Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: May 27, 2011
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 626 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
425
Mixed:
81
Negative:
120
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3
EssenceOfSugarApr 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 filmVisually 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
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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0
commenter-xMar 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 youA 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
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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3
donvisciniNov 20, 2011
Is this even a movie. It seems to be more like a piece of unfinished art, ready for ordinary ppl to give it it's final touch? i don't know whether to be positive or negative about ToL. The switch between scenes often doesnt seem to have anyIs this even a movie. It seems to be more like a piece of unfinished art, ready for ordinary ppl to give it it's final touch? i don't know whether to be positive or negative about ToL. The switch between scenes often doesnt seem to have any logic. You could play the whole movie backwards and still feel the same about it. I would only recommend this movie to ppl ho have a little bit of affinity with religion, otherwise youd be wasting 2 hours of your life Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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6
tallmanwritingJan 30, 2012
I think I need to watch this a second time. I remember when The Thin Red Line came out and I watched it on opening night in the theater. And I fell asleep it was so boring. But then I went again and cried my eyes out the whole time for theI think I need to watch this a second time. I remember when The Thin Red Line came out and I watched it on opening night in the theater. And I fell asleep it was so boring. But then I went again and cried my eyes out the whole time for the beauty of it. Maybe I'll have the same experience with The Tree of Life. The first ten minutes of this movie were as good a ten minutes as you'll find in a movie. But then there's another two plus hours to go, and I just don't know if one viewing is adequate to explain what I've seen. My wife and I landed on a one-word description: strange. Expand
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1
Knative07Nov 29, 2011
There was a part of this movie where a dinosaur stepped on another dinosaur's head. That was probably the best part of this movie and is also the reason why this movie gets a one instead of a zero. Plot goes like this. Some kid dies inThere was a part of this movie where a dinosaur stepped on another dinosaur's head. That was probably the best part of this movie and is also the reason why this movie gets a one instead of a zero. Plot goes like this. Some kid dies in Vietnam. Everyone is all mopey despite living in a nice house in a nice area. The father was kind of cold and distant. The mother was some kind of cray. Nature is a church or something. God works in mysterious ways or something. There is allegory everywhere: an allegorical house, an allegorical DDT truck, an allegorical housewife, an allegorical **** dinosaur, an allegorical sun, an allegorical tree, an allegorical nightgown etc. Bleck. It sucks majorly. AVOID. Expand
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0
SchifferbrainsDec 4, 2011
Shockingly self-serving drivel. As a scientist, I was appalled at the inane attempt to present a timeline of life (as pretty as it was). The movie "Adaptation " did it in one quick scene. This lunacy goes on for a period of time that trulyShockingly self-serving drivel. As a scientist, I was appalled at the inane attempt to present a timeline of life (as pretty as it was). The movie "Adaptation " did it in one quick scene. This lunacy goes on for a period of time that truly made me shake. The awfulness is indescribable. The pain worse than an unanaesthetized tooth extraction. As a writer, I was incensed from the very first whisper (the whole slide show is in a whisper) with false spiritual music gnawing at you in the background.The narrative is accomplishable in 8x fast forward which is the only way I could watch this.These amazing actors were silenced by insane direction and muffled by a score better suited for a 700 Club infomercial.

If a reviewer likes this film then they didn't watch it or they're related to Maleck. I was asked to consider voting for this film. I am considering sending it to my enemies.

I wish I had a way to waste a Saturday night of Maleck's.
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0 of 12 users found this helpful012
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2
starlightramblrDec 15, 2011
I am very patient and love quirky movies that make you think. This movie was so slow that if I would have seen it at the theatre I would have walked out. This was more like a bad painting where the "artist" throws paint on a canvas and lovesI am very patient and love quirky movies that make you think. This movie was so slow that if I would have seen it at the theatre I would have walked out. This was more like a bad painting where the "artist" throws paint on a canvas and loves what HE sees and thinks the rest of the world should do the same. The opening narration pretty much sums up the movie's message without having to be painfully drug through the details, or lack thereof. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
UdwariDec 26, 2011
The film begins with a woman describing the two ways one can choose to live life: the way of grace and the way of nature. The way of grace is one in which you accept anything that comes your way, good or bad. The way of nature isThe film begins with a woman describing the two ways one can choose to live life: the way of grace and the way of nature. The way of grace is one in which you accept anything that comes your way, good or bad. The way of nature is self-centered and motivated by personal goals and interests. This sets the stage for the film, as we come to learn that hard-ass father Brad Pitt has chosen the way of nature; his wife, on the other hand, has chosen grace, and acts as an innocent bystander as life "happens" to her. The film is about a family in the 1950s. A father, a mother, and their three boys. We learn early on that their youngest son dies at age 19, but we never learn how. Or maybe we do, but I wasn't clever enough to catch on. The pros and cons of this film balance each other out, leaving me with a feeling of "meh." There were things I loved and things I loathed. The things I loved: cinematography - gorgeous, unexpected camera angles and spectacular lighting; acting: believable and relatable characters - a father who loves his children dearly but projects his dissatisfaction with life onto them. The things I loathed: the "Planet Earth-esque" intermissions, in which we are shown images of exploding volcanoes, kelp floating in the ocean, and dinosaurs stepping on each other's heads (I kid you not); and the little flame that sticks out of an all-black frame in the beginning, middle and end of the film. This push and pull of the film mirrors the nature vs. grace theme, and the dichotomy created in the boys' lives by the meek mom and the harsh father. But in the end it left me wanting more. It left me with one foot in the light and one in the dark, in a rather "grey" mood. If I had to rate the film, I'd disagree with IMDB and Metacritic and give it a 50 - smack-dab in the middle of the range. I think it had potential. And it bravely explored new cinematic waters. But it left me feeling robbed of some profound insight which I wasn't able to extract from a flickering flame or a 10-minute shot of a galaxy. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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1
Mr_WednesdayJan 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 passedJust 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. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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2
SimoniusJan 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 togetherThe 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.
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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
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0
MkdinclarkstonJan 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 thisCRAP!!! 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
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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1
youngzen69Feb 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 lifeIt 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
0 of 4 users found this helpful04
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6
AwesomeReviewerMar 26, 2012
The movie is basically about questioning the world, why do certain things take place? Questioning religion and why god does the things he does? What is the overall purpose of life? Conceptually and aesthetically this movie is beautiful givingThe movie is basically about questioning the world, why do certain things take place? Questioning religion and why god does the things he does? What is the overall purpose of life? Conceptually and aesthetically this movie is beautiful giving lushes imagery. Explaining to us that with destruction comes great creation and that this is the circle of life. However, where the movie falls flat is in its story. I felt as if the characters were not defined. I could relate to them, but I couldnâ Expand
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0
Trev29Feb 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.
0 of 4 users found this helpful04
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0
PaperThingMay 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
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.
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0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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0
maximus1Jul 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 ****
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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1
TessaJanesJul 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 makesThis 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. Expand
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0
creasicleSep 17, 2012
The Tree of Life is the most wanky and self-indulgent film I
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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1
mdcriticNov 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{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
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1
DibsDec 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 toWithout 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! Expand
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4
grettaJan 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 IJust 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
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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1
ExKingApr 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 callit'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
0 of 4 users found this helpful04
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0
MovieMan12Jun 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.
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othercvrDec 12, 2013
incredibly boring movie.it 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.
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4
oDjentoJan 1, 2015
I don't know, maybe this film was just a bit too "artsy" for me? It basically felt like the director had found a bunch of beautiful space/biological/nature videos and wanted to fit them all into a story so he made a vague plot about growingI don't know, maybe this film was just a bit too "artsy" for me? It basically felt like the director had found a bunch of beautiful space/biological/nature videos and wanted to fit them all into a story so he made a vague plot about growing up, evolution etc to try make it seem "thought provoking". Instead you get an absolute drag of a film that just goes on and on. It also seems like the director knew there wasn't much of a FILM here so he tried to sell it with have big actors like Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in it. So overall, pretty boring and trying to be too much of a artsy movie. Should more have been a tv spot type documentary than a full film. Expand
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0
gilfatJun 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 ofOne 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
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3
christianleftOct 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
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.
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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
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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.
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