User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 503 Ratings

User score distribution:

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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. Expand
  2. 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 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. Collapse
  3. 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 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
  4. RSS
    Jun 10, 2011
    0
    I'm sorry -- what is this movie? Don't expect a story or caring about the characters. Good visuals, but lacking reason. I can't remember the last time I wanted to get up and walk out of a movie, but this came close.
  5. Jun 11, 2011
    1
    Pretentious rambling sporadic self conflagulation lauded by critics too afraid to go against the popular grain. This is one man's random splattering of hubble photographs interspersed with Brat Pitt posing as a real person and Sean Penn attempting to look thoughtful in cameo shots. The only real actors are the boys left adrift in a plotless story. Save your $ and buy a lottery ticket instead. At least that randomness has a shot at paying off. Expand
  6. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    This movie is life. There is nothing else I can say: this movie is amazing.
  7. Jun 5, 2011
    1
    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 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
  8. Jun 4, 2011
    0
    Punishingly pretentious. No stable narrative or dialogues. Piece of crap. Terrence Malick really is a very pseudo-intellectual director. I hope this film is a huge failure
  9. 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, 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.
    Expand
  10. May 31, 2011
    8
    I went into this film knowing that it was going to be a visual marvel, hoping that I would be able to understand, at least on an intuitive level, what Malick was communicating to us about life, nature, grace, family, etc. Obviously, many nuances of the film eluded me, but as an experience, I enjoyed it greatly. Beautiful film, excellent acting by Brad Pitt in particular. It's beyond me that the crowd at Canned would boo this film. In fact, after seeing the film, it strikes me as an embarrassing, juvenile reaction to an important work. Expand
  11. 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.
  12. May 28, 2011
    4
    If you're idea of this movie is watching someone paint for 135 minutes, then dive right in. Granted, it's a beautiful painting, but it's tedious and you'll be relieved when it's finished. Details are irrelevant, this is a 30K feet film that masters students will toil over for generations. I felt like I had to counterbalance the film with some mind-numbing action flick when I was done. It's not that I don't appreciate the art of film, but I would like some semblance of a plot and a little less whispering. Bravo, but no thanks. Expand
  13. Jun 20, 2011
    10
    Due to this movie, I lost 2 hours of my life that I cannot replace. I consider myself to be perceptive, curious and smart however this movie did not spark any of those traits. Several people in the theater left after about 20 minutes. Those that remained often groaned as they shifted in their seats. When it was finally over we chatted with many people - all of whom said "what the hell was that???".
    I can honestly say that it was probably the worst movie I have ever seen.
    Expand
  14. 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
  15. Jun 27, 2011
    0
    Note how many people below meant to rate this a "0" and instead mistakenly rated it a "10", which is hilarious as I almost did the same thing. I love movies, especially quirky ones. I'm well educated, well read, well-traveled, professional, and reasonably hip. I just registered for this website, for the sole purpose of warning people about this movie. I got suckered into it by the critic reviews (Steven Rae, you sellout). I gave the movie a chance, and after 30 minutes realized the ENTIRE movie was going to be like that. And you sit there in a theater full of people knowing they don't like it either but are pretending that they do. It's the worst feeling in the world, like you're part of some dishonest, pretentious machine. Ugh I had to shower afterwards. I walked out on this movie, the first time I have ever done so, and I've seen some real bombs. If you don't believe me, for Pete's sake at least wait for the rental so you can put a different one in. Expand
  16. 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. 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.
    Expand
  17. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    Holy crap. I don't know what I just saw, but I want my time and money back. I read the review by "brewster" and ditto everything said in their review. I burst out laughing a few times (uncontrollably, I might add) , but at least managed to muffle it.
  18. Jun 21, 2011
    0
    I couldn't wait for this film to be over. Terry Malik rips off Stanley Kubrick's 2001; Orson Wells' Magnificent Ambersons and several other "Scenes From A Marriage" - like films in producing one giant yawn of an overextended lesson in a child's coming of age yarn. We see the signs of childhood nature contrasted against the adult world of glass and steel highrises again, and again, and again. So too are the scenes of the domineering father and servile, but repressed, free-spirited wife, bickering again, and again and again. While one can't criticized the level of the acting and the occasionally impressive photography, this could have been made as a silent movie - and by that I mean not even snipets of dialogue cards - for the lack of impact of any verbal communications between any of the characters. Skip this mess unless you're in need of a good two hour's sleep. Expand
  19. Jul 2, 2011
    0
    I signed up for the site just to write this review. I've never felt so misled by a Metacritic metascore.

    This movie is not intellectual. It is absolute drek. I like nuanced, interesting movies, and this is neither.
  20. Jun 21, 2011
    0
    This movie was trying to be way to 'deep'. All of the drawn out space and dinosaur adventures are pointless, and add absolutely nothing to the movie. The middle portion of the movie- where it is actually comprehensible- is mediocre, but watchable, but add all the unnecessary filler, and you get a crap movie. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying too hard.
  21. Jul 25, 2011
    4
    This film had an incredible amount of potential. Every second of the preview did carry a great sense of intrigue. The reality is that, although one may consider themselves to be artistic, this does not mean that one can claim that their art is good. The film is hands down beautiful, the acting is incredible, and the concept is straightforward. The film however can not decide what it wants to be. The scenes rely to much on artistic value and throw in very superfluous and archaic metaphysical scenes; accompanied with an historical scene of the origin of the universe. You may conclude that this movie is a horrible malformation of three different movies into one. Expand
  22. Jun 21, 2011
    0
    I am an artist and I consider myself to be very open minded. I am also somewhat a fan of Brad Pitt's acting. Regardless, it did not make me like this film. I was disappointed in the story line and embarrassed for Brad to have his name associated with this artistic disaster. It was just bad. Scenes were choppy. There was no rhyme and reason to some of the scenes. A flashback in time focused on one particular year in childhood instead of a lifetime. And, we certainly could have done without the 'Jurassic Park dinasour' scenes. In the theatre, throughout the movie, people sitting around me were saying, "I don't get it" and I was thinking the same thing. It was a waste of my money and time. Expand
  23. Jun 24, 2011
    1
    just, i don't know... I had to laugh by a movie trying so hard to explain why God takes away children. It is because God's creation is so much bigger apparently, we are just a tiny part of it. There are dinosaurs and the cosmos and the universe (see Hubble pictures). You know? It was said in the bible to Job. "Where were you when I created the earth, you arrogant **** don't complain". In the end we all go to heaven and then you'll get to see all your loved ones back that have gone. You have to walk through a door that is standing in a desert and if you do then you will find lots of people in white robes that walk barefooted on a beach. Yup, that's them, your long lost ones. Aren't you glad you now know where they've been all that time? It is a very spiritual experience and I gained much insight in life's deeper meaning. Zzzzz..... Expand
  24. Jun 26, 2011
    10
    Please, readers, don't listen to anyone who says this film is pretentious. It's challenging, but challenging an audience to think does not imply that a director is flaunting his intelligence. Perhaps those who call it pretentious are doing so as a defense mechanism because they feel they can't understand what the movie is doing. I don't claim to understand everything that it's doing after having only seen it once, but that's quite all right, because I am thoroughly convinced that every shot, every single line of dialogue, every sound has been meticulously and brilliantly placed, and I'm sure that with more viewings the film will further open itself up to me.

    The Tree of Life is a masterpiece, but the highly abstract and fragmented style of the film is uncommon in even arthouse films these days, and it's therefore clearly unwelcome. In any case, I implore you to see it, if only to remind yourself what film language is capable of.
    Expand
  25. Jun 27, 2011
    10
    Truly an amazing cinematic experience unlike any movie before it. The movie is more like a poem than a narrative. The movie captures moments similar to our human memories. When we think back on our own life's it usually comes with quick impressions and flashes of moments rather then a cohesive story. This is a bran new type of storytelling, congrats to Malick for doing something so obviously human. Expand
  26. 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 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
  27. Dec 29, 2011
    0
    I signed up just to review this movie. I enjoy stimulating films, and count in my collection movies by Jodorowsky and other fascinating directors. I am no stranger to weird cinema. This movie is the worst piece of crap to ever be filmed. It makes absolutely no sense at all, goes in no direction and is totally unwatchable. Critics say they love this because for the most part they are pretentious idiots who are not brave enough to say they don't get it. Stay away from this movie like the plague. Expand
  28. 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 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
  29. May 29, 2011
    10
    The Tree of Life is amazing! The images are so beautiful and the cinematography scenes are nice that gives wide angle close ups in each scene that the movie journeys to the world of life, earth ,atmosphere, and galaxy. Sometimes the story didn't get the idea that what's this movie is really about? I understand that this movie is trying to focus on those characters and the images that the movie shows, and I feel that this movie gets a lot of intention about things that we knew about the reality. This movie is very quiet, no dialog, no disturbing scenes, and no script, so I easily say that it's beautiful movie that brings good idea of art. Expand
  30. May 28, 2011
    9
    This is for film and art lovers. and it is also a film about being a Man and growing up a boy. Especially the periods of stealing things and destruction that all young boys go through. But it is mostly a master at work posing questions about the animals that we are and how we make each other feel and how we can be haunted for life by shame for who we are, who are parents are, and the animalistic actions and urges we live with. But we do have a choice to try and love and fight the inner nature of man. And Malick is trying to show how difficult that choice is to make on a daily basis because of how much the cards are stacked against grace and love. To me the ending of forgiveness and connection with the ones we love, nature, and strangers is the answer we all have to find to find peace, and then in that peace, there we can create our own beautiful universe of magnificent architecture. We can be whatever created this universe. He closes it on that bridge. A bridge we must build. Expand
  31. Jun 6, 2011
    6
    I tried, but this movie failed me in delivering the philosophical message. Way too ambiguous. I appreciated the picture of life growing up in the 1950-60's, which brought back memories (especially of running around in the DDT fog, and how are we alive today?). However, the writer-director just never got me to buy the big picture questions of life that were supposedly under consideration. It gets this high a rating due to the stunning visuals. Expand
  32. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    Terrence Malick's "The Tree Of Life" was the most anticipated movie of the year for me. I was hoped I'll see something that will leave me wordless. And I saw it. It could be different for every viewer, but you won't be able to describe it. Performances by Brad Pitt, Hunter McCracken and Jessica Chastain were brilliant.
  33. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    Visceral. Wondrous. Beautiful. Maddening. It speaks to the inner depths in each of us. Terrence Malick is an artist, and a rare one at that. The best film I have seen in years.
  34. May 27, 2011
    10
    truly awesome. i saw a packed midnight show in nyc. there was a standing ovation at the end of the film. this could possibly be malick's best... really hope people are affected by this.
  35. May 27, 2011
    10
    Truly an experience more than a film. Roger Ebert couldn't be more correct in saying it's a type of prayer. This movie really must be seen by everyone, coming out of the theater you will have a completely different take on the meaning of life.
  36. May 29, 2011
    9
    Abstract. Visually stunning. Impressionistic. Made up of memories and dreams. The little things (that too often we take for granted) are what really matters. Definitely not for everyone.
  37. May 29, 2011
    1
    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
  38. May 31, 2011
    1
    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 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
  39. tjq
    Jun 1, 2011
    10
    This film is high art. I'm not going to pretend I fully grasped all of the complex symbolism and abstraction, but I left the screening in awe and my wife and I were clearly moved emotionally. Malick pushed the envelope and took a huge risk in making this film. He created a work of art and engaged the viewers in a discussion of grand ideas. One of the few movies I've seen in my lifetime that I can't wait to see again. Expand
  40. Jun 2, 2011
    10
    A visual poem, but more. I found myself crying without really knowing why. Just pure emotion. This is a movie I will be seeing AT LEAST 2 more times! Of course, there is a very small percentage of people who may be disappointed there are no car chases or robots, but if you're looking for something fresh - unlike anything you've ever seen in the theater - then this film is for you.
  41. Jun 5, 2011
    10
    Malick, who remains in a league of his own as a filmmaker of pure high art, creative and artistic excellence, epic heights of groundbreaking grandiosity, metaphysical transcendence, spiritual awakening, symbolism, and so much more...Tree of Life represents his highest note in filmmaking achievement. The performances along with the haunting visual aesthetics, mesmerizing cinematography, production design, editing are a wondrous feast for the eyes but more important remain crucial and vital nourishment for oneâ Expand
  42. Jun 7, 2011
    10
    Is this a movie about a hard-working 1950's father who, ground down by the greed of the rich and the machinations of the patent court, and mooning over having to give up a promising musical career as a young man, takes out his frustrations on his rebellious eldest son? And those hundreds of hammerhead sharks, are they supposed to represent the greedy rich?

    WHO KNOWS?

    Or, is this a movie
    about a lovely, loving, and beloved mother who, mourning over the loss of her eldest (or is it 2nd eldest?) son, questions the benevolence and even the existence of God until, with the aid of two beauteous angelic sylphs, she finally gives up her son to God? And what's with all those swirly astronomical scenes, billowing explosive clouds of gas, and pulsing glowing.... things? Are they supposed to represent her internal struggles with God?

    WHO KNOWS?

    Or, is it a movie about a boy on the cusp of sexual maturity, confused about the feelings evoked by fleeting glimpses of scantily clad neighborhood women in the heat of the summer, goaded by his neighborhood buddies into acts of cruelty and theft, resentful over the way in which his father treats his mother, his brothers, and himself, resentful of the pressure of guild and remonstrance from his angelic mother, grows up to be, um, either dead or Sean Penn?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And why did that fleet carnivorous dinosaur, with his paw on the head of the abandoned baby herbivore, decide to saunter away, leaving his putative prey lying there still alive? Wasn't he hungry?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And about that gigantic, beached, prehistoric sea monster with the deep bloody gash in his side --- was that his head at the end of a huge neck twisting around to view the damage? Or was that the head of some other gigantic prehistoric beast who happened to be wandering by?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And what were all those slowly twisting spirally thingies? Were they spirochetes?

    And was that the birth and death of the universe? And why did they plant that tree? To memorialize the person who had crashed his bike and was flopping in death throes on the grass?

    WHO KNOWS?

    And was that the Horsehead Nebula?

    YES IT WAS!
    Expand
  43. Jun 9, 2011
    1
    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
  44. Jun 11, 2011
    1
    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 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
  45. Jun 13, 2011
    10
    Probably is going to be one of the best films of 2011, maybe the best one. Malick has excelled, this movie is a masterpiece, no doubts, the perfect harmony between sound, music, pictures, a great screenplay and good performances.
  46. Jun 18, 2011
    10
    TREE OF LIFE is nothing short of a new film language. Granted, there are predecessors; and Malick's work has been developing towards this film style. But the lyricism of this emotionally driven film editing and deeply personal interior landscapes is landmark. Behold, a new cinema... Finally.
  47. Jun 16, 2011
    9
    First off, if you are looking for a traditional narrative, this is not the movie for you; the film contains probably less than ten pages of actual dialogue. Not all stories have to be told with words alone, and the striking, beautiful and compelling images of this film tell the story of this Texas family quite well. Brad Pitt is especially good in the multi-layered role of the father; there's a quiet intensity to his performance, and the young actors are also good. The Tree of Life is very impressionistic and abstract; it challenges you to follow along and to keep up with it. I haven't seen too many movies recently that I was still thinking about a week after seeing it. I understand that there are some who won't want to make that kind of investment on a weekend movie night. For those that do, the payoff is rewarding. Expand
  48. Jul 2, 2011
    10
    Terrance Malick has done it. The Tree of Life is a masterpiece to say the least. Although, it is not for everyone, this movie is only for those who enjoy thinking. Not saying you are stupid if you don't like this movie, but it requires your full attention. I have seen the movie twice now and the first time I watched it, i was a little unsure, but let me tell you, when I finished it a second time, I was 100% that is was the greatest movie that I had ever seen. Every shot and every piece of dialogue had a deeper meaning or double meaning. If you enjoy pandering and devouring films, The Tree of Life is the movie for you, and the people that say this movie is despicable and worthless, I doubt i'll be seeing you on that beach. -Respectfully submitted- Expand
  49. 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 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
  50. JMc
    Jul 10, 2011
    10
    Days after seeing it, I am still haunted by "The Tree Of Life". It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watching it I saw my whole childhood pass before my eyes, and all the basic questions I have ever asked put before me. I knew the film would be long and "challenging" but I was not prepared how much of an impact it would have on me, even though I have seen all Malick's other films. (I watched The Thin Red Line last weekend - devastating.)
    I grew up in rural Australia (not Texas), with two younger brothers and two parents who loved us. We spent all our boyhood just mucking around like the kids in the film do. There were no computers. We went to church every Sunday. I don't believe in God anymore but I do always have the " Why am I here, where are we going, what happens next" thing happening in my head. I thought the film was beautiful and meaningful. Certainly strange and puzzling at times, maddening even, but isn't that life? Be brave and go and see it.
    Expand
  51. Jul 12, 2011
    0
    One of the most self-indulgent films I've ever seen. I'm stunned that so many critics liked this. It's different, yes, and it is beautiful in a purely visual way, but it is not enjoyable. Slow, tedious, and extraordinarily boring. The ending was so bad, I thought it was a joke, and we were being filmed for our reactions. Sorry, this film is overhyped, overrated, it just isn't that good.
  52. SAS
    Jul 20, 2011
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film seems like a desperate attempt to create a beautiful film that stands out from others, however the result is a substance-less and confused mish-mash of semi religious, semi romantic ideas about the world, life and some memories of the main character's childhood.

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

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

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

    In summary, if there is a film that will leave your head scratching and makes you want to ask for your money back, this is it!
    Expand
  53. Jan 9, 2012
    1
    This movie was bad. It was like sitting at a table with a doosh who is trying to tell you what the meaning of life is- it's bad. If you say that you did not like this movie typicly people or "hipsters" will mentaly decide you just where not smart enough to get it.... It was a waste of money...
  54. 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 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
  55. Jun 20, 2011
    4
    The latest from Terrence Mallick continues to solidify his rep as a pompous twit and/or brilliant filmmaker. There's no plot or dialogueâ
  56. 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 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
  57. Jun 23, 2011
    2
    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
  58. Jun 18, 2011
    8
    I do not actually believe the character developement or the emotion of the movie deserves an 8. I actually would think those ingrediants deserve a 3. But the visuals were stunning and it was amazing how it showed the way life was formed millions of years ago. I have also made some inferences about the movie. Firstly, the reason they showed all of outer space and the other galaxies was to demonstrate how small the world was in the scheme of things and how bad things that happen on earth are not as big a deal as they appear. Also, for those who keep saying that they do not like the way religion was involved in the movie, it is actually an anti-religious movie. This is because it showed how lifeforms started and the young Sean Penn character kept on saying "God- where were you?" There were also a ton of negatives in this movie. Such as there being hardly any dialouge and how there was so much suspense to what was going to happen and it ended up just being boring. It was a good movie but I wouldn't reccomend watching it. Expand
  59. May 28, 2011
    10
    This film gives you a breath of fresh air from what you're used to seeing dominate the movie theaters these days. It was very eye-captivating, moving, and something we could all relate too. There was one scene that made a couple sitting next to me reminisce on their own lives, provoking them to caress one another for that split moment. And that's what this movie shows: the importance of every moment in our lives. Expand
  60. Jun 17, 2011
    8
    I would not recommend this film to most people - but if you're up for a VERY non-narrative film (think two and a half hour poem) about life's most serious questions, then you might find Tree of Life (especially the 2nd act) one of the most beautiful and moving films you'll see this year. Sure, Malick gives us a gorgeous looking (and sounding!) film, but it's the wonderfully human interactions that he captures that will affect you the most. I wish that Malick had focused just a bit more on the structure at the beginning and end to frame the moving second act in a more accessible way to most audiences. Expand
  61. Jun 17, 2011
    9
    You dont have to be 'educated' to enjoy this film - a term I use lightly as it felt more like an art fixture - you need to be in touch with the philosophical approach to thought. And that is not meant to sound pretentious, though those that dont think on that level might believe it to be so. You're either an etheral person or you're not - no judgement. The Tree of Life itself is cinematic thought - Malick's attempt to explore the visual interpretation of your brain trying to make sense of life; yours specifically, in general, in relation to nature and to grace. He used the cinema (his communication mechanism) to explore the meaning of life. I left the theater in thought about humanity - not because of an agenda set by Malick but because the underlying current of the film is to evaluate what happened in life and why or why not we do what we do. Expand
  62. Jun 18, 2011
    10
    I'm not the smartest movie goer in the world but I want a film to remove me from the moment, to provoke me, tittilate me, amuse me but absolutely not bore me. To this movie i say "so what". It's a 135 minute boring grind and all the giant positive reviews of the "legendary" Terrence Malick's new movie make me want to shout "by golly, the emperor's not wearing any clothes so why are all these sycophants singing his praises ?" BFD I say. You can miss this one. I wouldn't even rent the dvd. Wait till you can get it for free at your library. Rating - negative 4 stars. Expand
  63. Jun 23, 2011
    8
    I left the theatre with so many thoughts and feelngs that I still am digesting it all. I stayed open and consciously refrained from judgement throughout the film. I loved this film; If you were ever a boy especially with brothers and raised with a military father like I did, this cut deep. Not only did I feel the pain, I also felt the LOVE, the promise, the awe, the hope, we are here to live and to be apart of this mystery we call LIFE. Expand
  64. Jul 1, 2011
    8
    I had read a lot about this movie, so I approached it with some hesitation. Having seen Malik's New World and been disappointed I wondered if this would be a big letdown. It turned out to be very different to what I expected. The special effects, while providing a universal backdrop, moved me less than the human moments captured so lovingly. Indeed, I left the cinema deeply stirred emotionally without exactly knowing why. Some parts of the ending I felt were laboured (though not the final few shots, esp. the flowers), but at the core this film is about love and connection . It left me feeling more connected and touched by a gentle grace. Expand
  65. Jul 6, 2011
    10
    When the film ended I was sure of two things:
    1) I was slightly confused about how I felt.
    2) I had spent the last 20 minutes holding back tears.

    Its sparseness probably makes it confusing and boring for many but if you have any care for film as an art you will surely be left in awe. More than any other film I have seen in theaters The Tree of Life melts the border between screen and
    theater and creates one of the most emotional environments ever produced in a movie theater. The Tree of Life is the most overwhelming and pure meditation on human nature film has ever created and for anyone who is sometimes finds themselves confused or questioning just that, please see it.

    This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest films of all time.
    Expand
  66. Jul 15, 2011
    0
    I was thinking that watching all the small town happiness cliches that I had already seen in The Thin Red line might work out if the film turned out to be the autobiography of David Koresh ... and there was a brief flash of unexplained flaming house near the end, but I think that was just a flashback to Badlands ... so, no, it turns out to be the autobiography of Sean Penn, but that's not evenaccurate because I knew Sean's father and he was not Brad Pitt. Expand
  67. Jul 15, 2011
    1
    The completely polarized reviews here, where everyone seems to give it 10 or 1, probably tell you everything you need to know. If you're a high-art film and/or Malick fan, you'll love it. If you're dubious; trust that instinct! Me? I cannot remember the last time I noticed so many people in the theater squirming in their seats waiting for the film to end. Toward the finish of the movie, during some of the (many) fades-to-black, you could feel the palpable tension in the audience as we collectively hoped to see credits roll. I know there are fans who will assume I'm too stupid to get it, but this film is simply not the rich tapestry the 10-scorers here seem to believe. I found it to be weapons-grade self-indulgence, possessing a limited number of cards that it plays repeatedly. Feels way longer than 135 minutes. It gets 2 not zero for the striking visuals â Expand
  68. 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.
  69. Sep 3, 2011
    0
    I too signed up to Metacritic purely to review this film.

    Simply put, I loved The Thin Red Line and went to see Tree Of Life on the strength of this.

    ToL is a 2 1/4 hour art wank trip that looks like a cross between a NASA documentary and autumnal adverts for fabric softener. It's message is lost in a confusion of pretensiousness, and is one that is not worth telling in the first
    place.

    If you strap a camcorder to a dog and let it run around for 2 hours, you'd get a better film.
    Expand
  70. Dec 21, 2011
    2
    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 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
  71. 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
    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.
    Expand
  72. 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 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
  73. Jul 28, 2011
    0
    Shamefully derivative, in love with its own symbolism, and at least 30 minutes too long. First glimpse of eternity---fine, I got it. But after a zillion Hubble shots---would have prefered waterboarding!!
    Go back to film school. At least the costumers got it right.
  74. Oct 2, 2011
    0
    This movie goes to far into nowhere. This is a movie you really, really have to try and like. You haver to look for the meaning of what it means. It's better for DVD so you can go back and watch again so you can develop an explaination of what the movie is trying to say. To me it's a baffle them with BS movie and not the great film I was expecting. Horrible.
  75. 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.
  76. May 27, 2011
    3
    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
  77. Jun 4, 2011
    1
    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.
  78. Jun 5, 2011
    1
    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
  79. Jun 30, 2011
    3
    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.
  80. Jul 3, 2011
    0
    This is on behalf of movielover1 below, who mistakenly gave this a 10 when he/she clearly hated it and meant to rate it a 0, as follows:

    movielover1 Jun 20, 201110 Due to this movie, I lost 2 hours of my life that I cannot replace. I consider myself to be perceptive, curious and smart however this movie did not spark any of those traits. Several people in the theater left after about 20
    minutes. Those that remained often groaned as they shifted in their seats. When it was finally over we chatted with many people - all of whom said "what the hell was that???". I can honestly say that it was probably the worst movie I have ever seen.â Expand
  81. Jul 3, 2011
    3
    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
  82. Jul 7, 2011
    2
    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 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
  83. Jul 8, 2011
    2
    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!
  84. Jan 9, 2012
    10
    This movie is reminiscent to those dreams where you start falling, but you never stop, only a lot more pleasant. The movie buds open like a flower longing for light, and even if it does so slowly, it does so perfectly as well. Malick approaches the concept of life with such grace, knowledge, and poise, that it causes you to question life yourself, more than you ever have. Acting here was great (just probably not award-worthy, except from Chastain), and it helped supplement the story. Most important to the picture, though, was the picture itself. This movie was shot beautifully and exceptionally, and scenes from the beginning of life were so eye-opening, that they made following this movie irresistible. Overall, this movie is a must-see, and should be up for many more film awards to come. Expand
  85. Jul 21, 2011
    0
    This would have to be the worst movie ever made, the disjointed story telling, the haphazard collection of Hubblesque photographs, the failure of the characters to age, the diabolically poor performance by Sean Penn just make this the most distressingly depressing movie of our time.

    I am so glad they don't sell razorblades in the foyer.
  86. Aug 19, 2011
    10
    My favorite movie of the year. It was totally different than I expected it would be but I left it being very spiritually and emotionally touched. The cinematography and amazing visuals (not using CGI) are amazing! Beware though it is not for everyone it doesn't have much of a story per se but rather attempts to encapsulate existence in its entirety. If that sounds appealing to you please see it!
  87. Jul 26, 2011
    0
    I cannot understand why many otherwise excellent critics, such as Roger Ebert (with whom I usually agree, more or less) did not pan this movie. It is pretentious crap. To say that it is personal, that it is Malick's personal poetic or philosophical vision is to let him off the hook for a piece of appallingly boring mediocrity. I have very sophisticated tastes and see lots of indie films. I have a great appreciation for great writing, directing, and acting, and have lots of knowledge about literature and music - in fact I am an expert on music. Of the movies that have received favorable critical reviews and which I have seen (and that includes the vast majority of those movies, as I am a film fanatic), this is BY FAR the worst one of them I have ever seen. Complete waste of time. Do not believe the hype. This movie is a failure and it leads me to believe that Malick is a complete fraud in fact. I am still scratching my head. Expand
  88. Aug 9, 2011
    9
    I think Terrence Mallick fulfils his career ambition through this movie. A man struggling between the origin of earth and meaning of its existence, these types of tough scripts are analyzed only by a few directors. These movies are called as MASTERPIECE.
  89. Aug 12, 2011
    10
    Terrence Malick does it again! This film is a visually gorgeous meditation on the meaning of life, love, grace, pain and suffering. It touched upon themes that many of us have been grappling with in our own lives in a manner that was sensitive, sweet and gut-wrenching, all at once. The visual special effects were outstanding, and the more narrative scenes with actors included numerous beautifully and acutely observed moments. I loved the Thin Red Line and The New World, and this film is every bit their equal. Kudos to the wise folk at Cannes who awarded this film the Palme d'Or. Expand
  90. Jan 10, 2012
    0
    So boring. Not even Brad Prit can change how boring this movie is. So long nothing but silence. Yes a father and son story but it is so empty nobody can really relate to the characters.
  91. Aug 1, 2011
    0
    There are people who will call this film art. There are people who will call this film poetry. When you hear those defences, just remember - there is lots of really bad art and poetry! I'm surprised to see so many experienced critics drawn in by this piece of pretentious nonsense. Who says there are two paths through life - the path of nature and the path of grace? And who says nature inevitably equals all things bad, and so is the father, or that grace is all things good and so of course the mother? This black and white vision of the world is not sophisticated - it is simplistic. Don't be fooled by this film! Expand
  92. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    While the movie is truly a magnificent sight to behold it is definetly not a film for everyone. If you're a Terrance Mallick fan you know what to expect, long ponderous existential dialogue placed over majestically shot vistas. The movies oozes with real angst (non-off that Twilight nonsense). The acting is top notch. Pit Chastain and the kid who plays young Sean Penn do wonderful jobs emoting their characters. The score is incredible, one of the best of the year so far. The effects like the rest of the cinematography are incredible. CGI is kept to a minimum, and yet like the view is like neon candy for the eyes. This is the kind of film PT Anderson wishes he had the talent to make. Bottom line; if you like Mallick you will love this film. If you hate Mallick or like any of the Twillight films skip it. Expand
  93. Oct 12, 2011
    0
    Perhaps because the film's so gorgeous and there have been so many gushing reviews folks are afraid of appearing uncool if they say this movie was the psychotic exercise of someone with way too much money and not anyone around him honest enough to say hey Terry knock off this talking-to-god lunacy.
  94. Feb 11, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I absolutely loved this movie. Yes, I'll admit, it feels like you're watching a home video, but it would have to be THE BEST cinematography for nearly any given video. Nearly every scene was absolutely breathtaking. It's about life (as suggested by the title) and provides a beautiful metaphor for life. Expand
  95. Mar 11, 2012
    1
    I cannot believe this movie got so much good reviews, It was a bad movie.. There was no story line but there was an hour of displaying national geographic videos and photos.
  96. Oct 23, 2011
    10
    I love it, very stunning movie, actors, amazingly cinematography, I dont know why so much negativity about this movie. I enjoyed this movie. Absolutely magnificent! One of the most visually pleasing aesthetic films
  97. Jul 10, 2011
    10
    I perfectly understand why some dislike the movie--it's certainly not for everyone--but for those it works for, including me, I think it's a remarkable achievement. There's not many movies this day that are ambitious as this and succeed as poignantly.
  98. Nov 10, 2011
    1
    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
  99. Jan 17, 2012
    9
    Honestly I don't know if five years from now I'll consider this the next 2001: A Space Odyssey (which compared to this movie is actually straightforward) or if I'll be wondering what the heck I was thinking falling for Malick's pretentiousness. But my feeling right now is that I was enlightened by watching this movie totally unlike anything I've see before. It's one of the most visually astounding films I've ever seen, well acted, and incomprehensible but not in a frustrating way, at least not me. Don't try to understand it all, just absorb it. Expand
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.