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Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 209

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Oct 7, 2012
    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. 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. Expand
  4. BKM
    Jul 17, 2012
    Magnolia is a beast of a movie, and not just in terms of its 3 hour plus running time. Paul Thomas Anderson's ambitious and challenging film (in some ways it's more daring than Boogie Nights) juggles an enormous cast of characters who are all in desperate need of love and redemption, and sometimes both. The film digs deep emotionally into the souls of its characters and suggests that each and every one of them is deserving of these very qualities despite their sins and transgressions. Magnolia is an art film that begs to be attacked for its pretentiousness and for a gonzo finale, but it's all the better for those very things. Expand
  5. May 6, 2011
    Grandly emotional, brilliantly edited, and makes use of music in startlingly original and profound ways. However, this sprawling opus isn't perfect; It's a bit hard to follow and some plot points get left dangling. The cast is excellent, and while it isn't flawless, it is a great film. Definitely worth seeing.
  6. Sep 19, 2012
    What a raw and powerful film that succeeds in every category possible. Writing, directing, acting, editing, camera work are all fantastic in another PT Anderson masterpiece. All the more great because it is a film that denies hollywood convention and instead creates something more bizarre and memorable and a work of art that demands to be seen and talked about.
  7. Mar 10, 2012
    Few people seem to understand this movie, but then few people understand me either. We are damaged, the film's characters and I. We struggle with pain and a crippled emotional life. It is a beautiful film. It sings a lovely and desperate song.
  8. Aug 23, 2014
    Who would guess that a film like this would be successful? However, it absolutely is. Magnolia explores the themes of loneliness, regret, forgiveness, the past, and parent-child relationships, with snapshots of the life of a group of broken and troubled people who are all linked, even if they do not know it. Thanks to great acting from the ensemble cast featuring Tom Cruise, Melinda Dillon, Jeremy Blackman, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards, and Melora Walters, Magnolia's diverse (yet not as diverse as you may think) are brought to life brilliantly. It also does not hurt that the writing is superb and the depth we go to with these characters in just three hours is amazing. On that note, this one comes in at three hours and in spite of it, it feels like it was nothing more than an hour and a half, as the runtime just flies by. The ending is incredibly odd, though it brings the biblical references and the freak happenings of this one to conclusion nicely, as odd as it may truly be. Overall, Magnolia is a beautiful and brilliantly made film that will move and entertain you. Expand
  9. Sep 16, 2013
    Definately my kind of movie: it has multiple storylines with different characters, which are entwining and crossing each other in some points. They are mostly dramatic, telling about ruined lives, personal regrets and skeletons in the closet. Most of the characters have an amazing backstory, which is revealed during the movie. Also I'd like to mention Tom Cruise's role, probably his best one I've seen. Expand
  10. Nov 15, 2012
    Don't treat Magnolia like a movie. Surrender yourself to it's awesomeness and allow it to play on your emotions like music. It'll blow you away.
  11. Feb 25, 2013
    In Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia" we get to follow a range of characters during one day as their fates are tied together. I can start by saying that I really liked this movie and its many characters, one of them brilliantly played by Tom Cruise who, according to me, should have won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor instead of Michael Caine. The fates of all the characters are tied together so beautifully and so elegantly by PTA that I think it's safe to say that he is nothing less than a master, one of the greatest artists of his generation. Despite "Magnolia's" brutal length, I didn't look at my watch a single time, much because of its soundtrack that gives the movie an admirable pace both Aimee Mann's songs and the composition by Jon Brion is magical. This is a film that every movielover out there should see. Expand
  12. Apr 1, 2013
    this movie without a doubt is the most creepiest 3 hours i spent on the big screen for long long time the writing is so weird that after finish watching the movie i felt manipulated and i felt that Paul Thomas Anderson should made a better explanation for all the events that been going on for the entire movie i get the idea that everyone was acting hard but some of them tried so hard it's ridiculous for example Alfred Molina has a 10 minutes of fame and he was acting like it was a scene from the godfather ,Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore did their parts very well but after all the movie is awkward but that make sense since Paul Thomas Anderson is also the director and the writer of there will be blood that awkward movie with a very questionable ending. after this i will never watch his movies again. Expand
  13. Jul 10, 2013
    Magnolia is the kind of film that Paul Thomas Anderson likes: intelligent, full of symbolism and great characters that connect beautifully in the end.
  14. 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. Expand
  15. May 4, 2014
    Magnolia is a very intelligent film from a usually impressive director Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia is very unique and watchable. The cast delivers great performances. Tom Cruise is in one of his strongest role as Frank T.J Mackey. A great way to follow up Boogie Nights!
  16. Jun 28, 2014
    PT Anderson's second Masterpiece after Boogie Nights, showcases some of the best acting performances of 1999. Tom Cruise's acting is first rate and completely haunting. Magnolia is a roller coaster ride with many characters to marvel at. John C. Riley also shows a sensitivity that is usually overshadowed by his command of comedy. In addition, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore give intense and emotional performances that deserve recognition. Overall, its a long movie that flies by without notice. There is a scene towards the end that has to witnessed to believe it. It really makes this movie memorable. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. A three-hour-and-10-minute exercise in slight characterization, pointlessly showy editing and vapid plotting.
  2. 60
    None of the characters in Magnolia feel as vividly imagined as the porn stars and filmmakers and hangers-on of "Boogie Nights."
  3. 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.