Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 193 Ratings

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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
    Part poem, part jungle blossom, all brilliance.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Anderson must have needed that bonkers third-hour climax because there was nowhere to go short of spontaneous combustion.
  4. Drunk and disorderly on the pure joy of making movies. A frantic, flawed, fascinating film that is both impressive and a bit out of control, often at the same time.
  5. Anderson, 29, does so much in Magnolia, with such nerve, with wily humor and out-of-the-blue bravado, that the film's flaws and lapses don't really matter. It ain't perfect, but it's awe-inspiring.
  6. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    A remarkably inventive and audacious film that almost overcomes its flaws.
  7. A three-hour-and-10-minute exercise in slight characterization, pointlessly showy editing and vapid plotting.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 66
  2. Negative: 13 out of 66
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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.
  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. 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. Expand
  5. 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! Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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

See all 66 User Reviews


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