Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: May 27, 2011
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 623 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
423
Mixed:
80
Negative:
120
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
8
CinemaphileJul 29, 2016
Austere. Elegiac. Operatic. Poignant. Nostalgic. Painful. Imperfect. Terrence Malick delivers a life thesis through the eyes of a boy struggling to make sense of it all. Excruciatingly beautiful, this film isn't for the impatient. TheAustere. Elegiac. Operatic. Poignant. Nostalgic. Painful. Imperfect. Terrence Malick delivers a life thesis through the eyes of a boy struggling to make sense of it all. Excruciatingly beautiful, this film isn't for the impatient. The cinematography is vivid and clear, the score is vibrant and varied, and the dialogue is rich and meaningful. The plot runs the gamut from macroscopic to microscopic, epic to mundane - all in non-linear fashion. This film is not for everyone, but everyone can find something in it according to his or her own tastes. Unfortunately, the combination of high art and pastoral drama keep The Tree of Life from attaining perfection. However, perhaps that is the point.

Worth watching, but be rested and in a contemplative mood. A top 10 film for you Netflix queue.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
SEROJJun 27, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is really philosophic, i would say even too philosophic! The cinematogrpahy was great, the soundtrack was genial and the acting was superb. The only problem is the way that this material was delivered to us! I understand that the director of the movie wanted to show us a movie about the human life. This movie is bassicaly the Old testament. First we had the creation of the world! Then we had the sins that we do (the ten commandments)! The ending scene was probably the paradise...or... i don't know! :D Too philosophic, i repeat Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
CalibMcBoltsMay 30, 2016
''The Tree of Life'' is Terrence Malick's magnum opus, one cannot speak of a Malick films without mentioning composition. Only a few living filmmakers pay as much attention to cinematography and music as Malick. The dialogue in The Tree of''The Tree of Life'' is Terrence Malick's magnum opus, one cannot speak of a Malick films without mentioning composition. Only a few living filmmakers pay as much attention to cinematography and music as Malick. The dialogue in The Tree of Life is scarce; composer Alexandre Desplat fills in the gaps in which we might normally expect talking. His music, like the images brought to the screen by the greatest cinematographer alive today, Emmanuel Lubezki, add color and depth to the emotions of the characters. They emphasize without being ostentatious.

Also, early in the proceedings, there is a 15-minute interlude that depicts the creation of Earth, the beginnings of life, the era of the dinosaurs, and the events presaging the rise of man. Many people dislike this part of the film, they say that it takes them out of the experience, and i fiercely disagree, i think this segment is The Tree of Life's most awe-inspiring, interesting, technically brilliant, and powerful scene in the whole movie. The location of this segment within the movie is also perfect. The movie starts of with Mr and Mrs. 'O Brien hearing the news that one of their 3 boys has died, we see grief and grace.
Then, as a viewer you wondered how that happened, you want to know why and how he died. Then the movie takes us back in time, to the beginning of the story, not a couple of days before he died, not a couple of years before he died, no the story takes us back to the beginning of time, and from there it guides us through the movie.
Absolutely phenomenal!

Ofcourse as many Malick movies are, they arent flawless, and as for ''The Tree of Life'' i have 3 minor problems with it.
-Malick's distaste for dialogue comes to stab him from behind again which results in long stares, and quite moments where you think something is going to be said, or should be said.
-The editing throughout this movie is very hacky, and in my honest opinion sloppily done, because the editing is pretty poor, and the lack of (some) dialogue, it results in awkward stares and things of that sort.
-The Sean Penn scenes offer little beyond an assurance that Jack grows up to be a man who's unsure of the meaning of life. They seem largely superfluous except as a way to provide Sean Penn with some screen time. The "modern day" Jack scenes are unremarkable except in that the photographic composition remains outstanding (there are a lot of low-angle shots which make the skyscrapers more imposing than they might otherwise be). Penn's version of the character is poorly developed; it's difficult to get beyond the actor. The danger in having a well-known thespian appear in this sort of part is that the performer never becomes buried in the character. As good an actor as Penn is, he is larger than life, and we find ourselves seeing "Sean Penn" not "Jack O'Brien." Contrast this with Brad Pitt, who has the time and opportunity to become submerged in his role.
This may seem like something very bad, but it's okay, there are only a couple of Sean Penn scenes so it's not like half of the movie is bad, it really isnt, maybe only like 15 minutes.

This might sound like a lot of cons but only a few pros but the flaws of the movie get diminished by the sheer brilliance of the rest of the movie, so there is nothing to worry about. I absolutely adore ''The Tree of Life'' and it is a very present contender for Best Movie of the decade. Go ahead and take away my credibility badge...The film is one of the most emotionally affecting and profound experiences of my life, regardless of how recent it is.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
SpangleJan 1, 2016
The Tree of Life is truly brilliant. Both visually stunning, thematically powerful, and emotionally moving, it really has everything. The storytelling can feel a bit distant and the plot both aimless and directionless, but it truly makesThe Tree of Life is truly brilliant. Both visually stunning, thematically powerful, and emotionally moving, it really has everything. The storytelling can feel a bit distant and the plot both aimless and directionless, but it truly makes sense for a film about the meaning of life. As with all Terrence Malick directed films, the acting is not prominent, but Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain are both fantastic, as is Hunter McCracken. The film is one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen in many ways, both visually and thematically. A rubix cube type of film that can be broken down in many ways, it ultimately means different things to different people. For me, it ultimately symbolized our lack of control in life and how we must make amends with this in order to truly experience the best life has to offer us. Regardless, The Tree of Life is a phenomenal film that is brilliant in every facet. I cannot recommend it enough. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
MattBrady99Jan 1, 2016
Life in a nutshell.

The Tree of Life is one of the most stunning, magnificently shot movies I've ever seen. The cinematography is something that you can't take your eyes away from, it's just that stunning. Emmanuel Lubezki is the master of
Life in a nutshell.

The Tree of Life is one of the most stunning, magnificently shot movies I've ever seen. The cinematography is something that you can't take your eyes away from, it's just that stunning. Emmanuel Lubezki is the master of cinematography, I mean he's right up there with Roger Deakins, Vittorio Storaro, and Robert Richardson. Terrence Malick direction in this movie was pure brilliant, even when sometimes it dose get a little pretentious with some of the imagery, but all that aside, this is a beautiful film that's not going to be for everyone.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
dollarsignAug 20, 2015
************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

The most strange, indelible film (so far released) in the 21st century.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
behzadhoseini77Jan 31, 2015
First of all, for those who have not yet read reviews, let me start by saying that this is not your "Brad Pitt/Sean Penn" labeled blockbuster.

Also, I would like to add that, if you really want to take in as much as possible (trust me
First of all, for those who have not yet read reviews, let me start by saying that this is not your "Brad Pitt/Sean Penn" labeled blockbuster.

Also, I would like to add that, if you really want to take in as much as possible (trust me there is a lot to take in), then you should go see this movie, relaxed, not tired, and in a receiving state of consciousness (I watched it last night at 2200hrs, after a very very long difficult day) and I am seriously considering re-watching it on a Saturday night...

It is practically impossible to summarize this film, in a few words, but what this film does to you, mostly I think, is take you back to your childhood days, and bring back, re-ignite all these long lost first moments/feelings/discoveries/guilts. Do you remember the first time you had a fight with your parents? What crossed your mind? what did you feel?.....apply this to all the first times and you might get something that feels like this film.

This film blends all the above with imaginary scenes from the creation of the cosmos, how all is connected, how did we get here? why? what did God really have to do with this? or is God in other words Love?

You have to see for yourself, and I believe each and every one of us will have his own different experience which is exactly what real Art is.

Bravo, to the Director, Producers and Cast
Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
9
rajketJan 13, 2015
Its not surprising that so many dislike this movie. Its one which provides those who dislike impressionistic and non-linear narrative movies (by default every movie has a narrative in the sense that shot follows shot and sequence followsIts not surprising that so many dislike this movie. Its one which provides those who dislike impressionistic and non-linear narrative movies (by default every movie has a narrative in the sense that shot follows shot and sequence follows sequence regardless of our comprehension of it?) with a chance for a grab at the most negative metaphors and similes for their viewing experiences. Its a relief for me to watch a beautiful movie like this after so much clumsy ugliness that purports to be populist entertainment. I can understand why some have compared it to Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey (a formative experience for me seeing that for the first time in 70mm and six track stereo at the age of 12) as it also seems like one of those wonderful movies that actually feels like its close to its Director's vision? All I know is that when my partner and I watched this a few days ago, projected on to our 60" wide screen in High Def with superb surround sound I found myself sobbing heavily with tears at several moments and frequently overwhelmed. I could be deluding myself (which is fine really as all movies offer varying states of delusion?) but this really did seem like a work of art. Its fine if people want to write adolescent carping words about it: the internet gives spoiled brats fed on junk plenty of opportunity to complain. For me this just took me out of myself like few others. It seems like a truly worthy Palme D'Or winner. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
DanielXGOct 15, 2014
Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is an ambitious undertaking on the creation, the life, and the death of the universe. It is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen, with one of the most beautiful soundtracks. The movie seems toTerrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is an ambitious undertaking on the creation, the life, and the death of the universe. It is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen, with one of the most beautiful soundtracks. The movie seems to develop around a family living in the 1950s Kansas, but it is more than that. It is the spirituality and the philosophy of all creation seen and expressed through the lives of these parents and their three boys.

At first, it would seem like this movie is creating a wall between you and the characters because you rarely see them interacting properly. But it is the other way around. This movie aims to connect the viewer to the forces of creation, the power of nature and spirituality, in general. In other words, it is not about the people, it is about the elements of the universe, most likely the "nature" and "grace" which are represented by the disciplinary father and the forgiving mother, respectively.

I am from Romania. So, in a way this movie reminds me of our national writer Mihai Eminescu's "Scrisoarea I" or "Letter No. I" which also represents the birth and death of the universe.

Despite this movie's beauty, it is not for everyone. It is a movie which must be savoured with patience and an open soul, or, if you want, a spiritual soul. The catalyst for this movie's amazing creation scene, is the death of the son, which causes the time to go back before there even was time, all the way to the creation of the universe which starts on a galactic scale, then goes to a microscopic scale, and eventually it turns its attention to Earth, all presented with masterful cinematography and soundtrack.

The end of the universe is seen as a desolate beach, where silence rules and everyone is meeting their loved ones, in what it seems an eternal walk in silence, but also happiness. This is the ending of the movie, a movie which is extremely abstract and, sometimes, unclear.

Nonetheless, this should be viewed by anyone who considers him/herself a cinefile as its an example of artistry through writing, cinematography and music.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
The Tree of Life may not appeal to everyone; however, this film is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful ever made. The film is visual as well as literarily brilliant.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
Pazzo7Aug 23, 2014
The Tree of Life is one of the most beautiful and one of the best movies ever.Its something new,refreshing and so poetic you want to yelp with glee.Its clearly not for the average viewer because it requires patience and because itsThe Tree of Life is one of the most beautiful and one of the best movies ever.Its something new,refreshing and so poetic you want to yelp with glee.Its clearly not for the average viewer because it requires patience and because its thought-provoking.Its just so unique (even though a ot of people compare this to 2001:A Space Odyssey).Its haunting me ever since I've watched it the first time.Especially the Creation part with Zbigniew Preisner's-Lacrimosa in the background is one of the most charming moments in the movie history.Terrence Malick takes some time to make a movie but if a movie is this special and elegant then I am gonna wait patiently. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
HighPriestesaMay 18, 2014
I must say I realy like this movie. It's not predictable, has an interesting storyline, visualy stunning. It's mesmerising and poetic. The video that came to life. Pure art.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
ugisupriatnaApr 24, 2014
A masterpiece always has unique things, epic sides, original ones and unduplicatable. The Tree of Life is that case. This film is so poetic, stylish and beautiful. (One of the best poetic film ever made). The core of this film is the visualA masterpiece always has unique things, epic sides, original ones and unduplicatable. The Tree of Life is that case. This film is so poetic, stylish and beautiful. (One of the best poetic film ever made). The core of this film is the visual and its visualization. That the unique and original in this film. You will be confused and feel peculiar with this film, at least in early 50 minutes, you would say "What is that?". But, There is 88 minutes left to see and to understand. No wonder If this film called the best film in 2011. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
MovieGuysApr 23, 2014
Well, this is certainty a love-it-or-hate-it movie. It's not that the movie is the best film I've ever seen, and I'm sure those who will hate it won't think it's the worst movie they've ever seen, either. It almost feels like an experimentalWell, this is certainty a love-it-or-hate-it movie. It's not that the movie is the best film I've ever seen, and I'm sure those who will hate it won't think it's the worst movie they've ever seen, either. It almost feels like an experimental film. It uses nature and beautiful cinematography to tell its story, and uses words less. It paints a great picture of life in general, and almost feels like 2001: A Space Odyssey in some cases. The actors involved give Oscar-worthy performances, the kids included. This movie is definitely only for certain people, and I am one of them. Those who don't like it probably didn't understand it; but that's okay, it's not supposed to be for everyone. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
caviiblancOct 15, 2013
The photography of this movie is beautiful, the plot too. Terrence Malick did a wonderful job, and the acting was amazing. What I like about this movie is that it isn't obvious, it makes you wonder, it's definitely not made for the commonThe photography of this movie is beautiful, the plot too. Terrence Malick did a wonderful job, and the acting was amazing. What I like about this movie is that it isn't obvious, it makes you wonder, it's definitely not made for the common viewer. Like I said, beautiful movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
aaronobrienJul 22, 2013
The Tree of Life is a strange one for sure, it's a movie I find hard to fault because it does very little wrong, I only understood a bit of the story, and the rest went right over my head, but I was captivated by the films beauty. There's isThe Tree of Life is a strange one for sure, it's a movie I find hard to fault because it does very little wrong, I only understood a bit of the story, and the rest went right over my head, but I was captivated by the films beauty. There's is just no denying how amazing this film looks, it is an utter joke that the film didn't get Best Achievement in Cinematography in the Oscars, the camerawork is just amazing and the whole formation sequence was just gorgeous. I'd take something like this film over a CGI fest anyday in terms of visuals. Then another thing that was amazing about the film was the music, it perfectly suited the film, an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack. The acting in the film is amazing, there's very little dialogue in the movie so the actors mostly have to just be emotional without talking and they do an amazing job. Then there's the plot, which people have argued that there isn't even one, but there most assuredly is, it's just very unconventionally told. It's disappointing that it's structure is so irregular because I'm sure there's a beautiful story to be found in this film, and I would have love to of found it, but I only found a fraction of it. Terrance Maliks ambitious vision may only show to the most patient and open minded moviegoers, but I still found The Tree of Life to be a breathtaking (and sometimes frustrating) experience. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
MBond1810Apr 11, 2013
Oneiric and profound. Absolutely the greatest movie of the year.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
cam_rasMar 25, 2013
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,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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
7
moonman1994Jan 28, 2013
The Tree of Life is a movie that really makes you think. It's not hard to follow and I wouldn't call it "confusing" but if you're looking for a movie to just simply watch and not analyze this is not the movie for you. The only problem withThe Tree of Life is a movie that really makes you think. It's not hard to follow and I wouldn't call it "confusing" but if you're looking for a movie to just simply watch and not analyze this is not the movie for you. The only problem with this movie is the fact that both the beginning and ending "artistic" sequences are too long. My only other complaint is that the movie could have ended several times but the ending sequence as I just said drags on for just slightly too long. This movie is lead by great acting by both Pitt and Chastain. Pitt playing the hard and traditional father and Chastain playing Pitt's wife and the emotional mother. This film also features theological ties and biblical references something typical of the movie's director Terrence Malick. Overall The Tree of Life is a good movie. It's not for everyone but I would certainly recommend it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
worleyjamersDec 6, 2012
What is The Tree of Life? It's a celebration of life. It's a prayer to the one who creates all things. It's a hymn of reality about both the good and evil in the world. It's a reminder of who we are and where we come from. A true poeticWhat is The Tree of Life? It's a celebration of life. It's a prayer to the one who creates all things. It's a hymn of reality about both the good and evil in the world. It's a reminder of who we are and where we come from. A true poetic masterpiece. One of the best films of 2011. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
ValMuffleyNov 26, 2012
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.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
9
MichaelDNOct 21, 2012
This is the perfect example of how movies can be works of art. What separates this movie from other pretentious, artsy films, is that everything that is incorporated in this movie is instrumental is provoking emotion, developing theThis is the perfect example of how movies can be works of art. What separates this movie from other pretentious, artsy films, is that everything that is incorporated in this movie is instrumental is provoking emotion, developing the storyline, and making the audience think about life. It proposes deep, philosophical questions, and seeks to answer those questions. It does so beautifully, to the point where the viewer is completely satisfied by the ending, and ends up actually feeling more optimistic about the world in general. The script is absolutely perfect. It's a great psychological movie, as well as a great philosophical movie. There are many different themes in this movie, whether they are just barely touched on, or if they are focused on throughout the entire movie, and each one is executed with absolute precision and subtlety, resulting in an unbelievably powerful impact on the viewer. This is the kind of movie you don't easily forget, and the kind of movie that will still be remembered in 50 years. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
KarryptoSep 7, 2012
"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"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
5 of 6 users found this helpful51
All this user's reviews
9
jim109109Jun 17, 2012
This movie is simply brilliant. It does not take you by the hand and tell you the tale - there are indeed many tales to be had; such is life. It deals with such concepts as the frailty of life, the cruelty and unpredictability of nature andThis movie is simply brilliant. It does not take you by the hand and tell you the tale - there are indeed many tales to be had; such is life. It deals with such concepts as the frailty of life, the cruelty and unpredictability of nature and man's meaningless part in an infinite immensely powerful universe. Every part of the movie is important; if you are bored or do not understand why he's showing volcanoes you're plainly dumb. These forces are meant to cut your breath as you ponder over the lost child; and the nature which took him away. I feel I have grown from watching this movie and greater appreciate what's important in life. Firstly, this movie is important, so watch it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
pkgadersonsJun 10, 2012
AwesomeAwesome . Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
Critic2012May 12, 2012
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,
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
cabritaApr 27, 2012
A masterpiece only for hardcore movie lovers. Many will misunderstand it others will be cheated by it and some will view it as another masterpiece from arguably the best director of all time. The first time I viewed it I was not prepared forA masterpiece only for hardcore movie lovers. Many will misunderstand it others will be cheated by it and some will view it as another masterpiece from arguably the best director of all time. The first time I viewed it I was not prepared for it and found it boring pretentious and just a movie full of pretty pictures. However Malick finds a way to evoke a feeling of spirituality and wonder, Could this be one of the best movies ever made in history, maybe. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
9
vernApr 25, 2012
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 mindThe 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
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
All this user's reviews
10
Parera_Starr11Apr 24, 2012
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.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
Brian_McInnisApr 14, 2012
So dreadfully rarely is film let out of its cage. So terribly scarcely is the language of movies used as though it's never been spoken before. This is cinema unbound. Terrence Malick's fifth film is a grand victory of human awareness andSo dreadfully rarely is film let out of its cage. So terribly scarcely is the language of movies used as though it's never been spoken before. This is cinema unbound. Terrence Malick's fifth film is a grand victory of human awareness and stands among the greatest, most fearlessly original and most universal of all films. It explores human experience from the inside, from within its characters' thoughts and sensations. Malick identifies its protagonist as its viewer and assembles a multitude of brief impressions of astounding vividness to act as an analogue of our own collection of memories. Roger Ebert wrote of Charlie Kaufman's great 'Synecdoche New York',

'For thousands of years, fiction made no room for characters who changed. Men felt the need for an explanation of their baffling existence, created gods, and projected onto them the solutions for their enigmas. These gods of course had to be immutable, for they stood above the foibles of men. Zeus was Zeus and Apollo was Apollo and that was that. We envisioned them on mountaintops, where they were little given to introspection. We took the situation as given, did our best, created arts that were always abstractions in the sense that they existed outside ourselves. Harold Bloom believes Shakespeare introduced the human personality into fiction. When Richard III looked in the mirror and asked himself what role he should play, and Hamlet asked the fundamental question To be, or not to be, the first shoe was dropped, and "Synecdoche" and many other works have dropped the second shoe.'

'The Tree of Life' is an other of the greatest of these works. As the years pass, our films seem to be moving deeper and deeper inward. This film attempts to be a mirror. It shows us a life such as our own and asks us to discern what is important in a life, what is good, what is lasting; and what is meaningless noise, what does not last. Kaufman's film also explored the human experience in an unconventional way, but while it had very little compassion and was devoid of wonder, Malick's film possesses those qualities and others in rich abundance.

I love, love, love the way Malick makes movies. He spurns artificial light, films his actors constantly (even when they don't know it), foreswears story-boards, always seeks to captivate fleeting, chance moments; a butterfly alighting on Mrs. O'Brien's hand, thunder flashing in the skies before Pocahontas, an inquisitive baby giving John Smith a kiss. He films and edits what ever and how ever he wants; what ever feels right, what ever is beautiful. He loves open fields, tall grass. He loves twilight and dusk. He loves water. He loves Sol, loves its light shining among plants, among people. He loves flocks of birds, hands holding hands, heads turned upward. He loves things that glow. He nearly always shoots manually; his camera is free. It swings and flutters about Smith and Pocahontas as they embrace. It runs joyously through a forest, peering upward and making Sol beam and dance among the branches and leaves. I am so very grateful there exists such a film-maker as him. I am stunned to learn that Malick himself lost his own younger brother as a young man, for which he largely blames himself, and has borne that guilt and grief for the rest of his life. This explains so much about his films - this one above all - and the depth, meaning and power of it are made so much more profound by this knowledge. 'The Tree of Life' is the product of a tortured man, and what we see in it is not only his philosophical message, but is from his own wounded heart. His own pain is present. We are told artists must suffer for their art, and here Terrence Malick, in his anguish for his little brother he's carried since the late sixties, has made a film which stands among the greatest and most essential of all human art. Jack's vision of the after-life is also more clear in this light; what Malick shows us is not only his belief, but is deeply personally important to him. It is his consolation, his hope.

There's a moment in the film that moves me more than film has ever before moved me. One morning, when the boys wake to find their father has gone on a trip, and they're free to romp in the house and tease their mother with a lizard and for once life is as it ought be with them, they run outside laughing with her as 'Les Baricades Misterieuses' plays, and we hear the mother's prayer for her children - for all that live. 'Help each other. Love every one. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.'
Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
8
DoehlMar 25, 2012
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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
aics119Mar 17, 2012
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 caringTerrence 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. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
8
lasttimeisawMar 1, 2012
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 thanI 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
ReviewCriticFeb 17, 2012
This movie is life. There is nothing else I can say: this movie is amazing.
12 of 15 users found this helpful123
All this user's reviews
10
IllWillsFeb 11, 2012
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
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
All this user's reviews
8
MossyCDLFeb 6, 2012
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 farThe 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
Falling_HammerFeb 5, 2012
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'tTerrence 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
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
8
NedRyerson1Feb 4, 2012
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 ifThe 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.
Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
All this user's reviews
10
RasritterFeb 4, 2012
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.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
7
FDT44Jan 29, 2012
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 lifeMore 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
8
heyitsmegrif4Jan 29, 2012
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 beautifullyAlthough 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 Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
7
debjyotinsecJan 26, 2012
the photographic effects in this film is really upto something
plus mallick's bit unorthodox
some religious senses are also there
overall watchable.(7/10)
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
10
GreatbealloJan 26, 2012
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 uponTree 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
7
Odin777Jan 25, 2012
While this film is beautifully crafted and shot, it misses the mark in telling a coherent story. If you are looking for a very artistic and visually strong film, this film may appeal to your tastes. As someone who likes being able to followWhile this film is beautifully crafted and shot, it misses the mark in telling a coherent story. If you are looking for a very artistic and visually strong film, this film may appeal to your tastes. As someone who likes being able to follow the plot of a story, I cannot say Tree of Life accomplishes that. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
7
Khunter4382Jan 23, 2012
I suspect this film will forever be underrated and misunderstood. That would be unfortunate due to Pitt's excellent performance as a naturalistic, authoritarian yet loving father trying to raise his boys with his graceful wife. Many scenesI suspect this film will forever be underrated and misunderstood. That would be unfortunate due to Pitt's excellent performance as a naturalistic, authoritarian yet loving father trying to raise his boys with his graceful wife. Many scenes are visually stunning, but the pacing of this film is hard to latch on to. If the film were 30 mins less in duration, the pace would seem more bearable. Though symbolistic overtones and undertones dominate the goal of this film, it is almost as if it can't make up it's mind......documentary or movie? Both portions are equally enthralling, but the juxtaposition of both is hard to digest.....which is why this film won't hit home for the masses as fast as other films do. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
9
Christopher_G2Jan 17, 2012
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'sHonestly 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
MovieMachineJan 9, 2012
This movie is reminiscent to those dreams where you start falling, but you never stop, only a lot more pleasant. The movie buds open like a flower longing for light, and even if it does so slowly, it does so perfectly as well. MalickThis movie is reminiscent to those dreams where you start falling, but you never stop, only a lot more pleasant. The movie buds open like a flower longing for light, and even if it does so slowly, it does so perfectly as well. Malick approaches the concept of life with such grace, knowledge, and poise, that it causes you to question life yourself, more than you ever have. Acting here was great (just probably not award-worthy, except from Chastain), and it helped supplement the story. Most important to the picture, though, was the picture itself. This movie was shot beautifully and exceptionally, and scenes from the beginning of life were so eye-opening, that they made following this movie irresistible. Overall, this movie is a must-see, and should be up for many more film awards to come. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
All this user's reviews
7
FrechetteEmileDec 29, 2011
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 areThe 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
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
8
frelling_cuteDec 21, 2011
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,
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?
Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
8
jimmytancrediDec 19, 2011
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 narrativeThe 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
Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
8
JollyG87Dec 15, 2011
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 thatI 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
ImprovisedDec 12, 2011
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.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, 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.
Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
9
oscarrNov 28, 2011
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.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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
9
BraveSirRobinNov 20, 2011
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 statedOk, 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
j30Nov 13, 2011
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.
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
All this user's reviews
10
nicholas_danielOct 31, 2011
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 heA 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
9
RichieBoyOct 26, 2011
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
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.
Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
eddie1987Oct 23, 2011
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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
pobojcOct 17, 2011
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 mayAlways 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
rocketpackpandaOct 16, 2011
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 moviesWhile 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
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
10
grandpajoe6191Oct 16, 2011
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
26 of 31 users found this helpful265
All this user's reviews
9
PBG_EarthOct 15, 2011
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-superiorWay 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
brownbagitOct 12, 2011
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 hasI 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
8
milesma005Oct 2, 2011
I have been sitting in front of my computer for almost an hour, and I still havenâ
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
vbuesoOct 1, 2011
Great inmersive film, a 21 century masterpiece. Terrence Malickâ
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
jhr_cdnSep 26, 2011
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 remainA 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
EmmzDigzMoviezSep 23, 2011
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 notPure 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
9
greenieSep 18, 2011
Your enjoyment or not of this movie will depend on your experiences so far through life. I found it incredibly moving, and it confirmed many of my morals and guidelines for life. While being an atheist I accept that religion is important toYour enjoyment or not of this movie will depend on your experiences so far through life. I found it incredibly moving, and it confirmed many of my morals and guidelines for life. While being an atheist I accept that religion is important to some people,so this element in the story was acceptable. The emotions portrayed were so much stronger for the lack of the usual flood inane ,stereotypical dialogue we often get.. My advice is ,if you can spare two hours in your precious life ,take the risk of being moved ,inspired and even entertained my this gem. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
9
TheWhiteStripesSep 7, 2011
Hey look at me! I'm not giving this one a perfect score either... So, yes, this film took me completely by surprise! The visuals are superb, the soundtrack is outstanding, and overall, an over the top direction by Malick! The one and onlyHey look at me! I'm not giving this one a perfect score either... So, yes, this film took me completely by surprise! The visuals are superb, the soundtrack is outstanding, and overall, an over the top direction by Malick! The one and only problem I deduced, would have to be the editing. That's it! Some might think that the running time was pushing their limits. For me, not at all. From start to finish, this film is pure gold. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
8
jfthuecksSep 5, 2011
all you need to know think about before you see this movie are a few quick things and they will inform if you should see it or not. 1) do you like watching movies that don't have a constant through line or jump around in time? 2) do you likeall you need to know think about before you see this movie are a few quick things and they will inform if you should see it or not. 1) do you like watching movies that don't have a constant through line or jump around in time? 2) do you like movies that challenge you and don't have a tied up in a bow conclusions? 3) have you watched and liked terrence malick's prior films? if two of those are answers were no then this is probably not the film for you. ok not really a spoiler(y) story review but a review of the final product as a film: the film is shot beautifully and not to flashy. the editing flows nicely and organically but can be a bit off putting in a few points. the sound editing/ soundtrack is very nice and works well with the images on screen and the juxtaposing at certain scenes works to great effect.

as a film it works well and it's spectacle is at the level of 2001: A Space Odyssey at times but at times it's cold and pushes you away. i won't lie and be as full of myself as some people on here and say i understood it and what he was going for cuz i didn't. i believe films like this you get out what you bring into it. it was good but it's ether one you'll love or hate.
Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
10
TheMudDoctorSep 4, 2011
What can be said about Terrence Malickâ
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
lahaineSep 4, 2011
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 directionI'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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
8
scrieciuSep 3, 2011
'' 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'' 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
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
All this user's reviews
9
FIlmsareawesomeAug 31, 2011
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 getsOne 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
CrockaAug 27, 2011
Malick is to be applauded for attempting to get out of the Hollywood box. There are various reasons he didn't make it on this attempt. Art has to have constraints or it just comes across as arbitrary or self-indulgent. Malick has learntMalick is to be applauded for attempting to get out of the Hollywood box. There are various reasons he didn't make it on this attempt. Art has to have constraints or it just comes across as arbitrary or self-indulgent. Malick has learnt from the film greats (Kubrick, Weir, Beresford et al) that music and image work well in cinema. But that 's only part of the picture. The vision has to be coherent, and seen to be so. If not, where's the achievement? What was the p;oint of making art in the first place? If Malick's view of his work is 'here it is; take it or leave it', he'll be left holding his own baby. A little less showing-off and a bit more expertise in the art of film would go down well, Terry. Oh, and give us credit for knowing a little about the mystery of life, so we don't have to submit to banalities like those in The Tree Of Life. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
10
asthobaskoroAug 23, 2011
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 undeniablyTree 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. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
10
AnonymousPalAug 19, 2011
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 forMy 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! Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
10
lgc47Aug 12, 2011
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 wasTerrence 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
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
9
BelmsherAug 9, 2011
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,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 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
9
adhibanAug 9, 2011
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 asI 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. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
8
KarthiAug 5, 2011
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.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 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
10
BhawkJul 26, 2011
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 toStunning. 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
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
All this user's reviews
7
rpzrzJul 18, 2011
This movie was a mix of the ridiculously pretentious, the amazingly beautiful and incredibly poignant moments. First of all let me say that there is no doubt that this movie is filmed brilliantly. There were a few moments of breathtakingThis movie was a mix of the ridiculously pretentious, the amazingly beautiful and incredibly poignant moments. First of all let me say that there is no doubt that this movie is filmed brilliantly. There were a few moments of breathtaking beauty not least in Hubble telescope shots. In addition to this the main plot is haunting and, if you let yourself, asks some really deep questions about life itself. However the last 30 mins is pretentious nonsense and the film is overlong. Also you really have to be in the right frame of mind for this film. Do not go and see this film if you want anything above a sloths pace as you will be sorely disappointed Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
All this user's reviews
8
Knicksfan7Jul 15, 2011
This movie was odd, weird and very different and artsy but it was uplifting, inspiring, and beautiful at the same time. Brad pitt was great in this film as he always is. I didnt understand it at most times, but you just have to think and openThis movie was odd, weird and very different and artsy but it was uplifting, inspiring, and beautiful at the same time. Brad pitt was great in this film as he always is. I didnt understand it at most times, but you just have to think and open up your mind and you will understand and enjoy it. 8/10 Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
9
filmtrashreviewJul 15, 2011
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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
9
TheDaveHimselfJul 11, 2011
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 thisFirst 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
WeAreOneJul 11, 2011
If you know anything about Terrence Malick's previous four films, and enjoyed any of them, then I would expect you to enjoy this film very much. To those who know nothing of Malick's work, I recommend diving right in. You may hate it, butIf you know anything about Terrence Malick's previous four films, and enjoyed any of them, then I would expect you to enjoy this film very much. To those who know nothing of Malick's work, I recommend diving right in. You may hate it, but you also may get caught up in his spell. Is it pretentious? HELL YES. Is it absolutely beautiful cinema that contains images the likes of which have never been portrayed on screen? HELL YES. This film is more an abstract artistic experience than a movie. This is the type of film making I personally love and relish when it comes along, maybe once a year or so. If you consider most art too "artsy", then this is definitely not for you. The only film I can possibly compare this to is 2001: a space odyssey. If that is your type of film, then sit back, and enjoy the ride. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
All this user's reviews
10
opennoiseJul 10, 2011
I perfectly understand why some dislike the movie--it's certainly not for everyone--but for those it works for, including me, I think it's a remarkable achievement. There's not many movies this day that are ambitious as this and succeed asI perfectly understand why some dislike the movie--it's certainly not for everyone--but for those it works for, including me, I think it's a remarkable achievement. There's not many movies this day that are ambitious as this and succeed as poignantly. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
All this user's reviews
7
Biff_LomanJul 10, 2011
Had they left out the NASA pictures, the volcanic and prehistoric footage, and the symphonic music, and straightened out the crooked narrative, The Tree of Life would have been a brave, modest film classic about growing up in Waco, Texas inHad they left out the NASA pictures, the volcanic and prehistoric footage, and the symphonic music, and straightened out the crooked narrative, The Tree of Life would have been a brave, modest film classic about growing up in Waco, Texas in the '50s. It would not have been easy to bring off, with the only singular event, the loss of a son in what must have been the Vietnam War. The dinosaurs and the vulcanism would have had to be replaced by further pertinent footage about the events leading up to the son's going to war, along with the terrible aftermath of his loss. Many elements in the story would have had to be fleshed out. Characters besides the father would have had to be developed beyond near mute and emotional simpletons. They would have to have lives and friends and speak up and better explain themselves to each other and to their God. It would have had to be a lot more Bergman and a lot less Kubrick and Antonioni. Malick took the easy way out. He bludgeoned us with Mahler, who will draw tears from a stone gazing at a blank white screen; and he enthralled us with the photographic glories of Hubble's universe. He (and we) would have been better served to dispense with the manipulation and stick to the touchingly simple story he had to tell, of which we got only a beautiful outline. Perhaps it was fear that that story was dated and twice-told that prompted him to go cosmic. But, there is a profound discontinuity between the one realm and the other, and Mahler, the lovely footage, along with painfully trite questions addressed to that God do not begin to adequately bridge it of deflect the viewer's disappointment in the director/author's dodging the real questions. It was a nice try, though. Expand
0 of 5 users found this helpful05
All this user's reviews
10
JMcJul 10, 2011
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 wouldDays 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.
Expand
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
All this user's reviews
10
kittearthaJul 8, 2011
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 forI 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
5 of 7 users found this helpful52
All this user's reviews
10
canudoa9Jul 6, 2011
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
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.
Expand
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
All this user's reviews
10
SteverinoJul 4, 2011
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 andWhat 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
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
All this user's reviews
9
ZhangYimouJul 4, 2011
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 aTerrance 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
10
9TwistedRosesJul 2, 2011
Terrance Malick has done it. The Tree of Life is a masterpiece to say the least. Although, it is not for everyone, this movie is only for those who enjoy thinking. Not saying you are stupid if you don't like this movie, but it requires yourTerrance Malick has done it. The Tree of Life is a masterpiece to say the least. Although, it is not for everyone, this movie is only for those who enjoy thinking. Not saying you are stupid if you don't like this movie, but it requires your full attention. I have seen the movie twice now and the first time I watched it, i was a little unsure, but let me tell you, when I finished it a second time, I was 100% that is was the greatest movie that I had ever seen. Every shot and every piece of dialogue had a deeper meaning or double meaning. If you enjoy pandering and devouring films, The Tree of Life is the movie for you, and the people that say this movie is despicable and worthless, I doubt i'll be seeing you on that beach. -Respectfully submitted- Expand
4 of 10 users found this helpful46
All this user's reviews
10
UglyNUncreativeJul 1, 2011
People tend to love or hate Terrence Malick movies. Typically the reasons people dislike his movies boil down to not really wanting to see one to begin with. Movies follow a pretty tried and true narrative structure, Malick does A LOT ofPeople tend to love or hate Terrence Malick movies. Typically the reasons people dislike his movies boil down to not really wanting to see one to begin with. Movies follow a pretty tried and true narrative structure, Malick does A LOT of mucking around with that formula. The best way I can describe it is it's like watching a book, not a movie; with all a books intransigent internal monologues and descriptions of environments - things which are typically cut down or removed entirely from a movie or simply conveyed in entirely different methods. Between TV shows and movies, we consume a vast amount of the standard structure of movies in any given day, week, month, or life - so you get into a rut of thinking this is the way it's done, because that standardization allows you to quickly consume whatever information is being conveyed in the entertainment you're indulging in. If you're looking for standard fare, you will be greatly disappointed by Malick, find his work boring, disjointed, and/or confusing. It's not that it's necessarily a BETTER form of audio/visual story-telling, it's not that by not getting it, you're somehow an idiot or uncultured, you probably just weren't really in the mood for experimentation is all. That said, once you invest the time to "get" his work, it's immensely gratifying and profoundly moving on a deeply personal level. I personally never watch his films with someone else, it would distract me from my preferred method of digesting the thoughts behind his art. That said... I just got back from watching The Tree of Life and can promise you, if you like his work, you will not be disappointed in the least. It was... a beautiful, wondrous, stunning, awe-inspiring, and moving meditation on the nature of existence. Expand
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
All this user's reviews
8
raymondJul 1, 2011
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 specialI 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
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
All this user's reviews
10
ZachBJun 30, 2011
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.
4 of 8 users found this helpful44
All this user's reviews
10
thebdmethodJun 27, 2011
Truly an amazing cinematic experience unlike any movie before it. The movie is more like a poem than a narrative. The movie captures moments similar to our human memories. When we think back on our own life's it usually comes with quickTruly an amazing cinematic experience unlike any movie before it. The movie is more like a poem than a narrative. The movie captures moments similar to our human memories. When we think back on our own life's it usually comes with quick impressions and flashes of moments rather then a cohesive story. This is a bran new type of storytelling, congrats to Malick for doing something so obviously human. Expand
5 of 11 users found this helpful56
All this user's reviews
10
CaitJun 26, 2011
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 soPlease, 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.
Expand
5 of 10 users found this helpful55
All this user's reviews