The New World


Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38

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Critic Reviews

  1. A work of breathtaking imagination, less a movie than a mode of transport, and in every sense a masterpiece.
  2. In the end, it's a sweeping, important film that overturns everything you learned in school about the birth of this nation.
  3. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Scene for radiant scene, shot for nary a wasted shot, The New World is the most artfully sculpted film in American cinema this year.
  4. 100
    Pocahontas was given the gift of sensing the whole picture, and that is what Malick founds his film on, not tawdry stories of love and adventure. He is a visionary, and this story requires one.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The New World is something I don't think I've ever seen before on a movie screen: an epic lyrical dialectic. Self-indulgent, gorgeous, maddening, grueling, ultimately transcendent, it's a Terrence Malick movie all the way, and possibly the director's most sustained work since 1972's "Badlands."
  6. Many have tried, but none can match Malick's touch for shuffling a deck of elegiac images (water/sky/clouds/rain) and fanning out the hand to express what speech cannot; he's a master, too, of incorporating sound that is often wordless but never empty.
  7. It's a richly textured, leisurely paced, visually impressionistic epic of the American past that fairly hypnotizes the viewer with its tapestry of sights, sounds and colors.
  8. 91
    Despite its haphazard rhythms and longueurs, The New World achieves an emotional payoff unlike anything else in Malick's work. It's all you think his movies are, and more.
  9. 88
    Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki -- a grandmaster at blending color and natural light -- craft a tone poem that may throw some audiences through its use of interior monologues.
  10. Malick's nature documentarian impulse has never been more flagrant than in The New World, yet it has never made more organic sense. The film, which is superb on every technical and design level, has both greatness and fuzzy-headedness in it.
  11. Not since Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Malick's own "Days of Heaven" has a movie been both so breathtakingly beautiful and so narratively abstract.
  12. 83
    Malick is a unique director of extraordinary gifts, of that there can be no doubt. If he ever chooses to shoot a script as fine as his technique, he will surely produce a masterpiece of the medium.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Malick's magnificent, frustrating epic mixes fact and legend to conjure up a reverie about Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher), her love for Capt. John Smith (Colin Farrell) and her crossing from one culture to another.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    This is no breathless film fantasy; its pulse is stately, contemplative. But anyone who has keen eyes and an open heart will surely go soaring and crashing with the lovers lost in Malick's exotic, erotic new world.
  15. 80
    Whole passages of non-event stream by, and you half want to scream, and yet--damn it all--by the end of The New World the spell of the images, plus the enigma of Kilcher's expression (she is as sculpted as an idol, and every bit as amenable to worship), somehow breaks you down.
  16. If the affair seems strangely ethereal, as if it were taking place in another dimension, in a lovelier, more enchanted realm, it is because Mr. Malick is fashioning a countermythology in The New World, one to replace, or at least challenge, a mythology already in place.
  17. 80
    However complicated the historical issues at play, the poetic introspection that consumes The New World's characters could only take place in a Terrence Malick movie. But, here at least, history and lyrical drift go together surprisingly well.
  18. At the heart of it all is an entrancing lead performance by the teenage Kilcher.
  19. 75
    The New World is beautiful and lyrical and, except for the ill-advised voiceovers, a treat for more than one of the senses.
  20. The idealization of the native American existence in The New World, precolonization, is a pleasing fantasy but also timeworn and ahistorical. Surely someone as sophisticated as Malick - who once taught philosophy at MIT and was a Rhodes scholar - understands that he is putting forth a fabrication.
  21. This is resolutely a film of the imagination. As with all films in Malick's slim body of work, its imagery, haunting sounds and pastoral mood trump narrative.
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    The New World takes a shopworn American myth--and runs it through the Malick-izer, making it feel rich, strange, and new. In so doing, the film takes wild liberties with historical accuracy.
  23. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Pocahontas catching us off-guard with an impromptu cartwheel isn't the knock-you-down brainstorm of Naomi Watts juggling for King Kong, but it's still deliciously inspired. Trouble is, the bit lasts two seconds, while the movie is a long "might have been" that's doomed to be buried in a flurry of strong late-year releases.
  24. First written in the early '80s, Terrence Malick's fourth film in three decades is a trancelike take on the relationship of Native American princess Matoaka - better known by the nickname Pocahontas and English adventurer John Smith.
  25. Perhaps the director should make only silent movies. Scenes where characters communicate via eyes and body language usually work here, even if we don't know exactly what's going on.
  26. Yes, a Terence Malick film remains an event, but he appears awfully disoriented in The New World -- less a seasoned traveller than a perplexed tourist, content to mask his confusion by reaching for a camera and snapping relentless pretty pictures.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 106
  2. Negative: 26 out of 106
  1. Nov 30, 2011
    Terrence Malick is a genius and a real artist. Exactly... This film is lighter then The Thin Red Line, but The New World is an amazingTerrence Malick is a genius and a real artist. Exactly... This film is lighter then The Thin Red Line, but The New World is an amazing philosophical orgasm. Long and slow, even so beautiful and never dull. Colin Farrell is a great actor, but the best was Christian Bale. The script is lyrical, the shot is wonderful. Need more? Full Review »
  2. DoctorP.
    Feb 24, 2006
    Ponderous and ridiculously self-indulgent, this movie evokes the same quiet panic that ensues when a tedious bore runs a never-ending slide Ponderous and ridiculously self-indulgent, this movie evokes the same quiet panic that ensues when a tedious bore runs a never-ending slide show of a recent family reunion in Peoria. The only difference? Virginia is more beautiful than Peoria, but after about 90 minutes, you will be begging for mercy, anyway. Take a pillow or book to this one. Full Review »
  3. Alexis
    Jan 27, 2006
    Beautifully shot, fantastic performances but the score and the narrative becomes redundant, too much of one thing.