The Tree of Life

Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 555 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaningThe film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick's signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    May 26, 2011
    100
    In terms of scale, The Tree Of Life recalls the mammoth ambition of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," but it's also more intimate and personal than Malick's previous films, rooted in vivid memories of growing up in '50s Texas.
  2. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 2, 2011
    100
    A sense of reconciliation is Malick's great accomplishment in The Tree of Life, affording us equal wonder at grace and nature alike. 
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 17, 2011
    90
    Brandishing an ambition it's likely no film, including this one, could entirely fulfill, The Tree of Life is nonetheless a singular work, an impressionistic metaphysical inquiry into mankind's place in the grand scheme of things that releases waves of insights amid its narrative imprecisions.
  5. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 27, 2011
    88
    For all its flaws, The Tree of Life is a stunning exception to the rule that you can safely check your brain at the popcorn counter until after Labor Day. That's enough to place it among the year's best movies, or at least most-talked-about ones.
  6. 80
    After warming up with "The Thin Red Line" and "The New World," Malick has succeeded in fully creating his own film syntax, his own temporal reality, and lo, it is … kind of goofy. But riveting.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jun 16, 2011
    38
    Glibly put, this challenging time-skipping rumination is the big screen equivalent of watching that "Tree" grow.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 227
  1. Jul 11, 2011
    10
    If you know anything about Terrence Malick's previous four films, and enjoyed any of them, then I would expect you to enjoy this film veryIf you know anything about Terrence Malick's previous four films, and enjoyed any of them, then I would expect you to enjoy this film very much. To those who know nothing of Malick's work, I recommend diving right in. You may hate it, but you also may get caught up in his spell. Is it pretentious? HELL YES. Is it absolutely beautiful cinema that contains images the likes of which have never been portrayed on screen? HELL YES. This film is more an abstract artistic experience than a movie. This is the type of film making I personally love and relish when it comes along, maybe once a year or so. If you consider most art too "artsy", then this is definitely not for you. The only film I can possibly compare this to is 2001: a space odyssey. If that is your type of film, then sit back, and enjoy the ride. Expand
  2. 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 butI'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
  3. 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
  4. Dec 29, 2011
    7
    The Tree of Life is not for everyone, close or narrow mind may not enjoy the movie. It redefines the roots of film-making. The storytelling isThe Tree of Life is not for everyone, close or narrow mind may not enjoy the movie. It redefines the roots of film-making. The storytelling is almost entirely made of beautiful pictures and metaphysical narration, only a few dialogues are included. I feel that this is great because it allows the viewer to think while watching. Why would you want to think while watching a movie I bet you're asking yourself ? Well, the Tree of Life is more than a movie, it's a journey, a door on the existential questions of life. The viewer won't be able to stop himself on reflecting about these different questions. The movie is about love, and what are good and evil. Therefor, the "lack" of dialogues is a blessing for it allows the mind of the viewer to grow. The Tree of Life is an enriching experience by Terrence Malick. Collapse
  5. Jun 29, 2011
    4
    This was like two movies in one. It should have been about 45 minutes shorter. I loved the visually stunning parts in the middle, but byThis was like two movies in one. It should have been about 45 minutes shorter. I loved the visually stunning parts in the middle, but by the end of the movie I was saying just end it PLEASE, but they didn't. Expand
  6. 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 seenThis 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
  7. Dec 4, 2011
    0
    Shockingly self-serving drivel. As a scientist, I was appalled at the inane attempt to present a timeline of life (as pretty as it was). TheShockingly self-serving drivel. As a scientist, I was appalled at the inane attempt to present a timeline of life (as pretty as it was). The movie "Adaptation " did it in one quick scene. This lunacy goes on for a period of time that truly made me shake. The awfulness is indescribable. The pain worse than an unanaesthetized tooth extraction. As a writer, I was incensed from the very first whisper (the whole slide show is in a whisper) with false spiritual music gnawing at you in the background.The narrative is accomplishable in 8x fast forward which is the only way I could watch this.These amazing actors were silenced by insane direction and muffled by a score better suited for a 700 Club infomercial.

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

    I wish I had a way to waste a Saturday night of Maleck's.
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See all 227 User Reviews

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