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Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 723 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure story centering on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zookeeper. Dwellers in Pondicherry, India, the family decides to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi is found adrift in theBased on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure story centering on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zookeeper. Dwellers in Pondicherry, India, the family decides to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi is found adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival. Expand
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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. 100
    Pi has designed his own terrarium to keep from staring directly into the abyss. It's not denial. It's faith in something else: the transformative power of storytelling. The film is transcendent.
  3. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Sep 28, 2012
    91
    Deeply resonant and soulful, Life Of Pi, is a harrowing journey of survival, self-discovery and connection that both inspires and awes in equal measure.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 21, 2012
    80
    The result is a movie built upon big ideas -- and timely ones, too, delivering a message of understanding in this frustrating age of great intolerance -- but also a great story and, thanks to Lee, a wonderfully satisfying cinematic journey.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Nov 23, 2012
    75
    It proves the power of a good story, both to entertain us and to allow us to process unpleasant truths.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Nov 20, 2012
    75
    Life of Pi is spellbinding while it lasts. Lee's film can be appreciated as many things -- a post-Darwinian meditation on coexistence as the key to survival, a reflection on the spiritual nature of suffering and transcendence, a beguiling bait-and-switch on the vagaries of belief itself.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Nov 20, 2012
    40
    Life of Pi manages occasional spiritual wonder through its 3-D visuals but otherwise sinks like a stone.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 172
  1. Nov 29, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I honestly didn't expect to say this again in the current calendar year but "this is probably the best movie I have seen this year". Yes, I think this is probably even a better movie that The Dark Knight Rises which I was all but certain would be my personal Picture of the Year winner. Life of Pi was simply amazing. The story is incredible and the way the film is delivered couldn't be better. You truly go on this story with Pi Patel and Richard Parker. The acting by Suraj Sharma is surprisingly fantastic as well. Some people will surely call this movie boring because it has a slow pace to it but Tom Hanks' Castaway film was also on the slower side and as that movie showed, if a film is well done the slow pace allows for more emotion and connection to the characters. Shoot, I got watery eyes when Hanks' character lost Wilson and that was a stinking volleyball, lol. This movie plays along that same style of a slow paced story of survival but is done even better due to the incredible cinematography that rivals Avatar in terms of magnificence. Another thing Life of Pi did remarkably well was end without disappointment. By that, I do not mean that the ending isn't sad, I mean that the ending lives up to the film. Again, take Castaway for example. That movie was great but its ending was quick and left a lot to be desired. The ending for Life of Pi throws a subtle twist that is sort of a mind blowing moment. That subtle twist leaves you pondering the events of the film well after it ends. Expand
  2. Aug 20, 2014
    10
    Legendary movie 10/10. And like all the best movies ever, is based on a book. But considering not reading the book, the film itselfLegendary movie 10/10. And like all the best movies ever, is based on a book. But considering not reading the book, the film itself demonstrates something about faith. Big message about religion. If you are devote, you may probably feel at some point offended... just because it is flat and direct attack to all religions worldwide (or could be interpreted like so). Expand
  3. 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 bigThis 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! Expand
  4. 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 ampleAcademy 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.
    Expand
  5. 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 II 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
  6. Feb 1, 2014
    7
    i didn't pay enough attention as to why the family left for canada and there was no need to stick gerard depardieu in the film for the 2 secsi didn't pay enough attention as to why the family left for canada and there was no need to stick gerard depardieu in the film for the 2 secs he was on the screen, but, other than those two quibbles, loved it. so entranced by the tiger/boy relationship that, by the end of it, i was in tears. of the two "endings", i definitely chose the magical one. Expand
  7. 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.

See all 172 User Reviews

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