User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 226 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 68 out of 226
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  1. MichaelL
    Feb 26, 2008
    5
    A film which makes an attempt to pattern itself on the fantasy vs. reality films that had become popular at the turn of the new millennium - David Fichner's "Fight Club" and M. Night Shamalan's "Sixth Sense" both from 1999, Christopher Nolan's "Momento" from 2000, and David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" released the following year (all of which don't surpass the A film which makes an attempt to pattern itself on the fantasy vs. reality films that had become popular at the turn of the new millennium - David Fichner's "Fight Club" and M. Night Shamalan's "Sixth Sense" both from 1999, Christopher Nolan's "Momento" from 2000, and David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" released the following year (all of which don't surpass the reigning king of this genre when Terry Gilliam released his 1985 masterpiece "Brazil") - by no means fails in this respect since I found it both entertaining and intriguing for the most part, but is noticeably long and certainly may confuse the average '2hr-max-movie-goer'. Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz both stand out playing their respective, 'good gal/bad gal roles and Jason Lee is quite appealing as the best friend of our dashing lead Tom Cruise. Yet Cruise may be viewed as stretching this performance given the physical challenges that are demanded. I hesitate to reveal these challenges to those that have not seen the picture as they are indeed the focal point of the plot. Many good things like the witty Cameron Crowe retrospective soundtrack that is weaved into clever culture references and tributes which are indeed enjoyable and even necessary to solve the riddle presented in 'what's is going on?' scenario of the main character's pressing dilemma which may not be easy to access with a single viewing. But still the ride can be entertaining as Tom runs away and into trouble as he often does in quasi-action films that are laced with mystery and intrigue like Sydney Pollack's 1993 "The Firm", Brian De Palma's 1996 "Mission Impossible" and even the more cerebrally dark, "Eyes Wide Shut" from Stanley Kubrick. As noted by many educated critics as well as the tasteless tabloids Mr. Cruise may be biting off more than he can chew as he dives into the land of independent production. I applaud Tom for his efforts and are rooting for his 'comeback' yet do believe that his choice for future roles should include a return to comedic territory as a deviation/diversion to selecting elaborate/complicated efforts which could be prove a bit too risky and result in a poor reception at the box office. Expand
  2. Dec 4, 2013
    6
    Vanilla Sky is, fundamentally, a movie about lucid dreaming. And there is something about it that only lucid dreamers will recognize. Sadly, it's a bit downhill from there. While Vanilla Sky is a solid effort, it's unfortunately short of genius. The very project is a bit curious. Is Cameron Crowe, the permanent teenager responsible for perfectly good yet light-as-a-feather comedies likeVanilla Sky is, fundamentally, a movie about lucid dreaming. And there is something about it that only lucid dreamers will recognize. Sadly, it's a bit downhill from there. While Vanilla Sky is a solid effort, it's unfortunately short of genius. The very project is a bit curious. Is Cameron Crowe, the permanent teenager responsible for perfectly good yet light-as-a-feather comedies like Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, up to the challenge of remaking a Spanish psychodrama? Crowe goes through the motions, and from time to time he proves that he can handle heavier material, but Vanilla Sky is too murky to be much more than a holiday distraction far from the cult classic that the original Abre los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) has become. However... Cameron Crowe's DVD commentary track is one of the best I've heard. While he's overly proud of the middling achievement, he's honest about the tepid reaction from test audiences, and he does provide a little extra context for the various interpretations of the movie. (Also of note, this is the first commentary I've heard with a musical score: someone (Crowe's wife, Nancy Wilson) playing acoustic guitar. Crowe also phones up his stars during the recording... bizarre.) Unfortunately, none of this can make Penélope Cruz a good actress. An interview with songwriter Paul McCartney, two featurettes, and assorted trailers round out the disc. Vanilla Sky has moments of brilliance and bears a certain style, but the movie is neither simple enough for sheer popcorn-thriller fun nor complex enough for true psychodrama buffs. It lies somewhere in a middle ground, and anyone that tells you different... needs to open his eyes. Expand
  3. PatC.
    Jan 6, 2004
    4
    It's kinda neat being in a garage full of Rolls-Royce parts, but nothing was put together I could drive away.
  4. FrankC.
    Jan 1, 2003
    6
    Great Production, Great Acting and an excellent story line. The end is a real dissapointment and ruins what may have been a real classic. I don't understand the point why i ended like that. What a waste.
  5. stevep
    May 8, 2006
    6
    This is one of those movies that had a great concept but didn
  6. DamianP.
    Dec 18, 2001
    4
    It wasn't challenging enough to warrant the word "psychological" or interesting enough to be a thriller. I was very disappointed that my mind wasn't the least bit boggled.
  7. BobS.
    Dec 27, 2001
    5
    Still don't know what it was all about.
  8. Funkymonkey
    Apr 11, 2003
    6
    A truly unsettling,mind-bending nightmare of a film. A solipsistic self-realization parallelled with a yearning for an unobtainable other. About as a pleasant as a heart-attack. But not without quality. Definitely worth watching.
  9. ChadS.
    Dec 27, 2001
    5
    First, Cameron Crowe made an audience-friendly film with no stars but nobody showed up. Now he follows it up with a stab at art-house with the golden boy of Tinseltown. Next time out, Crowe will get it right and have the commercial and critical success he enjoyed with "Jerry Maguire." Vanilla Sky earns 5 points because the smile on my face hasn't left since his last effort.
  10. HeffaN.
    Dec 19, 2004
    6
    I've just saw the movie, and give it a six because it really messed up my head ! The feeiling of not knowing what's real and what's not is very realistic. The same goes for the logic laws that's twisted over and over again.
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 9 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    38
    May not emerge as the biggest disaster of the holiday movie season, if only because we haven't yet seen all the other year-end films. But it is a huge high-energy misfire, bringing Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Crowe to earth with a thud.
  2. If Crowe's eyes are open, he seems to have directed most of Vanilla Sky with his mind wide shut.
  3. For all the filmmakers' efforts, this project is something of an artistic albatross. It's a conundrum that doesn't get answered until a sort of help-the-audience Cliffs Notes final scene, in which we learn Everything. But by then, more than a few of us may be wondering, was it all really worth the trouble?