User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 68
  2. Negative: 13 out of 68

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  1. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    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... Expand
  2. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    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. Expand
  3. Apr 12, 2013
    9
    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.
  4. Apr 13, 2013
    7
    From a visual and auditory standpoint, it's an incredible movie. Casting Olga Kurylenko was obviously a wise move in a movie about beauty, with very little perceptible dialogue, she's able to carry much of the film's load. I would have loved a bit more clarity about how the two met, his job in the local Oklahoma community, his background (other than his prior relationship with the Rachel McAdams character), and what happened to the two lead characters at the end. But I appreciate Malick's use of the uroboros. I enjoyed Javier Bardem as the local priest who is struggling with his own mission. With so much negativity in the press about the Catholic Church and Christianity in general, it's great to see this very typical character visiting the sick, the lost souls in prison, etc. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. Apr 13, 2013
    7
    It's a great raw romance film, keeps you hooked but not that surprising. Javier Bardem's role is nice after all the villain playing films. It's a good Malick film, I mean like its good for everyone and not only for woman but for men too. Olga Kurenlenko was super great and it was a wise choice to take her in. If someone says Terence! Bring us crappy movies like Alone in the Dark! It's good for us!" But actually he made a masterpiece. Expand
  7. Apr 16, 2013
    7
    You can approach this movie in several ways, but if you go in with an appreciation of Terrence Malick's latest works, you will enjoy this movie. Cinematography over story.
  8. Apr 17, 2013
    1
    Pretentious and boring rumination on love, life and religion featuring beautiful but cliched cinematography and characters whose mundane and largely silent existence fails to hold your interest for the film's excruciating two hour running time.
  9. Jun 10, 2013
    0
    HORRIBLE! This is the worst movie that I've watched in my 47 years on this earth. EVERYONE; actors, directors, producers, grips, EVERONE involved in this movie should never be allowed to participate again! This is the WORST movie I've suffered through in my life! Please save your money. Don't even consider it!
  10. 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.
  11. Jan 29, 2014
    2
    A waste of two hours. There is no real dialogue but there is a lot of background noise and some pretentious inspirational thoughts. Some nice scenery though.
  12. 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 wanders around as a priest. Cinematic poetry and obtuse storytelling. Painfully pretentious for my taste. Expand
  13. Jul 28, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I wonder why so many people seem to like this film. Yes, it is
    different. Affleck hardly has any lines and the lines that he (or Olga)
    have are fragmented and in my opinion pretentious prose. When Javier
    Bardem entered after about half an hour I hoped that the film would
    finally take off. The wonder they refer to must be that anyone would
    sit this out. I was about the 10th person that left, in a small cinema
    of about 150 seats.
    Expand
  14. Apr 23, 2013
    1
    While not the most talentless director, Terrance Malick is definitely the most self absorbed, telling stories he and only he wants to tell and more importantly hear. The tales he weaves are so personal that hardly anyone can interpret them and that's exactly what you have to do despite the fact to do so requires the enigma machine. The film follows a man (Ben Affleck) and woman (Olga Kurylenko) who contemplate love, loss, religion and forgiveness as the man reconnects with a past flame (Rachel McAdams) and the woman longs to find a place she can call home. My main problem with to the wonder lies in the fact that the film is plot free, there is no story here to tell and because of this the film is terribly dull, a monotonous journey through passing thoughts and the moments between the interesting things that happen in a persons life. The film lives in a world so disconnected from the one its pretending to live in, the characters are drained of all emotion, any semblance of character or purpose, they merely exist in a place where nothing at all happens. Malick, like with Tree of Life doesn't care so much about character (if at all) but in themes and messages. To the Wonder has plenty to say in terms of themes and messages but no way for anyone to read it, watching it isn't enough unfortunately. These characters ponder philosophy as part of their own inner monologues but without any human emotion behind it they just sound half cut, as if the bartender forgot to say enough is enough. These people are constantly in their own heads and as a human action its fine, but as characters in a movie they never say a meaningful spoken word and I argue they never say a single meaningful thing in the psychobabble that accompanies their depressingly pitiful existences. The film depicts a couple so broken that everyone leaves them but you never feel sorry for them because the characters Malick depicts are dreadful, reprehensible people. I'd comment on the acting but none was really required as if Malick just told his stars to wander and gosh darn think about something poignant, it's just too bad we couldn't see what they were thinking about. To the Wonder is Malick's worst film to date yet arguably his most personal, however if this is his idea of personal I'd rather he try to stay out of his own head and try to emulate someone else. Expand
  15. 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 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
  16. 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
    female lead. Just felt like there wasn't enough there. Expand
  17. Jan 30, 2014
    8
    There are no words capable of accurately reviewing Terrence Malick's films, just as there were very few words in his last scripts. One thing's clear though: there's no intent to amuse us, entertain us, make us laugh, make us cry, make us do anything really; this film is just what it is, and what it is turns out to be pretty personal. So let's not try to make this a pamphlet on the importance of art house, or Ben Affleck's completely (and sure intentionally) blank performance. I will say that no dialogue is better than bad dialogue and no plot is definitely better than bad plot. I'm looking at you, superhero-sagas screenwriters. Expand
  18. Apr 27, 2013
    1
    I enjoyed Malick's "Thin Red Line" due in large part to an amazing performance by Nick Nolte. But "To the Wonder" has to be one of the most boring movies I can remember watching. Painfully slow and repetitive.
  19. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    гармонии.
    Отрицание оставила
    нужный эмоций.
    Этот пересмотреть.
    А мне.
    Как тематики.
    Любовь грубости.
    После
  20. 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 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
  21. Dec 7, 2013
    9
    The people and activities shown in To The Wonder seemed more real than in most films. It was interesting to notice how the lack of dialog seemed to contribute favorably to the realism. The actors were convincing and some were attractive. Although I'm pretty sure I did not understand much of what Terrence Malik was saying with this movie I must have understood some of it because I found myself viewing the entire movie and enjoying the challenge of trying to figure out some of the characters' feelings and some of the connections among the people featured. The depictions of Oklahoma caught my attention because they were sad, stark, funny, tragic, and beautiful. There was a lot of good wind shown throughout this movie. Expand
  22. Jun 1, 2014
    3
    Malick is undoubtedly a brilliant director, who has achieved much success from previous films. But, the mediocre story line and monotonous performance has truly reflected upon it's predecessor, The Tree of Life and has proven Malick's incapability to cope with what the young audience wants, especially those who demand fertile romances.
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.