Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
Watch On
  1. 60
    None of the characters in Magnolia feel as vividly imagined as the porn stars and filmmakers and hangers-on of "Boogie Nights."
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    60
    A hard-striving, convoluted movie, which never quite becomes the smoothly reciprocating engine Anderson ...would like it to be.
  3. There's precious little to think about despite the screenplay's comic-philosophical musings on fate and coincidence.
  4. But while this terrific cast gets to strut and preen, it's difficult to make an emotional connection with most of them.
  5. Reviewed by: Graham Verdon
    40
    I went into Magnolia like a kid running onto a beach with a pail and shovel ready to explore, only to find myself neck deep in quicksand three hours later, screaming for help.
  6. A brilliant piece of garbage -- mesmerizing, but only because you can't believe someone has the temerity to put so much into so little.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 283 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 69
  2. Negative: 13 out of 69
  1. Oct 7, 2012
    10
    Every so often a movie that you have heard a lot about but never seen blows your mind. Magnolia is one of those movies for me. ImmediatelyEvery so often a movie that you have heard a lot about but never seen blows your mind. Magnolia is one of those movies for me. Immediately after viewing this film I knew that it would be on my mind for weeks and that it would become one of my top 10 films. Every character in this movie is interesting on multiple levels. Every scene in this movie is thoughtful and poignant. The scenes that opponents of this film have problems with, the frogs and the musical interlude, work for me in every way. Both these scenes do seem out of place in this story, but for me that is what makes them amazing. They come from nowhere, but interlock these characters in a visceral, interesting way. There is so much to unravel in a film this large, with multiple plot lines and characters running both separate from each other and together at various times. You could probably write a book trying to accurately review this movie. I look forward to watching this movie again and again over the years, and trying to unravel all the characters and premises in my mind. Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2010
    9
    A rare success with this film is that it is a Tom Cruise film I like. But to be honest,it's not really about him it's how the cinematographyA rare success with this film is that it is a Tom Cruise film I like. But to be honest,it's not really about him it's how the cinematography is so interwoven you can't remember where you went last and where you are going to go next. To think of a story like this takes time and dedication and to keep you hanging on for 3 Hours isn't a bad feat either. Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2015
    10
    A modern masterpiece in unique storytelling that from start to finish will have you captivated inside It's killer plot that never lets up,A modern masterpiece in unique storytelling that from start to finish will have you captivated inside It's killer plot that never lets up, only becoming more and more intense as the story progresses. Afterwards it won't matter that the film is 3 hours, because It's 3 hours well spent and many more to come. Full Review »