Magnolia

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5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 348 Ratings

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  1. 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 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. 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. 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 thatEvery 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
  3. MichaelM.
    Oct 23, 2004
    10
    An excellent follow-up to 1997's Boogie Nights, but isn't as good. I would say Magnolia is Paul Thomas Anderson's second best film (out of 4). The story is very complex and you really have to pay attention. Not to mention it is a very LONG movie too. It is three hours and eight minutes! I've seen longer, but that is pretty long. The story really sucks you in though. It An excellent follow-up to 1997's Boogie Nights, but isn't as good. I would say Magnolia is Paul Thomas Anderson's second best film (out of 4). The story is very complex and you really have to pay attention. Not to mention it is a very LONG movie too. It is three hours and eight minutes! I've seen longer, but that is pretty long. The story really sucks you in though. It is about a lonely cop (John C. Reilly) who is falling in love with coke-addict (Melora Walters), whose father is a big television game show host (Philip Baker Hall - who portrayed Detective Bookman on 'Seinfeld') who is having heart problems, who has the kid genius star on his show (Jeremy Blackman). The other story is about a sick old man who is dying (Jason Robards) and how his young wife (Julianne Moore) and his personal nurse (Philip Seymour Hoffman) try to get in touch with his only son (Tom Cruise) who is a motivational speaker to sexist men. Another major character in the story is a former quiz show kid (William H. Macy) who is an adult now and reflects on his horrible life as a car salesman and how his parents took his money away from him. This is an excellent film for people looking for an interesting movie and long movie. I recommend this to Paul Thomas Anderson fans too. See the movie my English teacher calls the best film of all time! This is the only film where all the performances given deserve an Oscar. (2/21/03) Collapse
  4. raVen
    Aug 28, 2004
    9
    George Orwell knew Upisdownism. He understood that if conditions were right, people could be convinced that they didn't really want what was best for them. And it occurs to me that too often reviewers on this site and elsewhere are victims of their own poor taste in movies. And I don't mean relative to MY choices - I mean relative to their OWN. Individuals who most loath the George Orwell knew Upisdownism. He understood that if conditions were right, people could be convinced that they didn't really want what was best for them. And it occurs to me that too often reviewers on this site and elsewhere are victims of their own poor taste in movies. And I don't mean relative to MY choices - I mean relative to their OWN. Individuals who most loath the mainstream critics will in the same breath curse their own inevitable reliance on critic recommendation for getting them to the theater...Movies like Lost In Translation are ripped at for being boring - by people unabashed in their defense of short attention spans...Others complain equally about lifelessness in character and "sappy" emotive sequences... Forgive me for stating the obvious, but if you don't like jazz, DON'T LISTEN TO IT! ~ Jason Robards -the very same Robards that is in this film- made a movie in 1968 that I consider to be the best of the Western genre. Alas, when I shared Once Upon A Time In The West with a friend he was bored to tears. But he's that kind of movie watcher - I should have known better. In fairness, HE introduced ME to Boondock Saints and A Fish Called Wanda. HE should have known better, too. ~ From what I can tell, the most loving reviews on this site are elicited by films like Alien vs Predator... ...love them or love to hate them, they are at least predictable. There is a pop culture code for such flicks: either "Awesome!" or "That's not my kind of movie." People seem comforted by the predictability, and the studios respond by being equally comfortable with their formula. The problem with dismissing Magnolia too quickly is that if the Magnolias of the world go away, so does the tweaking of formula, and so do the people who dare to tweak. I truly appreciate people who say they walked out of a movie I liked. Why should they waste the time? But please don't sit through it (your window to leave was 3 hours long!) and then tell me you were bored. That helps no one. There are entire genres devoted to impatient people like my friend. And if you continually sit through movies you don't like, that's a result of YOUR poor choice as a consumer. You should have known better. ~ Me? I loved this movie, as I suspected I might. Sought it out, in fact. Bill Macy has yet to lead me astray. Expand
  5. [Anonymous]
    Aug 21, 2002
    9
    Magnolia is one of those movies which exposes all of the emotions in the viewer.At points it raised a wry smile,at times I had to try my hardest to supress my tears.And because of the very authentic characterisation of the film,it was painful to watch,the realisations and lives of some of the characters-esp Claudia's.I would not give this a film a perfect 10 due to the length,and Magnolia is one of those movies which exposes all of the emotions in the viewer.At points it raised a wry smile,at times I had to try my hardest to supress my tears.And because of the very authentic characterisation of the film,it was painful to watch,the realisations and lives of some of the characters-esp Claudia's.I would not give this a film a perfect 10 due to the length,and also I think there could have been greater exlanation of the character of the Stanley's father. Overall though this film is just pure art,and the performances(especiallly Melora Waters) were astonishing. Expand
  6. John
    Oct 14, 2003
    10
    P.T. Anderson was 29 when this was made. Most filmmakers never achieve this height of brilliance in a lifetime. It stands as a singular achievement from any moment in cinematic history.
  7. Feb 19, 2012
    7
    Interesting interwoven tale of numerous lives although the Tom Cruise character dominates the movie. A superbly acted and directed movie which everybody should see.
  8. May 6, 2011
    9
    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.
  9. Sep 19, 2012
    10
    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.
  10. 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, 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.
  11. Aug 23, 2014
    9
    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, MelindaWho 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
  12. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    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.
  13. May 4, 2014
    8
    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!
  14. SamA.
    Mar 8, 2001
    10
    Wonderful. Perfectly wonderful.
  15. ThanaW.
    Aug 5, 2003
    10
    Magnificent! The performances were amazing. You can't help but feel the emotions of each character. But the crux of the film lies in the story Anderson creates. Anderson weaves these 9 interrelated lives together to culminate into one grand ending. Magnolia is simply a beautiful film.
  16. MarcusD
    Jul 30, 2007
    10
    The 2nd greatest film ever. The most ambitious direction and story ever. The best cast every assembled with Cruise standing out.
  17. Elliott
    Oct 28, 2002
    10
    Nothing in 1999 came close to this. A towering achievement in writing, directing, acting, and - of course - music.
  18. Garrett
    Apr 18, 2002
    7
    It's a movie to be seen for whoever you are. The ones who don't relate become bored and those that do, "change in unity".
  19. SabalomG.
    Sep 30, 2002
    10
    Astonishing. One of the best movies ever made, but not for the faint hearted.
  20. TheTwistedSchemeOfGilbertMulroneycakes
    Oct 28, 2003
    10
    Yoon Min Cho, I feel sorry for you. Really. Your review basically lists an awful lot of things that you think Anderson's doing, but which may just be your imagination - I (for one) had never thought of that until that precise moment. Why you care about (scroll, scroll, scroll) any perceived "wallowing of P.T. Anderson's many alter egos in self-pity, self-righteousness, and Yoon Min Cho, I feel sorry for you. Really. Your review basically lists an awful lot of things that you think Anderson's doing, but which may just be your imagination - I (for one) had never thought of that until that precise moment. Why you care about (scroll, scroll, scroll) any perceived "wallowing of P.T. Anderson's many alter egos in self-pity, self-righteousness, and self-aggrandizement, finally all souped with quasi-metaphysical gobbledygook"...and so on, is beyond me. You seem unable to accept the film on its own terms. And that' sad, because it's not what cinema's about. I'm not saying you can't be irritated by the characters (or whatever it was irritated you...) - it's your prerogative - just that it seems a waste of energy bothering to actively hate it over something so trivial. Oh, and for the love of God, don't mention the climactic spoiler deleted! It's meant to be a shock! And is. The point is this: Magnolia is a masterpiece. A masterpiece. (I said that twice because it's really a MASTERPIECE). Not everyone's cup of char (like Martin Scorcese Second Uniting for Robert Altman on some REALLY good stuff), but if you don't like it, it's likely your problem. If you like this sort of thing, this sort of thing you will love to pieces. If not, probably best avoided cos it's not going to convert you. Watch Nashville and Short Cuts first. And Boogie Nights. And Hard Eight. And then you probably should get some sleep. Expand
  21. Uter
    Sep 7, 2003
    7
    It's a semi artistic film that is a little stupid at times. The pace is quick and it is entertaining. Perhaps it's best suited for rental though, and not purchase.
  22. ManuelA.
    Jan 2, 2006
    10
    My favorite movie! I was entraped in the first opening seconds and it honestly did not let go until it all ended. On top of that my investment of time was rewarded by a truly unforgettable climax. Everyone of the actors in this movie are at the top of their game. I can watch this over and over again, and each time there is something new to ponder about.
  23. Redlight
    Jun 5, 2007
    10
    Mesmerizing movie. It's hard to choose a favourite performance but for now it's Julianne Moore. She doesn't portray her character in a sentimental fashion, which would be typical for the situation her character's in. instead, her behaviour is erratic, almost farcical, which makes her grief all the more devastating. Shame she never got nominated for an Oscar or Golden Globe.
  24. MayaL.
    Aug 6, 2008
    10
    Riveting film with brilliant ensemble!
  25. AndrewG
    Jul 18, 2009
    10
    I noticed most of the zero's on here dismiss Magnolia as a boring or artsy film people enjoy because it makes them feel smart. Magnolia makes you feel smart because it IS smart. In fact, P.T. Anderson's shattering of narrative convention is the most unique undertaking since Citizen Kane. I won't ruin the ending, but I will say that different aspects of the film, from the I noticed most of the zero's on here dismiss Magnolia as a boring or artsy film people enjoy because it makes them feel smart. Magnolia makes you feel smart because it IS smart. In fact, P.T. Anderson's shattering of narrative convention is the most unique undertaking since Citizen Kane. I won't ruin the ending, but I will say that different aspects of the film, from the characters to the themes, have already started to converge, making the ending acceptable. Some character studies are boring and have an unwarranted reputation, but not here. If your smart enough and want to invest some time towards wrapping your head around this one, you'll be amazed. Expand
  26. JaredSS
    Oct 15, 2003
    10
    One of my five all-time favorites. Right up there with Pulp Fiction, Dr. Strangelove, Ed Wood, and Raging Bull. PT Anderson is a wonder to behold, and the development of his career at such a young age leaves me dumbfounded. I can't even imagine the beginning of writing this film, let alone directing it. As complex as a rubik's cube, and as genuinely emotional as any film One of my five all-time favorites. Right up there with Pulp Fiction, Dr. Strangelove, Ed Wood, and Raging Bull. PT Anderson is a wonder to behold, and the development of his career at such a young age leaves me dumbfounded. I can't even imagine the beginning of writing this film, let alone directing it. As complex as a rubik's cube, and as genuinely emotional as any film I've seen, this deserves an immediate buy. Not rental. Not pay-per-view. BUY! Expand
  27. ZachP.
    Oct 5, 2003
    10
    This movie is so brilliant, it's blinding. Each and every scene is wrought with pure gold, in visuals, in dialogue, in performance, in everything. Julianne Moore is absolutely amazing, Tom Cruise can knock you over, William H. Macy is perfect, and, as always, Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a subtle and strong performance in support. Truly awesome.
  28. DanC.
    Jan 28, 2004
    9
    Very original with ripe performances.
  29. KennyM.
    Dec 16, 2005
    10
    Definately of the best films in the history of the cinema. at first i was slightly confused by the entire thing, especially the ending, but i thought about it for weeks, and i realized that i don't have to understand the wild ending, if a film makes me think about it for a week, it is amazing. I just came to except that the ending was a biblical referance which kind of brought Definately of the best films in the history of the cinema. at first i was slightly confused by the entire thing, especially the ending, but i thought about it for weeks, and i realized that i don't have to understand the wild ending, if a film makes me think about it for a week, it is amazing. I just came to except that the ending was a biblical referance which kind of brought everyone back to reality. amazing!!! Expand
  30. David
    Sep 12, 2005
    10
    One of the best films in the last 10 years.
  31. LukeG
    Dec 9, 2007
    10
    Jaw droppingly awesome. John C. Reily was phenomenal in his goodie too shoes cop role.
  32. RyanD
    Feb 1, 2008
    10
    An emotional masterpiece.
  33. KyleS
    Jun 20, 2008
    10
    My favorite movie ever. A beautiful, bold and downright astonishing exploration of a group of realistic and convoluted characters with so many interlocking themes, similarities and events you could fill a book. Incredible acting, an ingenious and entrancing ending sequence, praiseworthy direction, a wonderful script and original songs by the terrific Aimee Mann all bolster this into a My favorite movie ever. A beautiful, bold and downright astonishing exploration of a group of realistic and convoluted characters with so many interlocking themes, similarities and events you could fill a book. Incredible acting, an ingenious and entrancing ending sequence, praiseworthy direction, a wonderful script and original songs by the terrific Aimee Mann all bolster this into a hypnotic masterpiece. One thing I will say, though, is that you need to watch this film when you have 3 free hours and nothing on your mind. Let it suck you in... if you are not paying attention, or if you are overthinking, you will hate it. Expand
  34. G-manC
    Nov 11, 2002
    10
    Brilliant and genius are some words that can be used to describe Paul Andersons new film Magnolia. Magnolia is about 9 lives that some way or another has love screwed up.
  35. IanM.
    Apr 23, 2002
    10
    This is the greatest film ever made.
  36. GilbertMulroneycakesAgain,Sorry
    Dec 21, 2003
    10
    Previously on Metacritic: Gordon M. wrote an interesting and thought-provoking review thing about the aspects of Pulp Fiction he found offensive, even sociopathic. It was interesting enough that I posted a partly-congratulatory response, despite that I'd already done a review of the film (still getting away with it, not sure how...[Ed: because we dig you, GM...]). Here, he quite Previously on Metacritic: Gordon M. wrote an interesting and thought-provoking review thing about the aspects of Pulp Fiction he found offensive, even sociopathic. It was interesting enough that I posted a partly-congratulatory response, despite that I'd already done a review of the film (still getting away with it, not sure how...[Ed: because we dig you, GM...]). Here, he quite tragically does the opposite. Unlike with Pulp, where he just couldn't get to the good bits from the bits that annoyed him, with Magnolia, he's clearly resisting the film - consciously resisting, mind you, and then blaming it on PT Anderson. Oh, and calling it "sappy" presumably because it deals with Human Emotion. "PT Anderson plays Leo Buscalia and hugs them all and pops the champagne bottle bubbling with tears" - When does he do that? I don't remember him doing that. I've read a review on this site saying the same about the end of Schindler's List of all things, and since then have lost all respect for the word. And of course there's the old problem of seeing the film as one thing, not liking that one thing, and then refusing to see it as anything else, which is just a very strange thing to want to do because it spoils everything. "For Anderson, there is only emotional masturbation, Anderson stroking poor Anderson, the outside world turned into a sappy Andersonian theme park where everyone feels as Anderson does, breaks down as Anderson does, throws tantrums for the baby bottle, and finds the great, noble, and sappy Andersonian truth at the spiritual dawn of a new day". What? What? You think that's what the film's about? Really? Well, okay, but evidently you don't like that, and so you're just spoiling it for yourself. I thought it was about the characters, not some strange abstraction about PT's ego. Don't remember any masturbation either. Or a song and dance number; "Wise Up" has no dancing, barely any singing from anyone bar the great Aimee Mann, and is hardly "Doe A Deer A Female Deer" lyrically. And it's so not sappy it's almost amazing. Other things. "Human misery is tranformed into the simple formula of thumbsucking infantile cry for mama's nipples" If you got that impression, that's okay, but why you would is beyond me. "Anderson wants us to feel so close to his losers that he takes every pitiful, pathetic, neurotic trifle as grave, indeed Biblical in their, ehem, tragic dimensions." You reckon? Okay, but again, you're the one bursting your own beachball here. "Anderson avoids this and goes a roundabout way of framing his stories in some pseudo-profound metaphysical mumbo jumbo." No, he doesn't, he introduces a concept in the pre-credits sequence and hangs the whole film on it, start to finish. It just didn't work for you. Shame. Hey, I meant it when I said I felt sorry for YMC; when I see people letting abstract concepts get in the way of their enjoyment and appreciation of a movie, song, cucumber, whatever, it hurts me. It's not as if you can't not like a film, I'm not a fascist or anything. It's just when your reasons for not liking a film are so nebulous it's like buying an ice-cream, taking one lick and throwing it away because you didn't want it after all. It's a waste of ice-cream. Look, movies, songs, cucumbers, you review them on their terms or not at all. Gordon and Yoon both watched them on terms they made up and then didn't like them. Others - Roger Ebert for instance - let the chips fall where they may, and recognised a masterpiece - and it is a masterpiece: quality is absolute, not relative, and the true merits of the film are there to be seen whether you can see them or not. Roger and I had a much better time watching Magnolia than Yoon or Gordon. In fact, we very probably have a much better time at the movies in general than them. Only see what Anderson wants you to see. Don't make assumptions on that score. Stop worrying for three hours and watch the movie. Then decide what PT's doing. Not what you think he's doing, what he is doing. And don't use the word "sappy" so often. At times like this, I like to remind myself that the papers in the mid-19th Century mocked Isambard Kingdom Brunel for a creator of follies. People in glass houses. Sorry. Expand
  37. PatC.
    Dec 5, 2003
    7
    Flawless premise, but after awhile plods along, like a delicious meal withheld until it gets cold first. But catch it once to see what Tom Cruise is capable of. He's thoroughly memorable as a conscienceless sex evangelist.
  38. Shane
    Jun 19, 2003
    10
    Easily the best movie ever made. I can't believe people can actually give it bad reviews. There are no flaws in this film. The movie can seem to lag at times, but it all pays out in the end. Great acting by most notably by Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, and William H. Macy.
  39. CarryA.
    Nov 28, 2006
    10
    It's the film I've seen the most and I find new details every time. It's absolutely great.
  40. OCuculiza
    Mar 16, 2006
    10
    A miracle. I couldn't believe what I was watching. Every single scene is absolute magic. This movie touched me in ways I could never expect, and I wished it would never end. The cast is flawless, the cinematography is amazing, and most importantly, the script and directing are just cinematic perfection. Hands down.
  41. AmurabiM.
    Sep 19, 2006
    8
    Through a series of coincidences, opportunities, human action, shared environment and divine intervention, this stories colludes and get involved themselves. These human lives that confronts each other daily and raises an unfogerttable climax are the field of this study of characters. Some of this characters are searching forgiveness, some of them are searching escape. Some get better Through a series of coincidences, opportunities, human action, shared environment and divine intervention, this stories colludes and get involved themselves. These human lives that confronts each other daily and raises an unfogerttable climax are the field of this study of characters. Some of this characters are searching forgiveness, some of them are searching escape. Some get better realtionships and others are exposed. "Magnolia" is a mosaic of American life through a series of comic and pathetic vignettes. Its a portrait of a lonely town, sometimes even a love letter. Its a personal search of the elements hidden in a crisis. Its a story about fix things. And its awesome. Expand
  42. SergeyM.
    Dec 29, 2007
    9
    Masterful work!
  43. DustinG.
    Feb 28, 2007
    10
    This movie is too good to be true. although it is a bit confusing, it kept me glued. the acting is the best i've ever seem in a movie. i rave and rave to everyone i know about this movie. i may put this dvd in a glass case and lock it up.......that's how much this movie means to me.
  44. filmdude
    Jan 18, 2008
    9
    I was speechless after watching this film lately. I heard good things about it and never had the chance to watch it. At first I thought it felt like experienmental film. Then I realized this film wasn't the conventional single-story driven film that an average hollywood films portray. It was expressing life as a community. Well, a community of a small group. This LIFE felt CHAOS from I was speechless after watching this film lately. I heard good things about it and never had the chance to watch it. At first I thought it felt like experienmental film. Then I realized this film wasn't the conventional single-story driven film that an average hollywood films portray. It was expressing life as a community. Well, a community of a small group. This LIFE felt CHAOS from start to end. To smile it off at the bitter facts of life it decided to throw in the frogs. Expand
  45. MattZ
    Dec 31, 2005
    10
    By far the best movie of 1999. Writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson has given birth to a true timeless masterpiece.
  46. Mar 10, 2012
    10
    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.
  47. Sep 16, 2013
    8
    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 bestDefinately 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
  48. Feb 25, 2013
    8
    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 tiedIn 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
  49. Aug 20, 2015
    8
    Paul Thomas Anderson knows how to write interesting characters. "Magnolia" centers around the different stories of multiple people. We have two characters dying of cancer. One is a cop that falls in love with a drug addict. Tom Cruise is a sex mentor. The list goes on. As a result I love this movie. Grant it, it's not a perfect movie and has its issues. But we'll get to that later. To bePaul Thomas Anderson knows how to write interesting characters. "Magnolia" centers around the different stories of multiple people. We have two characters dying of cancer. One is a cop that falls in love with a drug addict. Tom Cruise is a sex mentor. The list goes on. As a result I love this movie. Grant it, it's not a perfect movie and has its issues. But we'll get to that later. To be fair, there is a lot to love about this movie. Anderson wrote and directed the living crap out of this movie. He has such a beautiful vision not just from a cinematic scope, but from a storytelling point of view. And he has also written tons of interesting characters. John C Reily as the cop. Jason Robards and Phillip Baker Hall as the two men dying of cancer. Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Robards nurse. TOM CRUISE AS A SEX MENTOR! There are tons of more characters than that, but can't talk about them all day. However the performances from the cast is stellar. They hold their own emotional weight to their specific stories and carry the film. Sure some were better than others, but all their stories were nevertheless engaging. And Tom Cruise just kills it in this movie. In a movie filled with literally top notch performances, he stands out as my favorite character. It was just something totally different from what we've seen him do before. I loved how the stories are interconnected but never to the point that they have to try to have everyone come across everyone in some forced way or fashion. It's not like those ensemble movies in which everyone meets up at the end. For a 3 hour long movie, it keeps me engaged the whole way through. If anything only the last 5 maybe 10 minutes dragged. That's it! Plus it also has a rewatchability factor to it. Again, it goes back to having all the interesting characters keep you engaged the entire movie. Ive seen this movie twice and still plan on watching it a third time in the near future. As far as issues, I will say that Julianne Moore's character was the one that I could never care about. It's the fault of Anderson's writing rather Moore's performance is completely over the top. Luckily she doesn't have as big of a story as essentially every other character. But I could never get into to her character like I did with everyone else. And there is a big event near the end of the movie, while a great scene, it just felt completely over the top and absurd. Maybe because that the whole movie felt so grounded in reality up until that point. I guess it's just something I have to look further into. But overall, it's such an entertaining movie with stunning performances by almost everyone, fantastic writing and a great vision (for the most part) by Anderson. I'm going to give "Magnolia" an A-! Expand
  50. Jul 10, 2013
    10
    Magnolia is the kind of film that Paul Thomas Anderson likes: intelligent, full of symbolism and great characters that connect beautifully in the end.
  51. Dec 23, 2013
    9
    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 andThis 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
  52. Jun 28, 2014
    10
    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 givePT 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
  53. Jun 26, 2015
    7
    I almost disliked this movie. I almost trash-talked about this movie. But I didn't. Magnolia is kinda stressful to watch. Yeah! Stressful to watch. The casts are amazing. Everyone did an amazing job. The performance is amazing. And the soundtrack. Oh my dear! I love the soundtrack so much. That is one of the main reasons I kept watching this movie. In the end, I will say Magnolia is aI almost disliked this movie. I almost trash-talked about this movie. But I didn't. Magnolia is kinda stressful to watch. Yeah! Stressful to watch. The casts are amazing. Everyone did an amazing job. The performance is amazing. And the soundtrack. Oh my dear! I love the soundtrack so much. That is one of the main reasons I kept watching this movie. In the end, I will say Magnolia is a really weird (in a good way) drama movie. Expand
  54. Jun 28, 2015
    10
    One of my Top 3 films of all time (With Drive & Blade Runner) a beautiful film in each and everyway, with millions of layers upon it. This is one of those films that keeps you talking for days after your first viewing, and keeps you thinking about it for weeks to come. Definitely not a film for everyone as it is 3 hours long and can be very slow, but to me the film is flawless. TheOne of my Top 3 films of all time (With Drive & Blade Runner) a beautiful film in each and everyway, with millions of layers upon it. This is one of those films that keeps you talking for days after your first viewing, and keeps you thinking about it for weeks to come. Definitely not a film for everyone as it is 3 hours long and can be very slow, but to me the film is flawless. The directing is superb as to be expected with P.T.Anderson, with fantastic cinematography and beautiful shots. The acting from everyone is top notch, not one bad performance is present throughout the film. Writing is brilliant with great character development. Each character is unique and feels realistic, you really do feel for certain characters.
    Overall a perfect film that needs watching. Certainly not for everyone but to me it is magnificent cinema!
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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.