Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 170 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Snowboarding through life, David Aames (Cruise) appears to lead a charmed life. In one night David meets a girl of his dreams and loses her by making a small mistake. Thrust unexpectedly onto a roller-coaster ride of romance, comedy, suspicion, love, sex and dreams, David finds himself on a mind-bending search for his soul and discovers the precious, ephemeral nature of true love. (Paramount Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 9 out of 33
  1. A mostly fascinating, often frustrating, boldly uncommercial Hollywood version of a boldly uncommercial art film. It's very atypical of the previous work of both director and star, and it's as personal a film, I suspect, as Cruise will ever make.
  2. 75
    An involving, sweetly touching love story, buoyed by Crowe's natural, poetic dialogue and his knack for writing characters (especially women) who feel like real people instead of plot devices.
  3. Has moments that are eerily beautiful and genuinely moving -- and some that are surprisingly vulgar.
  4. 50
    Like an over-packed three-scoop cone -- it melts into a mess while we're still slurping away.
  5. 40
    Crowe preserves the original film's plot twists and turns, but his version lumbers when it should be whipping along, daring you to keep up. The wall-to-wall pop music soundtrack eventually becomes oppressive, and Cruise's oily smile doesn't really constitute a characterization.
  6. The title doesn't hint at the unsavory mess the film actually is.
  7. Overblown and idiotic, this new "erotic thriller" is neither erotic nor thrilling; it's long, boring and self-indulgent.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 98
  2. Negative: 18 out of 98
  1. Aug 8, 2011
    10
    I disagree with many 'reviewers' and feel that this version is a much more polished movie than the original spanish movie. The soundtrack is amazing and the suspense is real. An amazing achievement by Crowe. Expand
  2. MarcJ
    Apr 29, 2008
    10
    One of the best movies I have seen. Raises many questions and evokes even more feelings.
  3. Sep 10, 2010
    10
    Wow. A 45% from critics?

    This just shows how little credence you should pay to professional opinions on works of art. This movie floored me
    and stuck with me for years. To come here and see it scored below dreck like Doctor Dolittle and Zombie Strippers is an absolute insult.

    If you're a fan of high concept science fiction and have at least a triple digit IQ, you owe it to yourself to watch this movie and come to your own conclusions. Criminally underrated.
    Expand
  4. JonM.
    Jun 5, 2002
    8
    One of the better movies to be released to a full national market in recent history. While not quite up to par with the original Spanish version, this movie still carries a great deal more weight than the majority of mass-market movies. On a sidenote, if you're one of those individuals primarly concerned with Tom's pretty face, Cameron Diaz' as a sexual figure, or anything else pop-culture, don't bother with this movie. Expand
  5. Jun 10, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I feel that blending genres is a very tough, but interesting, way of portraying a story. You take the different aspects and you don’t have to necessarily have equal amounts of each, but you do need to try to manage the quality for each. If one part is mediocre, why even have it? Vanilla Sky was a blend of a number of genres including drama, romance, psychological thriller, science-fiction, and a bit of mystery. Vanilla Sky may have had all of this, but I will proudly say that I loved each and every unique aspect.
    Vanilla Sky begins with the wealthy and sadly narcissistic, David Aames (Tom Cruise) waking up in his bed and going about his average morning with that smug grin he has. He drives from his house on his way to work and to his surprise; the streets of New York City are empty. Once he reaches the uninhabited Madison Square Garden, he begins to run in panic from his car. After running a good distance through the streets, he screams up into the sky and he wakes up from the nightmare. This scene may have little to do with the overall story, but I think it was an important sequence to show you what you’re in for. I will tell you now, Vanilla Sky is confusing. The story chronicles the wide and deranged psyche of a man who goes insane, so it’s going to challenge your mind as well. But this scene tells you up front that reality and dreamscape will be jumbled together in this film and you’re going to have to figure it out. I make this connection because the movie begins with him in the dream, so you really don’t know that it’s a dream until he wakes up. Then throughout the rest of the movie you are tossed in and out of consciousness without warning, but it all adds to the experience.
    Another thing that adds to the experience is the stylistic choices in this movie. I have seen some pretty stylistic movies in my life but man, this one had some style. The cinematography, the set pieces, the props, and the things people did were all so cool. Cameron Crowe did a fantastic job directing it too. I am a fan of Crowe, I liked Say Anything, loved Jerry Maguire, didn’t care much for Almost Famous, but he’s still a fantastic director and it shows in this one. There is a scene where Tom Cruise is in the lobby of L.E. screaming for tech support and the camera is spinning around him as he is standing in this empty room with his reflections surrounding him and this is one instance where the directing is very impressive. It really adds something and so does the soundtrack. This movie had such a collective soundtrack and every song fit so perfectly to the scene it was in. I’ll talk about the same scene I did before and say that the choice of “Good Vibrations” to be in that scene was awesome.
    There are many interpretations of Vanilla Sky and they all are interesting, but everyone has their own opinion. The twist in this movie is that everything that happened after David fell asleep on the sidewalk was a dream that he was having in cryogenic sleep. He had killed himself after the car accident when he found a place called Life Extensions or L.E. where he could sleep contently forever with the perfect life. For a while, he does live a perfect life, he gets his face repaired and Sofia back and it’s all good (he doesn’t know he is sleeping at this time). But as we all know, we can’t sleep for too long or else the dream can turn into a nightmare and when David begins to suspect something, that’s when it does. I think this is a really cool concept and I really enjoy it in this movie. This mixture of subjects has never been done before and I don’t think it ever will be again. Then the ending has multiple interpretations too. I believe that he chose to live a normal life and he decided to wake himself up from sleep and the end of the movie is him waking up from that sleep which happened to be 150 years. The moral of this story is that you can’t run from your problems forever. David says that he wants to live a normal life and doesn’t want to dream anymore meaning that he wants to take in the world for what it is and not live the perfect life he had always wanted because his problems even caught him there. The present is 150 years later so he can start over and take on the world without his handicaps like his father’s inheritance. They even bring that up; his finances won’t last long in this time.
    Vanilla Sky did get mixed reviews from critics, but in the end, I do not agree with any of them. I think that Vanilla Sky may have a few flaws, but it is still an entertaining and intellectually rewarding movie that actually contains some beauty. It has a good message and there are a few others I didn't even mention. The stylistic choices were cool and the acting and directing were great. Vanilla Sky is a massive blend of many genres that come together to make a thought provoking and entertaining film that actually works.
    Expand
  6. Steven.
    Jan 24, 2007
    8
    Cameron Crowe really has outdone himself in some of the movies he's made. This movie is no exception. Let me just make a personal note before I make this review. I'm one of those people that saw this movie for the first time and understood everything, and something I have to note about is that this movie is a true Cameron Crowe masterpiece if you actually understand it. I really went through a lot of emotions when I watched this movie, this is one of the more cinematic movies I've seen. From the music to the very clever lines, and to the story pulling all together on one very well made elevator scene. This movie has a really cool vibe to it from the moment it starts. Plus the ending is mind blowing. I really love Paul Mccartney's song played in the credits, it really brings you down to earth after seeing such a breathtaking ending. If you want to watch this movie go ahead, I think that some of the critics were a little rough on this movie. Heres a hint to watching this though, when you reach a scene that shows Tom in an Elevator with a man in a suit, pay attention to this scene, because it explains everything about this movie. Happy Watching. Expand
  7. ToddJ.
    Sep 2, 2002
    0
    The worst movie I've seen this year. tell Tom Cruise I want my 3.99 back.

See all 98 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. Tom Cruise: All Films Considered

    Tom Cruise: All Films Considered Image
    Published: June 22, 2010
    It wasn't so long ago that Tom Cruise -- the star of this week's "Knight and Day" -- was a huge box office draw. We look back at his career to find the actor's best and worst films.