Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: May 27, 2011
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 643 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
437
Mixed:
86
Negative:
120
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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4
cylixdemasJul 25, 2011
This film had an incredible amount of potential. Every second of the preview did carry a great sense of intrigue. The reality is that, although one may consider themselves to be artistic, this does not mean that one can claim that their artThis film had an incredible amount of potential. Every second of the preview did carry a great sense of intrigue. The reality is that, although one may consider themselves to be artistic, this does not mean that one can claim that their art is good. The film is hands down beautiful, the acting is incredible, and the concept is straightforward. The film however can not decide what it wants to be. The scenes rely to much on artistic value and throw in very superfluous and archaic metaphysical scenes; accompanied with an historical scene of the origin of the universe. You may conclude that this movie is a horrible malformation of three different movies into one. Expand
5 of 11 users found this helpful56
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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
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1
gnomeninja123Jan 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 notThis 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... Expand
5 of 11 users found this helpful56
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0
Jorge102Dec 29, 2011
I signed up just to review this movie. I enjoy stimulating films, and count in my collection movies by Jodorowsky and other fascinating directors. I am no stranger to weird cinema. This movie is the worst piece of crap to ever be filmed. ItI signed up just to review this movie. I enjoy stimulating films, and count in my collection movies by Jodorowsky and other fascinating directors. I am no stranger to weird cinema. This movie is the worst piece of crap to ever be filmed. It makes absolutely no sense at all, goes in no direction and is totally unwatchable. Critics say they love this because for the most part they are pretentious idiots who are not brave enough to say they don't get it. Stay away from this movie like the plague. Expand
5 of 11 users found this helpful56
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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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1
SASJul 20, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film seems like a desperate attempt to create a beautiful film that stands out from others, however the result is a substance-less and confused mish-mash of semi religious, semi romantic ideas about the world, life and some memories of the main character's childhood.

You also get about 40 minutes worth of computer generated images of galaxies, dinosaurs, caves, Windows Vista screen savers and a few other things, all softly faded together and narrated by a softly spoken voice citing phrases such as "o brother" and the like... . One would guess it is trying to tell the story of creation, but who knows!

The other half of the film is depiction of a young boy's childhood, again delivering very little value to the audience.

To give credit to the film, if you are watching on a good HD screen, some of the cgi scenes are beautiful and there are probably about 2-3 meaningful sentences spoken through the film. Brad Pitt's role is played well, however is somewhat similar to his other casting in 50-60s.

In summary, if there is a film that will leave your head scratching and makes you want to ask for your money back, this is it!
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4 of 9 users found this helpful45
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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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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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0
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 14 users found this helpful68
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0
mikulukJul 15, 2011
I was thinking that watching all the small town happiness cliches that I had already seen in The Thin Red line might work out if the film turned out to be the autobiography of David Koresh ... and there was a brief flash of unexplainedI was thinking that watching all the small town happiness cliches that I had already seen in The Thin Red line might work out if the film turned out to be the autobiography of David Koresh ... and there was a brief flash of unexplained flaming house near the end, but I think that was just a flashback to Badlands ... so, no, it turns out to be the autobiography of Sean Penn, but that's not evenaccurate because I knew Sean's father and he was not Brad Pitt. Expand
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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1
FatBoyDriftJul 15, 2011
The completely polarized reviews here, where everyone seems to give it 10 or 1, probably tell you everything you need to know. If you're a high-art film and/or Malick fan, you'll love it. If you're dubious; trust that instinct! Me? I cannotThe completely polarized reviews here, where everyone seems to give it 10 or 1, probably tell you everything you need to know. If you're a high-art film and/or Malick fan, you'll love it. If you're dubious; trust that instinct! Me? I cannot remember the last time I noticed so many people in the theater squirming in their seats waiting for the film to end. Toward the finish of the movie, during some of the (many) fades-to-black, you could feel the palpable tension in the audience as we collectively hoped to see credits roll. I know there are fans who will assume I'm too stupid to get it, but this film is simply not the rich tapestry the 10-scorers here seem to believe. I found it to be weapons-grade self-indulgence, possessing a limited number of cards that it plays repeatedly. Feels way longer than 135 minutes. It gets 2 not zero for the striking visuals â Expand
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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2
MagnificentMDec 21, 2011
The Tree of Life is the perfect example of a love-hate movie. Either you see it and you are suddenly enlightened into some sort of great insight and deep meaning that the movie has hidden deep within or you are left wondering what the hellThe Tree of Life is the perfect example of a love-hate movie. Either you see it and you are suddenly enlightened into some sort of great insight and deep meaning that the movie has hidden deep within or you are left wondering what the hell you just saw and how you ever managed to stay awake through the whole thing. For me, I hated the film. It seemed utterly pointless, and I have no idea how others can look at it and see anything other than jumbled and very poor story telling albeit with beautiful cinematography. My theory is that many people see themselves as being very insightful and artistic and therefore they embrace this movie saying that they, with their great artistic minds and deep thought, found profound meaning in this movie. Expand
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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0
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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4
cockaigneMay 28, 2011
If you're idea of this movie is watching someone paint for 135 minutes, then dive right in. Granted, it's a beautiful painting, but it's tedious and you'll be relieved when it's finished. Details are irrelevant, this is a 30K feet film thatIf you're idea of this movie is watching someone paint for 135 minutes, then dive right in. Granted, it's a beautiful painting, but it's tedious and you'll be relieved when it's finished. Details are irrelevant, this is a 30K feet film that masters students will toil over for generations. I felt like I had to counterbalance the film with some mind-numbing action flick when I was done. It's not that I don't appreciate the art of film, but I would like some semblance of a plot and a little less whispering. Bravo, but no thanks. Expand
7 of 17 users found this helpful710
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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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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
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0
WoodseyJul 12, 2011
One of the most self-indulgent films I've ever seen. I'm stunned that so many critics liked this. It's different, yes, and it is beautiful in a purely visual way, but it is not enjoyable. Slow, tedious, and extraordinarily boring. The endingOne of the most self-indulgent films I've ever seen. I'm stunned that so many critics liked this. It's different, yes, and it is beautiful in a purely visual way, but it is not enjoyable. Slow, tedious, and extraordinarily boring. The ending was so bad, I thought it was a joke, and we were being filmed for our reactions. Sorry, this film is overhyped, overrated, it just isn't that good. Expand
4 of 10 users found this helpful46
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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
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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
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2
EmilzJul 7, 2011
I have been excited for this film ever since I saw the trailer a few months ago, but The Tree of Life disappointed me completely. The only reason I give this film a 2 was because the cinematography was beautiful - the movie takes place inI have been excited for this film ever since I saw the trailer a few months ago, but The Tree of Life disappointed me completely. The only reason I give this film a 2 was because the cinematography was beautiful - the movie takes place in sprawling suburbs, dense forests and ultramodern urban environments that were very pretty to look at. But what killed this movie for me was not the lack of plot and development, it was the excruciatingly dull 15 minute montages of everything from oceans to CGI'd dinosaurs. Three people in the theatre left during the longest of these sequences, and I found myself either falling asleep or silently begging for them to end. I even considered leaving myself. Although I appreciate the director's attempts to create something artful, The Tree of Life was not enjoyable in the slightest for me, or anyone else in the theatre. When the credits finally rolled, people let out sighs of relief and I heard at least two "finally!"s! Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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2
DenverMovieGoerJul 8, 2011
yuch! Never (or rarely) has my reaction to a movie been at such variance to the critics and the consensus.
Brad Pitt meets Hubble telescope and Jurassic Park!
Puh-lease!
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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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
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0
bigbosslunaJan 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.
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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0
ProfLeGutAug 1, 2011
There are people who will call this film art. There are people who will call this film poetry. When you hear those defences, just remember - there is lots of really bad art and poetry! I'm surprised to see so many experienced critics drawn inThere are people who will call this film art. There are people who will call this film poetry. When you hear those defences, just remember - there is lots of really bad art and poetry! I'm surprised to see so many experienced critics drawn in by this piece of pretentious nonsense. Who says there are two paths through life - the path of nature and the path of grace? And who says nature inevitably equals all things bad, and so is the father, or that grace is all things good and so of course the mother? This black and white vision of the world is not sophisticated - it is simplistic. Don't be fooled by this film! Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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1
JordanspickMar 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.
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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