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. Nov 24, 2012
    9
    Certainly the most beautiful film of 2012 while not sacrificing emotional propulsion and riveting storytelling, 'Life of Pi' marks a successful voyage into 3D for director Ang Lee that is filled with awe and wonder. It faintly reminds me of another highly-visceral, faith-based movie from 2011, 'The Tree of Life' and I'm glad to say that 'Pi' is the more accessible and enjoyable film. TheCertainly the most beautiful film of 2012 while not sacrificing emotional propulsion and riveting storytelling, 'Life of Pi' marks a successful voyage into 3D for director Ang Lee that is filled with awe and wonder. It faintly reminds me of another highly-visceral, faith-based movie from 2011, 'The Tree of Life' and I'm glad to say that 'Pi' is the more accessible and enjoyable film. The colors pop, the tale is emotive and equal parts entertaining, the effects are seamless, and it features a roaring tiger by the name of Richard Parker. So, basically, it should please all audiences. I will admit, the film is stunted slightly by bits of occassional flimsy dialogue and an attention placed more on effect than religious contemplation. Otherwise, 'Life of Pi' is a jaw-dropping, life-affriming moviegoing experience that stands as one of the best films of the year, hands down. Expand
  2. Dec 9, 2012
    10
    A spellbounding, mind-blowing and a wonderful experience with the strong and compelling storytelling and slight innovation of 3D technology, based on the novel of the same name written by Yann Martel and directed by Ang Lee, Life of Pi is easily one of the best films of this year. I am quite surprised by the fact that a supposedly "unfilmable" novel turned into an epic film and anA spellbounding, mind-blowing and a wonderful experience with the strong and compelling storytelling and slight innovation of 3D technology, based on the novel of the same name written by Yann Martel and directed by Ang Lee, Life of Pi is easily one of the best films of this year. I am quite surprised by the fact that a supposedly "unfilmable" novel turned into an epic film and an astounding experience. Hats off to Ang Lee and his team, first of all. As we all know that this film is about a boy named Pi, who survives a disaster at sea where all of his family members get killed and he gets stuck on a life-boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker and other animals consisting of a zebra, an orangutan and a hyena, and is set on a unusal adventure and learns so much along the way that his way of thinking changes. Pi is a very unusual character, who spends all his childhood in finding a right belief and for that, he is introduced to several religions including Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Played by Suraj Shurma (young Pi) and Irrfan Khan (Adult Pi), both of them give strong performances especially Khan, who also narrates throughout the film. His character seems so believable and his younger self is also quite strong. The best things about this film are the direction, incorporation of 3D technology which is way more than brilliant and the way of storytelling. It may have a simple storyline but it is still so strong and thought-provoking and teaches you a lot about finding your true self and believing in yourself. When you finish watching the film, it all depends upon you that what do you really want to believe. What is your opinion about Pi's story. What were you beliefs before watching the movie and what are your beliefs now. I believe in God with all my heart and soul, and I know what I want to believe and my faith is strong. It may not touch you spiritually but it really makes you want to believe in inspiring film-making and the real power of cinema and storytelling.
    Ang Lee's vision is so powerful, I have no idea why he picked this novel but I am really glad that he did and he made it so beautiful that every frame of the movie seems worth appreciating and with that, Yann Martel's imagination, which is really strong and quite fascinating how it is penned into the novel. A few of the scenes in the film are shot so beautifully that you want to feel everything that's happening in the movie, you feel like touching the water, you want to get on that boat with Pi and continue the epic adventure.
    Honestly, I'm not a fan of 3D technology but I can proudly say that this is the first film that made me actually believe in the entire 3D experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has actually set a bar for upcoming 3D films. Sadly, I wasn't able to watch James Cameron's Avatar in 3D and I'm still upset about that but Life of Pi has impressed me enough that I can stop being sad about not watching Avatar in 3D and quite frankly, the whole 3D technology has finally got a new fan.
    Clever cinematography, beautiful background score, freaking brilliant visual effects and 3D experience, compelling, inspiring and spiritual storyline and screenplay, great performances, and outstanding direction. These are all the factors that make this film so wonderful that it turns into an epic experience. I easily tag Life of Pi as one of the epic and most wonderful experiences of 2012.
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  3. Dec 16, 2012
    8
    Thiz is a simple movie with stunning visual portrayal of a spiritual journey. It starts like Tim Burton BIG FISH (2003) where everything is odd and magical, steps like Danny Boyle SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) with its compelling flashback in storytelling and it feels like Tom Hank CAST AWAY (2000), only thiz time the survivor is not accompanied by Wilson the volleyball, but with somethingThiz is a simple movie with stunning visual portrayal of a spiritual journey. It starts like Tim Burton BIG FISH (2003) where everything is odd and magical, steps like Danny Boyle SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) with its compelling flashback in storytelling and it feels like Tom Hank CAST AWAY (2000), only thiz time the survivor is not accompanied by Wilson the volleyball, but with something called Richard Parker. It is a courageous adventure story about a young boy named Piscine (Suraj Sharma), who unfortunately lost all his family in sinking ship. His survival effort along with all the animals, especially with a ferocious Bengal tiger, brings him to an understanding of life as a whole. The newcomer Suraj Sharma delivers a sufficient performance to describe a boy who has to survive nature. Adil Hussain and Tabu make brief but memorable appearances as Pi father and mother. On the other hand, I think that Irrfan Khan could have been better as Adult Pi. His central role as the storyteller is just enough, not extraordinary, not even close, compared to Gloria Stuart as Old Rose in TITANIC (1997). Ang Lee who is formerly known as the Director of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000), HULK (2003) and the controversial drama BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005), wrapping thiz movie with astonishing visual treat. The Storm Scene is one of the remarkable moments in thiz movie. I bet you wont get thiz experience before in any other movies. Thiz is something that you have never seen before, followed by other scenes like The Giant Whale Scene, The Flying Fish Scene and my favorite The Exotic Meerkat Island. I think thiz movie has lots of powerful philosophies all over the place. It was like metaphor in metaphor, there comes a point in everyone life, thiz will be something that needs to be thought about. It was emotionally gratifying. Actually, the movie is not just about survival, it was not even about the sinking ship, and it was definitely not about the tiger. It was simply about your relationship with God. In the end, we know very well. In every spiritual journey, your greatest enemy is none other than yourself.

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  4. Feb 6, 2013
    8
    I initially did not want to see this film as I thought I would be bored. However, I went and caught the 3D edition and thought it was one of the best films of the year. The cinematograhpy alone is worth the price of admission. The 3D enhances instead of detracting as it often does. I thought it got a little long at sea but that was a minor issue compared to the excellent philosophicalI initially did not want to see this film as I thought I would be bored. However, I went and caught the 3D edition and thought it was one of the best films of the year. The cinematograhpy alone is worth the price of admission. The 3D enhances instead of detracting as it often does. I thought it got a little long at sea but that was a minor issue compared to the excellent philosophical questions raised and the brilliant film making. I would not put it in my top five but it definitely makes mytop ten. One of the big surprises for me in 2012. Expand
  5. Mar 24, 2013
    7
    A wonderful coming of age story of a young boy who is lost at sea with nothing but a dangerous tiger to keep him company. Special effects are exceptional, the acting was great. Life of Pi was not as magnificent as it was away from the 3D big screen.
  6. May 18, 2014
    9
    I loved this movie and I didn't think I would. When people told me it was amazing I wasn't believing them because I thought it would have been boring with pretty much only 1 actor for most of the movie, but I was wrong. It was amazing the acting was great and an amazing storyline from beginning to end. The special effects are what made the movie what it is. Knowing that the tiger was allI loved this movie and I didn't think I would. When people told me it was amazing I wasn't believing them because I thought it would have been boring with pretty much only 1 actor for most of the movie, but I was wrong. It was amazing the acting was great and an amazing storyline from beginning to end. The special effects are what made the movie what it is. Knowing that the tiger was all computer animated was awesome as he looked so real. Also a couple other really cool scenes which special effects made awesome. A deserving winner of the Oscar for best special effects. Expand
  7. Dec 20, 2013
    7
    this is gotta be one of the best movies i have ever seen in terms of visual effect, from the start to finish on every frame the director keeps shocking you with this stunning CGI, and the story is really good actually.
    the narrator part wasn't to my liking but it didn't bother me, also the guy who plays the writer character in the movie Rafe Spall have poor acting skills, but he's
    this is gotta be one of the best movies i have ever seen in terms of visual effect, from the start to finish on every frame the director keeps shocking you with this stunning CGI, and the story is really good actually.
    the narrator part wasn't to my liking but it didn't bother me, also the guy who plays the writer character in the movie Rafe Spall have poor acting skills, but he's secondary character in the movie.
    but after all the movie is amazing experience in term of visuals.
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  8. Feb 2, 2013
    7
    I think that this movie should be rated PG-13, why? Because elements of religion, the movie gets darker through watching and getting into complex, the pacing was weak, I waited 35 minutes, for the ship to sank, and there are some really boring parts that might put you to sleep, but visually it is really magical, it shows the magic of nature, the wonder of life, the powers and tests of GodI think that this movie should be rated PG-13, why? Because elements of religion, the movie gets darker through watching and getting into complex, the pacing was weak, I waited 35 minutes, for the ship to sank, and there are some really boring parts that might put you to sleep, but visually it is really magical, it shows the magic of nature, the wonder of life, the powers and tests of God upon all humans, every human will get a test to survive and learn from life that everything is not a piece of cake, the message of the movie, the visuals of movie, the soundtrack, the acting, everything is Oscar-Worthy and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, for people over 11, it is only that some parts are boring but 98% of the movie is intense amazing and MAGICAL. Expand
  9. Jan 8, 2013
    10
    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.
  10. Apr 17, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A powerful and tense ride that tends to have you grasping to faith, its like a legendary new form of art that is full of visual decor and almost perfect CGI effects, a film thats like a poem about never losing hope Life of Pi will go down as a movie that will question whether if you believe there is hope, its one of those books that brings tragedy and miracles and a surprise ending.

    Ang Lee takes the director chair and gives us a movie every family will love, its an adventure unlike any other, its a movie that should also be regarded religiously by every man, christian, jew, muslim and hindu.
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  11. Nov 25, 2012
    9
    Life Of Pi has the best director, picture, cinematography, visual effects, production, actor, adapted screenplay,and music. The movie is just beautiful
  12. Mar 17, 2013
    8
    Although I was a bit too young when I read "Life of Pi" to grasp the deeper meanings Yann Martel was conveying in his story, I was certainly fascinated by a fantastical narrative so well-crafted that it was hard to believe it was fiction. Ang Lee's visionary adaptation is equally engrossing, sporting fun acting, narration and some unbelievable special effects. The tiger is honestly theAlthough I was a bit too young when I read "Life of Pi" to grasp the deeper meanings Yann Martel was conveying in his story, I was certainly fascinated by a fantastical narrative so well-crafted that it was hard to believe it was fiction. Ang Lee's visionary adaptation is equally engrossing, sporting fun acting, narration and some unbelievable special effects. The tiger is honestly the single best CGI animal I've ever seen in film. And just like the book, it communicates very effectively (if not sometimes a little bit too plainly) the provocative questions of belief and religion Yann Martel imbued into the narrative. And although religious messages like this can often turn me off, despite my belief in God, the fact Martel's book gives this message under the clever guise of storytelling and asking who will accept a fantastical tale over a more believable one is one, as a writer, I can always appreciate. Expand
  13. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    This is a stunning film in two ways. As a cinematic tour de force, the computer generated work is remarkable. As human drama and narrative art, it boasts a superb performance by a young unknown actor, and tells a story of survival which can be read in two ways--for the second way, you must maintain attention to the very end. You will be rewarded.
  14. Feb 16, 2013
    10
    There is no fault for the Life of Pi, as it is truly incredible and impressive. It shows off amazing special effects best seen in 3D. I was so close to crying by the end of the film, it's moving as well as action packed. I love how this film has a great moral/message to it, as it lets you think over the film after it's finished. It's an emotional and exciting movie ready to be seen byThere is no fault for the Life of Pi, as it is truly incredible and impressive. It shows off amazing special effects best seen in 3D. I was so close to crying by the end of the film, it's moving as well as action packed. I love how this film has a great moral/message to it, as it lets you think over the film after it's finished. It's an emotional and exciting movie ready to be seen by anyone who has the urge to watch it. Life of Pi portrays an epic adventure in film pretty much perfectly. So I give this film... 9.8/10! Expand
  15. Jan 4, 2013
    9
    "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"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
  16. Jun 28, 2013
    7
    Life of Pi is a rather odd movie. At times, I was completely wrapped up in this beautiful ocean, and at other times the movie just suspended my disbelief way to much. There's no way a whale just happened to hit a small boat in the ocean. Nope.
    The movie looks amazing, though. And the ending is very well done too.
  17. Nov 22, 2012
    9
    This was my favorite movie so far this year. While it may not convince you that God does exists it certainly tells a riveting allegorical (or possible allegorical) tale of survival. The music and visuals are sublime and there are moments of real emotional turmoil through the film and exceptional moments of hope. It may not be for everyone but i was certainly willing to go along for theThis was my favorite movie so far this year. While it may not convince you that God does exists it certainly tells a riveting allegorical (or possible allegorical) tale of survival. The music and visuals are sublime and there are moments of real emotional turmoil through the film and exceptional moments of hope. It may not be for everyone but i was certainly willing to go along for the spiritual and philosophical ride. Expand
  18. May 5, 2013
    9
    First I taught the movie was very stupid because off the trailer, but it isn't a stupid movie, this movie is actually one of the best movie's of 2012. Life of Pi is a well made movie from one of the biggest directors of all time: Ang Lee. Ang Lee created an excellent work for young and old. The writer did an excellent work to. Really the best family film of 2012, I am sure about that.
  19. Jan 28, 2013
    9
    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 toI 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
  20. Dec 6, 2012
    8
    Imágenes muy bellas, casi poéticas. En ningún momento se nota que el tigre de bengala no sea de verdad. Historia casi creíble, con un final muy dramático. El joven actor parece haber nacido para interpretar este papel.
  21. Zal
    Jan 4, 2013
    10
    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.
  22. Jan 12, 2013
    9
    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 stunningHaving 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
  23. Feb 1, 2014
    7
    i didn't pay enough attention as to why the family left for canada and there was no need to stick gerard depardieu in the film for the 2 secs he was on the screen, but, other than those two quibbles, loved it. so entranced by the tiger/boy relationship that, by the end of it, i was in tears. of the two "endings", i definitely chose the magical one.
  24. Jan 26, 2013
    10
    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.
  25. Jan 26, 2013
    10
    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.
  26. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    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.
  27. Feb 6, 2013
    8
    I had no idea what to expect from Life of Pi, having not read the book nor read much on it. I knew it involved a boy on a boat with a Tiger and that was about it (oh yeah, and Ang lee was directing). So maybe because of this, it came across as a quite lovely surprise. Engaging throughout and with a wonderful feeling of whimsy, despite the reveal at the end (some might say an unnecessaryI had no idea what to expect from Life of Pi, having not read the book nor read much on it. I knew it involved a boy on a boat with a Tiger and that was about it (oh yeah, and Ang lee was directing). So maybe because of this, it came across as a quite lovely surprise. Engaging throughout and with a wonderful feeling of whimsy, despite the reveal at the end (some might say an unnecessary addition but I thought it grounded the film). Life of Pi is beautiful to look at. I didnt go for the 3D version (I dislike 3D as a rule) but this looks like it might have worked well with the specs on. Lush environments are mixed with some amazing animal effects. I've been told that the animals are pretty much all cgi, if so its the best I've seen. This film wont appeal to everyone of course the story is a bit too fantastical at times and if you dont buy into the 2 main characters then the middle of the film consists of very little happening, but I was pretty happy coming out of this. Worth a few hours of your time. Expand
  28. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    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 haveLife 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
  29. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    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.

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  30. Feb 8, 2013
    8
    'Life of Pi' is a visual miracle, it may have a slow beginning and end, but the scenes with our lead 'Pi' on a boat with 'Richard Parker' the tiger are some of the most beautiful scenes in cinema history, its hard to describe how you will feel watching it, but a word of warning, watch in 3D, you will (simply putting it) be blown away. Wonderful direction and stupendous effects. Life of Pi'Life of Pi' is a visual miracle, it may have a slow beginning and end, but the scenes with our lead 'Pi' on a boat with 'Richard Parker' the tiger are some of the most beautiful scenes in cinema history, its hard to describe how you will feel watching it, but a word of warning, watch in 3D, you will (simply putting it) be blown away. Wonderful direction and stupendous effects. Life of Pi has its flaws, but it really is a must see. 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.