Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: May 27, 2011
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 623 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
423
Mixed:
80
Negative:
120
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
3
wishmasterSep 16, 2011
Disappointing movie, 10 minutes thought I was watching a documentary wtf.! they did not understand a plot way too rare and really boring ... the only thing salvageable is the excellent cinematography, the soundtrack and sound effects .. theDisappointing movie, 10 minutes thought I was watching a documentary wtf.! they did not understand a plot way too rare and really boring ... the only thing salvageable is the excellent cinematography, the soundtrack and sound effects .. the rest next.! Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
All this user's reviews
3
LISTEN2MEMay 27, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Beautiful to look at but a big snore for big parts of the film. How many exploding galaxies, space blobs, microbes and waterfall shots can you have in one film? The CGI of the dinosaurs wasn't great. Brad Pitt is excellent but you want more of that story later in the 60s and less of the endless creation sequences. The ending is long, tedious and not captivating. Disappointing. Much rather watch Badlands or Days of Heaven again. An excellent visual experiment that doesn't connect emotionally, except in a couple of brief scenes. Expand
2 of 9 users found this helpful27
All this user's reviews
3
jay215Jun 30, 2011
Indulgent mess of a movie. Had potential but the worse sin is to bore your audience and he did that. The casting of Sean Penn was inexplicable. Brad Pitt was actually not bad, but opportunity missed overall.
2 of 7 users found this helpful25
All this user's reviews
3
ShayanJul 3, 2011
With 24 hours passed since watching this movie, I feel I can now write a more objective review of this movie.
This movie is a hollywood attempt at artistic sophistication. It's comes off like McDonald's trying to do fine dining, or your
With 24 hours passed since watching this movie, I feel I can now write a more objective review of this movie.
This movie is a hollywood attempt at artistic sophistication. It's comes off like McDonald's trying to do fine dining, or your local bricklayer attempting surgery.
It is laborious, overdone, and so so heavy handed it becomes unbearable. Fifteen minutes into the movie I thought to myself that it reminds me of the style of the "the thin red line" (a movie I really liked and recommend), and found out on metacritic that it is indeed the same director. But this movie lacks the balance of "the thin red line" and looses itself in the bigger picture it tries to portray.
People in the theatre just started snickering toward the final minutes as the endless array of imagery was crudely sequenced together - and this happened in an independent cinema!!
What this film lacked was subtelty and balance. Its a shame because there were ingredients there from which something very special could have been made.
Expand
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
All this user's reviews
3
frozenpinkyJan 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.
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
3
trujustinJan 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 theTree 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. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
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.
Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
2
DearDearJun 23, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Tree of Life is like watching a drama about a family crash into Koyaanisqatsi. The central narrative is well-acted and poignant at times, but it gets lost in a ponderous muddle of poorly done CGI dinosaurs and stock footage of canyons, waterfalls, and reflections of clouds rolling across glass skyscrapers. Even the score, with its heavy use of woodwinds and choir, could've been composed by Philip Glass. I got the impression Malick was trying to serve up profundities about life, death and the connectedness of everything, but alas, I'm a mere mortal and I couldn't follow this mysterious trail of breadcrumbs. The metaphors are bloated-red-giant-sun-consuming-the-earth kind of overblown. I give the film credit for its beautiful cinematography, but even there it tries one's patience, with pointless slice of life scenes that drag on forever. The film's running time is apparently geological. Save yourself whatever it would cost to see this pretentious mess and buy a can of paint instead. You'll surely find more entertainment in watching it dry. Expand
3 of 8 users found this helpful35
All this user's reviews
2
MukulApr 8, 2013
I want to review this movie but because as I have just finished it,I am extremely sleepy.
I am someone who gets very much intrigued by life and its spiritual meanings-but THIS has bored me to hell.I mean this shouldn't be termed as a movie
I want to review this movie but because as I have just finished it,I am extremely sleepy.
I am someone who gets very much intrigued by life and its spiritual meanings-but THIS has bored me to hell.I mean this shouldn't be termed as a movie at all.It's an philosophical educational ride.
Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
2
Baggins_ozNov 5, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I begin by stating that I love cinema that isn't afraid to be different. I love to be challenged. But this film struck me as being self indulgent pretentious film-making at its worst.

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

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

On the positive side, the cinematography is stunning. There are truly breathtaking images, and even mundane scenes are shot with brilliance.
The acting is amazing the whole cast inhabit the characters they portray. Which is all the more reason I am so dissappointed; this film could have been so much better.
Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
2
Egypt1amAug 20, 2011
What did I miss? I hated this movie! It felt kind the actors were playing their parts by satellite linkup; zero chemistry. Very disappointing and roof that you can through all your money behind a great cast and still mess it up :(
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
2
CfjhennSep 20, 2011
If I were to stare at the my screensaver, peppered as it is with pretty vacation snaps and family memories, for 2 hours I would feel nearly as fulfilled. Derealisation is a recognised phenomena associated with staring at disconnected,If I were to stare at the my screensaver, peppered as it is with pretty vacation snaps and family memories, for 2 hours I would feel nearly as fulfilled. Derealisation is a recognised phenomena associated with staring at disconnected, sometimes abstract, images... sadly that associated sensation of transcendency is illusory, an epiphenomenon. That said, that gushing awe and realisation happens no more freely with this pretentious, introspective movie, than with my photo slideshow, the difference being my computer can skip forward past some of the tedium. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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.
Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
All this user's reviews
1
felbert55Nov 10, 2011
It's not film worthy of review because it's not really a film. The first half-hour is filled with extraordinary cinematography that belongs in a segment of the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. The rest is unintelligible bizarre nonsense.It's not film worthy of review because it's not really a film. The first half-hour is filled with extraordinary cinematography that belongs in a segment of the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. The rest is unintelligible bizarre nonsense. It has no "narrative." Like abstract art I suppose those who love it make up something to explain it's meaning. Somewhere in the 6 lines of dialogue Brad Pitt defines "subjective" as something in your own mind that cannot be proved (or disproved) by others. All opinions are subjective and I respect those of others, but it's amazing to me that anyone could call this mind-numbing experience a masterpiece of film making. Imagine if the "acid trip" scene from Easy Rider had been the entire film. That's what this is... just a lot longer. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
1
brewsterJun 5, 2011
I do not know quite where to begin. My wife and I are college graduates, she is an attorney and I have done some graduate work. We read about this movie in the Austin paper on Friday because Terry Malick lives here. A lengthy article whichI do not know quite where to begin. My wife and I are college graduates, she is an attorney and I have done some graduate work. We read about this movie in the Austin paper on Friday because Terry Malick lives here. A lengthy article which only touched on the utter incomprehensibility of this movie. Malick may be a genius in the same way Jackson Pollack was: perhaps once someone tediously explains what you are looking at, you smile, walk away, but still dont get it. If you thought 2001: A Space Odessey was challenging, you are not going to like this. It starts with an overly drawn out Big Bang sequence, contains a dinosaur sequence fresh from Jurrasic Park, and closes with the end of time. I say "closes" because the movie is SO long, you think (and hope) it ends well before it does (several false closes) and then thankfully ends, seemingly five hours later. I wish I were more artistic and etherial and could somehow recommend this movie, which clearly was made for artistic and etherial critics, and those endless Cannes/Sundance/Toronto film festivals for an award. We ordinarily trust Metacritic's critic scores faithfully to attend or not attend movies. This time, ignore them and trust the User Reviews. Expand
17 of 38 users found this helpful1721
All this user's reviews
1
weisbergerJun 26, 2011
Perhaps since this movie made me think "please god let it end" for an hour, it was a religious experience. Otherwise not so much. This was the Hubble space telescope meets pseudo profundity. There is nothing quite so trite as overwroughtPerhaps since this movie made me think "please god let it end" for an hour, it was a religious experience. Otherwise not so much. This was the Hubble space telescope meets pseudo profundity. There is nothing quite so trite as overwrought emotion, and this movie is really trite. With access to the technology necessary it could have been made by a high school student - there wasn't an insight in it that most overwrought 17 yr olds haven't had. I wanted to see what the fuss was about so blew two hours; trust me and don't make that same mistake yourself. Expand
15 of 31 users found this helpful1516
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
1
DHEDec 3, 2011
This movie gets my King-has-no-clothes award for the most inexplicably highly rated movie of the year (previous winners: Forrest Gump, Before Sunset). It was basically 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back. I spent the first hourThis movie gets my King-has-no-clothes award for the most inexplicably highly rated movie of the year (previous winners: Forrest Gump, Before Sunset). It was basically 2 hours of my life that I'll never get back. I spent the first hour waiting for the movie to start and the last hour waiting for it to end. Somehow, I made it to the finish, but not without a cost: the wasted effort that went into trying (and I did try) to find even a moment worth watching on any level left me feeling cranky and cheated. The movie did not make me laugh, cry, think, or wonder; it was monumentally unmoving. The spirituality at its core was soaringly sophomoric (not to mention off-putting). If it was meant to serve as a unifying theme linking everything (and by "everything" I mean everything) in a halo of enlightenment, the actual effect was closer to self-parody. I get the set up -- tough-love Dad suppressing his own dreams and trying (yet not trying) to make emotional connections, and the toll his own internal struggle takes on the family -- but there was so little to like about the characters that I found myself hoping the movie gods would drop a large heavy object on the lot of them, much like the eldest son wished the God-god would drop a car on his father. In some ways, the mother, presumably meant to be the sympathetic figure in the story, was the least likable of the lot (good luck with that Grace thing). Or maybe it was the oldest son, molded into a wretched little torturer by the contradictory and capricious demands of his father, that we were meant to empathize with. Whatever; it didn't work. The number 2 (?) son (call him Trust) flickered around the edges accompanied by a general "goodness" vibe, but never quite materialized into a person, and the third son was virtually indistinguishable from the other neighborhood kids. One of the three sons somehow grows up to be Sean Penn, a successful urban professional (architect?) whose stoic middle-distance gaze appears meant to speak wordlessly (literally) to unsettled "issues". It's not quite like I don't have anything good to say about the movie. Brad Pitt was great, as always. (I'd watch him read a phone book; in fact, I'd rather have watched him read a phone book). Sean Penn is always interesting to look at, even if he's not really doing anything. Dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs) made a brief, but engaging appearance (maybe Malick can use these scenes as starter material for a logically dialog-free movie). And one last thing: If you got rid of all the scenes with people, it would make a halfway decent screensaver. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
1
futurehousesMay 29, 2011
Painful experience, this movie was really bad. The lack of story and important elements turns it into a film in front of which you are bound to fall asleep if not for very strong will power. I'm even reconsidering giving this 1 on 10 ...Painful experience, this movie was really bad. The lack of story and important elements turns it into a film in front of which you are bound to fall asleep if not for very strong will power. I'm even reconsidering giving this 1 on 10 ...
After merely 10 minutes, people were already leaving from the cinema. This movie was a joke. Sean Penn acts two minutes at the beginning and for approximately the same duration at the end. His mention on the film advertisements is a real steal. He doesn't even speak, barely ...
The opening cosmos-creation scenes are interesting, but fairly boring after sitting for 30 minutes in front of them while listening to the snoring of the man at your right (who gave up at the very start).
Well, I do not recommend this feature, which is a very poor one in my opinion.
Expand
3 of 11 users found this helpful38
All this user's reviews
1
metamtamMay 31, 2011
The first 20 minutes are a succession of postcard shots with no consistency and no dialogs. No story telling, people don't talk, they just whisper "god... oh god... please god...". It was so centered on religion that it became both boring andThe first 20 minutes are a succession of postcard shots with no consistency and no dialogs. No story telling, people don't talk, they just whisper "god... oh god... please god...". It was so centered on religion that it became both boring and ridiculous in a matter of minutes. This does not deserve to be called a movie, it only felt like a scam. Even Lost Highway immediately makes more sense than that! Expand
3 of 12 users found this helpful39
All this user's reviews
1
paulaldJun 4, 2011
It is a well-known cinema fact that any movie with both people and dinosaurs can not be good. I wonder how long it took Sean Penn to learn his lines.
1 of 9 users found this helpful18
All this user's reviews
1
JDIAMONDJun 5, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Worst movie ever 20 people got up and left I wish I had and gotten my money back.
What were they thinking............................................................................
Expand
2 of 8 users found this helpful26
All this user's reviews
1
FrankDJun 9, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the most pretentious movies I've ever seen, from the film's opening, whispered voice-overs which are virtually incomprehensible to anyone with A+ hearing, to the final, final, final ending when all meet joyfully or joylessly (once again the audience doesn't know what to think and ultimately doesn't care) in Heaven with images and philosophical BS I haven't seen since enduring the pandering, ridiculous, simplistic movie shown at the Mormon pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Contemplating your navel has been taken to a new low. Last, but not least, what was Sean Penn doing in this movie? Looking for his Maalox and Gas-X? How such an excellent, caring actor and person got involved in this twaddle 'tis a puzzlement. Expand
4 of 12 users found this helpful48
All this user's reviews
1
tomeqJun 11, 2011
Total triumph of form over content. This movie is pathetically obvious, so daub that it hurts. Tons of cheap cliches. Movie just screams on me with obviousness. After 2 and a half hour of movie I was unable to tell what is this movie allTotal triumph of form over content. This movie is pathetically obvious, so daub that it hurts. Tons of cheap cliches. Movie just screams on me with obviousness. After 2 and a half hour of movie I was unable to tell what is this movie all about. One will say - about life. Come on. This kind of story was told several hundred of times. This is neither new or interesting - it is simple as a brick. The worst movies are those that gives you nothing and you come out of cinema with nothing in head. This one is even worse - leaves you distaste and feeling of being cheated. Complete waste of time. Expand
3 of 10 users found this helpful37
All this user's reviews