Magnolia

User Score
4.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 429 Ratings

User score distribution:

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User Reviews

  1. BKM
    Jul 17, 2012
    0
    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 thatMagnolia 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
  2. JeremyB.
    Nov 10, 2001
    1
    I couldn't help but leave the theater after the first 2 hours of trash, so I guess this review isn't entirely accurate. But then again, maybe it is.
  3. W.W.
    May 17, 2004
    0
    What a chore...
  4. JonW.
    Jul 7, 2006
    0
    I thought "The Village", "Random Hearts" and "Intersection" were the worst movies of all time. Now they're only the 2nd - 4th worst movies of all time thank to this hunk of junk. The most interesting part of the film was the first 1 minute when 3 coincidences were summarized - the only coincidence involving the actual characters in the movie were the boredom in which they inflicted, I thought "The Village", "Random Hearts" and "Intersection" were the worst movies of all time. Now they're only the 2nd - 4th worst movies of all time thank to this hunk of junk. The most interesting part of the film was the first 1 minute when 3 coincidences were summarized - the only coincidence involving the actual characters in the movie were the boredom in which they inflicted, the pointlessness of their stories and the over-the-top acting by all of the cast members. By the end of the movie, I was praying that they all would die together, quickly because I cared nothing for any of them and only wanted to stop my pain. It will be tough to top this one as the worst ever, but I'm sure some Hollywood genius is already hard at work. Expand
  5. Cindy
    Jan 15, 2002
    2
    Excellent character portrayals, but not worth sitting through the f-word ladden dialog for three hours when the writer couldn't come up with an ending.
  6. DaveS.
    Jul 8, 2002
    0
    Pretentious, empty whinefest.
  7. ScottyM
    Nov 4, 2004
    0
    Pretentious, but not even in a good way. It doesn't entertain, it doesn't make you think, but it does make you wonder where the hell the last 3 hours of your life went. Me and a group of friends sat through 3 hours of this crapfest till we turned it off. It's so disgustingly over the top that you'd be more inclined to dip your testicles in molten lava than watch this Pretentious, but not even in a good way. It doesn't entertain, it doesn't make you think, but it does make you wonder where the hell the last 3 hours of your life went. Me and a group of friends sat through 3 hours of this crapfest till we turned it off. It's so disgustingly over the top that you'd be more inclined to dip your testicles in molten lava than watch this movie ever again. Expand
  8. C.Monster
    Jul 18, 2004
    2
    There are some very good performances and a fine cast here, but it just doesn't make up for the mess that PT Anderson has thrown together. Anderson's movies are reminiscent of what would happen if you took 20 edible delicacies and threw them all together in a skillet. Cooked the right way, they'd be delicious but, in tandem, it tastes horrible. I dislike PT Anderson. He There are some very good performances and a fine cast here, but it just doesn't make up for the mess that PT Anderson has thrown together. Anderson's movies are reminiscent of what would happen if you took 20 edible delicacies and threw them all together in a skillet. Cooked the right way, they'd be delicious but, in tandem, it tastes horrible. I dislike PT Anderson. He wants to be Robert Altman when he grows up but, unlike Altman, Anderson's not capable of filling the screen with so many characters without making a mess of things. Magnolia is his sloppiest concoction of all: a series of mundane scenes, snippets of characters that don't tell us enough, and loose moralizing/pontificating at the end of the film that's supposed to tie back to the over 3 hours of action but just doesn't. What's the point? I don't think there is one, so you're either going to fall over yourself because of the acting and direction or not. I didn't. I want a whole film, and not just a random collection of ingredients. Expand
  9. BJones
    Feb 13, 2009
    1
    This movie was garbage, and every scene was drawn out long enough for you to be begging for the next scene, and it added up to a 3 hour piece of junk. Really garbage.
  10. BiffL.
    Jul 12, 2009
    2
    Various blighted, phony, humorless characters strutting and fretting between ridiculous marginally intelligent speechifying, all of them so dishonest, lost and damned that the only salvation (or relief at least) possible would be a plague of equally phony frogs dropping from the sky. Reminded me of the Sam Kinison routine about the people starving in the desert. Like, if your life is Various blighted, phony, humorless characters strutting and fretting between ridiculous marginally intelligent speechifying, all of them so dishonest, lost and damned that the only salvation (or relief at least) possible would be a plague of equally phony frogs dropping from the sky. Reminded me of the Sam Kinison routine about the people starving in the desert. Like, if your life is really anything like that, why the fuck don't you MOVE? It made my 10 worst films of all time list, nearer the top than the bottom. Expand
  11. KidR.
    Sep 22, 2002
    2
    I gave this movie 25 minutes to prove itself, and it failed the test. From what I saw, plot was absent. Sheryl Crow's painful cover of "One" dominated the first 15 minutes of the movie, completely drowning out most of the opening dialogue -- not that there was much to be had, for most every other word begun with the letter "f." Truly insufferable.
  12. JoelW.
    May 21, 2003
    1
    Pompous, stinky...the worst movie I have ever seen. PERIOD.
  13. PaulS
    Aug 11, 2004
    0
    Worst piece of crap I've seen in years! waste of time; 3 hours and 8 minutes of watching my life tick by. I can't say enough bad things about this overrated tripe. anyone who rated this garbage high just wants to be an 'artsy' person and so goes along with boring equaling great. don't buy into it, this may be one of the most boring films ever made. I wish I could Worst piece of crap I've seen in years! waste of time; 3 hours and 8 minutes of watching my life tick by. I can't say enough bad things about this overrated tripe. anyone who rated this garbage high just wants to be an 'artsy' person and so goes along with boring equaling great. don't buy into it, this may be one of the most boring films ever made. I wish I could give it a -10. Expand
Metascore
77

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
    88
    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.