Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. 100
    The kind of film I instinctively respond to. Leave logic at the door. Do not expect subdued taste and restraint, but instead a kind of operatic ecstasy.
  2. 100
    Hands-down the best movie of the year.
  3. 85
    An exhilarating and at times operatic film.
  4. The kind of brilliantly weirdo picture that, by all rights, shouldn't have gotten made at all but this time, miraculously, was.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The most imperfect of the year's best movies, Magnolia's flaws are easily forgiven because they are the result of go-for-broke ambition.
  6. Anderson's big, showy flower of a movie unfurls brilliantly, each plot petal a thing of exquisite design. Then it ripens. Then it disintegrates, leaving a mess of color and a faint whiff of rot.
  7. 83
    If you thought "Boogie Nights" blew it in its final third, you ain't seen nothing yet.
  8. Like Spielberg, even if the content is questionable or the performance is missing, his scenes always manage to be visually thrilling.
  9. 100
    Part poem, part jungle blossom, all brilliance.
  10. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    What leaves you breathless, though, is the knockout acting by the cast.
  11. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    At its best, Magnolia towers over most Hollywood films this year.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Anderson must have needed that bonkers third-hour climax because there was nowhere to go short of spontaneous combustion.
  13. A quantum leap in ambition from "Hard Eight" and "Boogie Nights" and is, to my mind, much more interesting.
  14. 90
    One of the best movies of the year--startling, innovative, hugely funny and powerfully, courageously moving.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 179 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 63
  2. Negative: 13 out of 63
  1. Feb 19, 2012
    Interesting interwoven tale of numerous lives although the Tom Cruise character dominates the movie. A superbly acted and directed movie which everybody should see. Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2010
    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 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. Dec 23, 2013
    This epic montage gives an incredibly honest yet dark insight into the lives of the average human being through a stunningly complex and intelligent script. The three hours goes by in seconds, as the complexity and likability/love-hate-ability of the superbly-acted characters (especially Julianne Moore as Linda Partridge and Melora Walters as Claudia Wilson Gator) keeps us engaged and guessing, as well as putting us through at least ten different emotions a minute. The climactic scenes are masterfully executed by P T Anderson, and give the perfect balance between satisfactory ending and a provocative one. The film is stylishly and atmospherically shot, indulging us and gripping us in the tense and unfulfilled, yet obscurely warm and wonderful world that is Magnolia. Full Review »