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6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 543 Ratings

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  1. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I rarely hand out a perfect 10 for such movies due to my harsh criticism on movies. However, master director Terrence Malick just earned one for his new movie "The Tree of Life". Simply, this film isn't just a masterpiece. The pure graphics (not with the aid of foolish CGI) and the luxurious use of cinematography as well as the slow, linear story may look equivalent to Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", but the film transcends Kubrick's masterpiece and redefines it with the a more personal topic; human. It presents us life, despair, and hope. Remember when we had troubled times, where we fought with our parents and rebelled against them, when we despised our brothers and sisters for their prominent talents, and when we felt God has abandoned us and left you in the abyss of sin, not lending you the escape rope? Such questions are asked in the film and despair floods within the tone. Director Malick determines to find the solution, starting from the primeval ages of life. Through the entire time, hate and collisions are only to be seen. The characters become blind of their surroundings and cannot see each other's feelings. Everything is lost; a dead son with a failed father is only to be found. It was then that the child, who has now reached to a point of experienced maturity, learns forgiveness of his father, joyful love of his family, and the true motive of God, smiles. "The Tree of Life" at this point ends as, with slow but vibrant colors, ascending into 'the universal solution', softly whispering to us that true honesty, forgiveness, and love brings back us, and...Life. Expand
  2. Jun 26, 2011
    1
    Perhaps since this movie made me think "please god let it end" for an hour, it was a religious experience. Otherwise not so much. This was the Hubble space telescope meets pseudo profundity. There is nothing quite so trite as overwrought emotion, and this movie is really trite. With access to the technology necessary it could have been made by a high school student - there wasn't anPerhaps since this movie made me think "please god let it end" for an hour, it was a religious experience. Otherwise not so much. This was the Hubble space telescope meets pseudo profundity. There is nothing quite so trite as overwrought emotion, and this movie is really trite. With access to the technology necessary it could have been made by a high school student - there wasn't an insight in it that most overwrought 17 yr olds haven't had. I wanted to see what the fuss was about so blew two hours; trust me and don't make that same mistake yourself. Expand
  3. Jun 5, 2011
    1
    I do not know quite where to begin. My wife and I are college graduates, she is an attorney and I have done some graduate work. We read about this movie in the Austin paper on Friday because Terry Malick lives here. A lengthy article which only touched on the utter incomprehensibility of this movie. Malick may be a genius in the same way Jackson Pollack was: perhaps once someoneI do not know quite where to begin. My wife and I are college graduates, she is an attorney and I have done some graduate work. We read about this movie in the Austin paper on Friday because Terry Malick lives here. A lengthy article which only touched on the utter incomprehensibility of this movie. Malick may be a genius in the same way Jackson Pollack was: perhaps once someone tediously explains what you are looking at, you smile, walk away, but still dont get it. If you thought 2001: A Space Odessey was challenging, you are not going to like this. It starts with an overly drawn out Big Bang sequence, contains a dinosaur sequence fresh from Jurrasic Park, and closes with the end of time. I say "closes" because the movie is SO long, you think (and hope) it ends well before it does (several false closes) and then thankfully ends, seemingly five hours later. I wish I were more artistic and etherial and could somehow recommend this movie, which clearly was made for artistic and etherial critics, and those endless Cannes/Sundance/Toronto film festivals for an award. We ordinarily trust Metacritic's critic scores faithfully to attend or not attend movies. This time, ignore them and trust the User Reviews. Expand
  4. Apr 25, 2012
    9
    The Tree of life is more of an experience than a movie, and a very spiritual one at that. If that sentence alone scares you away from this film, then it is probably not for you. But if you are an open-minded movie-goer, that doesn't mind movies that ask you to think and analyze your own life, chances are you will admire this movie as much as I did. Some people who watch this film willThe Tree of life is more of an experience than a movie, and a very spiritual one at that. If that sentence alone scares you away from this film, then it is probably not for you. But if you are an open-minded movie-goer, that doesn't mind movies that ask you to think and analyze your own life, chances are you will admire this movie as much as I did. Some people who watch this film will get something completely different from it than what some else does. Whether or not your reaction to this movie is positive or negative depends solely on you, the viewer. It seems like most people who disliked it did not have the patience for it. Patience is one thing you need in order to enjoy this movie. The Tree of Life does not contain your run-of-the-mill movie plot, with typical characters, and typical situations. After the initial "birth of the universe" segment, the movie moves from one reality to another, from one thought to the other, effectively depicting the protagonist's thoughts and memories as they come to his mind as the movie progresses. The gorgeous imagery truly is something to behold, and the beautiful musical score accompanies these images well. I thought about this film for a few days after watching it. It had me analyzing my own life in general, especially my relationships with my mother, my father, my siblings etc. As a whole, The Tree of Life is a movie that truly is greater than the sum of it's parts, and is unlike anything I've seen before. Expand
  5. Dec 21, 2011
    8
    It's weird but I saw this and Melancholia within a couple of weeks each other. Both films seem to either engage audiences or send them racing for the exits.
    Tree Of Life, I thought, was a beautiful movie and kept me interested. Melancholia, was a tedious bore.
    At least I liked most of the characters in Tree Of Life but I felt the ending felt a bit short. Sad to see so many people down on
    It's weird but I saw this and Melancholia within a couple of weeks each other. Both films seem to either engage audiences or send them racing for the exits.
    Tree Of Life, I thought, was a beautiful movie and kept me interested. Melancholia, was a tedious bore.
    At least I liked most of the characters in Tree Of Life but I felt the ending felt a bit short.
    Sad to see so many people down on this film when there is so much crap that people pay to go and see these days and they stay for the whole thing.
    People actually walked out of this movie?
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  6. Aug 5, 2011
    8
    If possible try to get connected with the infinity, with the wonder of living, with everything that is felt and touched with grace and childlike playfulness. If not, try to get a good sleep which might turn meditative without your Knowledge. The film is genuinely fragmented and somewhat scattered (can memory be cohesive?), for it achieves the form of a collective dream that is universalIf possible try to get connected with the infinity, with the wonder of living, with everything that is felt and touched with grace and childlike playfulness. If not, try to get a good sleep which might turn meditative without your Knowledge. The film is genuinely fragmented and somewhat scattered (can memory be cohesive?), for it achieves the form of a collective dream that is universal and personal at the same time. it is a honest and wise film, very much Christian (Catholic) in its spiritual faith, if I am right. Whether I agree or disagree with its ideas is a different thing altogether. The film's organic and instinctive approach is bold and demands a challenging Film experience.To my knowledge, The only two films to have achieved such status and forms a reference to this, is 2001 space odyssey and Tarkovsky's Mirror. Terrence Malick seems to be a filmmaker who trusts his instincts wholeheartedly and has tried to deliver it to us unpolluted, straight from his soul. Expand
  7. Oct 2, 2011
    8
    I have been sitting in front of my computer for almost an hour, and I still havenâ
  8. Oct 15, 2011
    9
    Way back in 1990, David Foster Wallace talked about how the post-post modern novelist might actually have to embrace sincerity, serious concern with ideas that he/she actually believed in, rather than embracing the universal, self-superior snark that he already saw invading TV (cf., for this reviewer, "Family Guy"). Haters of this movie confirm his view of the cultural drift toward scornWay back in 1990, David Foster Wallace talked about how the post-post modern novelist might actually have to embrace sincerity, serious concern with ideas that he/she actually believed in, rather than embracing the universal, self-superior snark that he already saw invading TV (cf., for this reviewer, "Family Guy"). Haters of this movie confirm his view of the cultural drift toward scorn (Colbert's scent... nyuk, nyuk!) as the predominant value on the InterWeb. Look, either Malick reaches you on the wavelength you live on, or he doesn't. I found the film to be an experience unlike any film in recent memory (though a grad-school viewing of "The Seventh Seal" c. 1990 comes to mind), and if it seems rote or (Chrissakes!) "boring" or (oooh, how uncool!) "pretentious," why aren't you mentioning some other film that you think even begins to address existential questions about life released in the last ten years? (You people probably hate the band Low, too.) Stunning, emotionally gripping, like nothing else out there. Expand
  9. Oct 26, 2011
    9
    If you seek a traditional motion picture experience, this film will leave you screaming for mercy.
    This film exists somewhere between a Bob Dylan hymn and portions of 'John From Cincinatti' without the humor.
    In fact, it is bereft of laughter but can engage a mystical smile from time to time. Whatever narrative exists delivers a message that erupts into mortal fears for those still
    If you seek a traditional motion picture experience, this film will leave you screaming for mercy.
    This film exists somewhere between a Bob Dylan hymn and portions of 'John From Cincinatti' without the humor.
    In fact, it is bereft of laughter but can engage a mystical smile from time to time.
    Whatever narrative exists delivers a message that erupts into mortal fears for those still paying attention after 90 minutes.
    If you have the curiosity and patience to explore evolved, spiritual ideals as formatted through the art of cinema, then you may have located Nirvana.
    This Tree is a flawed Oak that dares to incite, unite and disorient it's viewers.
    The Life that dreams inside this celluloid brilliance and darkness is a victorious disaster.
    And who doesn't enjoy a good disaster every now and then?
    My problem with the creation is that it takes many emotional hostages in the name of a spiritual quest. This style offers few answers to the most important questions it poses..
    Still, there is little doubt that Mallick has been blessed by a brand of genius that often eludes our zones of viewing security.
    But I'll be damned if he doesn't swing for the fences during the effort. If Terrance connects is totally your call. It's worth is beyond any critic's perceptions.
    That is how personal this journey is.
    From an acting vantage point, Brad Pitt does some remarkable things with the material given him.
    Sean Penn utters only a handfull of on screen words and given his public response to the film is lost as to why as the viewer might be.
    The only true star here is Mr. Mallick whose unseen face is written within every frame.
    'Tree Of Life' is 'Badlands without the active, murderous hearts. It takes us to a place we may or may not desire to be but are all a part of and subject to by virtue of birth.
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  10. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    Ok, first things first. All of the "college graduates" and people the that use words like "daub" and hated the film are Republicans. You can graduate from college with a degree in Turf management. Need I say more? Glenn Beck has stated on numerous occasions that conservatives do not like movies with messages. Now to the film. One reviewer called it poetry in film or words to thatOk, first things first. All of the "college graduates" and people the that use words like "daub" and hated the film are Republicans. You can graduate from college with a degree in Turf management. Need I say more? Glenn Beck has stated on numerous occasions that conservatives do not like movies with messages. Now to the film. One reviewer called it poetry in film or words to that effect and that description is perfect. I am not a person who watches Warhol films and calls them 'genius.' I will try anything. Hell, I liked Avatar AND Mulholland Drive. I couldn't stop watching this film. I had no idea what was going to be on the screen next. Very cool and the visuals and the soundtrack were hypnotic. It is certainly not for the average person or college graduate Republican but give it a go. It ain't Spiderman 53 but no one said it was. WOW! I'll give it a 9. Expand
  11. Jan 29, 2012
    8
    Although it is a bit too long and it lacks a dramatic story like promised, The Tree of Life does bring emotion, and offers Brad Pitt at his best along with Jessica Chastain bringing a wonderful performance. And the film is just beautifully shot and it has the best visual effects I have seen in a long time. I give this film 82%.â
  12. Nov 28, 2011
    9
    I don't know what to say. When I first saw this, I said "I can't really think of an opinion of this." Overall, I am giving it a 9 because it was a movie that definitely grabbed me, and i had fun afterwards trying to unravel it's mysterious. Overall, I think I have decided that overall it is an enjoyable movie. Definitely very complex.
  13. Dec 15, 2011
    8
    I can see why this movie is dividing a lot of audiences. It's the kind of film that takes its sweet time, and whenever it feels like it, it goes off on surreal tangents. But for me, there was so much to appreciate here. The biggest thing that I loved about this film was the detailed attention to its characters. Mallick takes sequentially scattered moments of a family, and uses them toI can see why this movie is dividing a lot of audiences. It's the kind of film that takes its sweet time, and whenever it feels like it, it goes off on surreal tangents. But for me, there was so much to appreciate here. The biggest thing that I loved about this film was the detailed attention to its characters. Mallick takes sequentially scattered moments of a family, and uses them to flesh out the characters in a way that gets us to understand their entire world. I was also impressed with Brad Pitt as he gives the most truthful performance of his career. Those two elements kept me hooked in even when Mallick was off showing us clips of space and the motion of fluids. I know he had a purpose for those scenes as he spent three years editing this film, but I couldn't exactly figure it all out. Honestly, I don't think "Tree of Life" is a movie you can figure out. It's like a surreal painting. The beauty and nuance come from what you get out of it. It's like the movie offers you a "Choose Your Own Meaning" option. "The Tree of Life" was a refreshing experience. The characters are fascinating and the cinematography is breathtakingly gorgeous. If you're a fan of Mallick's work, or you enjoy head trips similar to a David Lynch movie or 2001: A Space Odyssey, do not miss seeing "The Tree of Life." It's a unique movie-going experience. Expand
  14. Mar 1, 2012
    8
    I have no trouble recalling my maiden voyage in Mr. Malick's cinematic set-ups, 6 years ago THE NEW WORLD (2005, and a medium 6/10 in my rating system), which I almost forsook due to an extreme frazzle (a grudge rising from anger more than tiresomeness), then after a couple of years, the second time is with DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978), which unexpectedly procures my staunch affection, a 9/10. SoI have no trouble recalling my maiden voyage in Mr. Malick's cinematic set-ups, 6 years ago THE NEW WORLD (2005, and a medium 6/10 in my rating system), which I almost forsook due to an extreme frazzle (a grudge rising from anger more than tiresomeness), then after a couple of years, the second time is with DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978), which unexpectedly procures my staunch affection, a 9/10. So the third one comes now, notched up the Golden Palm in Cannes last year, itâ Expand
  15. Feb 6, 2012
    8
    The Tree of Life isn't a film, it's an experience. Malick's bold vision is a tad overwhelming at times and has the potential to alienate viewers due to its sheer size (the movie stands at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it feels far longer), sheer depth (you could go on for days trying to analyze everything you are presented with), and a lack of attachment to the characters. But thatThe Tree of Life isn't a film, it's an experience. Malick's bold vision is a tad overwhelming at times and has the potential to alienate viewers due to its sheer size (the movie stands at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it feels far longer), sheer depth (you could go on for days trying to analyze everything you are presented with), and a lack of attachment to the characters. But that last one is intentional. The editing of the film only makes it possible to get glimpses of each character's life before it switches to something else. Just because it is hard to get attached to the characters doesn't mean that they don't show emotion. All of the actors, including the kids, did a very nuanced portrayal of people living their lives. The film is not about the narrative, though. It's about how you personally feel after you are presented with everything the film throws at you. And that will be what determines whether you enjoy the experience or not. You might love it, you might hate it. I for one, thought I would hate it, but ended up being thoroughly enthralled. The Tree of Life is a testament to how transitory and fleeting life really is.That being said, if you can't handle movies without a clear narrative or plot, don't see this. If you can't handle movies that are too long and complex don't see this. It's not for everyone. Expand
  16. Mar 25, 2012
    8
    The illustrations Malick uses to emphasize the vulnerabilities of his characters against the backdrops of an infinite universe is part of the reason his film is surreal in beauty and haunting in its poetry.
  17. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    This movie made me cry like a stupid baby. A word of advice before watching: don't approach it as a film but as a work of moving art. If you give the movie the investment it requires and have the emotional and spiritual clarity to receive it, you will be rewarded well beyond the gamble of a couple hours' time.
  18. Sep 7, 2012
    10
    "The Tree of Life" is one of my favorite movies. There are one two movies by now which have reached a score of ten by me. It really changed and inspired me. The movie shows a kind of movie making which I've never seen before. It's a very philosophical movie and you need to have some certain attitudes about life, nature, science and philosophical thoughts. Honestly, if you don't think"The Tree of Life" is one of my favorite movies. There are one two movies by now which have reached a score of ten by me. It really changed and inspired me. The movie shows a kind of movie making which I've never seen before. It's a very philosophical movie and you need to have some certain attitudes about life, nature, science and philosophical thoughts. Honestly, if you don't think during this movie you won't understand it. And you need to think and give the film a chance to reveal it's individual meaning. If you ask ten people who liked this film what the film is about you will get eleven answers. That's usual for those kinds of topics. The movie builds a bridge between science, philosophy, theology and life at it's purest. Indeed, it's very pantheistic and that's just great. A film about life. Nothing more nothing less. Expand
  19. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    This movie is life. There is nothing else I can say: this movie is amazing.
  20. Jun 20, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Oh god, what am I doing here? This movie opened slowly at select theaters and we were eventually able to see it. Much of what you will see on the screen is like itunes screensavers with classical music and whispering instead of your tunes. There are two sad dinosaurs, one who crawled out on land too late to avoid being ripped open by hammerhead sharks and another that lays in a river and gets their head stepped on a couple of times by a Barneysaur with a big head and little arms.. Most of the men in this movie are either yelling, violent or deformed and the women are all like angels. The young Sean Penn character sneaks into the neighbor girl's house and apparently gets something nasty on her nightie because he tries to hide it and then throws it in the river. His mom looks mad when he comes home but they don't talk. His father (Brad Pitt) wants him to pick weeds and punch Dad in the face. Brad works in a factory but also travels around the world to sell his inventions and all he brings the kids are some towels he stole from a Chinese hotel. People whisper stuff like "oh god, what am I doing here?" and walk around on a beach in their clothes meeting the characters that played them as kids. If you think this makes no sense, try watching over two hours of it. This movie totally sucked and will be a flop commercially. Don't waste your time or money. Expand
  21. Sep 3, 2011
    8
    '' The Tree of Life '' offers a beautiful, heart warming cinematography. Sadly, it is misunderstood by many. This movie is not for everyone. You really have to be interested and mentally prepared before seeing this. The thing is, the director (Terrence Malick) used to study philosophy at Harvard University. I like that he decided to use that knowledge to make something different : a way'' The Tree of Life '' offers a beautiful, heart warming cinematography. Sadly, it is misunderstood by many. This movie is not for everyone. You really have to be interested and mentally prepared before seeing this. The thing is, the director (Terrence Malick) used to study philosophy at Harvard University. I like that he decided to use that knowledge to make something different : a way of seeing life in a artistic way. All that in a movie, which makes it so unique. So don't expect this to have an intense story with action. It's a relaxing movie with metaphors (one of the main reason that people can get confused) and you have to be open minded and to have that capacity to go deeper in your toughs (like I said before, being mentally prepared). When was the last time you had a strong feeling inside of you after seeing a movie ? This film is about feeling. That's why this movie can be considered an art. It's like if the director took a poem about life, and made a movie about it. I understand why some people hated it, because they didn't get the picture or simply because they don't like this type of film. If you only like shallow movies with none sense and naked girls, then shut up and go watch a useless, mindless, crappy movie like '' Piranha '' (2010). The music was wonderful and captivating. Also, there were parts when there wasn't dialogue (a few minutes long), just music. It's like if you were at a Opera theater or laying down and listening to the ocean. I enjoyed the way they showed the evolution of the universe. But it wasn't necessary that they showed the dinosaurs. Everybody did a good job acting, even if they didn't had a lot to say. For some reason, I really liked the kids, they were great. I agree that at some point it was boring, but it didn't really bothered me. I was hoping to get an explanation at the end of the movie, so I can understand 100 %. I had to go to wikipedia to read the plot to make sure I got it. So yes, this movie is not for everyone. It's slow and contains a lot of metaphors and was made artistically. It will surely win an Oscar for best cinematography. Expand
  22. Feb 4, 2012
    8
    The Tree of Life joins an exclusive film genre, formed only by 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is difficult to put a name for this category, but a good approach would be philosophical movies. This picture debates about God existence and questions if He has been involved with life and its development in our planet around all ages.
    The plot is wrapped around a dysfunctional family, formed by an
    The Tree of Life joins an exclusive film genre, formed only by 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is difficult to put a name for this category, but a good approach would be philosophical movies. This picture debates about God existence and questions if He has been involved with life and its development in our planet around all ages.
    The plot is wrapped around a dysfunctional family, formed by an extremely strict father that wants to show to his fearful sons how to survive in the real world. All this is traduced in constant fights and conflicts. These problems produce in the mom a sort of need of asking to God why this is happening and why He will not help them (us).
    These questions surround the theme of the movie, the life in planet Earth in all its forms. The firsts cells appear, they transform into bacteria, plants and animals. The dinosaurs raise and extinction. The landscape and nature change. The mammals develop and appear human beings. And, Can we be sure that God takes part on it?
    At the end of the film all the people appear in a desert, as if they were looking for something. They think that they are looking for heaven, but there is nothing more than an empty land, because it has never existed something like a God or a Garden of Eden.
    The failures of this movie are that its excessively artistic, a shadow of Kubricks film and it leaves too much to interpretation. But the reflection that produces is remarkable.
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  23. Jul 8, 2011
    10
    I watched the film. I waited a week. I decided it was the best use of film I have seen in a while. Poetic thematically and visually. What I find interesting is the controversy over whether this movie is good or bad. People have asked for money back, taken lengthy amounts of time to tear down the film or praise the film. The TOL echos the premier of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring butI watched the film. I waited a week. I decided it was the best use of film I have seen in a while. Poetic thematically and visually. What I find interesting is the controversy over whether this movie is good or bad. People have asked for money back, taken lengthy amounts of time to tear down the film or praise the film. The TOL echos the premier of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring but now people are shouting in cyberspace slinging accusations of intellectualism...elitism. During the film and just shortly after, i was on the fence about the quality of the work. It was after mediation of the words and the frames that I came to be moved over and over again. My response was emotional, visceral, not intellectual. I don't think most people go to the movies to be thoughtful or changed. Art is demanding; it requires the viewer to be uncomfortable, to be unsafe and to consider unknown possibilities. I am pleased to see people attempting dialogue about what makes a film good or bad. This reinforces my feeling that this film is in fact a artistic and spiritual masterpiece of the 21st century. Just as Jackson Pollock stretched the definition of painting and broke away from previous conventions, Malick is challenging the mainstream notion which defines film and more importantly, he offers a comfort to our suffering. Expand
  24. Jun 7, 2011
    10
    Absolutely magnificent! One of the most visually pleasing aesthetic films to be made in decades! The film is clearly spiritual and open for interpretation. You will either love or hate this film with passion. At least ... watch the entirety of the film, rather than giving up 25 minutes into the creation of the world.
  25. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    SMart PERSON: I trust in Malick. Thus, I knew this wouldn't be a MOVIE, rather it would be an experience. It is essentially a breathing series of paintings: walking, talking...thinking, that are meant to induce questions to which only the viewer himself can answer. Artistically speaking, Malick has created a stunning piece of cinema, unlike any filmmaker in history. For all mankind's sake,SMart PERSON: I trust in Malick. Thus, I knew this wouldn't be a MOVIE, rather it would be an experience. It is essentially a breathing series of paintings: walking, talking...thinking, that are meant to induce questions to which only the viewer himself can answer. Artistically speaking, Malick has created a stunning piece of cinema, unlike any filmmaker in history. For all mankind's sake, I hope it's not his last.
    MASSES: If you're wanting a car crash or going because Brad Pitt is in it...Good luck. With the rest of your life too.
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  26. Jun 19, 2011
    8
    Not a movie for most, The Tree of Life is an over-dramatic representation of what seems like a personal, spiritual struggle waged by the writer/director, Terry Malick, himself. If you can get through the first 30 minutes, you may be able to appreciate the entirely-too-dramatic message being delivered. Brad Pitt is as good as I've ever seen him as the father of Jack and his two siblings.Not a movie for most, The Tree of Life is an over-dramatic representation of what seems like a personal, spiritual struggle waged by the writer/director, Terry Malick, himself. If you can get through the first 30 minutes, you may be able to appreciate the entirely-too-dramatic message being delivered. Brad Pitt is as good as I've ever seen him as the father of Jack and his two siblings. Jack, played as an adult by Sean Penn (in a very tiny role for him), is the protagonist (and I believe a representation of the writer/director) and is enduring the lessons and loss every boy, not to mention person, goes through over the course of their lives and trying to make sense of the meaning of life.

    The film, like Jack himself, starts off very pessimistic in his beliefs, highlighting the inconsequential meaning and apathetic brutality of nature. It's a very Agnostic, if not Atheist, view. However, it ends with a strong shot of the adult Jack slowly dropping to his knees and succumbing to the complexity and reality of life, praying to some "God" to watch out for us all...until the end of time.

    The meat of the story is young Jack learning boyhood lessons, which were almost painful in their accuracy to watch. I found myself squirming from very vivid memories of my own childhood thoughts that mirrored Jack's own a little too similarly. It was this immensely detailed and deep understanding of a growing boy, as well as the deeply emotional and over-dramatic display throughout the movie, that makes me believe this is a personal film for the writer. For people who generally hate these types of films, I would highly dissuade you from watching it. In fact, several people screening the film before me came out demanding refunds and urging people to change films. When I saw it, people clapped and laughed at the end, and not for good reasons. They were glad to see it done and happy to be leaving.

    It is definitely a niche film and would only be appreciated by that niche. The style is typical of Terry Malick's, from what I understand, but for Father's Day and already being in a deep funk and contemplative due to the recent cancer struggle of my friend, Wes, it was a very hard film to watch. I came out appreciating it much more than I did while I was watching it. As much as the beginning had me thinking it was a strong liberal, almost anti-religion, agenda, which was coming across as irritating, even though I can appreciate the guts that would have taken, I left thinking anything but and was impressed by its roundabout message of love and spirituality. It's worth seeing once if you have an open mind and 2:18 of patience to let a movie make its point, but as much as I can appreciate it, it took a lot out of me to watch it. I believe I can only do it once.
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  27. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    What a powerhouse of visual effects to open up the mind to creation. The story and acting are just a vehicle to show that family life has progressed to the point where we, as humans, are shown as hard, competitive and brutal. But love and caring can still bring some attachments worth having....Malick's message is that no matter what happens on earth, God or nature has created this life onWhat a powerhouse of visual effects to open up the mind to creation. The story and acting are just a vehicle to show that family life has progressed to the point where we, as humans, are shown as hard, competitive and brutal. But love and caring can still bring some attachments worth having....Malick's message is that no matter what happens on earth, God or nature has created this life on Earth without any scientific proof. So, he takes this further by saying there's another world that was also created. He calls it heaven. It's all love there. Expand
  28. j30
    Nov 13, 2011
    10
    This is a hard movie to recommend to anyone. It's a beautiful movie that transcends the category of being a movie. It's flat out a piece of art.
  29. Feb 5, 2012
    10
    Terrence Malick builds life in this film. It is definitely a hard movie to watch and not easy to understand let alone comprehend. When I saw this movie I wasn't enchanted by the beauty of the special effects but by their meaning. It doesn't take a genius to understand it but it takes a graceful person to agree. To sum up, if the word grace has any meaning in your life then you willTerrence Malick builds life in this film. It is definitely a hard movie to watch and not easy to understand let alone comprehend. When I saw this movie I wasn't enchanted by the beauty of the special effects but by their meaning. It doesn't take a genius to understand it but it takes a graceful person to agree. To sum up, if the word grace has any meaning in your life then you will understand and love this movie, but if you are a closed person not willing to give yourself a new spark in life than this movie will be dull to you. God bless this movie and every one of you. Expand
  30. Aug 23, 2011
    10
    Tree of Life is not for your entertainment. Tree of Life is for non mainstream - patient audiences. Filled with religious and deep-meaning life message , visual treat, touching performance and powerful score make The Tree of Life undeniably Terrence Malick's masterpiece.
  31. Aug 19, 2011
    10
    My favorite movie of the year. It was totally different than I expected it would be but I left it being very spiritually and emotionally touched. The cinematography and amazing visuals (not using CGI) are amazing! Beware though it is not for everyone it doesn't have much of a story per se but rather attempts to encapsulate existence in its entirety. If that sounds appealing to you please see it!
  32. Aug 9, 2011
    9
    I think Terrence Mallick fulfils his career ambition through this movie. A man struggling between the origin of earth and meaning of its existence, these types of tough scripts are analyzed only by a few directors. These movies are called as MASTERPIECE.
  33. Aug 12, 2011
    10
    Terrence Malick does it again! This film is a visually gorgeous meditation on the meaning of life, love, grace, pain and suffering. It touched upon themes that many of us have been grappling with in our own lives in a manner that was sensitive, sweet and gut-wrenching, all at once. The visual special effects were outstanding, and the more narrative scenes with actors included numerousTerrence Malick does it again! This film is a visually gorgeous meditation on the meaning of life, love, grace, pain and suffering. It touched upon themes that many of us have been grappling with in our own lives in a manner that was sensitive, sweet and gut-wrenching, all at once. The visual special effects were outstanding, and the more narrative scenes with actors included numerous beautifully and acutely observed moments. I loved the Thin Red Line and The New World, and this film is every bit their equal. Kudos to the wise folk at Cannes who awarded this film the Palme d'Or. Expand
  34. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    While the movie is truly a magnificent sight to behold it is definetly not a film for everyone. If you're a Terrance Mallick fan you know what to expect, long ponderous existential dialogue placed over majestically shot vistas. The movies oozes with real angst (non-off that Twilight nonsense). The acting is top notch. Pit Chastain and the kid who plays young Sean Penn do wonderful jobsWhile the movie is truly a magnificent sight to behold it is definetly not a film for everyone. If you're a Terrance Mallick fan you know what to expect, long ponderous existential dialogue placed over majestically shot vistas. The movies oozes with real angst (non-off that Twilight nonsense). The acting is top notch. Pit Chastain and the kid who plays young Sean Penn do wonderful jobs emoting their characters. The score is incredible, one of the best of the year so far. The effects like the rest of the cinematography are incredible. CGI is kept to a minimum, and yet like the view is like neon candy for the eyes. This is the kind of film PT Anderson wishes he had the talent to make. Bottom line; if you like Mallick you will love this film. If you hate Mallick or like any of the Twillight films skip it. Expand
  35. Dec 29, 2011
    7
    The Tree of Life is not for everyone, close or narrow mind may not enjoy the movie. It redefines the roots of film-making. The storytelling is almost entirely made of beautiful pictures and metaphysical narration, only a few dialogues are included. I feel that this is great because it allows the viewer to think while watching. Why would you want to think while watching a movie I bet you'reThe Tree of Life is not for everyone, close or narrow mind may not enjoy the movie. It redefines the roots of film-making. The storytelling is almost entirely made of beautiful pictures and metaphysical narration, only a few dialogues are included. I feel that this is great because it allows the viewer to think while watching. Why would you want to think while watching a movie I bet you're asking yourself ? Well, the Tree of Life is more than a movie, it's a journey, a door on the existential questions of life. The viewer won't be able to stop himself on reflecting about these different questions. The movie is about love, and what are good and evil. Therefor, the "lack" of dialogues is a blessing for it allows the mind of the viewer to grow. The Tree of Life is an enriching experience by Terrence Malick. Expand
  36. Feb 11, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I absolutely loved this movie. Yes, I'll admit, it feels like you're watching a home video, but it would have to be THE BEST cinematography for nearly any given video. Nearly every scene was absolutely breathtaking. It's about life (as suggested by the title) and provides a beautiful metaphor for life. Expand
  37. Jun 18, 2011
    8
    I do not actually believe the character developement or the emotion of the movie deserves an 8. I actually would think those ingrediants deserve a 3. But the visuals were stunning and it was amazing how it showed the way life was formed millions of years ago. I have also made some inferences about the movie. Firstly, the reason they showed all of outer space and the other galaxies was toI do not actually believe the character developement or the emotion of the movie deserves an 8. I actually would think those ingrediants deserve a 3. But the visuals were stunning and it was amazing how it showed the way life was formed millions of years ago. I have also made some inferences about the movie. Firstly, the reason they showed all of outer space and the other galaxies was to demonstrate how small the world was in the scheme of things and how bad things that happen on earth are not as big a deal as they appear. Also, for those who keep saying that they do not like the way religion was involved in the movie, it is actually an anti-religious movie. This is because it showed how lifeforms started and the young Sean Penn character kept on saying "God- where were you?" There were also a ton of negatives in this movie. Such as there being hardly any dialouge and how there was so much suspense to what was going to happen and it ended up just being boring. It was a good movie but I wouldn't reccomend watching it. Expand
  38. Jul 1, 2011
    8
    I had read a lot about this movie, so I approached it with some hesitation. Having seen Malik's New World and been disappointed I wondered if this would be a big letdown. It turned out to be very different to what I expected. The special effects, while providing a universal backdrop, moved me less than the human moments captured so lovingly. Indeed, I left the cinema deeply stirredI had read a lot about this movie, so I approached it with some hesitation. Having seen Malik's New World and been disappointed I wondered if this would be a big letdown. It turned out to be very different to what I expected. The special effects, while providing a universal backdrop, moved me less than the human moments captured so lovingly. Indeed, I left the cinema deeply stirred emotionally without exactly knowing why. Some parts of the ending I felt were laboured (though not the final few shots, esp. the flowers), but at the core this film is about love and connection . It left me feeling more connected and touched by a gentle grace. Expand
  39. May 31, 2011
    8
    I went into this film knowing that it was going to be a visual marvel, hoping that I would be able to understand, at least on an intuitive level, what Malick was communicating to us about life, nature, grace, family, etc. Obviously, many nuances of the film eluded me, but as an experience, I enjoyed it greatly. Beautiful film, excellent acting by Brad Pitt in particular. It's beyond meI went into this film knowing that it was going to be a visual marvel, hoping that I would be able to understand, at least on an intuitive level, what Malick was communicating to us about life, nature, grace, family, etc. Obviously, many nuances of the film eluded me, but as an experience, I enjoyed it greatly. Beautiful film, excellent acting by Brad Pitt in particular. It's beyond me that the crowd at Canned would boo this film. In fact, after seeing the film, it strikes me as an embarrassing, juvenile reaction to an important work. Expand
  40. May 29, 2011
    9
    Abstract. Visually stunning. Impressionistic. Made up of memories and dreams. The little things (that too often we take for granted) are what really matters. Definitely not for everyone.
  41. tjq
    Jun 1, 2011
    10
    This film is high art. I'm not going to pretend I fully grasped all of the complex symbolism and abstraction, but I left the screening in awe and my wife and I were clearly moved emotionally. Malick pushed the envelope and took a huge risk in making this film. He created a work of art and engaged the viewers in a discussion of grand ideas. One of the few movies I've seen in my lifetimeThis film is high art. I'm not going to pretend I fully grasped all of the complex symbolism and abstraction, but I left the screening in awe and my wife and I were clearly moved emotionally. Malick pushed the envelope and took a huge risk in making this film. He created a work of art and engaged the viewers in a discussion of grand ideas. One of the few movies I've seen in my lifetime that I can't wait to see again. Expand
  42. JMc
    Jul 10, 2011
    10
    Days after seeing it, I am still haunted by "The Tree Of Life". It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watching it I saw my whole childhood pass before my eyes, and all the basic questions I have ever asked put before me. I knew the film would be long and "challenging" but I was not prepared how much of an impact it would have on me, even though I have seen all Malick's other films. (IDays after seeing it, I am still haunted by "The Tree Of Life". It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watching it I saw my whole childhood pass before my eyes, and all the basic questions I have ever asked put before me. I knew the film would be long and "challenging" but I was not prepared how much of an impact it would have on me, even though I have seen all Malick's other films. (I watched The Thin Red Line last weekend - devastating.)
    I grew up in rural Australia (not Texas), with two younger brothers and two parents who loved us. We spent all our boyhood just mucking around like the kids in the film do. There were no computers. We went to church every Sunday. I don't believe in God anymore but I do always have the " Why am I here, where are we going, what happens next" thing happening in my head. I thought the film was beautiful and meaningful. Certainly strange and puzzling at times, maddening even, but isn't that life? Be brave and go and see it.
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  43. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    Holy crap. I don't know what I just saw, but I want my time and money back. I read the review by "brewster" and ditto everything said in their review. I burst out laughing a few times (uncontrollably, I might add) , but at least managed to muffle it.
  44. Jun 27, 2011
    0
    Note how many people below meant to rate this a "0" and instead mistakenly rated it a "10", which is hilarious as I almost did the same thing. I love movies, especially quirky ones. I'm well educated, well read, well-traveled, professional, and reasonably hip. I just registered for this website, for the sole purpose of warning people about this movie. I got suckered into it by the criticNote how many people below meant to rate this a "0" and instead mistakenly rated it a "10", which is hilarious as I almost did the same thing. I love movies, especially quirky ones. I'm well educated, well read, well-traveled, professional, and reasonably hip. I just registered for this website, for the sole purpose of warning people about this movie. I got suckered into it by the critic reviews (Steven Rae, you sellout). I gave the movie a chance, and after 30 minutes realized the ENTIRE movie was going to be like that. And you sit there in a theater full of people knowing they don't like it either but are pretending that they do. It's the worst feeling in the world, like you're part of some dishonest, pretentious machine. Ugh I had to shower afterwards. I walked out on this movie, the first time I have ever done so, and I've seen some real bombs. If you don't believe me, for Pete's sake at least wait for the rental so you can put a different one in. Expand
  45. Jun 20, 2011
    10
    Due to this movie, I lost 2 hours of my life that I cannot replace. I consider myself to be perceptive, curious and smart however this movie did not spark any of those traits. Several people in the theater left after about 20 minutes. Those that remained often groaned as they shifted in their seats. When it was finally over we chatted with many people - all of whom said "what the hellDue to this movie, I lost 2 hours of my life that I cannot replace. I consider myself to be perceptive, curious and smart however this movie did not spark any of those traits. Several people in the theater left after about 20 minutes. Those that remained often groaned as they shifted in their seats. When it was finally over we chatted with many people - all of whom said "what the hell was that???".
    I can honestly say that it was probably the worst movie I have ever seen.
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  46. May 29, 2011
    10
    The Tree of Life is amazing! The images are so beautiful and the cinematography scenes are nice that gives wide angle close ups in each scene that the movie journeys to the world of life, earth ,atmosphere, and galaxy. Sometimes the story didn't get the idea that what's this movie is really about? I understand that this movie is trying to focus on those characters and the images that theThe Tree of Life is amazing! The images are so beautiful and the cinematography scenes are nice that gives wide angle close ups in each scene that the movie journeys to the world of life, earth ,atmosphere, and galaxy. Sometimes the story didn't get the idea that what's this movie is really about? I understand that this movie is trying to focus on those characters and the images that the movie shows, and I feel that this movie gets a lot of intention about things that we knew about the reality. This movie is very quiet, no dialog, no disturbing scenes, and no script, so I easily say that it's beautiful movie that brings good idea of art. Expand
  47. May 28, 2011
    9
    This is for film and art lovers. and it is also a film about being a Man and growing up a boy. Especially the periods of stealing things and destruction that all young boys go through. But it is mostly a master at work posing questions about the animals that we are and how we make each other feel and how we can be haunted for life by shame for who we are, who are parents are, and theThis is for film and art lovers. and it is also a film about being a Man and growing up a boy. Especially the periods of stealing things and destruction that all young boys go through. But it is mostly a master at work posing questions about the animals that we are and how we make each other feel and how we can be haunted for life by shame for who we are, who are parents are, and the animalistic actions and urges we live with. But we do have a choice to try and love and fight the inner nature of man. And Malick is trying to show how difficult that choice is to make on a daily basis because of how much the cards are stacked against grace and love. To me the ending of forgiveness and connection with the ones we love, nature, and strangers is the answer we all have to find to find peace, and then in that peace, there we can create our own beautiful universe of magnificent architecture. We can be whatever created this universe. He closes it on that bridge. A bridge we must build. Expand
  48. Jun 6, 2011
    6
    I tried, but this movie failed me in delivering the philosophical message. Way too ambiguous. I appreciated the picture of life growing up in the 1950-60's, which brought back memories (especially of running around in the DDT fog, and how are we alive today?). However, the writer-director just never got me to buy the big picture questions of life that were supposedly under consideration.I tried, but this movie failed me in delivering the philosophical message. Way too ambiguous. I appreciated the picture of life growing up in the 1950-60's, which brought back memories (especially of running around in the DDT fog, and how are we alive today?). However, the writer-director just never got me to buy the big picture questions of life that were supposedly under consideration. It gets this high a rating due to the stunning visuals. Expand
  49. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    Terrence Malick's "The Tree Of Life" was the most anticipated movie of the year for me. I was hoped I'll see something that will leave me wordless. And I saw it. It could be different for every viewer, but you won't be able to describe it. Performances by Brad Pitt, Hunter McCracken and Jessica Chastain were brilliant.
  50. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    Visceral. Wondrous. Beautiful. Maddening. It speaks to the inner depths in each of us. Terrence Malick is an artist, and a rare one at that. The best film I have seen in years.
  51. May 27, 2011
    10
    truly awesome. i saw a packed midnight show in nyc. there was a standing ovation at the end of the film. this could possibly be malick's best... really hope people are affected by this.
  52. May 27, 2011
    10
    Truly an experience more than a film. Roger Ebert couldn't be more correct in saying it's a type of prayer. This movie really must be seen by everyone, coming out of the theater you will have a completely different take on the meaning of life.
  53. Jun 2, 2011
    10
    A visual poem, but more. I found myself crying without really knowing why. Just pure emotion. This is a movie I will be seeing AT LEAST 2 more times! Of course, there is a very small percentage of people who may be disappointed there are no car chases or robots, but if you're looking for something fresh - unlike anything you've ever seen in the theater - then this film is for you.
  54. Jun 7, 2011
    10
    Is this a movie about a hard-working 1950's father who, ground down by the greed of the rich and the machinations of the patent court, and mooning over having to give up a promising musical career as a young man, takes out his frustrations on his rebellious eldest son? And those hundreds of hammerhead sharks, are they supposed to represent the greedy rich?

    WHO KNOWS? Or, is this a movie
    Is this a movie about a hard-working 1950's father who, ground down by the greed of the rich and the machinations of the patent court, and mooning over having to give up a promising musical career as a young man, takes out his frustrations on his rebellious eldest son? And those hundreds of hammerhead sharks, are they supposed to represent the greedy rich?

    WHO KNOWS?

    Or, is this a movie about a lovely, loving, and beloved mother who, mourning over the loss of her eldest (or is it 2nd eldest?) son, questions the benevolence and even the existence of God until, with the aid of two beauteous angelic sylphs, she finally gives up her son to God? And what's with all those swirly astronomical scenes, billowing explosive clouds of gas, and pulsing glowing.... things? Are they supposed to represent her internal struggles with God?

    WHO KNOWS?

    Or, is it a movie about a boy on the cusp of sexual maturity, confused about the feelings evoked by fleeting glimpses of scantily clad neighborhood women in the heat of the summer, goaded by his neighborhood buddies into acts of cruelty and theft, resentful over the way in which his father treats his mother, his brothers, and himself, resentful of the pressure of guild and remonstrance from his angelic mother, grows up to be, um, either dead or Sean Penn?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And why did that fleet carnivorous dinosaur, with his paw on the head of the abandoned baby herbivore, decide to saunter away, leaving his putative prey lying there still alive? Wasn't he hungry?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And about that gigantic, beached, prehistoric sea monster with the deep bloody gash in his side --- was that his head at the end of a huge neck twisting around to view the damage? Or was that the head of some other gigantic prehistoric beast who happened to be wandering by?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And what were all those slowly twisting spirally thingies? Were they spirochetes?

    And was that the birth and death of the universe? And why did they plant that tree? To memorialize the person who had crashed his bike and was flopping in death throes on the grass?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And was that the Horsehead Nebula?

    YES IT WAS!
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  55. Jun 13, 2011
    10
    Probably is going to be one of the best films of 2011, maybe the best one. Malick has excelled, this movie is a masterpiece, no doubts, the perfect harmony between sound, music, pictures, a great screenplay and good performances.
  56. Jun 18, 2011
    10
    TREE OF LIFE is nothing short of a new film language. Granted, there are predecessors; and Malick's work has been developing towards this film style. But the lyricism of this emotionally driven film editing and deeply personal interior landscapes is landmark. Behold, a new cinema... Finally.
  57. Jun 16, 2011
    9
    First off, if you are looking for a traditional narrative, this is not the movie for you; the film contains probably less than ten pages of actual dialogue. Not all stories have to be told with words alone, and the striking, beautiful and compelling images of this film tell the story of this Texas family quite well. Brad Pitt is especially good in the multi-layered role of the father;First off, if you are looking for a traditional narrative, this is not the movie for you; the film contains probably less than ten pages of actual dialogue. Not all stories have to be told with words alone, and the striking, beautiful and compelling images of this film tell the story of this Texas family quite well. Brad Pitt is especially good in the multi-layered role of the father; there's a quiet intensity to his performance, and the young actors are also good. The Tree of Life is very impressionistic and abstract; it challenges you to follow along and to keep up with it. I haven't seen too many movies recently that I was still thinking about a week after seeing it. I understand that there are some who won't want to make that kind of investment on a weekend movie night. For those that do, the payoff is rewarding. Expand
  58. May 28, 2011
    10
    This film gives you a breath of fresh air from what you're used to seeing dominate the movie theaters these days. It was very eye-captivating, moving, and something we could all relate too. There was one scene that made a couple sitting next to me reminisce on their own lives, provoking them to caress one another for that split moment. And that's what this movie shows: the importanceThis film gives you a breath of fresh air from what you're used to seeing dominate the movie theaters these days. It was very eye-captivating, moving, and something we could all relate too. There was one scene that made a couple sitting next to me reminisce on their own lives, provoking them to caress one another for that split moment. And that's what this movie shows: the importance of every moment in our lives. Expand
  59. Jun 17, 2011
    8
    I would not recommend this film to most people - but if you're up for a VERY non-narrative film (think two and a half hour poem) about life's most serious questions, then you might find Tree of Life (especially the 2nd act) one of the most beautiful and moving films you'll see this year. Sure, Malick gives us a gorgeous looking (and sounding!) film, but it's the wonderfully humanI would not recommend this film to most people - but if you're up for a VERY non-narrative film (think two and a half hour poem) about life's most serious questions, then you might find Tree of Life (especially the 2nd act) one of the most beautiful and moving films you'll see this year. Sure, Malick gives us a gorgeous looking (and sounding!) film, but it's the wonderfully human interactions that he captures that will affect you the most. I wish that Malick had focused just a bit more on the structure at the beginning and end to frame the moving second act in a more accessible way to most audiences. Expand
  60. Jun 17, 2011
    9
    You dont have to be 'educated' to enjoy this film - a term I use lightly as it felt more like an art fixture - you need to be in touch with the philosophical approach to thought. And that is not meant to sound pretentious, though those that dont think on that level might believe it to be so. You're either an etheral person or you're not - no judgement. The Tree of Life itself is cinematicYou dont have to be 'educated' to enjoy this film - a term I use lightly as it felt more like an art fixture - you need to be in touch with the philosophical approach to thought. And that is not meant to sound pretentious, though those that dont think on that level might believe it to be so. You're either an etheral person or you're not - no judgement. The Tree of Life itself is cinematic thought - Malick's attempt to explore the visual interpretation of your brain trying to make sense of life; yours specifically, in general, in relation to nature and to grace. He used the cinema (his communication mechanism) to explore the meaning of life. I left the theater in thought about humanity - not because of an agenda set by Malick but because the underlying current of the film is to evaluate what happened in life and why or why not we do what we do. Expand
  61. Jun 18, 2011
    10
    I'm not the smartest movie goer in the world but I want a film to remove me from the moment, to provoke me, tittilate me, amuse me but absolutely not bore me. To this movie i say "so what". It's a 135 minute boring grind and all the giant positive reviews of the "legendary" Terrence Malick's new movie make me want to shout "by golly, the emperor's not wearing any clothes so why are allI'm not the smartest movie goer in the world but I want a film to remove me from the moment, to provoke me, tittilate me, amuse me but absolutely not bore me. To this movie i say "so what". It's a 135 minute boring grind and all the giant positive reviews of the "legendary" Terrence Malick's new movie make me want to shout "by golly, the emperor's not wearing any clothes so why are all these sycophants singing his praises ?" BFD I say. You can miss this one. I wouldn't even rent the dvd. Wait till you can get it for free at your library. Rating - negative 4 stars. Expand
  62. Jun 23, 2011
    8
    I left the theatre with so many thoughts and feelngs that I still am digesting it all. I stayed open and consciously refrained from judgement throughout the film. I loved this film; If you were ever a boy especially with brothers and raised with a military father like I did, this cut deep. Not only did I feel the pain, I also felt the LOVE, the promise, the awe, the hope, we are here toI left the theatre with so many thoughts and feelngs that I still am digesting it all. I stayed open and consciously refrained from judgement throughout the film. I loved this film; If you were ever a boy especially with brothers and raised with a military father like I did, this cut deep. Not only did I feel the pain, I also felt the LOVE, the promise, the awe, the hope, we are here to live and to be apart of this mystery we call LIFE. Expand
  63. Jul 6, 2011
    10
    When the film ended I was sure of two things:
    1) I was slightly confused about how I felt.
    2) I had spent the last 20 minutes holding back tears. Its sparseness probably makes it confusing and boring for many but if you have any care for film as an art you will surely be left in awe. More than any other film I have seen in theaters The Tree of Life melts the border between screen and
    When the film ended I was sure of two things:
    1) I was slightly confused about how I felt.
    2) I had spent the last 20 minutes holding back tears.

    Its sparseness probably makes it confusing and boring for many but if you have any care for film as an art you will surely be left in awe. More than any other film I have seen in theaters The Tree of Life melts the border between screen and theater and creates one of the most emotional environments ever produced in a movie theater. The Tree of Life is the most overwhelming and pure meditation on human nature film has ever created and for anyone who is sometimes finds themselves confused or questioning just that, please see it.

    This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest films of all time.
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  64. Jul 26, 2011
    10
    Stunning. Mesmerizing. Powerful. Reflective. Gorgeous.Haunting. The most spiritual experience I've ever encountered in a movie theater and certainly the most innovative film since 2001: A Space Odyssey. Many (if not most) will be bored to tears, whereas I was glued to the screen and am now in awe of the film's incredibly lingering impact. A shoo-in for Best Cinematography, and likely OscarStunning. Mesmerizing. Powerful. Reflective. Gorgeous.Haunting. The most spiritual experience I've ever encountered in a movie theater and certainly the most innovative film since 2001: A Space Odyssey. Many (if not most) will be bored to tears, whereas I was glued to the screen and am now in awe of the film's incredibly lingering impact. A shoo-in for Best Cinematography, and likely Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, and Editing as well. This film is the very definition of film as art. Grade = A. Expand
  65. Oct 23, 2011
    10
    I love it, very stunning movie, actors, amazingly cinematography, I dont know why so much negativity about this movie. I enjoyed this movie. Absolutely magnificent! One of the most visually pleasing aesthetic films
  66. Jan 17, 2012
    9
    Honestly I don't know if five years from now I'll consider this the next 2001: A Space Odyssey (which compared to this movie is actually straightforward) or if I'll be wondering what the heck I was thinking falling for Malick's pretentiousness. But my feeling right now is that I was enlightened by watching this movie totally unlike anything I've see before. It's one of the most visuallyHonestly I don't know if five years from now I'll consider this the next 2001: A Space Odyssey (which compared to this movie is actually straightforward) or if I'll be wondering what the heck I was thinking falling for Malick's pretentiousness. But my feeling right now is that I was enlightened by watching this movie totally unlike anything I've see before. It's one of the most visually astounding films I've ever seen, well acted, and incomprehensible but not in a frustrating way, at least not me. Don't try to understand it all, just absorb it. Expand
  67. Jan 29, 2012
    7
    More of an artisitic magnum opus, laden with symphonic fugues and transcendental phenomena, "The Tree of Life" is light-years away from one's conventional cinematic experience. Instead, it exudes an ever- changing amalgamation of family life (the "movie") and the outlying visual sequences of the galactic cosmos via solar and asterismal alignments, as well as the terrestrial realm, shown inMore of an artisitic magnum opus, laden with symphonic fugues and transcendental phenomena, "The Tree of Life" is light-years away from one's conventional cinematic experience. Instead, it exudes an ever- changing amalgamation of family life (the "movie") and the outlying visual sequences of the galactic cosmos via solar and asterismal alignments, as well as the terrestrial realm, shown in the form of volcanoes, fire, water, grasslands, and pasture. During the medial stretch of the film (about an hour), the latter journey (the visual sequences) will mimic one's experience at a planetarium, or perhaps a viewing of an environmental documentary, minus a top-rate actor's narration; if watching it on television, one might have the strong urge to check the channel. However, during this period, one of the greatest displays of cinematography is displayed, bolstered by powerful orchestral accompaniment, albeit not too aiding in one's attention. Despite such patience that is required from the audience during this time, once the "movie" returns, it is nearly infalliable. The film accurately delineates a 1950's midwestern family, and viscerally captures the everyday, unplanned, mundane life of the time: rough-housing, pre-adolescent boys playing in the grass with their dogs, wrestling in the tall grass pastures, mothers watching intently, arms-crossed to the discretion of their children outside a window, fathers kissing their children and wives on the cheek, brief-case in hand, before a long day's work at the plant, and the aestival sun browning the faces and arms of all under its path. Furthermore, Mallick instills the sense of respect and discipline set forth in the traditional household, "yes, sir," "no, sir." This is brought to life by Pitt, who rivals with his passive, ethereal wife (Chastain) for the respect of his children. The boys respect their father, and it isn't until he is gone (traveling abroad) that they see why. They (the O'Brien boys), especially Jack, prey on the mother's vulneribility: "I can do what I want." Although Jack proves timid amidst his father, out of fear of punishment, we learn he actually respects him, "I'm more like you...than her." Mallick's film is particulary accurate of the time, and easier to relate to, as it has no "carved in stone" plot. The events take place loosely, unrestrained by direction. Instead, the viewer sees an unraveling of normal, real-world events during one summer. Moreover, Mallick also instills the sense of paranoia of the time, as the viewer sporadically hears the sound of whispers, primarily from Jack, who speaks out to the various themes of the film: spirituality, compassion, regret, fear, anger, sadness, and wonder---all elements of everyday life. Also making an appearance is Sean Penn, who plays a middle-aged Jack. Here, we see he is a successful businessman in an unknown field, more-than likely in Chicago, and still reminiscing about his childhood experiences and the loss of his brother. Although his dialogue in the film is sparce, the viewer gains a greater sense of the appreciation he had for his father's efforts to "build" him into a man. Also, Penn's character manifests himself as much more contemplative than his younger self. Just as young Jack is more whimsical (as kids are), his older character breathes a more solemn aura as he now knows what he had lost and is fearful of what is to come. The reemergence of more terrestrial and galactic visual sequences now makes more sense in the film latter-half, particularly with Penn, as it points to the eschatological apprehensions people often possess with increasing age. It's not until the end, that we see older Jack finally at peace with his life and where it stands. Overall, "The Tree of Life," is fervently poetic in substance; gravitas that is never taken lightly. It is a thought-provoking evocation that few will truly appreciate, some will seek to understand, and all will never forget; its gloriously euphoric, but it makes you work for its beauty: hang in there, it's worth it. Expand
  68. Sep 23, 2011
    10
    This is absolutely not a film for everyone. It's the most "love it or hate it" film I think I've ever seen (for example, half of my theater walked out). For me, this was a brilliant, poetic film about life and our place in it. The acting is stellar and the visuals are gorgeous beyond words. I can't recommend this, because there's absolutely no way to tell if a person will like it or not,This is absolutely not a film for everyone. It's the most "love it or hate it" film I think I've ever seen (for example, half of my theater walked out). For me, this was a brilliant, poetic film about life and our place in it. The acting is stellar and the visuals are gorgeous beyond words. I can't recommend this, because there's absolutely no way to tell if a person will like it or not, but, for me, this is one of the best films I've seen all year. Expand
  69. Dec 19, 2011
    8
    The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick is brave and goes to the limit of the philosophical weights always pretentious and complex, through an intricate montage of images and sounds (yes, who knows what Godard wanted to do in terms of narrative language in Film Socialisme and failed miserably), we see the beginning and the end of life, from the the macro to the microcosm.

    The incredible
    The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick is brave and goes to the limit of the philosophical weights always pretentious and complex, through an intricate montage of images and sounds (yes, who knows what Godard wanted to do in terms of narrative language in Film Socialisme and failed miserably), we see the beginning and the end of life, from the the macro to the microcosm.

    The incredible sequence of 18 minutes following the creation of life in the universe from the Big Bang to the simplest cell in the earth is a catharsis. Uncommon in the todayâ
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  70. Jan 4, 2012
    5
    I can't criticise The Tree of Life on an aesthetic level - it's a breathtakingly beautiful piece of filmmaking. I can't criticise the performances either - Brad Pitt delivers his best performance in years playing a father of three who favours tough love, and newcomer Hunter McCracken is simply spellbinding as Jack, the eldest son (played by Sean Penn when grown up). I most certainly can'tI can't criticise The Tree of Life on an aesthetic level - it's a breathtakingly beautiful piece of filmmaking. I can't criticise the performances either - Brad Pitt delivers his best performance in years playing a father of three who favours tough love, and newcomer Hunter McCracken is simply spellbinding as Jack, the eldest son (played by Sean Penn when grown up). I most certainly can't fault the script - Terrence Malick has succeeded in forging a completely believable, utterly compelling family dynamic. What I can criticise is an over-reliance on religious symbolism, pretentious themes, a jarring, overly melodramatic score and a nigh-on incomprehensible final act. When viewed on their own, the stunning sequences documenting the beginnings of life on earth might have worked, and the same goes for the gritty, dysfunctional family drama segments that form the core of the film. When blended together however, these vastly different filmmaking ideas are a little disorientating, and you may find yourself emotionally detached from the film as a consequence. I can't help but admire Malick's courage, and his ambition, and soome elements of The Tree of Life certainly hit the mark, but as a one consistent idea, I can't quite get behind it. Expand
  71. Dec 12, 2011
    10
    As is the case with all substantial art, this film's acceptance deviates from the mean--evident by the number of 0/1s and 9/10s on this page. I came into this film with absolutely no expectations. I had not heard nor read one word about it. My dad (father!) left it at my house and I figured I would throw it in the DVD player one Sunday evening after reading the Netflix synopsis. Yes, IAs is the case with all substantial art, this film's acceptance deviates from the mean--evident by the number of 0/1s and 9/10s on this page. I came into this film with absolutely no expectations. I had not heard nor read one word about it. My dad (father!) left it at my house and I figured I would throw it in the DVD player one Sunday evening after reading the Netflix synopsis. Yes, I did see that it had Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in it, but that meant nothing to me, one way or the other.

    I'm afraid to say, for fear of sounding like any other cliche art critic, that what I saw was nothing short of astonishing. ToL is an existential masterpiece.

    I'm not sure how anyone can rate this move a 0 or 1 even if it was the most "boring" thing they ever had to sit through. It's as if they went into this movie with expectations that were not fulfilled and have therefore taken it personally. I can understand how this movie might not resonate with everyone, but does it really warrant a 0--as if to say it has no value whatsoever? It seems as if some of these reviews feel the need to overcompensate for reasons that have nothing to do film itself. I'm sorry if someone or some review duped you into this one and you didn't think it was worth your $10, but don't take it all out on the film. I'm pretty sure anyone can honestly find reason enough to give it at least a 3. It's not Troll 2 for crying out loud.
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  72. Jul 15, 2011
    9
    The film is a religious avant-garde film trapped inside a narrative story line about a boy who learns the reality of life and faith. Sound confusing? Well it is but that is it's only flaw. Itâ
  73. Jul 11, 2011
    9
    First off, I've never seen so many people walk out of a theater during a film, and that's saying a lot. I've seen some real **** So it's safe to say that this movie isn't quite for everybody. I've seen numerous publications try to put this thing in a box by giving it the "movie" meets "movie" comparison. The best is probably "Stand By Me" meets "2001: A Space Odyssey". If you're interestedFirst off, I've never seen so many people walk out of a theater during a film, and that's saying a lot. I've seen some real **** So it's safe to say that this movie isn't quite for everybody. I've seen numerous publications try to put this thing in a box by giving it the "movie" meets "movie" comparison. The best is probably "Stand By Me" meets "2001: A Space Odyssey". If you're interested in seeing this, get rid of all expectations because there simply isn't anything quite like it. Powerful film that tries to place humanity in this existence. The performances are wonderful, and Terrence Malick does exactly whatever divine being made him to do: Show you true beauty. Or, he just did it himself. Expand
  74. Sep 4, 2011
    10
    I'm happy to call this Terrence Malick's Magnum opus. The Tree of Life is a thought provoking and symbolic art film; it may even leave one questioning how significant their actions are in the big scheme of things. Malick's audacious direction paid off, making this not only a challenging piece of work, but also a wonderful viewing experience, from start to finish. Its arrestingI'm happy to call this Terrence Malick's Magnum opus. The Tree of Life is a thought provoking and symbolic art film; it may even leave one questioning how significant their actions are in the big scheme of things. Malick's audacious direction paid off, making this not only a challenging piece of work, but also a wonderful viewing experience, from start to finish. Its arresting cinematography and visual effects are abstractly stitched together by master film editors; and its heavenly soundtrack keeps things flowing. Desplat's score was unfortunately demised by its under-use, in the actual film. The most effective and memorable pieces of music came, courtesy of, classical composers from way back. Also, this may possibly be Pitts career best performance, and Chastain illuminates as his submissive wife. I won't jump on the band-wagon and call this the best movie of the year just yet... and its surely not pretentious (as its detractors state); I do believe it will resonate for years to come (as its polar reviews also suggest). I'm looking forward to see how this does next awards season... Expand
  75. Jul 4, 2011
    9
    Terrance Malick always seems to excite my eyes with his stunning cinematography. Nothing feels stock about his films. I am glad to see a creative and meticulous artist exploring film, in all its potentials and possibilities, it is a wonderful thing. I was overwhelmed and blindsided by this experience and a more compassionate individual emerged, which lasted at least until I got home 30Terrance Malick always seems to excite my eyes with his stunning cinematography. Nothing feels stock about his films. I am glad to see a creative and meticulous artist exploring film, in all its potentials and possibilities, it is a wonderful thing. I was overwhelmed and blindsided by this experience and a more compassionate individual emerged, which lasted at least until I got home 30 minutes later. Expand
  76. Aug 9, 2011
    9
    This movie is definitely challenging and one of a kind. It's becoming some kind of cool being pissy about it, saying it's boring and pointless. I cannot say I got every point but that doesn't really piss me. I made my own interpretations, connected the pieces in my own way and this was what it was about. Totally different concept, totally refreshing experience. Sure you shouldn't give it aThis movie is definitely challenging and one of a kind. It's becoming some kind of cool being pissy about it, saying it's boring and pointless. I cannot say I got every point but that doesn't really piss me. I made my own interpretations, connected the pieces in my own way and this was what it was about. Totally different concept, totally refreshing experience. Sure you shouldn't give it a try if you're impatient or stressed. You have to dive in deep. This is a spiritual experience, not a mindtrap puzzle like Inception and stuff. Expand
  77. Sep 4, 2011
    10
    What can be said about Terrence Malickâ
  78. Aug 31, 2011
    9
    One of the best movies of this year for sure, the story was amazing, the way that Terrence Malick explain the whole movie through out pictures of life and nature, it was just delightful. Jessica Chastain really step up, I hope that she gets nominated for an Oscar, and for the Cinematography, because those photographs oh my lord, that's what I'm talking about. " Unless you love, your lifeOne of the best movies of this year for sure, the story was amazing, the way that Terrence Malick explain the whole movie through out pictures of life and nature, it was just delightful. Jessica Chastain really step up, I hope that she gets nominated for an Oscar, and for the Cinematography, because those photographs oh my lord, that's what I'm talking about. " Unless you love, your life will flash by ". Expand
  79. Sep 23, 2011
    10
    Pure excellence. If you're a true movie fan, you'll instantly be engaged by the sheer beauty, the divergence (from ordinary films) of this movie. This is a movie you'll either hate or love. If you haven't watched it yet, I'd recommend not watching this movie in a cinema. You'll probably encounter "unappreciative" people who will walk out because of they can't comprehend the calm intensityPure excellence. If you're a true movie fan, you'll instantly be engaged by the sheer beauty, the divergence (from ordinary films) of this movie. This is a movie you'll either hate or love. If you haven't watched it yet, I'd recommend not watching this movie in a cinema. You'll probably encounter "unappreciative" people who will walk out because of they can't comprehend the calm intensity engineered in this movie. This will probably distract you and ruin the whole movie experience for the appreciative. Best wait for the blu-ray. I loved this movie. It will touch somewhere deep, deep inside you if you let it. Many will complain about the vagueness and ambiguity, but I derive excellence from it. To let the viewer make their own interpretation is, in my opinion, very mature directing and puts Terrence Malick among some of the most thoughtful and skilled directors. Mind-blowing visuals and superb acting surely make this, without a single doubt, one of the best movies of the year. Expand
  80. Sep 26, 2011
    10
    A brilliant, brilliant film. It's a modern masterpiece that, yes, requires real work on the part of the audience. If you don't "get" the Judeo-Christian religious allusions and texts that make the questions in this film, it will remain incomprehensible, I suppose. The quote from the Book of Job at the beginning of the film (not to mention the sermon in the middle of the film) is a deadA brilliant, brilliant film. It's a modern masterpiece that, yes, requires real work on the part of the audience. If you don't "get" the Judeo-Christian religious allusions and texts that make the questions in this film, it will remain incomprehensible, I suppose. The quote from the Book of Job at the beginning of the film (not to mention the sermon in the middle of the film) is a dead tip-off you need to bring some background to this, ideally.... Apart from the depth of meaning in the film however, it's also wonderfully executed: the acting is right on the money, and the cinematography breathtaking... just about every shot is perfect. See it in a good theatre too: you need to hear the whispered questions and recollections that form the narrative framework for it to make sense at all :) Expand
  81. Oct 1, 2011
    10
    Great inmersive film, a 21 century masterpiece. Terrence Malickâ
  82. Oct 12, 2011
    10
    I heard the words pretentious a lot from people that even gave this movie 100/100, and I don't think people understands what that word means anymore. I think cynical people just use it to describe anything artistic. I think cool/nerdy has taken over as what people think of when they think of artistic and pretentious is what people who want to look like they don't give a f*ck call art. EvenI heard the words pretentious a lot from people that even gave this movie 100/100, and I don't think people understands what that word means anymore. I think cynical people just use it to describe anything artistic. I think cool/nerdy has taken over as what people think of when they think of artistic and pretentious is what people who want to look like they don't give a f*ck call art. Even giving every benefit of the doubt to people that use this word, I honestly didn't see anything pretentious in this movie. He was trying to show how beautiful nature is when he used a powerful score. He painted a very realistic portrait of a family in sixties (his family?) texas. And took a different approach to it, using his own fractured memories as the narrative. I think this made total sense and an interesting way to tell a story. (Not to mention, I don't like real pretentious things either and this movie made me tear up in certain scenes because of the realism and the way it reminded me of my own memories) In what way was he pretending to be something he wasn't(pretentious)? Open a dictionary before you use words. And I don't want to pass judgement, but it's sad that when filmmakers try to do new and different things (Stanley Kubrik - 2001) they're always met with so many people who want to tell them how bad it was before those people even understand what's happening. Expand
  83. Oct 17, 2011
    10
    Always amazed by the arrogance of "I didn't understand it, therefore no one could of understood it, so no one could have possibly liked it". Also, "people just pretend to enjoy it to act like they are smart". You know what? Any of you may very well be smarter than me. For instance, if you are a doctor, you are certainly more educated than I am. But I have been studying film for most of myAlways amazed by the arrogance of "I didn't understand it, therefore no one could of understood it, so no one could have possibly liked it". Also, "people just pretend to enjoy it to act like they are smart". You know what? Any of you may very well be smarter than me. For instance, if you are a doctor, you are certainly more educated than I am. But I have been studying film for most of my 45 years. I admire Terrence Malick's audacity and I was knocked out by this movie. You didn't like or or understand it? Sorry for you. I did. And I applaud others who stayed focused and recognized its beauty and grace. And it's really not all that difficult to follow. Expand
  84. Oct 31, 2011
    10
    A completely unashamed reverence for beauty. Perhaps no movie has ever been so maddeningly ambiguous and yet somehow managed to provide an altogether meaningful experience. Maybe the film is shot entirely from Jack's perspective as he contemplates his life and its position in regard to all of existence. It is also conceivable that Malick is not so simply attempting to express his reverenceA completely unashamed reverence for beauty. Perhaps no movie has ever been so maddeningly ambiguous and yet somehow managed to provide an altogether meaningful experience. Maybe the film is shot entirely from Jack's perspective as he contemplates his life and its position in regard to all of existence. It is also conceivable that Malick is not so simply attempting to express his reverence for life through the eyes of an omnipotent being no one can fully grasp. The plot is labyrinthine. It begins in the present, rewinds to the beginning of time at unimaginable speed, and moves through time, slowing down for the genesis of the earth, then slowing down again for the small segment in the life of Jack, and then speeds up again toward the end of time in the reverse fashion. All of this culminates in a climax that could have you in tears at how unappreciative you have been of what you have. I thought about how I go through my day and how my mind processes my external environment, and I feel others will agree that, in an uncomplicated way, Malick has encapsulated the human perspective. Jack is not a computer processing bits of information bit by bit. He is a human being; one moment he is discussing his work with a co-worker who cannot seem to leave his private life at home, while in next moment he is remembering his brother along with the rest of his childhood. Every human, despite our attempts to focus for extended periods of time, is innately scatterbrained. There is a lot on Jack's mind, and it is impossible for him to go through a day without contemplating certain events and people, his brother, as well as himself, being the central focus. For once stream of consciousness is used in a way that does not cut corners. Information is not given directly to you. There are so few words and yet so much impact is felt and experienced from what you are seeing. Forget what you do not understand, because, after all, how much of an man's thoughts, let alone all existence, will you be able to fully comprehend. You know only what you can and need to know, and that is what makes Malick's film accessible, despite the lack of a coherent plot to some. In a world where my attention span seems to shrink daily, the film stopped me dead in my tracks. Malick's ambitious film may be the most grandiose and beautiful art film I have ever seen, but it left me feeling ashamed of my own insensitivity. I wanted to be a better person, if not for a god, or for myself, at least for all that exists, including those I care about. Expand
  85. Jan 26, 2012
    10
    Tree of Life was a movie that I found incredibly confusing on my first viewing. Throughout the film I kept on wondering if I liked what I was seeing or if I thought it was rubbish. For days afterwards, however, I found myself reflecting upon the film that I had seen. It stuck with me. It penetrated my heart and made me reflect upon my own journey through this messy life. I viewed the filmTree of Life was a movie that I found incredibly confusing on my first viewing. Throughout the film I kept on wondering if I liked what I was seeing or if I thought it was rubbish. For days afterwards, however, I found myself reflecting upon the film that I had seen. It stuck with me. It penetrated my heart and made me reflect upon my own journey through this messy life. I viewed the film a second time, and found that I absolutely loved it. I feel that it is the most visually stunning movie to have been produced in years. It's definitely better with a repeated viewing if you can bring yourself to watch it a second time. Expand
  86. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    This film intends to answer the question: "Why are we living in hell, while heaven is here?" The long waited sequel to 2001. Once the viewer understands the visual metaphors of water and the sun, the movie runs at lightening speed.
  87. May 12, 2012
    8
    The Trees of Life is not a film for the average audience. Most people would probably hate it. But Terrence Malick has outdone himself- the cinematography is fabulous, and the story is simple yet touching,
  88. Mar 17, 2012
    10
    Terrence Malick has created a masterpiece with this film. The cinematography is simply beautiful, the best I have ever seen. Brad Pitt delivers a great performance as an overbearing father, and Jessica Chastain's performance as the caring mother is equally perfect This movie deserves the countless accolades it has earned, and then some.
  89. Apr 24, 2012
    10
    The best film released in 2011. Filled with extraordinary performances from Hunter McCraken, Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt. With other-worldly direction, cinematography and visual effects.
  90. Nov 26, 2012
    10
    I can't even begin to explain how IMPORTANT this movie is, so I won't. I'd just advice people to watch it - it's necessary, especially for people who love Cinema. It's unique and has gracefully shaken my limbs forever, and I'm oh so grateful.
  91. Jun 4, 2011
    0
    Punishingly pretentious. No stable narrative or dialogues. Piece of crap. Terrence Malick really is a very pseudo-intellectual director. I hope this film is a huge failure
  92. RSS
    Jun 10, 2011
    0
    I'm sorry -- what is this movie? Don't expect a story or caring about the characters. Good visuals, but lacking reason. I can't remember the last time I wanted to get up and walk out of a movie, but this came close.
  93. Jun 11, 2011
    1
    Pretentious rambling sporadic self conflagulation lauded by critics too afraid to go against the popular grain. This is one man's random splattering of hubble photographs interspersed with Brat Pitt posing as a real person and Sean Penn attempting to look thoughtful in cameo shots. The only real actors are the boys left adrift in a plotless story. Save your $ and buy a lottery ticketPretentious rambling sporadic self conflagulation lauded by critics too afraid to go against the popular grain. This is one man's random splattering of hubble photographs interspersed with Brat Pitt posing as a real person and Sean Penn attempting to look thoughtful in cameo shots. The only real actors are the boys left adrift in a plotless story. Save your $ and buy a lottery ticket instead. At least that randomness has a shot at paying off. Expand
  94. Jun 21, 2011
    0
    I couldn't wait for this film to be over. Terry Malik rips off Stanley Kubrick's 2001; Orson Wells' Magnificent Ambersons and several other "Scenes From A Marriage" - like films in producing one giant yawn of an overextended lesson in a child's coming of age yarn. We see the signs of childhood nature contrasted against the adult world of glass and steel highrises again, and again, andI couldn't wait for this film to be over. Terry Malik rips off Stanley Kubrick's 2001; Orson Wells' Magnificent Ambersons and several other "Scenes From A Marriage" - like films in producing one giant yawn of an overextended lesson in a child's coming of age yarn. We see the signs of childhood nature contrasted against the adult world of glass and steel highrises again, and again, and again. So too are the scenes of the domineering father and servile, but repressed, free-spirited wife, bickering again, and again and again. While one can't criticized the level of the acting and the occasionally impressive photography, this could have been made as a silent movie - and by that I mean not even snipets of dialogue cards - for the lack of impact of any verbal communications between any of the characters. Skip this mess unless you're in need of a good two hour's sleep. Expand
  95. Jul 2, 2011
    0
    I signed up for the site just to write this review. I've never felt so misled by a Metacritic metascore.

    This movie is not intellectual. It is absolute drek. I like nuanced, interesting movies, and this is neither.
  96. Jun 5, 2011
    1
    This is one of the most over rated and underwhelming films in years. It is worst than "The Thin Red Line" . I got the message but I have seen the message delivered in other films. I have also seen the message delivered in a manner that makes you give a damn. Malick is a pretentious fraud hiding as an essentialist guru. I feel sorry for him and the casual film goer who will be sucked in byThis is one of the most over rated and underwhelming films in years. It is worst than "The Thin Red Line" . I got the message but I have seen the message delivered in other films. I have also seen the message delivered in a manner that makes you give a damn. Malick is a pretentious fraud hiding as an essentialist guru. I feel sorry for him and the casual film goer who will be sucked in by the glowing reviews. A.O. Scott of the NY Times should apologize for his review. Simply a disaster disguised as art! Expand
  97. Jul 25, 2011
    4
    This film had an incredible amount of potential. Every second of the preview did carry a great sense of intrigue. The reality is that, although one may consider themselves to be artistic, this does not mean that one can claim that their art is good. The film is hands down beautiful, the acting is incredible, and the concept is straightforward. The film however can not decide what it wantsThis film had an incredible amount of potential. Every second of the preview did carry a great sense of intrigue. The reality is that, although one may consider themselves to be artistic, this does not mean that one can claim that their art is good. The film is hands down beautiful, the acting is incredible, and the concept is straightforward. The film however can not decide what it wants to be. The scenes rely to much on artistic value and throw in very superfluous and archaic metaphysical scenes; accompanied with an historical scene of the origin of the universe. You may conclude that this movie is a horrible malformation of three different movies into one. Expand
  98. Jun 21, 2011
    0
    I am an artist and I consider myself to be very open minded. I am also somewhat a fan of Brad Pitt's acting. Regardless, it did not make me like this film. I was disappointed in the story line and embarrassed for Brad to have his name associated with this artistic disaster. It was just bad. Scenes were choppy. There was no rhyme and reason to some of the scenes. A flashback in time focusedI am an artist and I consider myself to be very open minded. I am also somewhat a fan of Brad Pitt's acting. Regardless, it did not make me like this film. I was disappointed in the story line and embarrassed for Brad to have his name associated with this artistic disaster. It was just bad. Scenes were choppy. There was no rhyme and reason to some of the scenes. A flashback in time focused on one particular year in childhood instead of a lifetime. And, we certainly could have done without the 'Jurassic Park dinasour' scenes. In the theatre, throughout the movie, people sitting around me were saying, "I don't get it" and I was thinking the same thing. It was a waste of my money and time. Expand
  99. Jun 26, 2011
    10
    Please, readers, don't listen to anyone who says this film is pretentious. It's challenging, but challenging an audience to think does not imply that a director is flaunting his intelligence. Perhaps those who call it pretentious are doing so as a defense mechanism because they feel they can't understand what the movie is doing. I don't claim to understand everything that it's doing afterPlease, readers, don't listen to anyone who says this film is pretentious. It's challenging, but challenging an audience to think does not imply that a director is flaunting his intelligence. Perhaps those who call it pretentious are doing so as a defense mechanism because they feel they can't understand what the movie is doing. I don't claim to understand everything that it's doing after having only seen it once, but that's quite all right, because I am thoroughly convinced that every shot, every single line of dialogue, every sound has been meticulously and brilliantly placed, and I'm sure that with more viewings the film will further open itself up to me.

    The Tree of Life is a masterpiece, but the highly abstract and fragmented style of the film is uncommon in even arthouse films these days, and it's therefore clearly unwelcome. In any case, I implore you to see it, if only to remind yourself what film language is capable of.
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Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Jul 4, 2011
    100
    There is simply nothing like it out there: profound, idiosyncratic, complex, sincere and magical; a confirmation that cinema can aspire to art.
  2. 75
    The result actually plays like a divine pronouncement, cosmic in scope and oracular in tone, a cinematic sermon on the mount that shows its creator in exquisite form.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 22, 2011
    75
    Ponderous and perplexing, a somberly audacious film to make viewers swoon or snore, take your pick. It is defiantly opaque, a free-form meditation on nature and nurture across millennia with a tinge of biblical grace.