New Line Cinema | Release Date: December 17, 1999
4.5
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 513 Ratings
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Positive:
237
Mixed:
18
Negative:
258
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9
PaxsterOct 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 thinkA 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. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
MichaelM.Oct 23, 2004
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 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) Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
raVenAug 28, 2004
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 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
[Anonymous]Aug 21, 2002
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 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
JohnOct 14, 2003
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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
7
rotkuFeb 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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
cabritaSep 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 hollywoodWhat 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
FilmVirtueApr 6, 2015
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 filmA 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
UCSD1978Jun 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. JohnPT 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
seancriswellOct 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 myEvery 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
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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9
DamienDarko777May 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, andGrandly 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. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
SpangleAug 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 brokenWho 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
cameronmorewoodNov 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.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
heeldavidMay 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 greatMagnolia 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! Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
Movie1997Aug 20, 2015
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 aPaul 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
bobmeierAug 1, 2016
Magnolia is a great film on any level, but the cliche about never seeing a film in a vacuum certainly is addressed to this film. I saw it just after a close friend died and everything about this film rang so true.
I think that Anderson was
Magnolia is a great film on any level, but the cliche about never seeing a film in a vacuum certainly is addressed to this film. I saw it just after a close friend died and everything about this film rang so true.
I think that Anderson was saying was don't hold back having the BIG discussions or you may find it's too late to do so. And we all are somewhat guilty of that. What an experience Magnolia is...and so sad to see it now with Phil Hoffman gone. Wonder if he had the time to have the discussions.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
SamA.Mar 8, 2001
Wonderful. Perfectly wonderful.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ThanaW.Aug 5, 2003
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MarcusDJul 30, 2007
The 2nd greatest film ever. The most ambitious direction and story ever. The best cast every assembled with Cruise standing out.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ElliottOct 28, 2002
Nothing in 1999 came close to this. A towering achievement in writing, directing, acting, and - of course - music.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
GarrettApr 18, 2002
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".
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
SabalomG.Sep 30, 2002
Astonishing. One of the best movies ever made, but not for the faint hearted.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TheTwistedSchemeOfGilbertMulroneycakesOct 28, 2003
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. 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
UterSep 7, 2003
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ManuelA.Jan 2, 2006
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RedlightJun 5, 2007
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.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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MayaL.Aug 6, 2008
Riveting film with brilliant ensemble!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AndrewGJul 18, 2009
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JaredSSOct 15, 2003
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 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ZachP.Oct 5, 2003
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful