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Generally favorable reviews- based on 676 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 676

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  1. Nov 9, 2014
    Life of Pi is a wonderfully delivered adaptation of Yann Martel's novel, enriched with gorgeous visuals, strong performances and an emotionally moving story.
  2. Aug 20, 2014
    Legendary movie 10/10. And like all the best movies ever, is based on a book. But considering not reading the book, the film itself demonstrates something about faith. Big message about religion. If you are devote, you may probably feel at some point offended... just because it is flat and direct attack to all religions worldwide (or could be interpreted like so).
  3. May 18, 2014
    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 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
  4. Jan 18, 2014
    A visually breathtaking film with a rich storyline. The film is crafted wonderfully thanks to Ang Lee's impeccable direction. Watching it makes for a great experience.
  5. Dec 31, 2013
    Well, one of most expected movie of 2012 by me. It was not a colorful visual movie like 'Avatar' which was bluish Or 'Hugo' which was orangish except in few scenes that too come in night shot though IMO you should not compare it with above two. Many part of 3D sequences were just awesome.

    It could have been more violent and sentimental story that ever told on this theme but not, the
    director cleverly blended the humor with character emotions very nicely, thats why it was just ratted PG where children are allowed with their parents approval, but it is common for them to see an animal to kill another in Animal Planet, so its not a big deal i think. The CGI animal(s) were looked so clean and good.

    I must say the movie don't offer what you expect from its trailer, in movie it was totally different than any movie in the world except Waterworld Cast Away Castle in the Sky Life Of Pi, i am not comparing it to other 3 but saying got similarity in some parts.

    I did not like the end much, I mean the way it ended was not proper, I thought it still had something to go far away then realized it happen only in commercial movies.

    My question is can this movie do good business which got no big names and cast!? Indian cast, Taiwan's talent, American product and a great effort of various technicians from around the world is equal to LIFE OF PI in Pacific ocean over 227 days. Hoping it gonna grab couple of awards in Academy award. Worth watching it in 3D, Someday in future you can say that i was in there when it came out when it called epic like what we call some of classical movies today.

    You could see better and beautiful India in beginning few Minutes than any Hollywood movie which deal on Indian subject. people from in and around Pondicherry can feel proud, why not whole Indians can. The images from the movie will remain in our eyes for some time even after you left the cinema hall specially may be you won't forget the name Richard Parker.

    And now i go for 9 outa 10 saying must see specially we Indian coz we cant make movie like this at least for right now in our own but we can watch this western piece of Indian art carved Ang Lee.

    There is a chance it gonna replace 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' as his (Ang Lee's) best, i said may be so lets see. Might be i am little excited for seeing it in preview show lets see what happens later days and what others say.

  6. Dec 17, 2013
    The directing of this movie is amazing. The visuals and the scenes are so realistic. Amazing Ang Lee! So many complications and especially the climax!
  7. Dec 14, 2013
    When this film finished, I cried for about next 20 minutes after the credits rolled. Who knew a CGI tiger could break your heart into a million pieces?! Life of Pi is quite simply stunning film-making, packed with jaw dropping performances and an abundance of meaning.
  8. Dec 13, 2013
    Life of Pi is a wonderfully delivered adaptation of Yann Martel's novel, enriched with gorgeous visuals, strong performances and an emotionally moving story.
  9. Sep 23, 2013
    Pi tries to explain his name early on as a child, deciding full name given my his parents was more of a hindrance than anything else, these early moments outline a normal child in a normal situation, but this miraculous film finds its stride as Pi and his family must take sail from India to Canada to set up their failing zoo, this alone sets up a decent tone for the film but natural causes come about when a massive storm throws everything into chaos as Pi ends up stranded on a lifeboat with an unforgiving tiger. The film opens in a colourful fashion with bright things and wonderful visuals, a film this good-looking hasn't been around since Avatar and these visuals are truly masterful, there is nothing quite like the spectacle when Pi, played for most of the film by Suraj Sharma, is attempting to survive on sea, witnessing many creatures of the deep while also keeping an eye on his fellow survivor, but survive being the most important part, the sea can be harsh, but a tiger whose only wish is to eat you can be so much deadlier. Director Ang Lee tells a lifelong story as an older Pi (Irrfan Khan) depicts his adventures, he does this in such poetic and beautiful fashion, showing an uneasy but necessary partnership between man and animal but still showing that animals can truly be unforgiving. Much of the film is Pi's attempt to train the tiger, named Richard Parker, their co-existence proving vital as the film unfolds. The film takes much of its spectacle from a study of faith, as we learn that Pi is intrigued by the various forms that a spiritual being may take, he often speaks to God, and also accepts that his life may soon be coming to an end. Miraculous occurrences and anomalies could suggest he may indeed be playing a part, some of the scenes where Pi shouts to the sky are quite breathtaking.
    The winning formula of the film not only comes from the spectacular fantasy of the visuals, but from a very touching, tragic and a moving piece of colourful mastery that combines two unlikely companions while also dealing with many lifelong issues that Pi faces in a short space of time, he must overcome these insecurities if he wants to survive. It's quite a dream and quite an adventure, with an ending that questions what exactly is true and what isn't, it's left up to the viewer, pave it out for yourself, a magnificent achievement and a landmark in storytelling and visuals. Not only one of the best looking films of the last few years, but a story that couldn't be told better or in a more colourful fashion.
  10. Sep 11, 2013
    I liked this movie alot. I really enjoyed the acting and all the characters. The setting is depressing at times, but the overall meaning and symbolism is amazing. I recommend this movie.
  11. Aug 5, 2013
    Loved it from the start to the end. I recommend it to every one!

    What I really like about the movie is the original story and the character development. After the movie you keep on thinking about it, what I really like. It's based upon a book, which I read (after I saw the movie). The movie is well based on the book, although (like in all the movies based upon books) they don't put the
    'details' into it. Which seems to very hard to really put all the 'details' in it.

    Watch it!
  12. Aug 3, 2013
    I see a lot of reviews attacking the movie on the assumption that the writers are trying to make you believe in god. The symbolism of the movie is obviously lost on such viewers. I'm not very religious or spiritual, but I still found this movie to be incredibly compelling on a introspective level. Even if you don't care about spirituality (or lack of), the movie still invokes strong emotions from displaying the triumph of the human spirit. A very powerful movie indeed. Expand
  13. Jul 30, 2013
    It is a GREeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeAT Movie
    one of the best of 2012
  14. May 28, 2013
    Master Director Ang Lee and Cinematographer Claudio Miranda deliver the most visually-stunning, beautiful film since...Never. Never has there been such a beautiful, fantastically written picture that draws both the eyes and the heart of its audience. While some compare this film to James Cameron's Avatar, I completely disagree. Life of Pi excels in the one area where Avatar was lacking: It has a plot. Another clear difference is Pi's sheer beauty. The fact that Life of Pi's visuals are more believable than Avatars' in addition to its lack of bloody war scenes, clearly makes it the most gorgeous picture ever made. Expand
  15. May 21, 2013
    I delayed watching this film for a long time, thinking it wouldn't live up to its hype. Stories set at sea seldom interest me. Although the film takes no time taking us to the sea, the buildup to it was done pretty good. I even forgot we would be taken there momentarily. Life of Pi is about life, faith, and holding onto your beliefs in the face of hardships and tragedy. The allegories were amazing. You have to watch the film to know what I mean. But I found the climax a bit lackluster. I think its unforgivable especially for the visual medium to ignore the 'Show don't tell' principle. The impact could have been many times greater. Expand
  16. May 5, 2013
    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.
  17. May 3, 2013
    Life of Pi is an amazing peace of visual and dialogue storytelling, cinematography, acting, and directing. Life of Pi is one of the most memorable films of 2012, and one of the most fun. Ang lee does a fantastic job directing on a visual and dramatic scale, I find this one of his best films he has made. Suraj Sharma doses a great job as Pi and really carries the film as the leading actor and does a amazing job with showing real emotion with his character. The one drawback with the fill is that most of this happens on a bout at times the setting can drag on but I was always entertained with the visuals and the tension between the animals and Pi. Over all this is a wonderful film!!! Expand
  18. Apr 27, 2013
    EPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIC MOVIE! This is with TDKR, my favorite film of all time. Ang Lee, THANK YOU so much for this film, i will never forget it
  19. Apr 13, 2013
    how did argo win best picture instead of this? Life of Pi is waaaaay better. Featuring beautiful effects, character relationships you can care about, and an amazing survival story, I feel that you cannot go wrong with this film.
  20. Apr 11, 2013
    This is everything I want in a film. The story, visual effects, acting, and music were all incredible, combining to keep me interested and alert from beginning to end. There was suspense and consistent, subtle foreshadowing. It was unique, portraying other cultures and putting the protagonist in situations I have never thought about before (and making the protagonist respond believably to those situations). The protagonist was designed to be distinctly different from everyone watching the movie, yet simultaneously relatable on many levels. On top of all that, Life of Pi made the viewer ponder deeply personal questions after the credits rolled. Expand
  21. Apr 1, 2013
    Terrific movie. Those who don't like it is because they don't understand it. Take a course in Buddhist philosophy. The movie is filled with spiritual depth. Your worst and best friend are one and the same.. the human mind.
  22. Mar 30, 2013
    If you can get past the over-long prologue, this movie is thought provoking, emotional, funny, and filled with some of the best special effects out there. Great movie.
  23. Mar 30, 2013
    This movie starts out slow, there is no doubt about that...and the beginning is rather muddled with some medium to poor script choices. But once the movie gets going, this build up makes you genuinely care for the character of Pi as you hear his incredible story. The acting and visual effects were fantastic, and the movie is just bigger than life. This movie is a once in a lifetime movie, it's so good any faults it has become irrelevant by the end. Expand
  24. Mar 16, 2013
    Hating myself for not checking this out in theaters. Purchased it on Blu-Ray today and I must say, It's the best looking film I have ever watched on Blu-ray. Literally watched the entire movie with my mouth open in complete awe. It's an emotional roller coaster ride. Easily one of the best films of 2012.
  25. Mar 11, 2013
    I cannot overpower my very own purist’s paranoia, I watched this film in theater a few days earlier in dubbed Italian (my Italian level is so-so), I could not reckon that any film has been officially “viewed” until I have watched it in its original form, so thanks to the latest BluRay copy, finally I am able to hail LIFE OF PI as my current favorite film of 2012! Although the film literally is the biggest Oscar winner this year (4 wins out of 11 nominations) and Ang Lee now is up among the pre-eminent echelon of a multi-times BEST DIRECTOR winner, the unfulfilled appreciation (from the prim Academy) still seethes inside, the BEST PICTURE/BEST DIRECTOR division has stuck Ang Lee and his teams twice is unprecedentedly jaundiced. Back to the film itself, I am pretty oblivious to Yann Martel’s source novel, but Ang Lee and his crew has deserved every single accolade because the outcome is simply astounding and mind-blowing, from the exotic Indian zoo, the palette of liveliness and quietude seeps directly to viewer’s mind curves, then, the visual stunts take over, the minutiae are constructed into an inconceivable kaleidoscope of sea survival (ship-wrecking, heaven-like sea surface, carnivore island).

    The allegorical storyline which can be laconically recapitulated as “the story between a boy and a Bengal tiger floating on the sea”, also goes beyond one’s mundane imagination, the liaison between Pi and Richard Parker the tiger has gone through a minute incubation-to-transition cliffhanger (technically it is not a cliffhanger since we all know the ending beforehand, but the two-hander just conjures magic spell upon us, which is mesmerizing, eye-popping and heart-warming), with the brilliant first-time actor Suraj Sharma interacting viscerally with the green screen (an almost entirely CGI-germinated tiger heralds the auspicious retirement of all the animal cast, as long as money continues investing, leave those poor animals in peace and so are the ever-engaging animal activist). Both Suraj and Irrfan Khan (the adult Pi) deserve more recognition from their meticulous and soul-searching performances. Being an agnostic, Pi’s eclectic belief in all disparate religions doesn’t register enough contention to me, and also it is claimed to be “a story could make one believe in God”, the film is marvelous in keeping its ambivalence so determined that either of the interpretation could find its recipients piously and without arousing any palpable repulsion even we all know how parochial people could react as far as “religions”is concerned. The film is a flawless eye-candy and soul-remedy, multiple viewings are highly-recommended, it is a conscientious masterstroke to corroborate Ang Lee’s versatility in mastering his universe of filmmaking (no genre boundary at all), commixed his oriental philosophy with western first-class craftsmanship and esprit de corps, Ang Lee can swagger further on the path of a true auteur, not only among his peers, even for a holistic view in the film history, his trail can be indelible.
  26. Mar 10, 2013
    Beautiful movie! Intelligent, funny, philosophical, visually beautiful beyond!! I had to ask at the end if the animals were real or not. Brought the book to life, loved it!
  27. Mar 2, 2013
    everything work in this movie ang lee truly achieved the impossible by bringing the story to life such an emotional story flawless writing, amazing cinematography and a magnificent score i really enjoyed it
  28. Feb 26, 2013
    Super, one of the best film i have ever seen. The story has a lot moment, the movies show that animal has feeling too. But i had read the book, the movies has missiong some imprtant part. But the movies is still good
  29. Feb 16, 2013
    One of the few adapted novels which actually rivals the book; in fact I enjoyed it more than the book. This is a truly spectacular film in the real sense of the word. It is breathtaking to watch, especially in 3D and on the big screen. It was rich in colour and beautiful in composition. The main character is compelling and the story flows along in an engaging fashion which allows you to almost taste his oncoming madness, his frustration and even boredom, without feeling them yourself. The film stays reasonably true to the novel, but omits some things and adds others. The result is, however, a beautiful work of art that left me, at least, feeling overwhelmed in the best possible way. Expand
  30. Feb 16, 2013
    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 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! Collapse

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.