Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: May 27, 2011
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 612 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
413
Mixed:
79
Negative:
120
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1
felbert55Nov 10, 2011
It's not film worthy of review because it's not really a film. The first half-hour is filled with extraordinary cinematography that belongs in a segment of the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. The rest is unintelligible bizarre nonsense.It's not film worthy of review because it's not really a film. The first half-hour is filled with extraordinary cinematography that belongs in a segment of the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. The rest is unintelligible bizarre nonsense. It has no "narrative." Like abstract art I suppose those who love it make up something to explain it's meaning. Somewhere in the 6 lines of dialogue Brad Pitt defines "subjective" as something in your own mind that cannot be proved (or disproved) by others. All opinions are subjective and I respect those of others, but it's amazing to me that anyone could call this mind-numbing experience a masterpiece of film making. Imagine if the "acid trip" scene from Easy Rider had been the entire film. That's what this is... just a lot longer. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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1
brewsterJun 5, 2011
I do not know quite where to begin. My wife and I are college graduates, she is an attorney and I have done some graduate work. We read about this movie in the Austin paper on Friday because Terry Malick lives here. A lengthy article whichI do not know quite where to begin. My wife and I are college graduates, she is an attorney and I have done some graduate work. We read about this movie in the Austin paper on Friday because Terry Malick lives here. A lengthy article which only touched on the utter incomprehensibility of this movie. Malick may be a genius in the same way Jackson Pollack was: perhaps once someone tediously explains what you are looking at, you smile, walk away, but still dont get it. If you thought 2001: A Space Odessey was challenging, you are not going to like this. It starts with an overly drawn out Big Bang sequence, contains a dinosaur sequence fresh from Jurrasic Park, and closes with the end of time. I say "closes" because the movie is SO long, you think (and hope) it ends well before it does (several false closes) and then thankfully ends, seemingly five hours later. I wish I were more artistic and etherial and could somehow recommend this movie, which clearly was made for artistic and etherial critics, and those endless Cannes/Sundance/Toronto film festivals for an award. We ordinarily trust Metacritic's critic scores faithfully to attend or not attend movies. This time, ignore them and trust the User Reviews. Expand
17 of 38 users found this helpful1721
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0
reaeperJun 21, 2011
This movie was trying to be way to 'deep'. All of the drawn out space and dinosaur adventures are pointless, and add absolutely nothing to the movie. The middle portion of the movie- where it is actually comprehensible- is mediocre, butThis movie was trying to be way to 'deep'. All of the drawn out space and dinosaur adventures are pointless, and add absolutely nothing to the movie. The middle portion of the movie- where it is actually comprehensible- is mediocre, but watchable, but add all the unnecessary filler, and you get a crap movie. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying too hard. Expand
4 of 11 users found this helpful47
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1
weisbergerJun 26, 2011
Perhaps since this movie made me think "please god let it end" for an hour, it was a religious experience. Otherwise not so much. This was the Hubble space telescope meets pseudo profundity. There is nothing quite so trite as overwroughtPerhaps since this movie made me think "please god let it end" for an hour, it was a religious experience. Otherwise not so much. This was the Hubble space telescope meets pseudo profundity. There is nothing quite so trite as overwrought emotion, and this movie is really trite. With access to the technology necessary it could have been made by a high school student - there wasn't an insight in it that most overwrought 17 yr olds haven't had. I wanted to see what the fuss was about so blew two hours; trust me and don't make that same mistake yourself. Expand
15 of 31 users found this helpful1516
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0
nomdiploomJul 28, 2011
Shamefully derivative, in love with its own symbolism, and at least 30 minutes too long. First glimpse of eternity---fine, I got it. But after a zillion Hubble shots---would have prefered waterboarding!!
Go back to film school. At least the
Shamefully derivative, in love with its own symbolism, and at least 30 minutes too long. First glimpse of eternity---fine, I got it. But after a zillion Hubble shots---would have prefered waterboarding!!
Go back to film school. At least the costumers got it right.
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2 of 8 users found this helpful26
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1
JamesLJun 5, 2011
This is one of the most over rated and underwhelming films in years. It is worst than "The Thin Red Line" . I got the message but I have seen the message delivered in other films. I have also seen the message delivered in a manner that makesThis is one of the most over rated and underwhelming films in years. It is worst than "The Thin Red Line" . I got the message but I have seen the message delivered in other films. I have also seen the message delivered in a manner that makes you give a damn. Malick is a pretentious fraud hiding as an essentialist guru. I feel sorry for him and the casual film goer who will be sucked in by the glowing reviews. A.O. Scott of the NY Times should apologize for his review. Simply a disaster disguised as art! Expand
10 of 23 users found this helpful1013
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3
wishmasterSep 16, 2011
Disappointing movie, 10 minutes thought I was watching a documentary wtf.! they did not understand a plot way too rare and really boring ... the only thing salvageable is the excellent cinematography, the soundtrack and sound effects .. theDisappointing movie, 10 minutes thought I was watching a documentary wtf.! they did not understand a plot way too rare and really boring ... the only thing salvageable is the excellent cinematography, the soundtrack and sound effects .. the rest next.! Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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2
DearDearJun 23, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Tree of Life is like watching a drama about a family crash into Koyaanisqatsi. The central narrative is well-acted and poignant at times, but it gets lost in a ponderous muddle of poorly done CGI dinosaurs and stock footage of canyons, waterfalls, and reflections of clouds rolling across glass skyscrapers. Even the score, with its heavy use of woodwinds and choir, could've been composed by Philip Glass. I got the impression Malick was trying to serve up profundities about life, death and the connectedness of everything, but alas, I'm a mere mortal and I couldn't follow this mysterious trail of breadcrumbs. The metaphors are bloated-red-giant-sun-consuming-the-earth kind of overblown. I give the film credit for its beautiful cinematography, but even there it tries one's patience, with pointless slice of life scenes that drag on forever. The film's running time is apparently geological. Save yourself whatever it would cost to see this pretentious mess and buy a can of paint instead. You'll surely find more entertainment in watching it dry. Expand
3 of 8 users found this helpful35
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0
RSSJun 10, 2011
I'm sorry -- what is this movie? Don't expect a story or caring about the characters. Good visuals, but lacking reason. I can't remember the last time I wanted to get up and walk out of a movie, but this came close.
11 of 25 users found this helpful1114
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0
perfectdOct 2, 2011
This movie goes to far into nowhere. This is a movie you really, really have to try and like. You haver to look for the meaning of what it means. It's better for DVD so you can go back and watch again so you can develop an explaination ofThis movie goes to far into nowhere. This is a movie you really, really have to try and like. You haver to look for the meaning of what it means. It's better for DVD so you can go back and watch again so you can develop an explaination of what the movie is trying to say. To me it's a baffle them with BS movie and not the great film I was expecting. Horrible. Expand
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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2
MukulApr 8, 2013
I want to review this movie but because as I have just finished it,I am extremely sleepy.
I am someone who gets very much intrigued by life and its spiritual meanings-but THIS has bored me to hell.I mean this shouldn't be termed as a movie
I want to review this movie but because as I have just finished it,I am extremely sleepy.
I am someone who gets very much intrigued by life and its spiritual meanings-but THIS has bored me to hell.I mean this shouldn't be termed as a movie at all.It's an philosophical educational ride.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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1
DHEDec 3, 2011
This movie gets my King-has-no-clothes award for the most inexplicably highly rated movie of the year (previous winners: Forrest Gump, Before Sunset). It was basically 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back. I spent the first hourThis movie gets my King-has-no-clothes award for the most inexplicably highly rated movie of the year (previous winners: Forrest Gump, Before Sunset). It was basically 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back. I spent the first hour waiting for the movie to start and the last hour waiting for it to end. Somehow, I made it to the finish, but not without a cost: the wasted effort that went into trying (and I did try) to find even a moment worth watching on any level left me feeling cranky and cheated. The movie did not make me laugh, cry, think, or wonder; it was monumentally unmoving. The spirituality at its core was soaringly sophomoric (not to mention off-putting). If it was meant to serve as a unifying theme linking everything (and by "everything" I mean everything) in a halo of enlightenment, the actual effect was closer to self-parody. I get the set up -- tough-love Dad suppressing his own dreams and trying (yet not trying) to make emotional connections, and the toll his own internal struggle takes on the family -- but there was so little to like about the characters that I found myself hoping the movie gods would drop a large heavy object on the lot of them, much like the eldest son wished the God-god would drop a car on his father. In some ways, the mother, presumably meant to be the sympathetic figure in the story, was the least likable of the lot (good luck with that Grace thing). Or maybe it was the oldest son, molded into a wretched little torturer by the contradictory and capricious demands of his father, that we were meant to empathize with. Whatever; it didn't work. The number 2 (?) son (call him Trust) flickered around the edges accompanied by a general "goodness" vibe, but never quite materialized into a person, and the third son was virtually indistinguishable from the other neighborhood kids. One of the three sons somehow grows up to be Sean Penn, a successful urban professional (architect?) whose stoic middle-distance gaze appears meant to speak wordlessly (literally) to unsettled "issues". It's not quite like I don't have anything good to say about the movie. Brad Pitt was great, as always. (I'd watch him read a phone book; in fact, I'd rather have watched him read a phone book). Sean Penn is always interesting to look at, even if he's not really doing anything. Dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs) made a brief, but engaging appearance (maybe Malick can use these scenes as starter material for a logically dialog-free movie). And one last thing: If you got rid of all the scenes with people, it would make a halfway decent screensaver. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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0
DigitalkidMar 10, 2012
Tree of Life is trying so hard to be something deep and symbolic, that it's just ridiculous. Now I see the world with the eyes of a happy innocent child, and then I see miracles of god's creation, and then I see some drama from young man'sTree of Life is trying so hard to be something deep and symbolic, that it's just ridiculous. Now I see the world with the eyes of a happy innocent child, and then I see miracles of god's creation, and then I see some drama from young man's past.. So put it together for god's sake! It's like I saw 100500 art-house movies, so now I can make my own. NO! Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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0
MorriBeySep 3, 2011
Roger Moore from the Orlando Sentinel review says it all. "Glibly put, this challenging time-skipping rumination is the big screen equivalent of watching that "Tree" grow."
The only good thing is that now i know which reviewer to follow.
Roger Moore from the Orlando Sentinel review says it all. "Glibly put, this challenging time-skipping rumination is the big screen equivalent of watching that "Tree" grow."
The only good thing is that now i know which reviewer to follow. Nothing more to say.
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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2
Baggins_ozNov 5, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I begin by stating that I love cinema that isn't afraid to be different. I love to be challenged. But this film struck me as being self indulgent pretentious film-making at its worst.

There is an outline of good story hidden in there, and one that deserved a far better telling; the story of a family falling to pieces and struggling to hold itself together...and perhaps a chance to explore how a tragedy affects these dynamics.

Instead we are presented with some loosely sketched hints of metaphysics and ruminations on God. There is also an interminable section that follows the birth of the Universe, formation of the Earth and Dinosuar extinction very much like it was lifted from NatGeo (or lifted from Fantasia)...which I struggle to find any link to the story being told. Yes, they were very pretty pictures, but what purpose did they serve?

On the positive side, the cinematography is stunning. There are truly breathtaking images, and even mundane scenes are shot with brilliance.
The acting is amazing the whole cast inhabit the characters they portray. Which is all the more reason I am so dissappointed; this film could have been so much better.
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0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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0
adarshJun 4, 2011
Punishingly pretentious. No stable narrative or dialogues. Piece of crap. Terrence Malick really is a very pseudo-intellectual director. I hope this film is a huge failure
10 of 22 users found this helpful1012
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3
LISTEN2MEMay 27, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Beautiful to look at but a big snore for big parts of the film. How many exploding galaxies, space blobs, microbes and waterfall shots can you have in one film? The CGI of the dinosaurs wasn't great. Brad Pitt is excellent but you want more of that story later in the 60s and less of the endless creation sequences. The ending is long, tedious and not captivating. Disappointing. Much rather watch Badlands or Days of Heaven again. An excellent visual experiment that doesn't connect emotionally, except in a couple of brief scenes. Expand
2 of 9 users found this helpful27
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1
futurehousesMay 29, 2011
Painful experience, this movie was really bad. The lack of story and important elements turns it into a film in front of which you are bound to fall asleep if not for very strong will power. I'm even reconsidering giving this 1 on 10 ...Painful experience, this movie was really bad. The lack of story and important elements turns it into a film in front of which you are bound to fall asleep if not for very strong will power. I'm even reconsidering giving this 1 on 10 ...
After merely 10 minutes, people were already leaving from the cinema. This movie was a joke. Sean Penn acts two minutes at the beginning and for approximately the same duration at the end. His mention on the film advertisements is a real steal. He doesn't even speak, barely ...
The opening cosmos-creation scenes are interesting, but fairly boring after sitting for 30 minutes in front of them while listening to the snoring of the man at your right (who gave up at the very start).
Well, I do not recommend this feature, which is a very poor one in my opinion.
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3 of 11 users found this helpful38
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1
metamtamMay 31, 2011
The first 20 minutes are a succession of postcard shots with no consistency and no dialogs. No story telling, people don't talk, they just whisper "god... oh god... please god...". It was so centered on religion that it became both boring andThe first 20 minutes are a succession of postcard shots with no consistency and no dialogs. No story telling, people don't talk, they just whisper "god... oh god... please god...". It was so centered on religion that it became both boring and ridiculous in a matter of minutes. This does not deserve to be called a movie, it only felt like a scam. Even Lost Highway immediately makes more sense than that! Expand
3 of 12 users found this helpful39
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1
paulaldJun 4, 2011
It is a well-known cinema fact that any movie with both people and dinosaurs can not be good. I wonder how long it took Sean Penn to learn his lines.
1 of 9 users found this helpful18
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1
JDIAMONDJun 5, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Worst movie ever 20 people got up and left I wish I had and gotten my money back.
What were they thinking............................................................................
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2 of 8 users found this helpful26
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1
FrankDJun 9, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the most pretentious movies I've ever seen, from the film's opening, whispered voice-overs which are virtually incomprehensible to anyone with A+ hearing, to the final, final, final ending when all meet joyfully or joylessly (once again the audience doesn't know what to think and ultimately doesn't care) in Heaven with images and philosophical BS I haven't seen since enduring the pandering, ridiculous, simplistic movie shown at the Mormon pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Contemplating your navel has been taken to a new low. Last, but not least, what was Sean Penn doing in this movie? Looking for his Maalox and Gas-X? How such an excellent, caring actor and person got involved in this twaddle 'tis a puzzlement. Expand
4 of 12 users found this helpful48
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1
tomeqJun 11, 2011
Total triumph of form over content. This movie is pathetically obvious, so daub that it hurts. Tons of cheap cliches. Movie just screams on me with obviousness. After 2 and a half hour of movie I was unable to tell what is this movie allTotal triumph of form over content. This movie is pathetically obvious, so daub that it hurts. Tons of cheap cliches. Movie just screams on me with obviousness. After 2 and a half hour of movie I was unable to tell what is this movie all about. One will say - about life. Come on. This kind of story was told several hundred of times. This is neither new or interesting - it is simple as a brick. The worst movies are those that gives you nothing and you come out of cinema with nothing in head. This one is even worse - leaves you distaste and feeling of being cheated. Complete waste of time. Expand
3 of 10 users found this helpful37
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1
cafewriteJun 11, 2011
Pretentious rambling sporadic self conflagulation lauded by critics too afraid to go against the popular grain. This is one man's random splattering of hubble photographs interspersed with Brat Pitt posing as a real person and Sean PennPretentious rambling sporadic self conflagulation lauded by critics too afraid to go against the popular grain. This is one man's random splattering of hubble photographs interspersed with Brat Pitt posing as a real person and Sean Penn attempting to look thoughtful in cameo shots. The only real actors are the boys left adrift in a plotless story. Save your $ and buy a lottery ticket instead. At least that randomness has a shot at paying off. Expand
13 of 29 users found this helpful1316
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noboxofcandyJun 21, 2011
I couldn't wait for this film to be over. Terry Malik rips off Stanley Kubrick's 2001; Orson Wells' Magnificent Ambersons and several other "Scenes From A Marriage" - like films in producing one giant yawn of an overextended lesson in aI couldn't wait for this film to be over. Terry Malik rips off Stanley Kubrick's 2001; Orson Wells' Magnificent Ambersons and several other "Scenes From A Marriage" - like films in producing one giant yawn of an overextended lesson in a child's coming of age yarn. We see the signs of childhood nature contrasted against the adult world of glass and steel highrises again, and again, and again. So too are the scenes of the domineering father and servile, but repressed, free-spirited wife, bickering again, and again and again. While one can't criticized the level of the acting and the occasionally impressive photography, this could have been made as a silent movie - and by that I mean not even snipets of dialogue cards - for the lack of impact of any verbal communications between any of the characters. Skip this mess unless you're in need of a good two hour's sleep. Expand
5 of 12 users found this helpful57
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0
RedShoesJun 21, 2011
I am an artist and I consider myself to be very open minded. I am also somewhat a fan of Brad Pitt's acting. Regardless, it did not make me like this film. I was disappointed in the story line and embarrassed for Brad to have his nameI am an artist and I consider myself to be very open minded. I am also somewhat a fan of Brad Pitt's acting. Regardless, it did not make me like this film. I was disappointed in the story line and embarrassed for Brad to have his name associated with this artistic disaster. It was just bad. Scenes were choppy. There was no rhyme and reason to some of the scenes. A flashback in time focused on one particular year in childhood instead of a lifetime. And, we certainly could have done without the 'Jurassic Park dinasour' scenes. In the theatre, throughout the movie, people sitting around me were saying, "I don't get it" and I was thinking the same thing. It was a waste of my money and time. Expand
4 of 10 users found this helpful46
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1
jeroenJun 24, 2011
just, i don't know... I had to laugh by a movie trying so hard to explain why God takes away children. It is because God's creation is so much bigger apparently, we are just a tiny part of it. There are dinosaurs and the cosmos and thejust, i don't know... I had to laugh by a movie trying so hard to explain why God takes away children. It is because God's creation is so much bigger apparently, we are just a tiny part of it. There are dinosaurs and the cosmos and the universe (see Hubble pictures). You know? It was said in the bible to Job. "Where were you when I created the earth, you arrogant **** don't complain". In the end we all go to heaven and then you'll get to see all your loved ones back that have gone. You have to walk through a door that is standing in a desert and if you do then you will find lots of people in white robes that walk barefooted on a beach. Yup, that's them, your long lost ones. Aren't you glad you now know where they've been all that time? It is a very spiritual experience and I gained much insight in life's deeper meaning. Zzzzz..... Expand
4 of 15 users found this helpful411
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3
jay215Jun 30, 2011
Indulgent mess of a movie. Had potential but the worse sin is to bore your audience and he did that. The casting of Sean Penn was inexplicable. Brad Pitt was actually not bad, but opportunity missed overall.
2 of 7 users found this helpful25
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verybiasedJul 2, 2011
I signed up for the site just to write this review. I've never felt so misled by a Metacritic metascore.

This movie is not intellectual. It is absolute drek. I like nuanced, interesting movies, and this is neither.
6 of 13 users found this helpful67
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0
dollywizJul 3, 2011
This is on behalf of movielover1 below, who mistakenly gave this a 10 when he/she clearly hated it and meant to rate it a 0, as follows:

movielover1 Jun 20, 201110 Due to this movie, I lost 2 hours of my life that I cannot replace. I
This is on behalf of movielover1 below, who mistakenly gave this a 10 when he/she clearly hated it and meant to rate it a 0, as follows:

movielover1 Jun 20, 201110 Due to this movie, I lost 2 hours of my life that I cannot replace. I consider myself to be perceptive, curious and smart however this movie did not spark any of those traits. Several people in the theater left after about 20 minutes. Those that remained often groaned as they shifted in their seats. When it was finally over we chatted with many people - all of whom said "what the hell was that???". I can honestly say that it was probably the worst movie I have ever seen.â
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2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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