To the Wonder

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 132

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 22, 2013
    6
    To The Wonder is not even close to the greatness of The Tree of Life. But with great imagery and tempo performances, To The Wonder is a suitable film for all audiences.
  2. Dec 19, 2013
    4
    Like every other Terrance Malick film, this one is gorgeously shot. It is atmospheric and fluid. Sadly, it is also tedious and boring. About halfway into it, I was already wishing it was over. I am big fan of his and think he is brilliant. But tons pointless twirling, an overdose of voice overs, and not much story cause this one to fall way short of Malick's past masterpieces.
  3. May 11, 2013
    4
    If you liked "Tree of Life" you'll be in heaven with this latest from writer/director Terrence Malick (there's even some of the same footage). It's all beautiful imagery with poetic VO and almost no dialogue. There's a relationship runaround with Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko, where they do lots of silly stuff that people only do in movies…and perfume commercials. Javier Bardem wandersIf you liked "Tree of Life" you'll be in heaven with this latest from writer/director Terrence Malick (there's even some of the same footage). It's all beautiful imagery with poetic VO and almost no dialogue. There's a relationship runaround with Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko, where they do lots of silly stuff that people only do in movies…and perfume commercials. Javier Bardem wanders around as a priest. Cinematic poetry and obtuse storytelling. Painfully pretentious for my taste. Expand
  4. May 22, 2013
    5
    With the seemingly aimless direction, heavenly soundtrack and slow development, this is a typical Terrence Malick film. However, unlike his previous efforts, this one felt far more removed. ‘To the Wonder’ is an art film that presents the cycle of romantic relationships; from its beautiful beginnings to its sometime tragic end, and back around to the beautiful new beginnings. I take itWith the seemingly aimless direction, heavenly soundtrack and slow development, this is a typical Terrence Malick film. However, unlike his previous efforts, this one felt far more removed. ‘To the Wonder’ is an art film that presents the cycle of romantic relationships; from its beautiful beginnings to its sometime tragic end, and back around to the beautiful new beginnings. I take it that this was meant to be a study rather than something plot driven, and that the overall experience should be the ultimate “pay-off”; however, there seems to be something missing here. Unlike Sean Penn’s grief for the death of his brother in ‘The Tree of Life’ and Collin Farrell’s adoration for Pocahontas in ‘The New World’, we didn't feel the love that the characters in ‘To the Wonder’ presumably shared for each other. We were never able to immerse ourselves in the feelings of these characters; but were simply relegated to being bystanders looking at glimpses of the relationships as it unfolded and dissolved. Sometimes it’s easier to respect the artist than the art on display, and that is the case here. I have to give this film a mediocre grade despite being a huge fan of Malick. This one just wasn't doing it for me; and in the end, it was too emotionally unsatisfying. One thing you’re guaranteed to take away from this film is Emmanuelle Lubezki’s splendid cinematography. His sun kissed lighting and eloquent camera movements were what kept me engaged most of the time. Expand
  5. Jun 21, 2013
    6
    Malick's beautiful, air-light, impressionistic style really shines here. Worth a watch for this alone. Like watching the works of french impressionists painters, set to motion. Olga Kurylenko surprised me with her excellent acting. I think the movie was more like a contemplation about love, relationships, loneliness and life, than actually a "movie". I say this because the movie had a veryMalick's beautiful, air-light, impressionistic style really shines here. Worth a watch for this alone. Like watching the works of french impressionists painters, set to motion. Olga Kurylenko surprised me with her excellent acting. I think the movie was more like a contemplation about love, relationships, loneliness and life, than actually a "movie". I say this because the movie had a very thin plot with 2 hours of running time, and not much story development. Almost like in the case of an experimental movie, which is hard to categorize. Was this a drama? Yes, but the plot was merely a "base" or a "pedestal" for the thought presented. To the wonder is a logical follow up and development of "The Tree of Life" in style. I believe Ben Affleck's character was totally underdeveloped, and underused, which is a shame. The storyline with Javier Bardem was somewhat inconclusive as well. One of Malick most "eccentric" movies. Definitely not made for wider audiences, despite the AAA actors/actresses, and the romantic plot/sub-plot. More of a movie for those who like to think about life, love, relationships, God. Not Malick's best, but worth a watch! Expand
  6. Apr 7, 2014
    4
    Have to admit this was bad. I love Malick's other movies, but this was not good. Felt unfinished, rushed, poorly edited, poorly cast, even the actors didn't seem to know what they were doing in parts. The fact that he is making 3 movies consecutively after doing a handful in 40 years, might be telling.

    Dialog is not even understandable in parts. Characters thin, except for the
    Have to admit this was bad. I love Malick's other movies, but this was not good. Felt unfinished, rushed, poorly edited, poorly cast, even the actors didn't seem to know what they were doing in parts. The fact that he is making 3 movies consecutively after doing a handful in 40 years, might be telling.

    Dialog is not even understandable in parts. Characters thin, except for the female lead. Just felt like there wasn't enough there.
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  7. Aug 24, 2015
    6
    To the Wonder is a positively beautiful film with, despite superb cinematography, many flaws. Ultimately, the story is unsatisfying emotionally in almost every way conceivable. The film is laden with compelling performances, which are conveyed through bodily actions and facial expressions more than dialogue itself, for the most part. It feels like a twenty-five minute short film that'sTo the Wonder is a positively beautiful film with, despite superb cinematography, many flaws. Ultimately, the story is unsatisfying emotionally in almost every way conceivable. The film is laden with compelling performances, which are conveyed through bodily actions and facial expressions more than dialogue itself, for the most part. It feels like a twenty-five minute short film that's been distorted into a feature length; almost like a slinky that's been stretched too far.

    It isn't particularly a bad film, but To the Wonder unfortunately gets too caught up in its idyllic and poetic imagery to delivery something above the level of dissatisfaction and, quite frankly, disappointment.
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Metascore
58

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: Rene Rodriguez
    May 2, 2013
    50
    The movie is intentionally elusive, like a memory you can’t quite fully recall, but the result has all the depth and weight of a greeting card.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 26, 2013
    42
    Is Malick deliberately courting self-parody here? Probably not. That would imply he had a sense of humor.
  3. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Apr 25, 2013
    42
    Affleck has two expressions, a smirk and a scowl. Bardem never changes expression at all: Whatever he’s saying comes out with a dispassionate, hangdog glumness. Perhaps he watched the daily rushes once too often.