Weinstein Company, The | Release Date: September 14, 2012
7.2
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 515 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
351
Mixed:
87
Negative:
77
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10
alsukesOct 3, 2012
This film was just spectacular and Paul Thomas Anderson continues to impress over and over again. For my full review check out:

http://mostrecentlywatched.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/themaster
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10
zbobOct 2, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Submerged below the apparent, surface theme of animalism vs perfectionism are several levels of human emotional and pragmatic intentions with the deepest level hidden by the murky waters of societal taboos. Framed by succulent cinematography and an appropriately disturbing musical score, the tormented souls interact in dances of self protection and manipulations of others. In the shallow depths of this art piece we are explicitly allowed to view the baseness of Quell and the calmness of Dodd. But intertwining with the surface are the contradictions within both character's personas. Dodd wants Quell as protege but also as guinea pig. Quell desires some freedom from his desires and is constantly thwarted in his efforts. However, it is the intertwining next level below where the central, deepest theme flows. Submerged (suppressed?) below in the psyche of both men is a desire unspoken during the mid twentieth century. A desire revealed during their last meeting. A desire seen suppressed in previous scenes by the standards of the day which embed themselves within the characters. FULL SPOILER ALERT: the opening scene is full of partially clad men of the navy with a woman made of sand to defile. We are not privy to the initial meeting of Quell and Dodd but Dodd makes reference to Quell being a scoundrel. During "processing" Dodd asks about hanging out in bus stations and sex with family members. What is he getting at? When Dodd dances and sings in Philadelphia, the women from Quell Expand
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4
FeigastrulOct 2, 2012
To Spike 69: I agree that Mr. Thomas aims at big themes. But, but, but, he is not Sartre, Tolstoy, Kafka, etc... and neither is Mr. Hubbard or dyanetics philosophyl. Let's keep it in good measure.
I suggested that it resounds a little
To Spike 69: I agree that Mr. Thomas aims at big themes. But, but, but, he is not Sartre, Tolstoy, Kafka, etc... and neither is Mr. Hubbard or dyanetics philosophyl. Let's keep it in good measure.
I suggested that it resounds a little with some of Moby Dick's characters and some of the themes: like life searching, etc..
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5
poetreviewerSep 30, 2012
Although the acting was solid, the movie was confusing and depressing. Maybe that's saying something for Phoenix's acting because he was such a sad character, I wanted to leave the movie. Maybe the movie's success and/or failure was in theAlthough the acting was solid, the movie was confusing and depressing. Maybe that's saying something for Phoenix's acting because he was such a sad character, I wanted to leave the movie. Maybe the movie's success and/or failure was in the fact that modern day psychology uses some of techniques that the so-called cult leader used, making followers believe at first he is a good guy. Phillip Seymour Hoffman really looks like he has high blood pressure in all his latest movies, so I'm beginning to think it's not acting that makes him red-faced. His smoldering character in this movie was similar to his priest in Doubt. A solid downer of a movie, great or not----you decide. Don't make it for a date night. Make for that night you plan on drinking yourself into oblivion. Expand
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3
vmd1020Sep 30, 2012
Acting was a 9 out of 10, music and cinematography was also great....story itself, not so much. My girlfriend and I left the theater completely confused about what we just watched for 2 hours....story has potential but never develops.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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1
Jessied44Sep 30, 2012
Barely watchable, self indulgent, boring and a complete waste of the viewers time. The acting is great. Unfortunately the script hangs like a dead weight around their necks. Audible snoring in the theater and I almost wished I could haveBarely watchable, self indulgent, boring and a complete waste of the viewers time. The acting is great. Unfortunately the script hangs like a dead weight around their necks. Audible snoring in the theater and I almost wished I could have joined them, but the noise was keeping me awake. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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0
iTheViewerSep 30, 2012
First, my PTA credentials: I have consistently named Magnolia as my favorite movie of all time ever since it was released. It still is.

Second, only two words needed for The Master: Extremely. Boring. I am so disappointed. PTA,
First, my PTA credentials: I have consistently named Magnolia as my favorite movie of all time ever since it was released. It still is.

Second, only two words needed for The Master: Extremely. Boring.

I am so disappointed. PTA, please go back to the kind of story telling you are The Master of.
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
Spike69Sep 30, 2012
Was curious as to why the reviews are either "OH NO" or "MUST GO", and upon viewing, now know why. This film is aimed at a very small segment of the population, dealing with heavy philosophical issues, existential angst, man's need forWas curious as to why the reviews are either "OH NO" or "MUST GO", and upon viewing, now know why. This film is aimed at a very small segment of the population, dealing with heavy philosophical issues, existential angst, man's need for ultimate truth, manifest destiny and the weaknesses of the human spirit. If the names Sartre, Kafka, Tolstoy, Wilber, Dyer and Hubbard mean nothing to you; and the terms Existentialism, Integral Theory, Dianetics and New Age as well, chances are you will hate this film. And you won't be alone, in that probably 2% of the population has even heard of these concepts.

Even with that philosophical base, this is a gritty, tedious, disturbing film that deftly immerses you in the pain such ideological pursuits inevitably produce. It is a rich pain, but painful nonetheless.

In a world where "Frankenweenie" is about to come out, and American Idol is the top show, little wonder many will despise this film. But for a select few, this is a must see.
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1
ambySep 30, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The actors were great, the story line was totally obtuse. It was the first movie I have seen a third of the audience walk out. We discussed asking for our money back...no joy for us who have to wait to see one movie a month. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
rickrolledSep 29, 2012
This is just as brilliant as any other PTA film... and it even provides more food for thought. The fact that so many people found this "stupid and pointless" while they the loved Inception just goes to show you that all you need to satisfyThis is just as brilliant as any other PTA film... and it even provides more food for thought. The fact that so many people found this "stupid and pointless" while they the loved Inception just goes to show you that all you need to satisfy most movie goers is a couple guns and explosions. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
RjngoKidSep 28, 2012
This is a great movie. It's as captivating as any of PTA's work but maybe in different ways. This film isn't about competition like There Will Be Blood but more about a teacher/mentor relationship unlike any other. It would be easy to writeThis is a great movie. It's as captivating as any of PTA's work but maybe in different ways. This film isn't about competition like There Will Be Blood but more about a teacher/mentor relationship unlike any other. It would be easy to write Phoenix's character as a pure audience surrogate but instead we get an unreliable source who could actually benefit from guidance. Shot beautifully, there are enough breathtaking shots that would worth seeing it a second time but in 70mm if given the chance. The performances are also spectacular. Unsurprising Hoffman is the star here. He's able to create a charisma that makes you understand why people are drawn to him and yet you can see the gears in his head moving. His character is thinker whereas Planview was an animal in the way Hoffman detests. Phoenix is excellent as well, bringing more to his character than just his surface mannerisms. Adams is also very good. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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3
coolmomdeeSep 28, 2012
This is my first review on Metacritic. Odd that I would finally choose my first review on something that felt passionless. I go into every movie with my mind open wide, ready for an experience I will remember. This movie did have some greatThis is my first review on Metacritic. Odd that I would finally choose my first review on something that felt passionless. I go into every movie with my mind open wide, ready for an experience I will remember. This movie did have some great cinematography, but not much else. I guess I also should give the actors a great deal of credit for portraying lunacy at its finest. Yet, we never really know any of the characters. They exist almost as if they are in our dreams representing some kind of strange, obscure beings. I did not walk away with much of anything and feel as if someone reached in my head and scrambled up my brains. I keep hoping to piece something together, but thus far I cannot seem to do it. I am a bit disappointed and confused. Although, maybe..just maybe it is nothing more than a master of trickery on all who partake. One who is in a cult, follows blindly into the darkness hanging on for dear life. The audiences follow movies and directors in a cult like way at times. Most of us follow reviews....so do we climb aboard this ship of praise for this movie or do you we stand apart from the crowd and say"what the heck was the point?" Expand
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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10
jordantmcgillSep 28, 2012
"Genius Madhouse Escaped Lunatic"

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1
ILikeMostMoviesSep 28, 2012
What a terrible disappointment. Great cast and director, terrific reviews and tons of boredom. The movie started off slow and we waited for it to get better. It never did. The performances were excellent but the material wasn't there. IWhat a terrible disappointment. Great cast and director, terrific reviews and tons of boredom. The movie started off slow and we waited for it to get better. It never did. The performances were excellent but the material wasn't there. I think the positive reviews of the story are what the reviewers expect to see and are projecting, rather than what the film contains. The audience chatter exiting the movie was overwhelmingly negative. I haven't been fooled this badly by critics since Punch Drunk Love. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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3
nlightnSep 28, 2012
I have never felt more embarrassed recommending a movie to a group of friends - and on my birthday no less! As a P.T. Anderson fan, I was swayed by the amazing reviews from the "critics". I now wonder what Cool-aid they are drinking to giveI have never felt more embarrassed recommending a movie to a group of friends - and on my birthday no less! As a P.T. Anderson fan, I was swayed by the amazing reviews from the "critics". I now wonder what Cool-aid they are drinking to give it such rave ratings.

Yes - great acting - that is a given.
Yes - great cinematography and sound- that too is a given.
Story - so much potential, but falls far short from doing anything other than show the depravity of it's main stars and lack of substance.

In the end I felt slimed by the brilliantly perverted mind of P.T. Anderson. I felt it necessary to apologize to my friends for putting them through this. That wasn't a gift I wanted to receive on my birthday!
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0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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5
bgirlSep 28, 2012
I went into this movie with high expectations because of all the press it has received. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I kept waiting for the storyline to go somewhere and it didn't. There was no plot to this movie. While JoaquinI went into this movie with high expectations because of all the press it has received. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I kept waiting for the storyline to go somewhere and it didn't. There was no plot to this movie. While Joaquin Phoenix's performance was outstanding the movie itself was not. You know it's bad when during the movie you look at your watch and say to yourself this movie is not over yet...geez! Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
ThePoorMouthSep 28, 2012
This is an amazing film, but you can't go in expecting it to be an L. Ron Hubbard expose in the style of There Will Be Blood. Like all PTA movies, this changes the game.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
HeadcrusherSep 27, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One thing that will drive me to go see a movie is the widely varying reviews here on Metacritic - like those for The Master. A lot of people hated it - A lot of people loved it - and as a Hollywood citizen who has to walk by Scientology centers offering me free personality tests, or their Museum of Death (by psychiatry) to get to the Cinerama Dome - I was already a bit intrigued - plus I was having a boring day and thought I'd kill a few hours and make up my own mind.

Seeing it in 70mm on the big screen I admit it looked good, but I wasn't as impressed as i thought I'd be. The acting was really great and it had it's moments but overall it was just the story of two screwy guys who don't really do much - One likes to drink poison to get high and basically has no life worth living, the other has created a floundering monster of a "religion" that involves past life regressions, a farce he must believe in to keep the bills paid. Somehow they both find comfort in helping each other - maybe the only time they can escape their personal hells? I found the film well made and well acted but I found it hard to care about any of the characters much. The cinematography was good but nothing really took my breath away. The music seemed overly dramatic at times and for some reason there were a number of scenes with groups applauding - where the sound seemed to have been eq'd to be loud and annoying. Overall i found it to be a well made, well acted, mediocre story about two mediocre men who got the mediocre life they deserve. It would have been much more entertaining if the story had its own perspective and/or cast one of the characters as the good guy or bad guy. But like many wimpy modern films it takes no perspective and makes no judgements. It just shows us how dysfunctional people can be with no opinion. It's funny - this is how I wish the reported the news - just the facts - but I prefer films with a perspective.
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0
dianetrujilloSep 27, 2012
This was one of the worst movies we have ever seen. There are only 2 other movies we disliked more than this one! The acting was pretty good but seemed like a waste on such an absolutely terrible movie. Nearly walked out 3 times. If it wasn'tThis was one of the worst movies we have ever seen. There are only 2 other movies we disliked more than this one! The acting was pretty good but seemed like a waste on such an absolutely terrible movie. Nearly walked out 3 times. If it wasn't for one of our friends sons who actually liked it we would have walked out. He was just released from a mental institute on Monday and hadn't seen a movie in over a year; he loved the seen of Joaquin masturbating to beach sand (no joke). He likes animals a little too much. We will not be hanging out with him again. Don't waste your money on this Church of Scientology bunk. Notice how this movie started off strong in early ratings, now that more people have seen it the user score has dropped significantly! Expand
1 of 17 users found this helpful116
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9
CollinPSep 27, 2012
Hypnotic and mesmerizing. I felt entranced throughout many portions of this movie. Such a beautifully filmed piece of work; and the score by Jonny Greenwood was both jarring and unsettling, helping to maintain the unique observatory tone ofHypnotic and mesmerizing. I felt entranced throughout many portions of this movie. Such a beautifully filmed piece of work; and the score by Jonny Greenwood was both jarring and unsettling, helping to maintain the unique observatory tone of this film. Is it possible for Joaquin and Philip to split the best actor Oscar? They keep you engaged at levels I've hardly experienced before (and Joaquin's physical presentation is astounding!). The film explores so many ideas and leaves so many questions unanswered I don't know where to begin. I definitely plan on seeing it again! Expand
5 of 6 users found this helpful51
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10
stfuDonnieSep 27, 2012
If Malick, Antonioni and Kubrick had a baby he would have made The Master. This may be be PTA's most impressive movie, but you need to give it time to digest.
6 of 6 users found this helpful60
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10
LonesomeDoveSep 26, 2012
This is a great film that requires multiple viewings and thoughts. Here
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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4
thedude74Sep 25, 2012
I love to see all of P.T. Anderson's movies, but I might give up after this one. He seems to have locked onto the idea of making movies now about the least likable characters possible. Whereas most films create an idealized portrait ofI love to see all of P.T. Anderson's movies, but I might give up after this one. He seems to have locked onto the idea of making movies now about the least likable characters possible. Whereas most films create an idealized portrait of humanity, lately he goes the other way, creating movies with grimy, grisly characters who seem to have very little redeeming qualities, if any. In "There Will Be Blood", I was okay with that because I thought it was just for one film. But he delves even deeper into darkness with "The Master", and this felt more like an assault against the viewer in its dark mirth and creepiness than the real telling of a story. The acting is, of course, incredible, but the biggest problem, for me, was that he seemed to take us to very dark places without it feeling like there was a satisfactory justification. I didn't feel like the film had any payoff. It was very interesting, and the acting was great, but it was super dark, and to me unsatisfying. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
mrarrowshooterSep 25, 2012
I really can't wrap my head around why people hated this movie so much. I think alot of it has to do with expectations. i personally didn't love There Will Be Blood, so I went into this with no expectations. While it did have a few problemsI really can't wrap my head around why people hated this movie so much. I think alot of it has to do with expectations. i personally didn't love There Will Be Blood, so I went into this with no expectations. While it did have a few problems of its own, it was the most fantastic film-going experience I've had in a LOOOooong time. It doesn't have a cookie cutter narrative, and it certainly speaks in metaphors...lots of visual poetry and character development as metaphor. The narrative really exists inside the audience's mind. If you're not willing to think a little, you're missing out. I think American audiences are just a little too spoiled and ADD for this type of film in the 21st century. Maybe I'm wrong. I just really want to understand what people hate about this movie. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
JLLorenSep 24, 2012
Cinephiles are not animals. We are not part of the animal kingdom. This movie is not for animals. Animals will not enjoy this movie. Cinephiles will enjoy this movie.
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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10
ZeusSep 24, 2012
This is by far the best film of the year! The Master has two incredible performances (Phoenix, Hoffman), beautiful cinematography, and a powerful message. This film will tear out your heart by subtly exposing people for who they are at theirThis is by far the best film of the year! The Master has two incredible performances (Phoenix, Hoffman), beautiful cinematography, and a powerful message. This film will tear out your heart by subtly exposing people for who they are at their core. I believe this to be true for all of the masterpieces creating by Paul Thomas Anderson. Bravo, sir, bravo! Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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3
JamesLSep 24, 2012
After the brilliance of "There Will Be Blood", I was really looking forward to this film. Like many of the other users stated, I get nervous when the experts starting lavishing out the high praise as I have found that means really slow andAfter the brilliance of "There Will Be Blood", I was really looking forward to this film. Like many of the other users stated, I get nervous when the experts starting lavishing out the high praise as I have found that means really slow and boring abot 50% of the time. Well, this film is is dreadfully slow, boring,and untethered. "Tree of Life" was an action film compared to this snoozer. I think I got the outlines of the plot but they sure could have added something in to the emptiness to engage the viewer. Phoenix's drunken, violent persona was a one dimensional bore after two times and Hoffman is a great actor but he didn't have much to work with. My viewing friend kept asking if I wanted to leave but I stayed to the bitter end. An end that did not come soon enough. Dreadful! Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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5
BHBarrySep 24, 2012
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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1
erikcharterSep 24, 2012
This brings us to
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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3
8eaglesSep 24, 2012
Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, with these two great actors, this is what they produced? There is no denying the tremendous acting ability of these two men, but the movie, stinks on ice. I noticed my fellow theater goersJoaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, with these two great actors, this is what they produced? There is no denying the tremendous acting ability of these two men, but the movie, stinks on ice. I noticed my fellow theater goers checking their watch, as I was, to see how long we would have to suffer until it was over. I had the opportunity to speak to some of the movie goers on our way out, complete disappointment. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
TVJerrySep 24, 2012
Joaquin Phoenix returns to the screen as an extremely troubled WWII vet, who falls in with a religious cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The somber tone that pervades this film would have you believe that it
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9
MWayneSep 23, 2012
While I admit to being a huge PT fan, I'm not averse to calling out his flaws and errors: for instance: While I enjoyed TWBB more than the Coens 'No Country for Old Men,' I thought NCFOM deserved best picture on account it was a tighterWhile I admit to being a huge PT fan, I'm not averse to calling out his flaws and errors: for instance: While I enjoyed TWBB more than the Coens 'No Country for Old Men,' I thought NCFOM deserved best picture on account it was a tighter script and a more cohesive picture overall. After reading some of the critics reviews about The Master I was genuinely worried that the errors of TWBB were expanded upon in PTs latest film. Two friends of mine, huge PT fans as well and very astute cinematic watchers seemed more baffled than intrigued after watching The Master and this worried me. I became anxious ratehr than excited as my turn came to watch the movie that I was gonna find PT had went over board with his ego and contented himself with obfuscation for the sake of perplexing his audience as an end. A dread came over me that there would be proof that my god - PTA - was a false one. I am far too honest, even when watching my gods fall, to fabricate or justify my their existence, regardless of the medium. My favorite author, Cormac McCarthy, who has written my favorite book in Blood Meridian proved perfectly capable of not only writing tripe, but publishing it in his play, 'Sunset Limited. ' So when I say that The Master is anything but tripe, please entertain the idea that Im no acolyte and I am concluding this honestly. I have no intention of convincing anyone that you will "like it" once watched, but I assure you this is one of the most intimate and honest investigations into a wounded soul and what happens when it is remedied by a master of illusions. If you do not grasp how completely damaged Freddie Quell is (And its not even an intellectual acquisition, its a simple one - PT puts it all on the screen) and what happens when he runs into this first rate charmer and con-man, the formula is astounding and a narrative honesty unfolds. Im not sure that my experience of meeting dozens of con-artists and charlatans and having watched debauched, rakish, atheists and agnostics go from partying every night to singing all things Jesus the very next morning, had anything to do with how I understand this film, but it may have helped. Once I fell in line with Freddie, and became the reactionary simpleton that he is, the story holds true form there till the end. From this angle it is an extraordinarily tight narrative and the advent of the semi-quack in Dodd only solidifies the psychological trajectory of both men right until the very last scene. I disagree with all those who believe this movie is "trying to be complex." There are several critics that suggested this despite giving the movie very high ratings. Sure, i think the more you dig, the more you get, but you dont have to take seminars on film making, or to be familiar with quantum physics or to have read Derrida or any other high-brow philosophies on consciousness or culture in order to compute this film. I suggest just discover Freddie's wounds, assimilate to the simian-like simpleton mind he has (with accompanying traumas) in the beginning and everything will follow from there. Again, even if you do this, Im not promising youll like the film as much as I did, but I think youll see that PT wrote a particularly rich and tight script. Hes not trying to get away with any pseudo-complexities to pass of for high-art. Its mostly a simple story, with some questions I still have not answered - but they're in the periphery, not wholly detrimental to the story - but it is high art, in the simplest of forms. A tall order and few could have pulled it off. Expand
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2
CorekevinSep 23, 2012
The Master left us confused and a little empty. Hoffman and Phoenix deliver dramatic portraits that take us nowhere. None of the characters were very likable.
0 of 6 users found this helpful06
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0
10ma11Sep 23, 2012
I am with the other 19 reviewers giving this a negative review. People think way too hard. Any one who was coming out of this thinking that the movie was some grand statement or beautiful work saw a different movie than what I saw. I keptI am with the other 19 reviewers giving this a negative review. People think way too hard. Any one who was coming out of this thinking that the movie was some grand statement or beautiful work saw a different movie than what I saw. I kept wanting to leave the movie, and didn't--just because I thought maybe, just maybe it would get better in the end. I have never run out of a theatre as fast as I did when that was over. It was really just a bore, and made me very, very upset, and taught me not to use Metacritic to pick which movies to see. Please don't see this. I'll feel bad if you do. Expand
5 of 10 users found this helpful55
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6
BhawkSep 23, 2012
Very sorry to have to say that The Master was a major disappointment. This one LOOKED like a "no-brainer" based on the brilliant trailer, the tremendous cast, and being written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose last film, There WillVery sorry to have to say that The Master was a major disappointment. This one LOOKED like a "no-brainer" based on the brilliant trailer, the tremendous cast, and being written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose last film, There Will Be Blood, was one of the most artistic movies of the 21st century. Although the story starts off intriguingly enough with Joaquin Phoenix brilliant in the role of a WWII vet struggling with a severe case of PTSD, once things soon meld down to essentially Clash of the (psychopathic) Titans (Phoenix vs Hoffman), the story never really goes anywhere, other than to provide Oscar bait scene chewing scenes for the two male leads. Don't get me wrong, the film LOOKS great (cinematography, sets, costumes), however, the overall feeling I was left with (at least 40 minutes before the film even ended) was frustration and disappointment of what COULD have been. This one is strictly for those interested in seeing some interesting acting choices from Phoenix, Hoffman and Adams. Past that,... I fully expect The Master to be expelled from theaters before Halloween. Save this one for your Netflix que,...if that. Grade = C-. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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2
pletch57Sep 23, 2012
I sat through this movie for almost 2 hours wondering where it was going and when. Maybe it was to artsy or just over my head. Whatever it was, I haven't been so confused about a movie since Memento, even Memento made you think. The masterI sat through this movie for almost 2 hours wondering where it was going and when. Maybe it was to artsy or just over my head. Whatever it was, I haven't been so confused about a movie since Memento, even Memento made you think. The master will probably win an Oscar, it only made me feel like I was punked. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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9
jeremypSep 23, 2012
This is a mesmerizing film. I haven't a clue if it's a good film, but it sure struts itself out as one. The acting is beyond superb, even if Phoenix made me squirm with his part psycho, part PTSD, neanderthal, as loose a cannon that everThis is a mesmerizing film. I haven't a clue if it's a good film, but it sure struts itself out as one. The acting is beyond superb, even if Phoenix made me squirm with his part psycho, part PTSD, neanderthal, as loose a cannon that ever strode the silver screen. It's not a profound film, just made to look like one, but the film making is awesome. And I would love to see the Director's cut. It reminded me a lot of Orson Welles best work, minus the heavy metaphors (except of course the sand lady). It's as quintessential American as any movie I've seen. Power, religion, ego, violence, unconscious self loathing, all wrapped into one complicated, and perplexing picture. And scene after scene of either/or hold your breath, squirm in your seat, shake your head tension, or all three. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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9
VisionsofJohanaSep 23, 2012
The maddening and precipitous nature that ran rampant across Joaquin Phoenix
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
fernandohsSep 23, 2012
Both the intellectually amusing and the emotionally disturbing attributes of The Master make it a true and enjoyable P.T. Anderson movie. This is not a movie for everyone. Before watching this movie you should remember who it is coming from.Both the intellectually amusing and the emotionally disturbing attributes of The Master make it a true and enjoyable P.T. Anderson movie. This is not a movie for everyone. Before watching this movie you should remember who it is coming from. If you think you understand previous P.T. Anderson's movies, then go watch it because you will enjoy it. If you don't recall any P.T Anderson movie then go with an open mind. And if you remember There Will Be Blood and Magnolia, and you are not sure if you liked them, then watch it but don't come back and write a negative review. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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1
HavetosaySep 23, 2012
I use metacritic to help make my movie selections, so someone needs to say this! Yes, good acting. Yes, unusual music, though disturbing. Yes, good cinematography that you expect for any movie. But expected for any movie is a plot, a story, aI use metacritic to help make my movie selections, so someone needs to say this! Yes, good acting. Yes, unusual music, though disturbing. Yes, good cinematography that you expect for any movie. But expected for any movie is a plot, a story, a reason to exist, to watch, to understand, to persuade, to enjoy or even to hate. There's nothing here. After 2 1/2 hours, thankfully it ends and you're grateful that you at least had a comfy chair and hot buttered popcorn to waste your time! Expand
6 of 12 users found this helpful66
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10
BrasiliansoxfanSep 23, 2012
A masterpiece and one of the best films of all time. If you dislike this film, then you shouldn't watch movies. Beautiful, haunting and flawlessly executed in all areas, it's a movie that will be analyzed and talked about for decades
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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1
MercurioSep 23, 2012
I have never seen so many people walk out of the theater about halfway through the movie. To those of you expecting an Oscar-caliber film, while it may undeservedly be nominated for Oscars, this movie is nothing but a collection ofI have never seen so many people walk out of the theater about halfway through the movie. To those of you expecting an Oscar-caliber film, while it may undeservedly be nominated for Oscars, this movie is nothing but a collection of beautifully shot but meandering scenes. There's no story, no narrative arc, just two unlikeable characters interacting in crazier ways. It becomes tiresome, fast. Expand
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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2
TheVeganSep 23, 2012
I went to see this movie because Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman were in it and it had great reviews. I think at the time it had an 88 here on Metacritic. That is pretty much a no lose situation. Well there are always exceptionsI went to see this movie because Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman were in it and it had great reviews. I think at the time it had an 88 here on Metacritic. That is pretty much a no lose situation. Well there are always exceptions to the rules.... OK first let me say I found the acting of Joaquin Phoenix, and Philip Seymour Hoffman to be brilliant. That being said this movie was excruciating to watch. My favorite part was the end because that signified the last of my suffering. I never cared about the story itself or the characters involved. I kept waiting for it to go somewhere or get interesting but for the most part it never did. If you want to see brilliant acting and don't care about the story then I highly recommend The Master. If you want an interesting/entertaining story then I would select another movie. Expand
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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5
CranksySep 22, 2012
There Will Be Hyperbole. The critical acclaim and the great performances are to what end? (I hope this movie does not precipitate any external or internal psychiatric events.)
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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5
LISTEN2MESep 22, 2012
Technically well done but did not like it otherwise. Tedious, pretentious and too long. Not a masterpiece by a long shot. The critics have been well paid to write glowing reviews.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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0
irmdogSep 22, 2012
I wanted to like this movie because the director has made great movies in the past, but this movie has no redeeming value whatsoever. Two lead characters who are jerks from the very beginning of the movie to the end, what was the point? ItI wanted to like this movie because the director has made great movies in the past, but this movie has no redeeming value whatsoever. Two lead characters who are jerks from the very beginning of the movie to the end, what was the point? It seems to me the movie was some kind of joke played by the director on the audience, why do you hate us mr. Anderson? What did we do to you? I wanted to walk out because of how intensely detestable these characters were but I stayed until the end hoping something redeeming would happen. I want the 2 hours of my life I wasted on this movie and my money back with an apology mr. Anderson. Expand
4 of 9 users found this helpful45
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1
HeyjackkerouacSep 22, 2012
I could not, for the life of me, believe in the premise of the movie, that the Seymour-Hoffman character was supposed to be this charismatic figure people flocked to. His character was so uncharismatic, so completely banal -- why would anyI could not, for the life of me, believe in the premise of the movie, that the Seymour-Hoffman character was supposed to be this charismatic figure people flocked to. His character was so uncharismatic, so completely banal -- why would any of the characters in the movie be interested in anything he said? I was bored beyond caring halfway through the movie and wished I was watching Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry instead. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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0
handsyhelenSep 22, 2012
If this show is considered good - then I don't get it! Although, I don't consider myself a prude and can tolerate brief nudity this was BEYOND my tolerance! The whole theme of the movie was disgusting and nauseating! This is really aboutIf this show is considered good - then I don't get it! Although, I don't consider myself a prude and can tolerate brief nudity this was BEYOND my tolerance! The whole theme of the movie was disgusting and nauseating! This is really about degenerate men doing degenerate things. I saw no redeeming qualities in the men or the show. Some of the scenery was beautiful - but is spoiled by what goes on in the movie. I can't think of a movie I have watched that was a disgusting as this one - the only 10 it gets from me is 10 for disgusting. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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4
AstorSapolskySep 22, 2012
Maybe the film went over my head, but I took nothing away from the Master. No feelings, no questions, no discussion. The Master is a film that sets out to tell no particular story, in no particular hurry. The characters are paper-thin, andMaybe the film went over my head, but I took nothing away from the Master. No feelings, no questions, no discussion. The Master is a film that sets out to tell no particular story, in no particular hurry. The characters are paper-thin, and really only give us glimpses of anything truly interesting. Make no mistake, the acting is superb, but I fear everybody is mistaking the wonderful acting for an overall enjoyable experience, film, and directing. Sure, Anderson tries a lot of different things to make it seem like an important film (shooting in 65mm), but he never made it a captivating one. If many take away nothing from a film other than adoration for the director, then is it really a film worth seeing, or is it simply fodder for the critics? Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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0
cupcake666Sep 22, 2012
This movie should be called "Blah, Blah, Blah". I tried to love it. I wanted to love it. I admire and respect all the creative artists involved. It was pretty. It was well acted. But somewhere in the second hour (it would be incorrectThis movie should be called "Blah, Blah, Blah". I tried to love it. I wanted to love it. I admire and respect all the creative artists involved. It was pretty. It was well acted. But somewhere in the second hour (it would be incorrect to call it an "act", there are no "acts" in this film), I found myself wanted to chew through my arms to release myself from the theater. Perhaps if I had seen it in 70 mm the drive, character arcs or (god forbid art house movie lovers)... the PLOT might have been revealed in greater detail. As it was, I left shaking my head and wondering what I could have done if I got those 2 1/2 hours back... Expand
4 of 8 users found this helpful44
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2
JakeMaguireSep 22, 2012
In the end, the film is self-important- a hodgepodge of shiftless vignettes that add up to something tiresomely less than their sum. An incredible acting performance from Phoenix is diminished and finally dissolved in a stagnant reservoir ofIn the end, the film is self-important- a hodgepodge of shiftless vignettes that add up to something tiresomely less than their sum. An incredible acting performance from Phoenix is diminished and finally dissolved in a stagnant reservoir of anti-plot where the maddening fact that nothing ever happens is justified audaciously and insultingly by the old highbrow notion that each non-happening is so meaningful in itself as to make the need for story irrelevant. Adding salt to the wound, the audience is consistently made to feel guilty and ashamed for its terribly middle class inability to appreciate or connect with such a vaunted and critically acclaimed "masterpiece." Viewers are finally left to wonder if even Scientology itself could take their eleven dollars while offering such straight-faced, masturbatory nonsense in return. Expand
6 of 12 users found this helpful66
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9
NathanRSep 22, 2012
This is a very polarizing film. I recall at least three people walking out. What does that mean? If you've come to watch a typical Hollywood movie, with typical storytelling and a predictable ending, I'm afraid you might be utterlyThis is a very polarizing film. I recall at least three people walking out. What does that mean? If you've come to watch a typical Hollywood movie, with typical storytelling and a predictable ending, I'm afraid you might be utterly disappointed. Possibly disgusted. This film isn't for you. It's creepy, uncomfortable, awkward, tense, exhilarating, vile, hilarious, somber, and beautiful. The lead actors deliver stunning performances. Their on-screen relationship is natural and believable. The supporting cast is also brilliant, there are no weak links in this chain. The unsettling, off-putting, gorgeous score from Jonny Greenwood is near perfect. The cinematography feels new, fresh, inspired. There is nothing else like this being done in major Hollywood productions. Without sounding pretentious, this film is a piece of art, first and foremost. If you want to see a beautiful film made by a director and actors at the top of their game, this just may be the film for you. Expand
6 of 8 users found this helpful62
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2
GreatMartinSep 21, 2012
Some people go to a movie to sit back, relax and be entertained. Others don
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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5
gfnySep 21, 2012
Whenever the critics rate a movie above 80 I start to get nervous. The closer to 100 the movie gets to 100 the chance the movie will be either great or an "artsie" disaster. This movie was long, dull at times, and its message was obscure.Whenever the critics rate a movie above 80 I start to get nervous. The closer to 100 the movie gets to 100 the chance the movie will be either great or an "artsie" disaster. This movie was long, dull at times, and its message was obscure. It wasn't a disaster but too "artsie" to be enjoyable. Most in the theatre left with a look of "what did I just spend 2 hours looking at". I gave the movie a solid 5 Expand
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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10
MegWhiteleySep 21, 2012
The Master, the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie, with Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix, and what happen? The movie is AWESOME, have an interesting story, with an incredible development, the characters are awesome because the performances areThe Master, the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie, with Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix, and what happen? The movie is AWESOME, have an interesting story, with an incredible development, the characters are awesome because the performances are really great, and the screenplay wow, cool. I love The Master. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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2
MHJPSep 18, 2012
For me, this movie was a case of the critics serving the cool-aide and us moronic masses following their leaders (cult)! While I'll admit that the individual performances were good, the collective was an uninteresting mess. I had zeroFor me, this movie was a case of the critics serving the cool-aide and us moronic masses following their leaders (cult)! While I'll admit that the individual performances were good, the collective was an uninteresting mess. I had zero connection to any of the characters and could have cared less what happened to them. Dreadfully long, dreadfully boring. Our entire group simply hated it. Expand
5 of 11 users found this helpful56
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0
bicktravSep 18, 2012
It's tempting to label opaque films as profound. Their ambiguity hints at a well of feeling percolating just beneath the surface, one that touches on pain, loss, sadness, everything it is to be human. But, and this may be a hard pill toIt's tempting to label opaque films as profound. Their ambiguity hints at a well of feeling percolating just beneath the surface, one that touches on pain, loss, sadness, everything it is to be human. But, and this may be a hard pill to swallow, sometimes opaque films are just that: opaque. They are pointless exercises in nebulous action and inactive structure for the sake of appearing profound. The Master falls into this category. It is a full 2.5 hours of unbridled fatuous nonsense. Paul Thomas Anderson, who is no doubt a talented writer/director, seems to have gotten lost in his own reputation for literary mystique, and the result is one of the more narcissistic pieces of films I've had the displeasure of watching. Be assured that if any no-name writer/director submitted this script for financing, he/she would have been met with a resounding chorus of criticism, and the project would never have gotten off the ground. The Master presents no story, no real characters, nothing beyond a handsomely shot vacuous mess. The film's climactic moments fail to stir an emotional response because they signify nothing grander than the cinematic arrogance of an auteur that relishes the label auteur. If ever there was an example of narcissism in film, The Master is it. As for the throngs of adoring fans, I would only suggest that artistic output, particularly vague, nonsensical artistic output, has the unique ability to coerce accolades by intimidation. To suggest that there is nothing profound in The Master is to open oneself up to the criticism that he/she was incapable of picking up on the films nuances. It's tempting instead to nod along with the discordant soundtrack and addled story structure and pretend to get it. But I don't feel like nodding along to this because there is nothing here to get. And the unending stream of praise might be the most pointed example of insecurity since the Emperor sauntered out in public wearing his new clothes. Expand
14 of 26 users found this helpful1412
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10
SMSandozSep 17, 2012
This movie is not fast-paced, unthinking entertainment. Rather, it is an eery, haunting exploration into the minds of two madmen and the general cult insanity of America in its 50s. Through outstanding performances, Anderson takes us throughThis movie is not fast-paced, unthinking entertainment. Rather, it is an eery, haunting exploration into the minds of two madmen and the general cult insanity of America in its 50s. Through outstanding performances, Anderson takes us through the painful, moment-by-moment mix of reality and delusion, fantasy and belief which is the hallmark of cult life and followers. Often humorous, but always disturbing, this film is unlike no other. The themes have no easy answers, so there is no neat bow and tie here. This is a landmark movie which makes any viewer think twice - about loyalties to any group or individual based on need. Expand
5 of 11 users found this helpful56
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1
bloechSep 17, 2012
There is a growing chorus of hosannas greeting "The Master" that will no doubt crescendo around Oscar time, but I would like to add my voice to the minority. There are very few negative reviews for this movie. Those I have seen have usuallyThere is a growing chorus of hosannas greeting "The Master" that will no doubt crescendo around Oscar time, but I would like to add my voice to the minority. There are very few negative reviews for this movie. Those I have seen have usually received a stream of venom from readers, who fill the comments sections with wounded outrage. The raves, meanwhile, are telling in their own way. Consider this quote from our own Kenneth Turan ("'The Master' mesmerizes in word and deed", LA Times, 9/13/12): "its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior, the interplay of troubled souls desperate to find their footing." Tidy narrative satisfactions. Here's another: "This is a superbly crafted film that's at times intentionally opaque, as if its creator didn't want us to see all the way into its heart of darkness." Anyone beginning to get a whiff of **** here? No? Perhaps we should take the advice of Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum: "the movie may not even be fully comprehensible on first viewing, the bigger patterns in the narrative and the rhythms of the filmmaking revealing themselves more fully and clearly only with a return visit. Even then The Master is enigmatic." Well, you can't have everything. But Kenneth Turan deserves the final word: "it's disconcerting that the relationship between (Dodd and Quell) gets murkier rather than clearer as time goes on, (but) that is perhaps the point." Yes, we all love being disconcerted by murky enigmas, don't we? There's a certain feeling of sophistication that comes along with it. But this seems to me to be more like the shared thrill of a mob mentality, the kind of thing that gets dictators elected and cult leaders established, a projected fantasy of greatness that finds affirmation in incomprehensible mediocrity. We've seen it before. It would be perhaps too harsh to say that "The Master" is an example of this. There is no doubt a lot fine work on display in this film. But if I want opacity, I can always just stare at a wall. Expand
16 of 28 users found this helpful1612
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10
SilvertoothSep 17, 2012
Another amazing epic Paul Thomas Anderson film where every facet of the film is extremely dynamic. It is very dense and there's a lot to take in whether it be the tense, grinding score, the gorgeous shot choices (punctuated by vibrant colorAnother amazing epic Paul Thomas Anderson film where every facet of the film is extremely dynamic. It is very dense and there's a lot to take in whether it be the tense, grinding score, the gorgeous shot choices (punctuated by vibrant color and detail in 70mm), or knock out performances from the lead males. The physical work that Joaquin does is outstanding, I have not seen an actor as fully committed and free in a long time, perhaps since Daniel Day in There Will Be Blood. Paul's most interesting film in terms of structure/ editing, jumping through time willy nilly, perhaps mirroring the teachings of Lancaster Dodd or perhaps entering the mind of Freddie continually going back to where he is stuck (the war/ lost loves). The relationship between Dodd and Quell is tense and at times adorable, they are so in love and desire so much to have what the other has: Lancaster wants to act on impulse and not be controlled by any "Master" and Freddie whats to break this insane cycle he seems to find himself trapped in. This film will absolutely take many more viewings and I believe it will continue to grow in my mind as PT's best film (potentially). Expand
30 of 33 users found this helpful303
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3
MartinXSep 16, 2012
I watched this film today, from a 70mm print. It is one of a handful of movies I wish I had never seen. It is slow and ponderous for the first half. The two main characters are unlikeable, which would be OK if they engaged you, which theyI watched this film today, from a 70mm print. It is one of a handful of movies I wish I had never seen. It is slow and ponderous for the first half. The two main characters are unlikeable, which would be OK if they engaged you, which they don't. I might have sympathized with Freddie and his obvious PTSD issue if he hadn't been such a crude violent drunken jerk. The Master never felt real; portraying a faker without looking and feeling fake must be harder than I thought. All the way through this film is distinctly 1950's shooting and editing. The professional critics apparently love this; but in the theater audience it felt distinctly weird. We have moved on a long way from Panasonic 65mm cameras. This film is a throwback. If you like retro films and plots that go nowhere, this film was made for you. Expand
7 of 18 users found this helpful711
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8
MarcDoyleSep 16, 2012
It's an absolutely beautiful film - shot for shot - especially if you're seeing it in 70mm. A couple of shots, actually, were probably the most amazing I've ever seen (ie., the boat leaving SF Harbor). Phoenix and Hoffman deliver absolutelyIt's an absolutely beautiful film - shot for shot - especially if you're seeing it in 70mm. A couple of shots, actually, were probably the most amazing I've ever seen (ie., the boat leaving SF Harbor). Phoenix and Hoffman deliver absolutely phenomenal performances - I was transfixed by the first couple of "processing" sequences. The jailhouse scene is incredible. What prevented it from getting a higher score from me what that it loosened up toward the end and lost some focus. It simply wasn't as coherent and tight as the artists best work - There Will Be Blood, Punch Drunk Love, et al. Expand
4 of 8 users found this helpful44
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9
ThomasLCSep 14, 2012
Lots to chew on here, but there will certainly be skeptics on this one, as A.O. Scott mentions. As epic as it feels in some respects, it is the smallest of epics. It follows one fairly hard to connect with man wandering and struggling andLots to chew on here, but there will certainly be skeptics on this one, as A.O. Scott mentions. As epic as it feels in some respects, it is the smallest of epics. It follows one fairly hard to connect with man wandering and struggling and not much else, narratively speaking. There is some treasure for those who enjoy digging for it, but it is not as grandiose nor as tactually "enjoyable" as There Will Be Blood. Really, the thing *I* am beginning to most appreciate about PTA is what will drive many others away - that he's not scared of wrestling with failure. And with that sometimes comes moments that may surprise and bring something fresh to the screen, and other times one may feel he overreaches. But whereas I once maybe felt his over reaching was of an egotistical sort, I find them now to be rather selfless in a way. He has the command to make something impeccably polished and yet chooses to relinquish it, not to show off, but to explore something outside of that comfort zone. Anyway, interesting stuff. World class acting, and equally amazing score and cine. Will definitely see it again. Expand
11 of 13 users found this helpful112
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