Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Mar 3, 2013
    A beautiful, hearfelt and raw piece of work.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 11, 2013
    I found it to be some kind of wonderful, flaws and all. This is one to be taken in like meditation. Clear the mind and let what is in front of you wash over you. Save the contemplation for later.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 11, 2013
    As with any other movie, it’s all a question of what attitude you carry into the theater, and whether you’re prepared to go where Malick wants to take you. All I can tell you is that once I surrendered to the ebb and flow of Lubezki’s images, the elegiac and almost anti-narrative mode, the sweet-sad blend of romance, eroticism and tragedy and the hypnotic score – which mixes contemporary electronic pop with Berlioz, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Henryk Górecki and Arvo Pärt – I really never wanted it to stop.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mar 3, 2013
    This is a test, requiring rapt concentration and acute attention, and repaying a hundredfold. For spectators dulled by the midget movies of an arrtstically timid era, the film may be a chore. For those on Malick’s rarified wavelength, it’s a wonder.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 7, 2013
    There will be many who find To the Wonder elusive and too effervescent. They'll be dissatisfied by a film that would rather evoke than supply. I understand that, and I think Terrence Malick does, too. But here he has attempted to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 10, 2013
    Still, there’s no doubt that To The Wonder is a fans-only proposition, continuing Malick’s evolution (or devolution, for some) from the narrative grounding of "Badlands" to much more abstract, poeticized notions of the human condition.
  7. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 3, 2013
    To the Wonder renders the familiar terrain of romantic dysfunction on a grand scale. Malick haters may not change their tune, but at least they can admit that To the Wonder maintains a consistent thematic focus.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Apr 14, 2013
    I loved this movie, and I loved Tree of Life. Amazing to me that some people complain about the plot. Hahahah! This isn't a story, it's a poem and painting set to film. There's no plot. The astounding visual contrasts are presented with very little judgement, it seems to me. Everybody knows Paris is beautiful, but Oklahoma apparently has its own sort of beauty. I saw Tree of Life four times in two weeks, mainly dragging recalcitrant friends along. It got better each time. I'll see this at least twice in the first week, but not planning on taking anyone else. This is better savored alone. Also, I'm really glad Ben Affleck has so thoroughly redeemed himself as a serious artist, and Olga Kurylenko and Javier Bardem were perfect. I don't think there's a more interesting actor than Javier out there right now... Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2013
    To the Wonder is actual art in favour of modern arty pizzazz, it is cinematic poetry in place of those "art" films that are petrified at doing anything different, it is uncompromising in its technique, holding up a middle finger to any man who dare say: "No, Malick, stop! Art is bad for us boo! boring! boredom!" The Tree of Life was a vast, monstrous creation that swallowed up the earth and the universe in its vision but it still held tight to certain narrative constraints, and one could almost feel the aching soul of Malick trying to get out, to create a style which was utterly his own, and now he has done it: To the Wonder is less a film than a Renaissance work of art, a modern idealist painting of colours, movement, sensuality and sound: the characters are avatars into which Malick pours his ideas, expressing their hopes and sorrows through speed, walking, running, sunlight, water, air, wind, anything from nature... one has to press pause or constantly replay almost every frame and immerse himself in what it would feel like to be in those places, to hear those sounds... he somehow makes the sound of water so shockingly beautiful, he is a painter let loose in film, who allows his audience to actually feel the beauty of the world, more so than any other living film director. There is no real narrative and there are no characters worth describing we wouldn't criticise a Shakespeare sonnet for lacking in story, or a Da Vinci for telling us very little about the Madonna or the Mona Lisa, in the same way that Malick has gone beyond names or places, the jargon dialogue of famous movie characters that makes them "memorable"; this is what it feels like to be alive, in 1 hour and 52 minutes. Full Review »
  3. Apr 12, 2013
    Beautiful and utterly wonderful, poetry in film. Terrence Malik has yet failed to make a film that is bad, in fact he finds it hard not to make some of the best films ever made.

    To the wonder is a sensation. It's textured and layered with romantic imagery, the minimal dialogue only adds to the beauty and romance of the film.
    Full Review »