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Generally favorable reviews- based on 523 Ratings

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  1. Oct 2, 2014
    Short verison:
    Tie an hd camera to your dog. Set him loose in your neighborhood. Boom -- Tree of Life.

    Long version:
    But here's the real meaining of the movie.. cow. horse. crying. rain. let's play catch in the yard. Now let's have Brad Pitt sit in front of an old tv and grumble. Applesauce. Clouds. The sun. Wander aimlessly in a parking ramp. Wonder about the meaning of your
    kids. Who may have died. Next week. Squirrels and pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins. Speaking of which, I like vanilla. Expand
  2. Jul 25, 2014
    . This movie is worse than black people.
    Only Joking. No, seriously, this movie is awful.
    Brad Pitt's worst movie
    Sean Penn's worst movie
    Daniel Day Lewis worst movie
  3. Jun 2, 2014
    One of the worst movies I have ever seen. I kept waiting for it to get better, but to no avail. This movie spent so much effort trying to prove that it was some sort of artistic piece, that it totally forgot the basic element of entertainment. This movie is so different that I can see how critics view it as powerful or moving when taken as a whole. But minute-to-minute, this was flat out BORING. After the first 30 minutes I almost turned it off because I thought I was watching a National Geographic documentary on how the Earth was formed. And then after suffering through bizarre and nonsensical imagery, pointless scenes about a typical boy's childhood (OK, I get it. Boys like to wrestle and throw rocks), and absolutely NO plot, I was thankful when this movie finally ended. Unfortunately I will never get those 2 hours of my life back. If you want a movie that actually has a plot, is entertaining, or is actually ABOUT SOMETHING, do not watch this movie. You have been warned! Expand
  4. Dec 12, 2013
    incredibly boring is the second movie that made me left the theater (the other one being i know what you did last summer). It shows a philosophical way about life joining all the elements in the universe and earth. Boooring.
  5. Nov 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.
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    I felt like I was being punished to have to sit through this garbage. I thought I was going to go crazy just starring at all those meaningless camera shots. I could have thought of a hundred ways to spend my time better than watching this.
  7. Apr 16, 2013
    it's one of the fewest movies that i literally stopped watching after about 10 minutes only it's mute and boring i'm not a fan of these movies and never will be as a movie fan i like to see story that i can understand and relate to it call me shallow but this is how i feel about movies so i think this movie is for over-educated critics and sophisticated people not for people who seek an entertainment and having a good time. Expand
  8. Apr 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 at all.It's an philosophical educational ride.
  9. Feb 15, 2013
    One of, it not the most boring horrendous movie of all time. It is so unbearable to watch that I don't even feel comfortable calling this mindless piece of garbage an actual movie.
  10. Jan 13, 2013
    Just because a movie is filmed beautifully doesn't make it the best movie ever. A film needs a story, or at least some sort of plot. I tried to view this movie multiple times to find some sort of abstract or hidden meaning behind it, but I have been unsuccessful. Capturing only little snippets of a person's life here and there, then throwing in some dinosaurs doesn't make for a compelling story in my opinion. Expand
  11. Dec 22, 2012
    Without doubt THE WORST film I have ever seen. Do not waste 2 hours of your life watching this! It is utter garbage. If I were Brad or Jessica I would wear a bag over my head and pretend I was never in this film! I joined this site just to review this, so strong is my desire to warn others. It is seriously seriously BAD!
  12. Nov 24, 2012
    {Queue psychedelic music} ... "Why are there animated dinosaurs on the screen?" ... "Where did all the high-price actors go?" ... "Why did I rent this movie?" ... "Why did I wait so long to turn it off?" ... These are the actual questions you'll ask yourself when you watch the, "Tree of Life". This movie is less about following the "life journey" of a "disillusioned adult" and more about "testing the patience" of "bemused adults". Expand
  13. Sep 17, 2012
    The Tree of Life is the most wanky and self-indulgent film I
  14. Aug 10, 2012
    Stunning visuals here are ultimately undone by a lack of a story. The purpose behind film is to tell a coherent story and this movie fails in that most basic task. Instead, it unabashedly shoves and unappreciated message down the audience's throat.
  15. Jul 30, 2012
    This movie was AWFUL. Pretentious, The plot was simplistic but full of self importance. Once of the worse movies I have seen in a very long time. The only good thing I have to say is that I didn't pay to see it at a cinema. But it makes me reconsider canceling my HBO.
  16. Jul 8, 2012
    If i tied a video camera to my dog's arse, then fed it acid and let it run around town for a couple of days, the results would be infinitely better than this pile of horse ****
  17. May 30, 2012
    This movie is terrible. Terrence Malick may be a philosopher, but he isn't a filmmaker. This movie is incredibly ham-fisted in its attempts to translate the philosophical concepts through metaphor. He does so less successfully than a real filmmaker unconsciously would. The cinematography in 'The Tree Of Life' may be quite good, as well as some performances, but that is not directly the result of Malick's directing.

    This is art for art's sake. It is not deep or intelligent. This is just bad - and Malick as the director is responsible.

    Please do not see this.
  18. Apr 11, 2012
    Visually stunning with no significant plotline. Films like these where the special effects outdo the well-crafted hopefully not too complicated plotline, yet amass a vast quantity of critical acclaim, make me question how desperate film companies are in order to achieve at least a satisfactory level. Probably the only perfect reason why it got the Palme D'or at the Cannes Film Festival was because it has the god-like standard and wonderful form of the special effects to make it look professional. Although, I did enjoy how insignificant we are in this universe, cue the 'stunning visual effects' again, which is compared to how we live, but due to what I said earlier, I would nominate this for a 'one-watch only' award, as this didn't seem anything to go on. I find it is better to stick up for the films which are genuinely good but unappreciated and sometimes immorally slammed by the critics, than to sugar coat the films that do not deserve even a satisfactory review. The film was confusing, and Sean Penn was barely in it. Funny how the beginning can be compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I'd rather watch, because it is beautiful and has a plot, and I want to doubt that this film will ever be a classic compared to a Stanley Kubrick film. I never liked Brad Pitt anyway. Expand
  19. Mar 26, 2012
    Can someone explain to me what i just sat through because i can't. was it a movie? was there a story? No and no. The director should never make a movie again. Extremely boring with annoying people throughout. Made no sense at all. Couldn't wait for it to be over. Horrible.
  20. Mar 24, 2012
    A movie as deep, meaningful and exquisitely crafted as a Powerpoint presentation. The genius of it, is being so vague that anyone can interpret it as they see fit. Question the reviewers that give this movie an amazing score the same way you question the people who find the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast. Trust your instincts. That urge to yawn and look at your watch while this is playing is not your fault. Comparing this to Kubrick is an insult. Kubrick movies had abstract elements, but they were never boring. Even so, Kubrick never had the unanimous praise Malick gets for turds like these. Help your fellow movie watcher and classify all 10/10 reviews of this movie as "unhelpful". This emperor is as clothed as a Sphynx cat. Expand
  21. Mar 11, 2012
    I cannot believe this movie got so much good reviews, It was a bad movie.. There was no story line but there was an hour of displaying national geographic videos and photos.
  22. Mar 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'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!
  23. Feb 18, 2012
    It appears that those that are giving this movie high scores seems to be trying to find some sort of a deeper meaning from this crap of a movie. I went into this movie with a open mind thinking that this movie was suppose to be about life most profound questions, something really thought provoking. Sadly this is not that sort of film. This movie is sort of this badly put together film about a single dysfunctional family and having faith in God. I heard that some people are trying to compare this movie to 2001 Space Odyssey? This film is not! Expand
  24. Jan 27, 2012
    Just a glorified windows screen saver with music. I usually watch every movie, even the bad ones, to the end. This is the in a long time first that I left in the middle, as I found myself thinking about other stuff while the images passed before my eyes.
  25. Jan 25, 2012
    CRAP!!! My words here, no words ever, can fully describe how bad ths movie is. The fact that The Academy has blessed it by giving both it and Terrence Malick Oscar nods does not change the crap factor. Please don't rush out and rent this garbage unless you want to waste more than 2 hours of your time. Many shots in the film are beautiful and the acting is good, but none of that helps this movie. It's self- absorbed, pretentious, pseudo-intellectual garbage. Come on - an introspective dinosaur - give me a break. I know that was only one quick scene, but it is a commentary on how ridiculously awful thus movie is. Horrible. Expand
  26. Jan 22, 2012
    Feast or famine is the deal here, there's no in-between. It's a love or hate movie. To sum up this movie, Tree of Life is a 138 min screen saver. Just because something looks good doesnt translate to being a good movie, good story, or good concept.
  27. Jan 11, 2012
    The Tree of Life is a triumph of brash personality & pomposity over craft, subtlety and modesty. I'm not at all against long-winded and non-linear films; one of my all time favourites is Koyaanisqatsi, a film that brilliantly brings together stunning images with fairly haunting but epic musical themes to create an overall feeling of awe. The Tree of Life is trying a similar trick but fails. Miserably. The problem is Malick's desire to imbue the film with some sort of genius insight. Moments that should be stunning instead feel forced and contrived. Rather than letting images speak for themselves, there is a constant metaphor or insight forced in your face which seems laughable. In fact, despite normally being a very restrained and concentrated viewer, myself and my friend found ourselves chuckling quietly on at least 3 occasions. I won't go into details, but the dinosaur scene is potentially the most ridiculous and conceited I have ever viewed. The genius of great directors is to carefully put together a movie that captures the minds of it's audience, whilst carefully sculpting the characters and story in order to provide a certain experience for them, whilst they are pre-occupied elsewhere. The images, though beautiful, do not deserve much attention and so you are left to analyse Malick's composition, which it leaves it horrendously exposed. I felt as embarrassed as if I had just accidentally walked in on a cheating couple. The 2 in the score above is solely for the section following the family. Brad Pitt and his co-stars act this brilliantly and the slow pace, quiet soundtrack and beautiful photography seize you completely. I became so involved in this brief section that every second afterwards was incredibly painful, and like many other reviewers below, sighed in relief every time I mistakenly thought the film had ended.

    This section is a fantastic interlude in an otherwise dreadful movie, perfectly summed up when Sean Penn is left kneeling on a beach towards the end. Hideously pompous, briefly brilliant, but ultimately farcical.
  28. Jan 10, 2012
    So boring. Not even Brad Prit can change how boring this movie is. So long nothing but silence. Yes a father and son story but it is so empty nobody can really relate to the characters.
  29. Jan 9, 2012
    This movie was bad. It was like sitting at a table with a doosh who is trying to tell you what the meaning of life is- it's bad. If you say that you did not like this movie typicly people or "hipsters" will mentaly decide you just where not smart enough to get it.... It was a waste of money...
  30. Jan 3, 2012
    Tree of Life is an attempted artistic expression, which I encourage and appreciate. You will not see many films like it. The problem is that the movie has no entertainment value. If you are going to watch this movie, expect to watch the ultimate art house film. If it isn't your niche then you will be bored senseless.

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

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