User Score
4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 68
  2. Negative: 33 out of 68

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User Reviews

  1. JeffL.
    Oct 18, 2004
    5
    Koyaanisqatsi meets 2001? Lewis Carroll meets Shirley MacLaine? Errol Morris drops acid? This out-of-left-field indie hit uses a certifiably loopy, if genuinely original, blend of talking heads, spacy special effects, and awkward fictional narrative to discuss and illustrate theories of quantum physics. Is this a deep and provocative meditation on the meaning of reality, the nature of Koyaanisqatsi meets 2001? Lewis Carroll meets Shirley MacLaine? Errol Morris drops acid? This out-of-left-field indie hit uses a certifiably loopy, if genuinely original, blend of talking heads, spacy special effects, and awkward fictional narrative to discuss and illustrate theories of quantum physics. Is this a deep and provocative meditation on the meaning of reality, the nature of God, and the infinite possibilities of the human mind? A hilarious New Age mockumentary directed by Christopher Guest incognito? Or a trippy cult movie best enjoyed under the influence of what Paul McCartney calls "herbal jazz cigarettes?" And hey, man, can you REALLY prove that this movie exists at all and isn't just a figment of your imagination? And if it doesn't really exist, can I have my eight bucks back? Whoa! Expand
  2. karien
    Jul 29, 2005
    6
    Interesting, fun low-budget movie on the still-awkward relationship of science & spirituality. if you are not paranoid about being brainwashed by some new age sect, it is a lovely upper, confirming kurt vonneguts assertation that we are mere bags of chemicals. the word most regularly used is "addictions", and it most often refers to emotions. stimulates debate, so good for evening with Interesting, fun low-budget movie on the still-awkward relationship of science & spirituality. if you are not paranoid about being brainwashed by some new age sect, it is a lovely upper, confirming kurt vonneguts assertation that we are mere bags of chemicals. the word most regularly used is "addictions", and it most often refers to emotions. stimulates debate, so good for evening with people you have run out of things to say to. big downside is close-ups of channeling woman who so obviously had work done to her face and homophobe satinover, but i had no idea who they were until credits at the end unleashed my judgement. Expand
  3. FrankD.
    Aug 24, 2005
    5
    Google "Ramtha" and "Bleep"....and come to your own conclusions about the meaning behind this movie.
  4. StaceyK.
    Mar 11, 2005
    6
    This movie brings up some interesting theories that the world would be better off for exploring. People tend to be standoffish with the notion that they have control over their own lives and that we aren't just floating around wasting time. If you attend this film with an open mind, or read "The Field" which is basically what a lot of this film is based on, you'll have a better This movie brings up some interesting theories that the world would be better off for exploring. People tend to be standoffish with the notion that they have control over their own lives and that we aren't just floating around wasting time. If you attend this film with an open mind, or read "The Field" which is basically what a lot of this film is based on, you'll have a better understanding of the ideas within it. Go, open, and don't close your mind to the things that scare you. Expand
  5. MarkB.
    Jul 12, 2004
    6
    Well, let's see. Since this year's (mostly) unexpected hit movies have included a two-hour anti-Bush commercial, a two-hour harangue against eating Big Macs, and a grueling, two-hour-plus, ultragory examination of the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life, spoken entirely in two dead languages, why SHOULDN'T this wackjob blend of psychiatry and psychobabble, science and Well, let's see. Since this year's (mostly) unexpected hit movies have included a two-hour anti-Bush commercial, a two-hour harangue against eating Big Macs, and a grueling, two-hour-plus, ultragory examination of the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life, spoken entirely in two dead languages, why SHOULDN'T this wackjob blend of psychiatry and psychobabble, science and psuedoscience be an arthouse smash as well? It doesn't succeed in making quantum physics (which it claims is the only rational explanation for all matters known and unknown) any less difficult for us novices, but it sure does make it sillier, and it sure as heck isn't boring for a second, despite all the talking heads. Marlee Matlin, still a lovely actress (and, as evidenced in abundance here, a good sport) plays a cranky photographer who's in a perpetual snit because her metaphysical/spirituasl equilibrium is out of whack, or something like that. A scene late in the film in which Marlee, assigned to cover a wedding, commits so many breeches of professionalism that Peter Parker's editor in the Spiderman movies should fall down on his knees in gratitude that SHE isn't on his payroll is interspersed with colorful Id Monsters that look like Jello salads and explain her (and the party guests') natural impulses; it's ridiculous in ways too complex and numerous to mention, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world! During this and similar sequences, What the... looks and feels like a New Age update of those episodes of The Wonderfvul World of Disney in which Ludwig von Drake expains the pulley; later, when Marlee's yin and yang become fused and she is at last a happy camper, it's like a Tony Robbins infomercial sans Leeza Gibbons. Don't be surprised to see this a few years down the road as a midnight movie cult classic, with enthusiastic repeat moviegoers showing up dressed as nerdy professors with big bowties or as huge pink gelatinous blobs. Expand
  6. ChadS.
    Feb 24, 2005
    5
    In one reality, I'm watching "What the @#$! Do We Know?" from beginning to end. In another reality, I give up when "More Than a Feeling" is utilized in the most bizarre way imaginable, and walk across the cineplex corridor to watch "Million Dollar Baby". I return for the second show and re-watch the wedding sequence that features Boston, which blossoms into a full-blown musical In one reality, I'm watching "What the @#$! Do We Know?" from beginning to end. In another reality, I give up when "More Than a Feeling" is utilized in the most bizarre way imaginable, and walk across the cineplex corridor to watch "Million Dollar Baby". I return for the second show and re-watch the wedding sequence that features Boston, which blossoms into a full-blown musical sequence that seems inspired by "All That Jazz". This is when "What the @#$! Do We Know" starts to win me over. The film's mix of documentary and narrative must've been inspired by "American Splendor", and to my horror, will outgross the Harvey Pekar story and Richard Linklater's "Waking Life" combined. Well, excuse me. I have to go draw hearts on my body and sit in a tub of water and look beatific. Expand
Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 26
  2. Negative: 9 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    Pic's not-so-hidden agenda is to promote the fusion of science and New Age religion, making it a close cousin to ventures as Bernt and Fritjof Capra's "Mindwalk."
  2. 40
    In the age of creationism, a sympathetic mix of science and religion sounds like a promising premise. But in this genre-blending cocktail of drama, documentary and computer-graphic animation, quantum physics is so subordinated to the service of an anything-goes mysticism that little remains of the science except the terminology.
  3. 50
    As entertainment, the movie is a mixed bag. Some of the talking heads become just that after a while.