|New Line Cinema | Release Date: December 25, 2005||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Well before The New World's two-and-one-half hours are up, Malick's tree-hugging reveries have become suffocating, no matter the unquestionable tastefulness with which they're rendered -- more painterly vistas, more Wagner (and a little Mozart, too), ravishing re-creations of 17th-century London. Surely, only a Philistine could find any fault with this, or believe, perchance, that Malick's famous poetic beauty had turned poetically fatal. Read full review
This is like a Tony Scott movie on quaaludes: Words and pictures are matched up in counterintuitive ways, and although the cutting is much slower than in Scott's hyperactive showboating, it makes just about as much sense. The movie's leisureliness is aggressive; the picture is artfully designed to make you feel that if you're bored, it's your own damn fault. Read full review
If only the showmanship were equal to the scholarship. As beautiful as the film is (despite notable variations in the quality of the cinematography), it is also sluggish, underdramatized after that initial suspense, and for the most part emotionally remote.
Malick still has an eye for landscapes, but since "Badlands" (1973) his storytelling skill has atrophied, and he's now given to transcendental reveries, discontinuous editing, offscreen monologues, and a pie-eyed sense of awe. All these things can be defended, even celebrated, but I couldn't find my bearings. Read full review
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