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6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 547 Ratings

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  1. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers. I rarely hand out a perfect 10 for such movies due to my harsh criticism on movies. However, master director Terrence Malick just earned one for his new movie "The Tree of Life". Simply, this film isn't just a masterpiece. The pure graphics (not with the aid of foolish CGI) and the luxurious use of cinematography as well as the slow, linear story may look equivalent to Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", but the film transcends Kubrick's masterpiece and redefines it with the a more personal topic; human. It presents us life, despair, and hope. Remember when we had troubled times, where we fought with our parents and rebelled against them, when we despised our brothers and sisters for their prominent talents, and when we felt God has abandoned us and left you in the abyss of sin, not lending you the escape rope? Such questions are asked in the film and despair floods within the tone. Director Malick determines to find the solution, starting from the primeval ages of life. Through the entire time, hate and collisions are only to be seen. The characters become blind of their surroundings and cannot see each other's feelings. Everything is lost; a dead son with a failed father is only to be found. It was then that the child, who has now reached to a point of experienced maturity, learns forgiveness of his father, joyful love of his family, and the true motive of God, smiles. "The Tree of Life" at this point ends as, with slow but vibrant colors, ascending into 'the universal solution', softly whispering to us that true honesty, forgiveness, and love brings back us, and...Life. Collapse
  2. Jun 26, 2011
    1
    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 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 anPerhaps 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
  3. Jun 5, 2011
    1
    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 which only touched on the utter incomprehensibility of this movie. Malick may be a genius in the same way Jackson Pollack was: perhaps once someoneI 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
  4. Apr 25, 2012
    9
    The Tree of life is more of an experience than a movie, and a very spiritual one at that. If that sentence alone scares you away from this film, then it is probably not for you. But if you are an open-minded movie-goer, that doesn't mind movies that ask you to think and analyze your own life, chances are you will admire this movie as much as I did. Some people who watch this film willThe Tree of life is more of an experience than a movie, and a very spiritual one at that. If that sentence alone scares you away from this film, then it is probably not for you. But if you are an open-minded movie-goer, that doesn't mind movies that ask you to think and analyze your own life, chances are you will admire this movie as much as I did. Some people who watch this film will get something completely different from it than what some else does. Whether or not your reaction to this movie is positive or negative depends solely on you, the viewer. It seems like most people who disliked it did not have the patience for it. Patience is one thing you need in order to enjoy this movie. The Tree of Life does not contain your run-of-the-mill movie plot, with typical characters, and typical situations. After the initial "birth of the universe" segment, the movie moves from one reality to another, from one thought to the other, effectively depicting the protagonist's thoughts and memories as they come to his mind as the movie progresses. The gorgeous imagery truly is something to behold, and the beautiful musical score accompanies these images well. I thought about this film for a few days after watching it. It had me analyzing my own life in general, especially my relationships with my mother, my father, my siblings etc. As a whole, The Tree of Life is a movie that truly is greater than the sum of it's parts, and is unlike anything I've seen before. Expand
  5. Dec 21, 2011
    8
    It's weird but I saw this and Melancholia within a couple of weeks each other. Both films seem to either engage audiences or send them racing for the exits.
    Tree Of Life, I thought, was a beautiful movie and kept me interested. Melancholia, was a tedious bore.
    At least I liked most of the characters in Tree Of Life but I felt the ending felt a bit short. Sad to see so many people down on
    It's weird but I saw this and Melancholia within a couple of weeks each other. Both films seem to either engage audiences or send them racing for the exits.
    Tree Of Life, I thought, was a beautiful movie and kept me interested. Melancholia, was a tedious bore.
    At least I liked most of the characters in Tree Of Life but I felt the ending felt a bit short.
    Sad to see so many people down on this film when there is so much crap that people pay to go and see these days and they stay for the whole thing.
    People actually walked out of this movie?
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  6. Aug 5, 2011
    8
    If possible try to get connected with the infinity, with the wonder of living, with everything that is felt and touched with grace and childlike playfulness. If not, try to get a good sleep which might turn meditative without your Knowledge. The film is genuinely fragmented and somewhat scattered (can memory be cohesive?), for it achieves the form of a collective dream that is universalIf possible try to get connected with the infinity, with the wonder of living, with everything that is felt and touched with grace and childlike playfulness. If not, try to get a good sleep which might turn meditative without your Knowledge. The film is genuinely fragmented and somewhat scattered (can memory be cohesive?), for it achieves the form of a collective dream that is universal and personal at the same time. it is a honest and wise film, very much Christian (Catholic) in its spiritual faith, if I am right. Whether I agree or disagree with its ideas is a different thing altogether. The film's organic and instinctive approach is bold and demands a challenging Film experience.To my knowledge, The only two films to have achieved such status and forms a reference to this, is 2001 space odyssey and Tarkovsky's Mirror. Terrence Malick seems to be a filmmaker who trusts his instincts wholeheartedly and has tried to deliver it to us unpolluted, straight from his soul. Expand
  7. Oct 2, 2011
    8
    I have been sitting in front of my computer for almost an hour, and I still havenâ
  8. Oct 15, 2011
    9
    Way back in 1990, David Foster Wallace talked about how the post-post modern novelist might actually have to embrace sincerity, serious concern with ideas that he/she actually believed in, rather than embracing the universal, self-superior snark that he already saw invading TV (cf., for this reviewer, "Family Guy"). Haters of this movie confirm his view of the cultural drift toward scornWay back in 1990, David Foster Wallace talked about how the post-post modern novelist might actually have to embrace sincerity, serious concern with ideas that he/she actually believed in, rather than embracing the universal, self-superior snark that he already saw invading TV (cf., for this reviewer, "Family Guy"). Haters of this movie confirm his view of the cultural drift toward scorn (Colbert's scent... nyuk, nyuk!) as the predominant value on the InterWeb. Look, either Malick reaches you on the wavelength you live on, or he doesn't. I found the film to be an experience unlike any film in recent memory (though a grad-school viewing of "The Seventh Seal" c. 1990 comes to mind), and if it seems rote or (Chrissakes!) "boring" or (oooh, how uncool!) "pretentious," why aren't you mentioning some other film that you think even begins to address existential questions about life released in the last ten years? (You people probably hate the band Low, too.) Stunning, emotionally gripping, like nothing else out there. Expand
  9. Oct 26, 2011
    9
    If you seek a traditional motion picture experience, this film will leave you screaming for mercy.
    This film exists somewhere between a Bob Dylan hymn and portions of 'John From Cincinatti' without the humor.
    In fact, it is bereft of laughter but can engage a mystical smile from time to time. Whatever narrative exists delivers a message that erupts into mortal fears for those still
    If you seek a traditional motion picture experience, this film will leave you screaming for mercy.
    This film exists somewhere between a Bob Dylan hymn and portions of 'John From Cincinatti' without the humor.
    In fact, it is bereft of laughter but can engage a mystical smile from time to time.
    Whatever narrative exists delivers a message that erupts into mortal fears for those still paying attention after 90 minutes.
    If you have the curiosity and patience to explore evolved, spiritual ideals as formatted through the art of cinema, then you may have located Nirvana.
    This Tree is a flawed Oak that dares to incite, unite and disorient it's viewers.
    The Life that dreams inside this celluloid brilliance and darkness is a victorious disaster.
    And who doesn't enjoy a good disaster every now and then?
    My problem with the creation is that it takes many emotional hostages in the name of a spiritual quest. This style offers few answers to the most important questions it poses..
    Still, there is little doubt that Mallick has been blessed by a brand of genius that often eludes our zones of viewing security.
    But I'll be damned if he doesn't swing for the fences during the effort. If Terrance connects is totally your call. It's worth is beyond any critic's perceptions.
    That is how personal this journey is.
    From an acting vantage point, Brad Pitt does some remarkable things with the material given him.
    Sean Penn utters only a handfull of on screen words and given his public response to the film is lost as to why as the viewer might be.
    The only true star here is Mr. Mallick whose unseen face is written within every frame.
    'Tree Of Life' is 'Badlands without the active, murderous hearts. It takes us to a place we may or may not desire to be but are all a part of and subject to by virtue of birth.
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  10. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    Ok, first things first. All of the "college graduates" and people the that use words like "daub" and hated the film are Republicans. You can graduate from college with a degree in Turf management. Need I say more? Glenn Beck has stated on numerous occasions that conservatives do not like movies with messages. Now to the film. One reviewer called it poetry in film or words to thatOk, first things first. All of the "college graduates" and people the that use words like "daub" and hated the film are Republicans. You can graduate from college with a degree in Turf management. Need I say more? Glenn Beck has stated on numerous occasions that conservatives do not like movies with messages. Now to the film. One reviewer called it poetry in film or words to that effect and that description is perfect. I am not a person who watches Warhol films and calls them 'genius.' I will try anything. Hell, I liked Avatar AND Mulholland Drive. I couldn't stop watching this film. I had no idea what was going to be on the screen next. Very cool and the visuals and the soundtrack were hypnotic. It is certainly not for the average person or college graduate Republican but give it a go. It ain't Spiderman 53 but no one said it was. WOW! I'll give it a 9. Expand
  11. Jan 29, 2012
    8
    Although it is a bit too long and it lacks a dramatic story like promised, The Tree of Life does bring emotion, and offers Brad Pitt at his best along with Jessica Chastain bringing a wonderful performance. And the film is just beautifully shot and it has the best visual effects I have seen in a long time. I give this film 82%.â
  12. Nov 28, 2011
    9
    I don't know what to say. When I first saw this, I said "I can't really think of an opinion of this." Overall, I am giving it a 9 because it was a movie that definitely grabbed me, and i had fun afterwards trying to unravel it's mysterious. Overall, I think I have decided that overall it is an enjoyable movie. Definitely very complex.
  13. Dec 15, 2011
    8
    I can see why this movie is dividing a lot of audiences. It's the kind of film that takes its sweet time, and whenever it feels like it, it goes off on surreal tangents. But for me, there was so much to appreciate here. The biggest thing that I loved about this film was the detailed attention to its characters. Mallick takes sequentially scattered moments of a family, and uses them toI can see why this movie is dividing a lot of audiences. It's the kind of film that takes its sweet time, and whenever it feels like it, it goes off on surreal tangents. But for me, there was so much to appreciate here. The biggest thing that I loved about this film was the detailed attention to its characters. Mallick takes sequentially scattered moments of a family, and uses them to flesh out the characters in a way that gets us to understand their entire world. I was also impressed with Brad Pitt as he gives the most truthful performance of his career. Those two elements kept me hooked in even when Mallick was off showing us clips of space and the motion of fluids. I know he had a purpose for those scenes as he spent three years editing this film, but I couldn't exactly figure it all out. Honestly, I don't think "Tree of Life" is a movie you can figure out. It's like a surreal painting. The beauty and nuance come from what you get out of it. It's like the movie offers you a "Choose Your Own Meaning" option. "The Tree of Life" was a refreshing experience. The characters are fascinating and the cinematography is breathtakingly gorgeous. If you're a fan of Mallick's work, or you enjoy head trips similar to a David Lynch movie or 2001: A Space Odyssey, do not miss seeing "The Tree of Life." It's a unique movie-going experience. Expand
  14. Mar 1, 2012
    8
    I have no trouble recalling my maiden voyage in Mr. Malick's cinematic set-ups, 6 years ago THE NEW WORLD (2005, and a medium 6/10 in my rating system), which I almost forsook due to an extreme frazzle (a grudge rising from anger more than tiresomeness), then after a couple of years, the second time is with DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978), which unexpectedly procures my staunch affection, a 9/10. SoI have no trouble recalling my maiden voyage in Mr. Malick's cinematic set-ups, 6 years ago THE NEW WORLD (2005, and a medium 6/10 in my rating system), which I almost forsook due to an extreme frazzle (a grudge rising from anger more than tiresomeness), then after a couple of years, the second time is with DAYS OF HEAVEN (1978), which unexpectedly procures my staunch affection, a 9/10. So the third one comes now, notched up the Golden Palm in Cannes last year, itâ Expand
  15. Feb 6, 2012
    8
    The Tree of Life isn't a film, it's an experience. Malick's bold vision is a tad overwhelming at times and has the potential to alienate viewers due to its sheer size (the movie stands at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it feels far longer), sheer depth (you could go on for days trying to analyze everything you are presented with), and a lack of attachment to the characters. But thatThe Tree of Life isn't a film, it's an experience. Malick's bold vision is a tad overwhelming at times and has the potential to alienate viewers due to its sheer size (the movie stands at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but it feels far longer), sheer depth (you could go on for days trying to analyze everything you are presented with), and a lack of attachment to the characters. But that last one is intentional. The editing of the film only makes it possible to get glimpses of each character's life before it switches to something else. Just because it is hard to get attached to the characters doesn't mean that they don't show emotion. All of the actors, including the kids, did a very nuanced portrayal of people living their lives. The film is not about the narrative, though. It's about how you personally feel after you are presented with everything the film throws at you. And that will be what determines whether you enjoy the experience or not. You might love it, you might hate it. I for one, thought I would hate it, but ended up being thoroughly enthralled. The Tree of Life is a testament to how transitory and fleeting life really is.That being said, if you can't handle movies without a clear narrative or plot, don't see this. If you can't handle movies that are too long and complex don't see this. It's not for everyone. Expand
  16. Mar 25, 2012
    8
    The illustrations Malick uses to emphasize the vulnerabilities of his characters against the backdrops of an infinite universe is part of the reason his film is surreal in beauty and haunting in its poetry.
  17. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    This movie made me cry like a stupid baby. A word of advice before watching: don't approach it as a film but as a work of moving art. If you give the movie the investment it requires and have the emotional and spiritual clarity to receive it, you will be rewarded well beyond the gamble of a couple hours' time.
  18. Sep 7, 2012
    10
    "The Tree of Life" is one of my favorite movies. There are one two movies by now which have reached a score of ten by me. It really changed and inspired me. The movie shows a kind of movie making which I've never seen before. It's a very philosophical movie and you need to have some certain attitudes about life, nature, science and philosophical thoughts. Honestly, if you don't think"The Tree of Life" is one of my favorite movies. There are one two movies by now which have reached a score of ten by me. It really changed and inspired me. The movie shows a kind of movie making which I've never seen before. It's a very philosophical movie and you need to have some certain attitudes about life, nature, science and philosophical thoughts. Honestly, if you don't think during this movie you won't understand it. And you need to think and give the film a chance to reveal it's individual meaning. If you ask ten people who liked this film what the film is about you will get eleven answers. That's usual for those kinds of topics. The movie builds a bridge between science, philosophy, theology and life at it's purest. Indeed, it's very pantheistic and that's just great. A film about life. Nothing more nothing less. Expand
  19. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    This movie is life. There is nothing else I can say: this movie is amazing.
  20. Jun 20, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Oh god, what am I doing here? This movie opened slowly at select theaters and we were eventually able to see it. Much of what you will see on the screen is like itunes screensavers with classical music and whispering instead of your tunes. There are two sad dinosaurs, one who crawled out on land too late to avoid being ripped open by hammerhead sharks and another that lays in a river and gets their head stepped on a couple of times by a Barneysaur with a big head and little arms.. Most of the men in this movie are either yelling, violent or deformed and the women are all like angels. The young Sean Penn character sneaks into the neighbor girl's house and apparently gets something nasty on her nightie because he tries to hide it and then throws it in the river. His mom looks mad when he comes home but they don't talk. His father (Brad Pitt) wants him to pick weeds and punch Dad in the face. Brad works in a factory but also travels around the world to sell his inventions and all he brings the kids are some towels he stole from a Chinese hotel. People whisper stuff like "oh god, what am I doing here?" and walk around on a beach in their clothes meeting the characters that played them as kids. If you think this makes no sense, try watching over two hours of it. This movie totally sucked and will be a flop commercially. Don't waste your time or money. Expand
  21. Sep 3, 2011
    8
    '' The Tree of Life '' offers a beautiful, heart warming cinematography. Sadly, it is misunderstood by many. This movie is not for everyone. You really have to be interested and mentally prepared before seeing this. The thing is, the director (Terrence Malick) used to study philosophy at Harvard University. I like that he decided to use that knowledge to make something different : a way'' The Tree of Life '' offers a beautiful, heart warming cinematography. Sadly, it is misunderstood by many. This movie is not for everyone. You really have to be interested and mentally prepared before seeing this. The thing is, the director (Terrence Malick) used to study philosophy at Harvard University. I like that he decided to use that knowledge to make something different : a way of seeing life in a artistic way. All that in a movie, which makes it so unique. So don't expect this to have an intense story with action. It's a relaxing movie with metaphors (one of the main reason that people can get confused) and you have to be open minded and to have that capacity to go deeper in your toughs (like I said before, being mentally prepared). When was the last time you had a strong feeling inside of you after seeing a movie ? This film is about feeling. That's why this movie can be considered an art. It's like if the director took a poem about life, and made a movie about it. I understand why some people hated it, because they didn't get the picture or simply because they don't like this type of film. If you only like shallow movies with none sense and naked girls, then shut up and go watch a useless, mindless, crappy movie like '' Piranha '' (2010). The music was wonderful and captivating. Also, there were parts when there wasn't dialogue (a few minutes long), just music. It's like if you were at a Opera theater or laying down and listening to the ocean. I enjoyed the way they showed the evolution of the universe. But it wasn't necessary that they showed the dinosaurs. Everybody did a good job acting, even if they didn't had a lot to say. For some reason, I really liked the kids, they were great. I agree that at some point it was boring, but it didn't really bothered me. I was hoping to get an explanation at the end of the movie, so I can understand 100 %. I had to go to wikipedia to read the plot to make sure I got it. So yes, this movie is not for everyone. It's slow and contains a lot of metaphors and was made artistically. It will surely win an Oscar for best cinematography. Expand
  22. Feb 4, 2012
    8
    The Tree of Life joins an exclusive film genre, formed only by 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is difficult to put a name for this category, but a good approach would be philosophical movies. This picture debates about God existence and questions if He has been involved with life and its development in our planet around all ages.
    The plot is wrapped around a dysfunctional family, formed by an
    The Tree of Life joins an exclusive film genre, formed only by 2001 A Space Odyssey. It is difficult to put a name for this category, but a good approach would be philosophical movies. This picture debates about God existence and questions if He has been involved with life and its development in our planet around all ages.
    The plot is wrapped around a dysfunctional family, formed by an extremely strict father that wants to show to his fearful sons how to survive in the real world. All this is traduced in constant fights and conflicts. These problems produce in the mom a sort of need of asking to God why this is happening and why He will not help them (us).
    These questions surround the theme of the movie, the life in planet Earth in all its forms. The firsts cells appear, they transform into bacteria, plants and animals. The dinosaurs raise and extinction. The landscape and nature change. The mammals develop and appear human beings. And, Can we be sure that God takes part on it?
    At the end of the film all the people appear in a desert, as if they were looking for something. They think that they are looking for heaven, but there is nothing more than an empty land, because it has never existed something like a God or a Garden of Eden.
    The failures of this movie are that its excessively artistic, a shadow of Kubricks film and it leaves too much to interpretation. But the reflection that produces is remarkable.
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  23. Jul 8, 2011
    10
    I watched the film. I waited a week. I decided it was the best use of film I have seen in a while. Poetic thematically and visually. What I find interesting is the controversy over whether this movie is good or bad. People have asked for money back, taken lengthy amounts of time to tear down the film or praise the film. The TOL echos the premier of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring butI watched the film. I waited a week. I decided it was the best use of film I have seen in a while. Poetic thematically and visually. What I find interesting is the controversy over whether this movie is good or bad. People have asked for money back, taken lengthy amounts of time to tear down the film or praise the film. The TOL echos the premier of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring but now people are shouting in cyberspace slinging accusations of intellectualism...elitism. During the film and just shortly after, i was on the fence about the quality of the work. It was after mediation of the words and the frames that I came to be moved over and over again. My response was emotional, visceral, not intellectual. I don't think most people go to the movies to be thoughtful or changed. Art is demanding; it requires the viewer to be uncomfortable, to be unsafe and to consider unknown possibilities. I am pleased to see people attempting dialogue about what makes a film good or bad. This reinforces my feeling that this film is in fact a artistic and spiritual masterpiece of the 21st century. Just as Jackson Pollock stretched the definition of painting and broke away from previous conventions, Malick is challenging the mainstream notion which defines film and more importantly, he offers a comfort to our suffering. Expand
  24. Jun 7, 2011
    10
    Absolutely magnificent! One of the most visually pleasing aesthetic films to be made in decades! The film is clearly spiritual and open for interpretation. You will either love or hate this film with passion. At least ... watch the entirety of the film, rather than giving up 25 minutes into the creation of the world.
  25. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    SMart PERSON: I trust in Malick. Thus, I knew this wouldn't be a MOVIE, rather it would be an experience. It is essentially a breathing series of paintings: walking, talking...thinking, that are meant to induce questions to which only the viewer himself can answer. Artistically speaking, Malick has created a stunning piece of cinema, unlike any filmmaker in history. For all mankind's sake,SMart PERSON: I trust in Malick. Thus, I knew this wouldn't be a MOVIE, rather it would be an experience. It is essentially a breathing series of paintings: walking, talking...thinking, that are meant to induce questions to which only the viewer himself can answer. Artistically speaking, Malick has created a stunning piece of cinema, unlike any filmmaker in history. For all mankind's sake, I hope it's not his last.
    MASSES: If you're wanting a car crash or going because Brad Pitt is in it...Good luck. With the rest of your life too.
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  26. Jun 19, 2011
    8
    Not a movie for most, The Tree of Life is an over-dramatic representation of what seems like a personal, spiritual struggle waged by the writer/director, Terry Malick, himself. If you can get through the first 30 minutes, you may be able to appreciate the entirely-too-dramatic message being delivered. Brad Pitt is as good as I've ever seen him as the father of Jack and his two siblings.Not a movie for most, The Tree of Life is an over-dramatic representation of what seems like a personal, spiritual struggle waged by the writer/director, Terry Malick, himself. If you can get through the first 30 minutes, you may be able to appreciate the entirely-too-dramatic message being delivered. Brad Pitt is as good as I've ever seen him as the father of Jack and his two siblings. Jack, played as an adult by Sean Penn (in a very tiny role for him), is the protagonist (and I believe a representation of the writer/director) and is enduring the lessons and loss every boy, not to mention person, goes through over the course of their lives and trying to make sense of the meaning of life.

    The film, like Jack himself, starts off very pessimistic in his beliefs, highlighting the inconsequential meaning and apathetic brutality of nature. It's a very Agnostic, if not Atheist, view. However, it ends with a strong shot of the adult Jack slowly dropping to his knees and succumbing to the complexity and reality of life, praying to some "God" to watch out for us all...until the end of time.

    The meat of the story is young Jack learning boyhood lessons, which were almost painful in their accuracy to watch. I found myself squirming from very vivid memories of my own childhood thoughts that mirrored Jack's own a little too similarly. It was this immensely detailed and deep understanding of a growing boy, as well as the deeply emotional and over-dramatic display throughout the movie, that makes me believe this is a personal film for the writer. For people who generally hate these types of films, I would highly dissuade you from watching it. In fact, several people screening the film before me came out demanding refunds and urging people to change films. When I saw it, people clapped and laughed at the end, and not for good reasons. They were glad to see it done and happy to be leaving.

    It is definitely a niche film and would only be appreciated by that niche. The style is typical of Terry Malick's, from what I understand, but for Father's Day and already being in a deep funk and contemplative due to the recent cancer struggle of my friend, Wes, it was a very hard film to watch. I came out appreciating it much more than I did while I was watching it. As much as the beginning had me thinking it was a strong liberal, almost anti-religion, agenda, which was coming across as irritating, even though I can appreciate the guts that would have taken, I left thinking anything but and was impressed by its roundabout message of love and spirituality. It's worth seeing once if you have an open mind and 2:18 of patience to let a movie make its point, but as much as I can appreciate it, it took a lot out of me to watch it. I believe I can only do it once.
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  27. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    What a powerhouse of visual effects to open up the mind to creation. The story and acting are just a vehicle to show that family life has progressed to the point where we, as humans, are shown as hard, competitive and brutal. But love and caring can still bring some attachments worth having....Malick's message is that no matter what happens on earth, God or nature has created this life onWhat a powerhouse of visual effects to open up the mind to creation. The story and acting are just a vehicle to show that family life has progressed to the point where we, as humans, are shown as hard, competitive and brutal. But love and caring can still bring some attachments worth having....Malick's message is that no matter what happens on earth, God or nature has created this life on Earth without any scientific proof. So, he takes this further by saying there's another world that was also created. He calls it heaven. It's all love there. Expand
  28. j30
    Nov 13, 2011
    10
    This is a hard movie to recommend to anyone. It's a beautiful movie that transcends the category of being a movie. It's flat out a piece of art.
  29. Feb 5, 2012
    10
    Terrence Malick builds life in this film. It is definitely a hard movie to watch and not easy to understand let alone comprehend. When I saw this movie I wasn't enchanted by the beauty of the special effects but by their meaning. It doesn't take a genius to understand it but it takes a graceful person to agree. To sum up, if the word grace has any meaning in your life then you willTerrence Malick builds life in this film. It is definitely a hard movie to watch and not easy to understand let alone comprehend. When I saw this movie I wasn't enchanted by the beauty of the special effects but by their meaning. It doesn't take a genius to understand it but it takes a graceful person to agree. To sum up, if the word grace has any meaning in your life then you will understand and love this movie, but if you are a closed person not willing to give yourself a new spark in life than this movie will be dull to you. God bless this movie and every one of you. Expand
  30. Aug 23, 2011
    10
    Tree of Life is not for your entertainment. Tree of Life is for non mainstream - patient audiences. Filled with religious and deep-meaning life message , visual treat, touching performance and powerful score make The Tree of Life undeniably Terrence Malick's masterpiece.
Metascore
85

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
    100
    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
    75
    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.