Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 385 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 7 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    As it happens, each one of these tales is also a love story, and The Fountain is Aronofsky’s profession of faith concerning love’s place in the idea of eternity. It’s a movie that’s as deeply felt as it is imagined.
  2. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    At heart, this is a simple Zen fable about love and death. In execution, it’s a complex and gorgeous mini-epic with sterling performances from its two stars.
  3. 63
    In telling a tale of love across time, Aronofsky is sometimes guilty of creating arty, pretentious psychobabble. But in visual terms, he's trying to expose his own raw, romantic heart. Folly? Maybe. But a risk worth taking.
  4. 50
    The problem, though, is that its techniques run too far beyond its ideas, which are blurry and banal, rather than mysterious and resonant. The Fountain is something to see, but it is also much less, finally, than meets the eye.
  5. 50
    Like all of his previous films, it's visually arresting - if any recent film embodies the concept of cinema as poetry, this it it - but unlike "Pi" or "Requiem for a Dream," these aren't characters we're ever invested in.
  6. 40
    Solemn, flashy, and flabbergasting, The Fountain--adapted by Darren Aronofsky from his own graphic novel--should really be called The Shpritz. The premise is lachrymose, the sets are clammy, and the metaphysics all wet.
  7. Aronofsky's reach far exceeds his grasp with this film, and the muddle he concocts makes one wonder if there was ever a solid foundation for The Fountain. Hope may spring eternal, but this fountain is a dry hole.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 175
  1. Aug 23, 2010
    Living forever would be hell. Eternity claws at the heart of Aronofsky's temporally transcendent hero, Thomas. Hugh Jackman plays Thomas, but the character embodies director/writer Aronofsky's complex and insightful interpretation of what immortality means. Beyond humanity conquering time, this film tackles how ideas, and even feelings, can be inherently timeless. The Fountain courageously examines what keeps us here and why we eventually need to go.

    Aronofsky's ability as a director has been hailed with both Pi and Requiem for a Dream. The Fountain is unlike anything he has done before. He provokes audiences intellectually, spiritually and viscerally, but this time, with extra concern for plot and character dynamics. Like Fellini, putting his wife in his films compels a richer and more passionate creation. Weisz proves more enchanting in this sci-fi spirit quest than any other film to date. Instead of isolation and dependence, Aronofsky focuses on interconnectivity. A responsibility to his wife, new born, and devoted fans gives birth to a film that aspires to be something timeless itself. Aronofsky, more than anything, demonstrates how much he expects of himself.

    Moving within the millennia spanning the films narrative are the souls of Thomas and Izzi. They are tied to each other and the tree of life. Uniquely positioned as the tie that binds them to the tree is love. In every period, Thomas scrambles to save Izzi in some way. Thomas exasperatingly challenges the life threatening circumstances Izzi faces. Battling Mayan warlords, cancerous tumors or traveling to Xibalba(The Place of Fear) are dwarfed by the life purpose Izzi instills in him. The limitations of love and devotion are reluctantly acknowledged, as Thomas becomes a slave to hope and memory.

    The very essence of existence comes into play as fantasy is given as much legitimacy in the film as reality. The scenes from the Mayan period are melded together with the fiction Izzi is writing in present day. The line between truth and fiction disintegrates as the three stories continually intertwine. The motives of the characters are similar in each, but it takes the fantasy to provoke their destinies. Thomas's ultimate fate and acceptance of reality can only happen in surreal settings where anything is possible.

    The Fountain delves into the ineffable headfirst. Infinite possibility lies at the heart of life and death. One answer is as valid or invalid as the next without a map key. The closest we come to understanding it all is when determining what it isn't. Aronofsky posits the question as the answer stylishly, uniquely and profoundly.
  2. Feb 27, 2011
    Fantastic movie,simplified stories,great characterization,i literally can feel Jacks pain...beautiful movie,it just motivate for deeper thinking and trying to understand this life that we all live... Expand
  3. May 17, 2012
    This movie is rather ostentatious in it's attempt to weave the stories of three lifetimes into one. some may consider it a hit, some may consider it a miss and some may see it only as one of "those" movies that requires "sensory enhancement" (*wink wink*)

    still, a decent film to watch if you have the patience. it tells a rather deep story about the love of two soul mates and Hugh Jackman's performance is actually pretty good since he's able to convey subtlety at some points and mind-bending madness at another. some may say it's pretentious but i would suspect that they lost track because you do have to pay attention and people with short attention spans will likely hate it.
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    This film is about dealing with the loss of someone you deeply love. Denying death, then finally accepting it. It is a lyric poem of fantastic and beautiful images; an atypical, yet exceptional film. I found it one of the most beautiful, touching, artistic movies I’ve seen in a long time. Metaphorical images are used frequently, and metaphorical story lines. I know many who are confused by this movie. I don’t know why; I experienced it as simple and straightforward. Perhaps it is because the theme is one that is intimately familiar to me and that is why it was immediately recognizable. I hope, through time, this film will receive the recognition it deserves.
    Finish it.
  5. Sep 29, 2011
    Ambitious and beautiful. That's all I can say. How one man love turns into his hatred towards death and search for immortality, and how once immortality is finally reached, man will long to die, and be with the one sent him off for the quest of immortality in the first place. Aronofsky shows great skill and ingenious by writing up this script. Also, the cinematography is stunning and extremely well done even 5 years after the movie was filmed. Underrated and overly criticized. I think the ambitions of the movie are what made the critics expect something more, but what else they were expecting? Beats me. Great flick. Expand
  6. Jan 20, 2014
    انسان و مساله‌ی بودن یا نبودن

    مرگ مهم‌ترین دغدغه‌ی ذهنی بشر از گذشته‌های دور تا به امروز به حساب می‌آید و همیشه با ترسی عظیم هم‌راه بوده.
    انسان از زمانی که موجودی مرگ‌آگاه شد همیشه به دنبال رهایی از چنگال این شبح عظیم بوده که در لحظه لحظه‌ی زندگی هم‌راه اوست و همین هم‌راهی همیشگی انسان را در تعلیقی ابدی نگاه می‌دارد. چیزی که این قدر به ما نزدیک است چرا باید موجب هراسمان شود چرا به آن عادت نمی‌کنیم؟ دلیلش ناشناخته بودن مرگ است. از بعدش هیچ نمی‌دانیم همین ما را می‌ترساند.
    البته وقتی درباره‌ی مرگ حرف می‌زنیم باید این را در نظر گرفت که خود مرگ مد نظر است یا پیامدهای آن (منظورم از پیامد؛ مواجه شدن‌مان با مرگ دیگران، خاصه عزیزان‌مان است).
    مرگ و زندگی ‍‍پیوسته در کانون آثار برجسته‌ی هنر و ادبیات جهان قرار داشته. شگفتی ندارد اگر نخستین کتابی که از تمدن‌های بزرگ باستانی به دست ما رسیده است، کتاب مردگان مصر و نخستین افسانه، افسانه گیل گمش بابلی باشد که در تلاش و تکاپو برای یافتن گیاه جوانی و زندگی جاودان بود، و کهن‌ترین هراس یا آرزویی که از انسان آن روزگاران شناخته‌ایم، هراس از مرگ و آرزوی نامیرایی باشد.
    در طول تاریخ؛ بشر مدام سعی بر آن داشته تا خود را از چنگال مرگ برهاند. گاه با مواجه نشدن با آن تا زمانی که از سایه درآید و رخ نشان دهد، گاه با نفی کردنش و باور به حیات پس از مرگ (بازتولد در اشکال مختلف)، و گاه این اواخر به کمک پیشرفت علم، مرگ را بیماری دانستن و این که هر بیماری درمان دارد به مبارزه با آن رفته. در تمامی این راه‌های مواجهه با مرگ که با یک‌دیگر متفاوت‌اند، یک چیز مشترک وجود دارد و آن هم عدم پذیرش مرگ (آن طور که هست یا حداقل نشان می‌دهد) و میل به جاودانگی است. البته در این بین بوده‌اند کسانی که دانسته‌اند از مرگ گریزی نیست اما از هراسش چرا.
    فیلم چشمه ساخته‌ی دارن آرنوفسکی فیلمی است درباره‌ی مواجهه با مرگ (البته من این طور دیدمش) هر چند که شاید به دلیل زمان کوتاه فیلم (برای چنین مساله‌ای) آن بخش پیامدهای مرگ (از دست دادن عزیز) بسیار پررنگ‌تر است.
  7. Feb 16, 2011
    Like all Arofonsky movies, this is **** up too, but is very bad way. It is very boring, confusing and badly directed, story is bleak and too deep for most people. I am not suprised that this movie was box office flop.. Expand

See all 175 User Reviews