The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life Image
Metascore
85

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

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 586 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 231
  1. Aug 27, 2011
    10
    Malick is to be applauded for attempting to get out of the Hollywood box. There are various reasons he didn't make it on this attempt. ArtMalick is to be applauded for attempting to get out of the Hollywood box. There are various reasons he didn't make it on this attempt. Art has to have constraints or it just comes across as arbitrary or self-indulgent. Malick has learnt from the film greats (Kubrick, Weir, Beresford et al) that music and image work well in cinema. But that 's only part of the picture. The vision has to be coherent, and seen to be so. If not, where's the achievement? What was the p;oint of making art in the first place? If Malick's view of his work is 'here it is; take it or leave it', he'll be left holding his own baby. A little less showing-off and a bit more expertise in the art of film would go down well, Terry. Oh, and give us credit for knowing a little about the mystery of life, so we don't have to submit to banalities like those in The Tree Of Life. 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. Jul 22, 2013
    8
    The Tree of Life is a strange one for sure, it's a movie I find hard to fault because it does very little wrong, I only understood a bit ofThe Tree of Life is a strange one for sure, it's a movie I find hard to fault because it does very little wrong, I only understood a bit of the story, and the rest went right over my head, but I was captivated by the films beauty. There's is just no denying how amazing this film looks, it is an utter joke that the film didn't get Best Achievement in Cinematography in the Oscars, the camerawork is just amazing and the whole formation sequence was just gorgeous. I'd take something like this film over a CGI fest anyday in terms of visuals. Then another thing that was amazing about the film was the music, it perfectly suited the film, an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack. The acting in the film is amazing, there's very little dialogue in the movie so the actors mostly have to just be emotional without talking and they do an amazing job. Then there's the plot, which people have argued that there isn't even one, but there most assuredly is, it's just very unconventionally told. It's disappointing that it's structure is so irregular because I'm sure there's a beautiful story to be found in this film, and I would have love to of found it, but I only found a fraction of it. Terrance Maliks ambitious vision may only show to the most patient and open minded moviegoers, but I still found The Tree of Life to be a breathtaking (and sometimes frustrating) experience. Expand
  5. 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
  6. 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 thePerhaps 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
  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 231 User Reviews

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