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

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Universal acclaim- based on 187 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: 49 out of 65
  2. Negative: 13 out of 65
  1. 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. Collapse
  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. 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
  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. 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
  6. 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
  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 65 User Reviews


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