User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 629 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 629

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  1. Apr 27, 2013
    10
    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
  2. 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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  3. Apr 20, 2013
    2
    Watching paint dry is more exciting than this. I cannot understand the amazing reviews, thought it was utter rubbish. The visuals and sounds were very good, but the story was extremely dull and lifeless it often induces deep sleep. The story generally had no meaning and drained of all life it fell asleep 10 mins in and didn't remember the ending or of anything that happened. I wanted to stop sooner i bored out of my mind. The 2 stats came from the visuals and sounds, not the movie Expand
  4. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    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.
  5. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    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
  6. Apr 9, 2013
    0
    Boring, stupid, more boring. I can't believe this movie was even made. Ang Lee needs to stop making films, he's a terrible director.
  7. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    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.
  8. Mar 31, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I fell asleep twice, boring and bad story. I have to ask someone what's the good in this movie? This movie is absolutely has no quality. I like the CGI effects actually... But the rest, absolutely terrible. Expand
  9. Mar 30, 2013
    9
    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.
  10. Mar 30, 2013
    10
    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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Mar 23, 2013
    8
    There was a time before this movie where i thought my greatest fear was falling off of a building; as it turns out i am more afraid of being in the middle of the ocean with a tiger. This movie was intense and i left it stressed out. Yes it was good but i'll never see it again.
  14. 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 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
  15. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    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.
  16. Mar 16, 2013
    7
    Visually stunning, Ang Lee creates a world that allows for amazement and thought provoking entertainment. Their are times during the film that are a bit slow, but overall Life of Pi is enjoyable.
  17. Mar 14, 2013
    7
    There's nothing like a good story and if Life of Pi absolutely has a good story. What it also has is top level effects work and some of the best 3D I have seen. The small problems it does have are in pacing, specifically when we switch back to the present day. Rafe Spall seems to be the problem here, his accent is all over the place and you can't wait to switch back to the fantastic story that is being told. Expand
  18. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    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.
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  19. Mar 11, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When I went to watch this movie, of course in 3D in the big screen, I just knew it was gonna be brilliant. And it was. In fact is the first time I can tell the 3D effect accomplishes what 3D effects are meant to accomplish: To involve you even more in the movie... I've read out there in Metacritic a guy saying ''you don't watch this movie, you just live it'' and that's what I felt exactly. In many cases, like the storms, the whale and many others I felt so involved in the movie I could almost touch things! The storm was perfect, one of the best storms put in film. So... effects in this movie are just PERFECT. Period. It really worths the 3D. Acting is also very pleasant and nice. The 3 actors playing the role of Pi are amazing. They've got the essence of the character perfectly. Sometimes I even forgot I was watching 3 different performances. The side characters, while not as important as Pi... are so nice and likable too. Really got involved with the family, very realistic. The romance with the girl was subtle but really nice. In this case I can add Ang Lee really knows how to tell the story... I mean, it was a book before, so Ill give credit to the actual writer. But talking about the movie... they never stay so much in the things they're not the focus. The focus is the Life Of Pi, which I can tell, I just loved how resumed is the title, it tell everything in the movie without saying anything at all. That's what a good title should tell by start. The art, again, outstanding. They really deserve that cinematography Oscar. Scenes are unbelievable, you can see they decisions they made in every single case... they were in everything. Talking about the bas stuff, just a little, maybe the CGI was obvious in some cases... you could tell whenever the Tiger was real or CGI. But it was subtle, I guess it's OK anyway. The music was really delightful, what disappointed me a bit is the lack of personality in this... I mean i remember is kinda ''epic-Indian music'' I remember the flutes... but nothing more. Don't get me wrong, is really nice to hear and follows perfectly the story, but is not memorable. You can hear this kind of themes in a lot of Indian based stories... when I knew they won an Oscar for the soundtrack... I though I would here something really memorable, like that melodies that stick hard to your mind. But it was good anyway. A really amazing tale, epic some times, lovely. It reminds me a lot of the Big Fish. It doesn't matter the story, at the end you decide what to believe. And believe me and go to check this one out! In 3D if possible! Expand
  20. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    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!
  21. Mar 8, 2013
    2
    I like CGI effects. But this whole movie is just one special effect. Now theres nothing wrong with a movie having special effects IF you dont notice them. In "Life of Pi" the special effects are noticable everywhere!
    Also, the story was ruined by the main character telling the story. Making all the suspence if he was going to survive or not. Obviously if he is telling the story, he lived
    to tell about it. and can make up anything he wants to. Bad story, bad special effects, no suspence. and boring one bad movie Expand
  22. Mar 2, 2013
    10
    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
  23. Mar 1, 2013
    2
    I passed on the movie for several week but relented when I saw it was popular at the Academy Awards. I should have gone with my initial instincts. The movie is mindless and a lot of glitter. Just about everything that is seen is computer generated and the story is a poor fabrication of gibberish. If it wasn't for the popcorn, the afternoon would have been a total waste of time.
  24. Feb 26, 2013
    10
    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
  25. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    A beautiful film! Fueled by some amazing and dazzling visual effects, Life of Pi is a fantastical story of survival, but there's so much more to it. On the surface it's a survival story, but it's also a poignant tale about finding oneself. As the film draws to its close, you think you have a grasp on the message, but then the ending concludes and you realize there's a little bit more to think about. Ang Lee really did a great job here; he takes you on this marvelous journey (in 3D), but subtly and effectively leaves the ending just open enough for interpretation. Suraj is really good as Pi, especially considering this is his film debut; Irfan Khan and Rafe Spall are also effective in their supporting roles. There are some "okay" moments here and there in terms of cgi, but overall the effects are stunning. Life of Pi is probably one the most beautiful film you'll see from 2012, I recommend it. Expand
  26. Feb 22, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I couldn't decide between a 7 and an 8, so I gave it a 7.5. Things that were excellent: visuals, A+, Back story, A-. Things that made this review lower- the amount of things that actually happen ,the boat gets a bunch of water in it, then they are on a life boat, they go to an island, then they go home, the tiger leaves him, end of story. Deceptive introduction, the beginning seems like a lot of random zoo animals aimlessly scattered across the screen, putting up random close ups of each of the animals. Expand
  27. Feb 16, 2013
    9
    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
  28. Feb 16, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With his latest movie, "Life of Pi", Ang Lee further establishes himself as one of the greatest contemporary movie directors. Starting from his Taiwanese beginnings, and his highly enjoyable, family-harmonizing "Father Knows Best" trilogy (1992-1994). Just finished watching the Midnight Premiere. Did not disappoint one bit. The Acting is incredibly believable, and the ending ties it all together. The story sorta drags in the beginning, but Ang Lee did a good job keeping my attention to the film. The Animation is incredibly realistic. I couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what wasn't
    Few movies will leave a lasting impression on you..Life of Pi is one of those. Not even a single moment is dull, in fact the story is woven so tightly that you never realize that the script is so simple. It is beautifully directed and kudos to Ang Lee, not only was he able to capture the beauty of India, he was also able to get the best of the actors. Though it does not rank too high on 3D, its just visually mesmerizing. My trust and faith in Ang Lee has gone up to the highest level after watching this movie..Luckily I was able to catch the premiere show and will continue to relish the after effects of the movie for the next few days!
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  29. Feb 16, 2013
    8
    Engaging and visually stupendous adaptation of the 'unfilmable' novel, The Life of Pi is a welcome return for Ang Lee. One of the more striking part of the picture is actually its visual effects, bring the tiger to life through CGI as well as its incredible, sea bound visuals. While its pacing can be slow at times, as typical in Lee's films, its strengths clearly outweight its weaknesses. One of the year's best film. Expand
  30. 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 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
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.