User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 693 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 693

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  1. Jul 28, 2013
    8
    A great movie with some beautiful scenery. It starts off very slowly but once the story really gets going things get interesting. The story is told by an older Pi about his past which breaks up the story and slows down the action, it could have been better with out that.
  2. Jul 20, 2013
    8
    I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light ofI must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. May 28, 2013
    10
    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: ItMaster 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
  5. May 21, 2013
    9
    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 wereI 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
  6. 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.
  7. May 3, 2013
    9
    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 actorLife 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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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  11. 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 toWatching 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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 believablyThis 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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,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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 storyThere'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
  26. 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 filmI 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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  27. 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
  28. 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!
  29. 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
    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
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  30. 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
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.