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Generally favorable reviews- based on 675 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 675

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  1. Feb 3, 2013
    a movie that any person above the age 6 should see cause it pretty much has the meaning of life in it. i recommend it to everyone to go see in Imax not no regular theater
  2. Jan 28, 2013
    I went into this movie without knowing anything about it, one word sums it up: beautiful. The story was very good and just the right amount of heartwarming, the acting was also good. But the real star of the show here was the effects, which were completely out of this world, very vibrant colours really brightening the screen and brought to life in breathtaking 3D, which is the only way to watch this film and truly appreciate it. The soundtrack is forgetful, but the story and visuals are most definitely not. It was hard to watch at times, funny and sad, I really feel strongly for Richard Parker, perhaps the star of the show. Amazing, 90/100. Expand
  3. Jan 26, 2013
    i loved this movie, when you get out and you are in shock ,well that doesn't happen that much, i saw it in 3D it was well worth it, i highly recommed it and well a definite must see.
  4. Jan 26, 2013
    One of the most gorgeous and imaginative films I have seen in a long time. It should get the Academy Award for best director for Ang Lee for the remarkable job he did with a very challenging subject. I liked just about everything about this film except the message, but, hey, you can't have everything.
  5. Jan 24, 2013
    Life of Pi is a visually stunning film with a beautiful story about an unlikely partnership between a boy and a tiger. Ang Lee directed this gorgeous film, and as soon as I discovered he was making this film I knew this was going to be a winner. Lee has always been able to make emotional and innocent films; for example films like Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have been a huge influence in cinema and have shown me what a great director he is. This new film has shown that he is able to go places he has never gone before as a filmmaker, and it really is a movie that makes you look at life in a completely different way. This movie has themes that stretch from the belief in a higher power, survival when there seems to be no hope, and how our challenges in life will test us. This movie has some brilliant character development; as we almost instantly love Pi and we see how this great experience changes him. Lee gets the audience to quickly relate to Pi and feels sympathy for him at even the worst times. Pi is that kind of protagonist that an audience can relate to and really enjoy, and he is one of the main reasons that this movie works so well. His bond with Richard Parker (which is the name of the tiger) is truly a beautiful thing and shows how without each other, neither of them would've survived. Lee really makes us feel like we are stranded in the ocean with them, and it makes us feel the same dangers that Pi feels. Ang Lee could've take the novel written by Yann Martel and made it a huge mess, but luckily thanks to his talents as a director he was able to make an emotionally satisfying and beautiful movie. This is that kind of film that really makes you think about what kind of challenges our life has gone through, and how they will shape the rest of our life. This movie is a great experience, and really is one of those movies that could change your life. Expand
  6. Jan 24, 2013
    Undeniably almost flawless, Life of Pi (2012) is a melting pot of entertainment formula. This film is the one to beat in cinematography and visual effects. Excellently created, magically translated for the silver screen, thought-provoking.
  7. Jan 22, 2013
    Storyline: Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) is a young Indian boy living in his fathers zoo. He has a great imagination and is always seeking out new meanings he thinks will give him the ultimate truth in religion but his father has financial problems so the board a ship with the animals and head for Canada but the ship hits heavy weather and an adventure begins.

    Acting: This film had no weak
    points but if there was one thing where it could have been improved on was with the cast but perhaps it's not a valid fault as there was a certain charm that went with the role of Pi as played by Suraj Sharma. OK I just looked and see it's his first acting role so..... Anyway, this also had Irrfan Khan who was also not bad but I have seen much better from him. The rest of the main cast were CG animals and they were astounding.

    Direction: Ang Lee did well and his film deserves all 11 nods from the Acadamy. Where this film betters Avatar is that it deals with our own planet and is all there in the real world to compare this with. His creation was as perfect as can be with our current technology (I do 3D CG) today.

    Production: $120 million for this visual delight sounds about right. I could see where the money was spent and to me thats what counts. I don't know where reality and CG are mixed and that's so important. The tiger was stunning it was so good. It's the best lifelike animal I've ever seen and hope others will strive for this type of detail in future. The make-up was also awesome and again was realistic.

    Conclusion: While this is a great story that transferred well to the screen it could have been even better. Like if you were to read the script for this and Castaway this would win but Castaway was told a bit better, know what I mean? Because of the cinematography and sound on this film it is almost perfect. Highly Recommended Score: 8.5/10
  8. Jan 18, 2013
    The plot kept me engage and the visual effects lived up to the hype. Was puzzled why many people told me the it was too long. Luckily that didn't stop me from going. Then again I was a fan of Slumdog Millionaire, not sure if that has anything to do with it. Bottom line, loved it.
  9. Jan 17, 2013
    This is an extremely entertaining film. Some strange themes are explored but it's all encapsulated with the most wonderful visuals. Some of the artsy scenes are beyond phenomenal - you might even forget some of the storyline just because of the overwhelmingly beautiful art and CGI. Don't be put off by the trailer -- this is a film you should not miss.
  10. Jan 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A beautiful film; the cinematography is exquisite, with the score by Mychael Danna only adding to the ethereal and dream-like quality that this entire film evokes. This film is designed to give the audience more food for thought than a definitive ending as regards the film's integral aspect of religion. If you want a film for casual entertainment then this is not the film for you. It is engaging, both visually and in terms of the plot, with a sudden twist at the end offering a fresh perspective and certainly providing more discussion on the way home. The film is relatively slow-moving, however, this should be unsurprising as it centres on a boy lost at sea for 227 days- something which would hardly be the most adrenaline-pumping of events, even with a tiger on the same raft. Yet this is not a hindrance to the film, but a further example of what this film is really about, though it does rule out those simply seeking action and thrills, as this film's focus is predominantly elsewhere. It is an awe-inspiring and yet deeply humble film in that despite the flash visual effects, they are done in trying to capture the same stunning beauty of nature itself, which they certainly do. The strength of Pi in his desperate attempts to survive make this film touching and not simply a piece of art. Expand
  11. Jan 14, 2013
    A totally satisfying film - I went with my son (15) and daughter (12), and it's the only film we've all really liked, for differing reasons. I think that says a lot - you can just enjoy it as a gripping and beautiful spectacle, or be engaged by it on a different level. But you are almost certain to be moved by it. I feel genuinely sorry for anyone who would find this film boring, and is unable to appreciate the beauty and humanity of it. Expand
  12. Jan 13, 2013
    This movie is definitely profound in several aspects. It also makes me think by metaphorical way about my own life. I believe that people from different backgrounds (life experiences) would obtain different impacts by the expression of this movie. As long as you have soul, heart and good perceptiveness, you will know about yourself more or discover your inner latent power. Ang Lee is truly a genius! Expand
  13. Jan 12, 2013
    Having not read the book but hearing rave reviews about it and being compelled to view the film on the strength of these reviews alone, I went into the cinema not really knowing what to expect. But I am pleased to report that this was a wonderful film filled with beauty and emotion. Hardcore animal lovers may find it difficult to maintain dry eyes at some points but this is a stunning film that expresses the enchanting bonds between human and animal and the strength of the human spirit. Expand
  14. Jan 9, 2013
    This movie is extraordinary. The effects, the plot, the acting, the drama, the humor, "the everything" is perfect. To put this book on the big screen is a difficult task but Ang Lee tried and he succeeded. I recommend this movie to every living soul out there!
  15. Jan 8, 2013
    This movie is a absolute pleasure! The usual survival movies never can make it look like Life of Pi. The pretentious movies like the horrible "Anaconda" movie, Every movie should not be set in USA and finally someone has taken the message. Life of Pi has great graphics and should not be anticipated to be a bad movie.
  16. Jan 7, 2013
    Life of Pi is stunning! Not only in a visual way, but in the storytelling also. The story of a young boy being lost in the Pacific with almost no hope left, except a tiger with him is remarkable. It is not only a story of how Pi's life at sea is, but much more about things that all human can relate to. The feeling of being alone, the strong faith and the hope that almost gets completely dragged away. The use of symbols and flashbacks is extraordinary. I won't spoil anything for you, but I have to say that you absolutely need to watch this movie.

    The visuals seems to be from another world. This movie shows that 3D has potential and can be used in ways other than making more money. The vast landscapes and the huge scale of everything is mind-boggling. Watch this move! It a proof of the art that a movie can be art!
  17. Zal
    Jan 4, 2013
    This film blew me away. Everything from the culture to the spiritualism to the story of survival were told expertly. I think the best thing about this movie is that it's universal. It's a story about human nature told through the experiences of an Indian boy and a tiger lost at sea. I loved every single moment of this movie and I hope to see it again soon.
  18. Jan 4, 2013
    This film is without a doubt the most beautiful release of the past months, every still could pass as a work of art, perhaps due to Ang Lee's masterful manipulation of light to create atmosphere. Furthermore the production team have done a spectacular job ensuring that the (very impressive) special effects heighten the drama rather than distracting. This film is pulled off with precision.

    On the story side of things Life of Pi is a little on the over-sentimental side of things, and to an extent I also find the framed narrative bitty and excessive. (I would have preferred to stumble on the philosophical questions myself than have them shoved in my face! - also if the film had been linear I believe it would have had more direction?) But that is a minor complaint, and the action on the boat grips the viewer right to the dying moments. The acting is very convincing, especially seeing as the animals to whom Pi is supposed to be reacting are (exquisitely done) CGI, and obviously therefore weren't there during filming!
    A terrific job, and a must see film.
  19. Jan 4, 2013
    "Life of Pi" is a visually resplendent, emotionally prismatic and aptly constructed film that successfully carries the provocative conceptions from the novel it is based on. Brilliantly acted and simply beautiful, "Life of Pi" is the shining example of a successful novel- film adaptation. Richard Parker continues to philosophically challenge us in the most wonderful ways, allowing a film with multiple interpretations, something that one of the greatest directors, Nolan, would have been proud of. Expand
  20. Jan 2, 2013
    Academy Award winner Ang Lee's Life of Pi is a stunningly beautiful film. Supposedly an 'unfilmable' novel, Yann Martel's book gives Lee ample opportunity for great visual imagery, an opportunity Lee and cinematographer Claudio Miranda grab with both hands. Whether its shots of Pi's boat floating adrift on a sunrise-reflecting ocean, of an island inhabited by a thousands of meerkats or of close-ups of the tiger, the visuals are unrivalled. Lee dedicates enough time either side of Pi's incredible journey, with an adult Pi narrating his story to a writer (Rafe Spall), to give meaning to Pi's emotional ordeal. Although perhaps because of the nature of live action, in particular with facial expressions of the actors, some of the ending's ambiguity may have been lost in translation to the big screen.

    Newcomer Suraj Sharma gives a fantastic performance as Pi, playing the role against a fully CGI tiger in what must have been a difficult filming environment. The other true star of the film is Richard Parker the tiger, the special effects for which really are outstanding.

    In not staying true to the book, I was slightly disappointed that the writers felt the need to give Pi a love interest at the film's start, I don't feel that this added anything to Pi's character or to the story once the family set sail. Did the writers didn't want anyone to think he was gay or something?! Anyway, I also felt that Pi's gradual blindness from dehydration which for me was one of the most harrowing parts of the novel, could have been featured to add some more despair to Pi's journey, not that it needs more! However, my grumbles about how the film relates to the book count for little.

    I had incredibly high expectations for this film after reading the book and seeing the trailers and thankfully Lee's adaptation lived up to those. Life of Pi is a beautiful film of a boy's unbelievable journey and how he finds a home for it among his eclectic religious beliefs.

    Bring on the Oscar nominations.
  21. Dec 30, 2012
    This movie makes me proud to be a 21st century movie-goer. Finally I see a film that has special effects which are used so appropriately and brilliantly. Of course, not only did the special effects make me love this film, but the adapted screenplay and cinematography did as well. No, I don't really believe that this film is a 10 out of 10. Perhaps it is more of an 8 out of 10. HOWEVER, compared to other films that have been released in recent years... it would definitely seem to be a 10 out of 10. I loved it!! Expand
  22. Dec 28, 2012
    Perfectly adapted. I read the book back in the day and recommended it highly to friends and family. Actually really enjoyed the 3D version. I thought it was beautifully adapted and carried the spirit of the book to the screen which I highly doubted entering the theater. Understandable that some people would not like it. It is not a flash bang picture. It is a journey to the heart of man and you have to be in the mood to take that journey. Expand
  23. Dec 28, 2012
    This isn't your average movie. This movie isn't something I normally would go Watch. That is why I just needed to share my experience with all of you, so you also can go and Watch this great movie and experience something new. The movie starts out a bit slow and I wished that I had never put my foot in that Cinema at the begging. As the movie progressed I got more and more excited about how Pi develops on his amazing journey for the most precious thing that he owns - his life, even though he struggles to do so. The movie moved me so much emotionally that I almost dropped a tear (I know, I know, not very Manly). The Visuals are also worth mentioning, everything feels vibrant, alive and real. IF you're a blood hungering action fan or a comedy fan WHO loves to laugh then you should still go see this masterpiece. I'm giving this the highest rating because how it made me feel, it made me feel that life is the greatest thing we have been given and we should remember that, when we're feeling that life giving us a hard time. Expand
  24. Dec 28, 2012
    What an incredible film. From the direction to the acting to the other worldly visual effects, cinematography. From start to finish i was memorized by the this movie. All ages can see and be effected by what is put on the screen. Life of Pi is my favourite film of 2012.
  25. Dec 28, 2012
    A fantastic film. See it for yourselves and go with an open mind, especially if you have not read the book. In my opinion this is one of the best films I have been lucky enough to see at a cinema, it has been given some unfair reviews on this website and anyone who cannot see the visual beauty of this film is ignorant. Added to that, the story and the questions that are asked are quite brilliant. A must see film. Expand
  26. Dec 24, 2012
    A brilliant story line that had me gripped throughout the whole film. It's mix of intellect and adventure made the movie a must-see. The movie was timed perfectly, without getting tiresome but at the same time without making you bored. I'd recommend it , any day.
  27. Dec 18, 2012
    The most beautiful film, especially because the treatment on the story and the image is so delicate, it's a jewel and a metaphoric journey. Ang lee leads us into a dream and dangerous world. The film remind us the price of the life, animal or human . Thanks for putting Pi and Richard Parker on the screen It's was a marvelous gift for this end of the year.
  28. Dec 17, 2012
    In a rare matrimony of visual triumph and mythical storytelling, Life of Pi is a fantastic allegory of faith and struggle for life. Stories of beasts and men have intrigued people for years, admittedly the possibility of a man surviving a shipwreck with a Bengali Tiger is romantically over the top. While it's not exactly the colorful journey underneath, Life of Pi never becomes dark or brooding despite its heavy content. It's brilliantly told with simplicity, comedy and accessibility.

    It starts lightheartedly as adult Piscine Molitor Patel (Irfan Khan) retells his journey to a novelist. The adult Piscine is a great narrator, telling the story in his own pace and nonjudgmental feel. The topic of religion is a sensitive one, it's an accomplishment that the story not only presentable to large audience, it's also comedically inviting without undermining its values. A journey to find faith is universal, albeit the paths might differ, the series of tribulations Piscine has to endure is metaphor for the bumps in the road. At some points, doubt sets in and he admits his unknowingness, which is highly relatable.

    Graphically, in case you haven't seen the trailer, Life of Pi is astonishing. Using technological progress not only as gimmick, but also as an actual appeal. Colors are plenty and they are not invasive, it seems the scenes change so naturally, it's like seeing sunset and sunrise fast-forwarded. Details of the animals, especially the tiger, are very attentive. The shots are edited well, sometimes even continuously done. Ang Lee managed to give a sense of desperation from the smallness of man in contrast to the near endless realm around him.

    Credit goes to the young Piscine (Suraj Sharma) as he's the one who actually got cast away in the middle of the sea. Since the bulk of the movie is him alone, he has a heavy task to make it entertaining and believable. He does deliver a great performance against the artificial beast and screen effect. One of the things which might be unpalatable for some is the use of faith and religions. I personally think it uses faith as a medium of storytelling, a mature and modern interpretation of faith without imposing one specifically. The movie doesn't force audience its beliefs, it merely retells them like a poet from bedtime story, eloquently and elegantly. It makes the audience thinks, but leaves the decision in a private manner. Life of Pi is a rare beautiful use of 3D and an incredibly told story, which would be a shame to miss.
  29. Dec 15, 2012
    It was an out-standing movie! It is now my favorite movie of all time which before today was "The Grey". I encourage everyone to see this movie, unless you hate suspense.
  30. Dec 15, 2012
    Life of Pi, is one of the best films to be released in many years. The story and visuals are beautiful, I shed a few tears and left the theatre touched and moved. There are very few movies made these days with true heart and soul. Life of Pi is a rare gem and it is worth seeing on the big screen. The 3d was tastefully done and enhanced many of the films visual moments. The music, acting and writing was all spot on. To be honest I really did not want to see this film after I had seen the trailer. I think this film was very hard to market and the trailer was horrible. Thankfully the film is nothing like the trailer. The film is incredible. See it for yourself and prepare to be moved. Expand

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
    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
    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
    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.