User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 710 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 710

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  1. Jan 15, 2013
    9
    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
  2. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    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 isA 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
  3. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    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. TheThe 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.
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  4. Jan 13, 2013
    10
    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 trulyThis 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
  5. 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
  6. Jan 9, 2013
    10
    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!
  7. Jan 9, 2013
    8
    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.
  8. Jan 9, 2013
    8
    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 wasWhen 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
  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. Jan 8, 2013
    5
    Dreamlike movie with beautiful cinematography. That was it. The plot was cliche although could be better because it was metaphorically portrayed. I like how it includes beliefs in God in many ways, but the message was unclear at the end; whether he's a Christian, Muslim or Hindu.This movie lacks a genuine and rawness essence to it. The emotional part did not reach to me. Everything is justDreamlike movie with beautiful cinematography. That was it. The plot was cliche although could be better because it was metaphorically portrayed. I like how it includes beliefs in God in many ways, but the message was unclear at the end; whether he's a Christian, Muslim or Hindu.This movie lacks a genuine and rawness essence to it. The emotional part did not reach to me. Everything is just not quite there and it's too stagnant. No climax at all. Expand
  11. Jan 7, 2013
    10
    Life of Pi is stunning! Not only in a visual way, but in the storytelling also. The story of a young boy being lost in the Pacific with almost no hope left, except a tiger with him is remarkable. It is not only a story of how Pi's life at sea is, but much more about things that all human can relate to. The feeling of being alone, the strong faith and the hope that almost gets completelyLife of Pi is stunning! Not only in a visual way, but in the storytelling also. The story of a young boy being lost in the Pacific with almost no hope left, except a tiger with him is remarkable. It is not only a story of how Pi's life at sea is, but much more about things that all human can relate to. The feeling of being alone, the strong faith and the hope that almost gets completely dragged away. The use of symbols and flashbacks is extraordinary. I won't spoil anything for you, but I have to say that you absolutely need to watch this movie.

    The visuals seems to be from another world. This movie shows that 3D has potential and can be used in ways other than making more money. The vast landscapes and the huge scale of everything is mind-boggling. Watch this move! It a proof of the art that a movie can be art!
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  12. Jan 7, 2013
    7
    Life of Pi might well be the most beautiful picture of this year. Ang Lee effectively uses 3D to tell a story that most people consider impossible to put on film. It works, and it looks amazing. My only complain is, that looking for the films substance, I am grabbing thin air. Life of Pi is a amazing adventure, but as a spiritual journey it fails to really touch me. Still, it's fantasticLife of Pi might well be the most beautiful picture of this year. Ang Lee effectively uses 3D to tell a story that most people consider impossible to put on film. It works, and it looks amazing. My only complain is, that looking for the films substance, I am grabbing thin air. Life of Pi is a amazing adventure, but as a spiritual journey it fails to really touch me. Still, it's fantastic enough to recommend it generally. Expand
  13. 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.
  14. Jan 4, 2013
    9
    This film is without a doubt the most beautiful release of the past months, every still could pass as a work of art, perhaps due to Ang Lee's masterful manipulation of light to create atmosphere. Furthermore the production team have done a spectacular job ensuring that the (very impressive) special effects heighten the drama rather than distracting. This film is pulled off with precision.This film is without a doubt the most beautiful release of the past months, every still could pass as a work of art, perhaps due to Ang Lee's masterful manipulation of light to create atmosphere. Furthermore the production team have done a spectacular job ensuring that the (very impressive) special effects heighten the drama rather than distracting. This film is pulled off with precision.

    On the story side of things Life of Pi is a little on the over-sentimental side of things, and to an extent I also find the framed narrative bitty and excessive. (I would have preferred to stumble on the philosophical questions myself than have them shoved in my face! - also if the film had been linear I believe it would have had more direction?) But that is a minor complaint, and the action on the boat grips the viewer right to the dying moments. The acting is very convincing, especially seeing as the animals to whom Pi is supposed to be reacting are (exquisitely done) CGI, and obviously therefore weren't there during filming!
    A terrific job, and a must see film.
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  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. Jan 2, 2013
    9
    Academy Award winner Ang Lee's Life of Pi is a stunningly beautiful film. Supposedly an 'unfilmable' novel, Yann Martel's book gives Lee ample opportunity for great visual imagery, an opportunity Lee and cinematographer Claudio Miranda grab with both hands. Whether its shots of Pi's boat floating adrift on a sunrise-reflecting ocean, of an island inhabited by a thousands of meerkats or ofAcademy Award winner Ang Lee's Life of Pi is a stunningly beautiful film. Supposedly an 'unfilmable' novel, Yann Martel's book gives Lee ample opportunity for great visual imagery, an opportunity Lee and cinematographer Claudio Miranda grab with both hands. Whether its shots of Pi's boat floating adrift on a sunrise-reflecting ocean, of an island inhabited by a thousands of meerkats or of close-ups of the tiger, the visuals are unrivalled. Lee dedicates enough time either side of Pi's incredible journey, with an adult Pi narrating his story to a writer (Rafe Spall), to give meaning to Pi's emotional ordeal. Although perhaps because of the nature of live action, in particular with facial expressions of the actors, some of the ending's ambiguity may have been lost in translation to the big screen.

    Newcomer Suraj Sharma gives a fantastic performance as Pi, playing the role against a fully CGI tiger in what must have been a difficult filming environment. The other true star of the film is Richard Parker the tiger, the special effects for which really are outstanding.

    In not staying true to the book, I was slightly disappointed that the writers felt the need to give Pi a love interest at the film's start, I don't feel that this added anything to Pi's character or to the story once the family set sail. Did the writers didn't want anyone to think he was gay or something?! Anyway, I also felt that Pi's gradual blindness from dehydration which for me was one of the most harrowing parts of the novel, could have been featured to add some more despair to Pi's journey, not that it needs more! However, my grumbles about how the film relates to the book count for little.

    I had incredibly high expectations for this film after reading the book and seeing the trailers and thankfully Lee's adaptation lived up to those. Life of Pi is a beautiful film of a boy's unbelievable journey and how he finds a home for it among his eclectic religious beliefs.

    Bring on the Oscar nominations.
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  17. Dec 31, 2012
    5
    I'll start off with the positive. The CGI in this movie was some of the best I've ever seen, with incredible stunning visuals. Other than that however, it had the feel of a made for t.v. special. The story was interesting at times, but I kept waiting for the movie to be brought to the next level, and it just never happened. I would say this movie is good for a rental (although theI'll start off with the positive. The CGI in this movie was some of the best I've ever seen, with incredible stunning visuals. Other than that however, it had the feel of a made for t.v. special. The story was interesting at times, but I kept waiting for the movie to be brought to the next level, and it just never happened. I would say this movie is good for a rental (although the stunning visuals will not be as impressive on a small screen). I don't necessarily think this was a bad movie, but to be in the 8 plus category?? I give it a solid middle of the road 5. Expand
  18. Dec 30, 2012
    10
    This movie makes me proud to be a 21st century movie-goer. Finally I see a film that has special effects which are used so appropriately and brilliantly. Of course, not only did the special effects make me love this film, but the adapted screenplay and cinematography did as well. No, I don't really believe that this film is a 10 out of 10. Perhaps it is more of an 8 out of 10. HOWEVER,This movie makes me proud to be a 21st century movie-goer. Finally I see a film that has special effects which are used so appropriately and brilliantly. Of course, not only did the special effects make me love this film, but the adapted screenplay and cinematography did as well. No, I don't really believe that this film is a 10 out of 10. Perhaps it is more of an 8 out of 10. HOWEVER, compared to other films that have been released in recent years... it would definitely seem to be a 10 out of 10. I loved it!! Expand
  19. Lyn
    Dec 30, 2012
    8
    Beautifully, brilliantly filmed, and I gave it an extra point for its faithfulness to the novel. At the same time, I felt that it was lacking in something ... heart, I think, perhaps because the young actor was not up to the huge task. Think of a young actor's tour de force -- say, Christian Bale in "Empire of the Sun." This fellow doesn't quite measure up to that.
  20. Dec 29, 2012
    6
    Having read the book by Yann Martel and knowing that Ang Lee was at the helm, I was really looking forward to seeing Life of Pi. I thought the film would be visually stunning and an emotional roller coaster and truly expected it to be my film of the year 2012, an expectation encouraged by the brilliant trailer. Therefore, I was very disappointed to realise that the actual movie onlyHaving read the book by Yann Martel and knowing that Ang Lee was at the helm, I was really looking forward to seeing Life of Pi. I thought the film would be visually stunning and an emotional roller coaster and truly expected it to be my film of the year 2012, an expectation encouraged by the brilliant trailer. Therefore, I was very disappointed to realise that the actual movie only partially delivered. The main problem is with the adaptation of the book which many people felt was un-filmable. The novel is good, not great, but it does present the boy's willingness to embrace all religions in a very entertaining way, sometimes almost comically. The first half of the film meanders from scene to scene giving us no reason to invest in his religious beliefs. Another problem, having read the book, is that the sequence involving the four animals in the lifeboat has been excised from the screenplay to spare us their gory and prolonged deaths. Whilst I'm exceedingly grateful for this on the one hand, it does tend to dilute what the book did so well in showing the true horror of survival. On the positive side the film has a great asset in its young actor, Suraj Sharma, and its visual effects. The storm sequences are the best in the film and Richard Parker, the Bengal Tiger, is a great creation. The cinematography too is, on occasion, quite beautiful. However, I am less sure about the 3D. It may have something to do with the cinema in which I saw the film, or just be due to the print under review, but I was constantly aware of a blurring of images on the periphery of scenes. This was not only annoying, but distracting. I had to check my glasses on numerous occasions and it became an issue as the film progressed. Overall Ang Lee does make a good stab at parts of the story, including a couple of emotional moments and when the boy and tiger are alone on the open sea, but it is a case of stabbing rather than sleight of hand. Expand
  21. Dec 29, 2012
    8
    First off, it looks stunning; every shot has been meticulously worked out and executed with a high degree of skill and care. The VFX are quite amazing (I have to say for the record that I watched it in 2D). For me the film is in three parts, the story of Pi before he leaves India, the story on the ocean and the story when he makes it to land. It
  22. Dec 29, 2012
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So, a young man, Pi, en route to Canada with his family and the remains of the zoo they have left behind in India, is shipwrecked along with a Bengal tiger. The focus of the movie is on Pi's manner of survival and
    his relationships with the vastness of the ocean and 'Richard Parker' - the tiger!

    This is a beautiful film - but in much the same way that an Attenborough documentary is beautiful. There are one or two spectacular effects which justify the use of 3D. But I'm not a fan of 3D and rather than increasing the feeling of involvement, I find it has a distancing effect, particularly when watching ordinary scenes of conversation between Pi and the writer, or Pi's family round the dinner table. The added perspectives seem artificial. Add to that the fact that you know from the beginning that he is rescued and the dramatic potential of the story was, for me, diminished. Whilst this meant that you could concentrate on his relationship with the tiger without distraction, it left me by the end wondering whether what I'd been watching had much meaning. The 'twist' in the tale seemed rather an afterthought, as did the notion that the whole movie had been some kind of allegory. Pi's question to the writer at the end - "Which story do you prefer?" - seemed to carry insufficient weight for it to be the heart of the film. Although I enjoyed it, I nevertheless felt somewhat underwhelmed by it.
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  23. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    Perfectly adapted. I read the book back in the day and recommended it highly to friends and family. Actually really enjoyed the 3D version. I thought it was beautifully adapted and carried the spirit of the book to the screen which I highly doubted entering the theater. Understandable that some people would not like it. It is not a flash bang picture. It is a journey to the heart ofPerfectly adapted. I read the book back in the day and recommended it highly to friends and family. Actually really enjoyed the 3D version. I thought it was beautifully adapted and carried the spirit of the book to the screen which I highly doubted entering the theater. Understandable that some people would not like it. It is not a flash bang picture. It is a journey to the heart of man and you have to be in the mood to take that journey. Expand
  24. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    This isn't your average movie. This movie isn't something I normally would go Watch. That is why I just needed to share my experience with all of you, so you also can go and Watch this great movie and experience something new. The movie starts out a bit slow and I wished that I had never put my foot in that Cinema at the begging. As the movie progressed I got more and more excited aboutThis isn't your average movie. This movie isn't something I normally would go Watch. That is why I just needed to share my experience with all of you, so you also can go and Watch this great movie and experience something new. The movie starts out a bit slow and I wished that I had never put my foot in that Cinema at the begging. As the movie progressed I got more and more excited about how Pi develops on his amazing journey for the most precious thing that he owns - his life, even though he struggles to do so. The movie moved me so much emotionally that I almost dropped a tear (I know, I know, not very Manly). The Visuals are also worth mentioning, everything feels vibrant, alive and real. IF you're a blood hungering action fan or a comedy fan WHO loves to laugh then you should still go see this masterpiece. I'm giving this the highest rating because how it made me feel, it made me feel that life is the greatest thing we have been given and we should remember that, when we're feeling that life giving us a hard time. Expand
  25. 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.
  26. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    A fantastic film. See it for yourselves and go with an open mind, especially if you have not read the book. In my opinion this is one of the best films I have been lucky enough to see at a cinema, it has been given some unfair reviews on this website and anyone who cannot see the visual beauty of this film is ignorant. Added to that, the story and the questions that are asked are quiteA fantastic film. See it for yourselves and go with an open mind, especially if you have not read the book. In my opinion this is one of the best films I have been lucky enough to see at a cinema, it has been given some unfair reviews on this website and anyone who cannot see the visual beauty of this film is ignorant. Added to that, the story and the questions that are asked are quite brilliant. A must see film. Expand
  27. Dec 27, 2012
    7
    Ang Lee's direction is at his most ambitious with this visual dazzlement and a striking narrative of life at it's most explicitness and peculiar. The photography of the film is delightfully gorgeous, however, its gargantuan ending is slightly disappointing.
  28. Dec 24, 2012
    8
    The movie dragged a bit, but the cinematography was absolutely amazing. But I kept waiting for someone, anyone, to find them. The scene on the island was cool. I think the script should have simply eliminated the part with the book writer and Pi. It dragged the film down. It would be interesting to see the film with those scenes removed. I think it would have worked much better.
  29. Dec 24, 2012
    10
    A brilliant story line that had me gripped throughout the whole film. It's mix of intellect and adventure made the movie a must-see. The movie was timed perfectly, without getting tiresome but at the same time without making you bored. I'd recommend it , any day.
  30. Dec 23, 2012
    7
    Beautiful story and visual effects, impressive animal-human realistic approach, and also a nice ode to life. A real stunning piece of cinematography. But it doesn't go deep and it doesn't deliver the God story it promises, neither rationally nor emotionally. In fact, it has a surprising weak approach to that, trying to be unifying but using totally effete/expired God concepts. In thisBeautiful story and visual effects, impressive animal-human realistic approach, and also a nice ode to life. A real stunning piece of cinematography. But it doesn't go deep and it doesn't deliver the God story it promises, neither rationally nor emotionally. In fact, it has a surprising weak approach to that, trying to be unifying but using totally effete/expired God concepts. In this matter, Avatar goes deeper without even trying to define God. 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.