2013
    6
    Life of Pi was beautifully directed and certainly provided great visual entertainment. However the book was far more brutal and more impact-full than the movie I'm not sure why the studio chose to water down the content. I suppose just to keep it out of the rated "R" category but for me it took a lot away from the entire narrative to do so.
  13. Dec 6, 2013
    6
    I know I've given a bunch of crap about director Ang Lee, but while this review means jack-sh*t about the director's talent (cough, cough), in a sense, "Life of Pi" is his best movie. It's the only one of his movies I've ever found somewhat tolerable. Here are some Pros: The score is really good. You really dig deep into the character of Pi; both through his human self and through theI know I've given a bunch of crap about director Ang Lee, but while this review means jack-sh*t about the director's talent (cough, cough), in a sense, "Life of Pi" is his best movie. It's the only one of his movies I've ever found somewhat tolerable. Here are some Pros: The score is really good. You really dig deep into the character of Pi; both through his human self and through the tiger "Richard Parker". I found it interesting at one point in the movie how certain characters can relate to the animals through seen in the movie and how it really affects your take on which story do you believe. Now for the Cons: The movie is really slow. It can really put someone to sleep. The first third of the movie is really uninteresting and lacks that quality of going through the life of a character. The story being set around an Indian really makes the movie feel pretentious, mostly relating to his multiple belief system. That really threw me off. And finally the visuals were not that good in my opinion. I didn't feel like I was being taken on an epic 3-D adventure like "Avatar" or "Gravity". I just wasn't convinced that I was on an epic adventure. Overall, the 2nd half really weighs over the first half (in its slow way). Honestly, this movie is about a 5.5, so I give it a C+. Expand
  14. Mar 3, 2014
    6
    The CGI is obviously amazing but everything else doesn't really match the technology, its structure and the narrative being its main downpoints. The religion aspect just seemed stapled on to give the film deeper meaning but just comes off as being rather pretentious. If it were more coherently explored, it would've lifted the film considerably. Overall, all style and not so much substance.
  15. May 2, 2014
    5
    With so much to talk about, like the stunning visuals, gorgeous cinematography, a good performance by Suraj Sharma, and an interesting sad story of survival, that makes us guess at the end, What can go wrong? Well the truth is that the movie is pretty solid, but somehow it deepens so much into the character, and leaves the audience by themselves, and it is unable to connect with the film.
  16. Jan 16, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When I went to see ''Life of Pi'' at the cinema, I was expecting a fairly straightforward but intruiging story; Man on ship transporting tiger gets caught in storm, ship sinks and man and tiger have to share a lifeboat together in order to survive. I left the cinema, definitely intruiged by what I had seen, but also kind of wishing that it had just been the fairly simple story that I had expected it to be..
    There's no denying that this is a beautiful and beautifully filmed piece of cinema. Right from the simple but effective opening of the animals at the zoo, I found myself drawn into things. The narrative is well scripted, easy to follow and interesting.
    Shame that the same could not be said of the overblown plot. Though it is always an interesting watch, scenes in the Life of Pi may well leave you asking; What was all that about? What was the need for that? It's not until Pi has finished telling his story at the end of the film that one can even begin to try and make sense of it. And even then, I was still a tad confused. Morally, this is a film with religious undertones, that puts the very biggest questions of belief under the spotlight. It took me a while to work that one out...!
    Another thing I found irritating about the film was the over the top and not always realistic CGI; the storm, the whale scene, the island of meerkats..... all a bit OTT. But no criticisms of the animation on the main star of the film, the tiger, which has been brilliantly recreated.
    So to sum up; An intruiging film and beautiful film, which unnecesarily over-complicates itself graphically and in it's storyline.
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  17. Jun 5, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For what it is worth, I thought they did pretty good. It had its moments, the camera quality was some of the best ever, the animation of the animals was mind blowing. But when it comes down to it, the movie itself was in impossible mission. To me at least, the book was unadaptable, and they almost pulled it off. But between missing some of the best moments of the book, and weird time skips that happened in the book I just couldn't give this movie higher then a six. Also I feel that the movie never got into Pi's struggle, it had a few scene with him crying and starving, but it never had the same feel and unbelievable struggle that the book had. All in all it was an impossible mission, but they did good with what they had. Expand
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Dec 17, 2012
    100
    To produce a coherent film from Martel's tricky novel would be achievement enough, but Ang Lee has extracted something beautiful, wise and, at times, miraculous.
  2. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Nov 26, 2012
    90
    Life of Pi, at its best, celebrates the idiosyncratic wonders and dangers of raw, ravaging nature, and Lee wrings more than enough meaning from the excitement of that spectacle; we need nothing higher. [26 Nov.2012, p.86]
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Mueller
    Nov 25, 2012
    100
    A riot of saturated colour and delirious imagination, Ang Lee's adap radiates spirituality. But it's also a simple, thrilling and gently uplifting tale of a boy, a boat and a tiger. Take the plunge.