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Generally favorable reviews- based on 652 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 652

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  1. Feb 16, 2013
    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
  2. 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! Expand
  3. Feb 11, 2013
    Life of Pi is a pleasant family friendly commercial cinema and nothing more. As a 3D film, Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" is a far more accomplished visual experience
  4. Feb 8, 2013
    '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
  5. Feb 6, 2013
    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 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
  6. Feb 6, 2013
    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 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
  7. 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
  8. Feb 2, 2013
    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 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 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
  10. Jan 27, 2013
    Found this film dull and pretentious. Tries to be way to clever. Also kept laughing when I shouldn't. Richard Parker! We are dyiiiiing, boooo hooo Richard Parker, please don't eat me!' Oh just eat him will you. Let me see him being torn limb from limb in 3D, pleeeeease
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. Jan 20, 2013
    I hardly believe any book is un-filmable; yes, some are harder to adapt than others, but with the right vision it is possible to adapt any book to the big screen. Ang Lee
  17. Jan 20, 2013
    Life of Pi is first and foremost a visual representation of the imagination. Lee lets (most of) the story to unravel steadily and calmly, allowing the viewer to interact with the film as they would with a painting.
  18. 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.
  19. Jan 18, 2013
    The "Indian" accents are ridiculous. They make Apu of the Simpsons sound natural. The name of the leading character "Pi" is stupid. A Patel living in Pondicherry? Please.

    The underlying themes of religion and spirituality made me want to throw things at the screen; but I just threw myself out of the movie. Awful. Worse than Avatar.
  20. Jan 17, 2013
    Life of Pi is marvelous to look and has some of the best visuals in a long time. The problem is the middle of the movie. It becomes repetitive and monotonous which makes the entire movie sag.
  21. 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.
  22. Jan 16, 2013
    The film is coherent, visually stunning and carries Martel's plot line well. Unfortunately, it's too sterile, too squeaky clean, too perfect to be truly lovable.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. Jan 13, 2013
    The adventurous journey of a teenage boy sharing a life-boat with a carnivorous tiger and a hyena in Life of Pi (Patel) was a daunting assignment to render the multidimensional story into a movie. I did not read the book, but I could imagine that the author must have evoked the eternal conundrum between the complex relationship of flora (nature), fauna (human and animals) and God. The perspectives to comprehend this relationship changes when one is in congenial circumstances (the young Pi in Pondicherry in the comfort of his loving family) and when one confronts adversity and death in hapless situation like Pi was marooned in the vastness and unpredictability of Pacific Ocean trapped in a life boat with carnivorous animals. The movie has merely depicted the story against the backdrop of amazing scenes of the Mother Nature, both in her schizophrenic episodes of ferocity and tranquility, of spree of destruction and perpetual serenity. The movie lacks the finesse that could stir one's soul to experience the journey at the same mental plane of an outcast who is constantly striking a balance to survive by seeking the company of an untamed tiger as well as protecting himself from being devoured by the hungry tiger. The movie unravels the intrinsic mystery of Nature which evolves through a co-genetic process of cooperation and competition between predators and victims. Despite its superb 3-D rendition, that sobering experience was a bit from distance (partly because the movie narrates the spectacle through adult Pi thereby killing the suspense) and not at an emotional hyper-plane where the viewer's mind blends with the strife, fear and hope of the main character. If not anything, the production crew of the movie (which must have been over 1000 people geographically dispersed in many countries across three continents) must be lauded for working innovatively and completing a Herculean task. I think that the movie is likely to win two or three Oscar awards in the categories of production and movie making, but not in major categories. However, the Academy has different yardsticks to measure the excellence and has nominated Life of Pi in eleven categories. PinakiMazumder
    Dated January 13th, , Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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!
  29. Jan 9, 2013
    This film has got some awesome special effects, maybe better than the Hobbit and Avatar? It was a very entertaining movie, it is definitely worth a trip to the cinema.
  30. Jan 9, 2013
    When I saw the trailer for this, the only things that really drew me in were how the Coldplay music and drums were synchronised with the titles and how pretty the water looked under the night sky and sunset. After seeing this, I can say that there is so much more to it that I enjoyed! The first half hour was fairly slow paced as it was all about Pi's back-story. Through this part I was thinking "Gee, they're taking some time with this, I wonder when it's going to really start, will they even have enough time for the main parts?" Well after that half hour, it definitely made up for the slow start - it just got better as it went on! When I saw the trailer, I was wondering how they were going to make the majority of the movie on a life boat out at say without getting boring after a while, but it turned out that I enjoyed every second of it! And it somehow gets even better towards the final 45 minutes or so. I highly recommend this - a lot of it can be evoke emotions and is quite deep. When I walked out, I was thinking: "Wow. That's the best movie I've seen in AGES." I can easily recommend this, the only thing that's stopping from giving it an 8.5 is that...Metacritic doesn't allow 0.5 after any number. Go see it! It IS incredible! 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.