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Across the Universe (2007)

tomatometer

53

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 154
Fresh: 81 | Rotten: 73

Psychedelic musical numbers can't mask Across the Universe's clichéd love story and uninteresting characters.

50

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 19

Psychedelic musical numbers can't mask Across the Universe's clichéd love story and uninteresting characters.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 332,287

My Rating

Movie Info

"Across the Universe" is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock 'n roll, moving from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam. The star-crossed lovers, Jude and Lucy, along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with "Dr. Robert" and

Feb 5, 2008

$24.3M

Sony - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (159) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (73) | DVD (20)

...the long and winding road that is Julie Taymor's opulent, eye-filling, and disappointingly uninvolving musical extravaganza...

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Film.com | Comments (6)
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Across the Universe isn't beholden to any stage incarnation. It owes its vision to the vibrant imagination of its director, who created a musical that reminds us how cultural-political events can change our tune.

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] visionary attempt to wed a story of young love and 1960s war protest to the Lennon-McCartney catalog.

October 3, 2007
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A baby-boomer masturbatory center

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

The actors all do considerable justice to the Fab Four's classics, but they are ultimately failed by Taymor's neglect of actual story.

March 29, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Visually and thematically audacious...

November 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A marvelous visual experience that works even for non-Beatles fans.

September 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight | Comment (1)
Cinema Sight

chooses cheesy and nostalgic mis-en-scene over meaningful engagement with the musical material. A terrible disappointment.

August 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

'Across the Universe' is whimsical silliness, imaginatively constructed but precious and gratingly excessive.

April 10, 2008
San Francisco Examiner

Across the Universe doesn't completely work, but when it does, you're in for one wild and wonderful ride.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

The DVD two-disk set gives us the remarkable movie plus lots of extras

February 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Proves compelling enough to give meaning to the whole as a successful experiment and stylization, if predictable and sentimental.

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

A shorter cut, stripped of some of the forced multiculturalism and contemporary political references, would play like gangbusters in middle schools.

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: SpoutBlog
SpoutBlog

For my money, give me the original songs and a beer any day, but for a cute treat with a linear story and engaging characters, I suggest "Across the Universe"...

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It's a dicey proposition to reverse-engineer a story, and Across the Universe shows the strain...[nonetheless] a very impressive music-video anthology. [DVD review included.]

February 3, 2008
Groucho Reviews

While the story is not entirely coherent, the great Beatles music and numerous effective cast musical performances makes up for the film's narrative weakness.

January 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Uma obra frustrante, mas suficientemente curiosa para merecer uma pouco efusiva recomendação.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Misses by the size of the Atlantic Ocean in getting to what the Beatles were about.

November 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (7)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Thoroughly entertaining and delightfully tuneful, this fun little film will have you singing to yourself for days afterwards.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

an ambitious mess of a movie that stretches a thin premise across a bold canvas, resulting in moments of near ecstasy mixed with a nagging lack of emotional involvement

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Comment (1)
Q Network Film Desk

It's more than a nostalgia trip. The real pleasure lies in Taymor's ability to make it all seem brand new.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Whatever one thinks of it, it's clear that this film isn't made from a recipe for mainstream American embrace.

October 27, 2007 Full Review Source: FilmStew.com | Comments (2)

Julie Taymor's adventure in Beatle-land is a huge success, ripping the songs that defined a generation and its (dashed) hopes for peace in a microcosm of a love story

October 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Across the Universe

This may sound harsh, but "Across The Universe" is basically a Beatle-themed "Glee" movie. This isn't necessarily an insult - if you like that show's alternate take on hit songs and how it incorporates the music into its plotlines, then there is no reason not to enjoy this film. If you don't like "Glee", I've probably already talked you out of it.
October 1, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

four stars
September 5, 2013
YodaMasterJedi
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

With me being something of a fan, a lover if you will, of The Beatles, this has been a film I have put off watching for quite some time. The reason was really due to reviews I had heard from other Beatles fans that felt that this film was flat, unoriginal, and butchered songs that have changed the idea of this world. Being bored, I decided to give this film a shot and, to sum it all up, this film has a very bad reputation. I am not going to sugar coat it: this is a gorgeous film that, while it has a cliched plot, does treat the material in a fresh way, gives new life to such classic songs that we have all adored, and presents it in a rather interesting way.

One thing that came to mind while watching this was the jukebox musical 'Moulin Rouge!'. In a way, both films are the same in terms of structure, how everything is set up, and the extremes it treats it's music. Only difference here is that all of the songs are by the same artist and there is a somber tone from beginning to end. Yes, the main plot and story is one we have all heard countless times (two youths from different backgrounds falling in love while fighting a cause), but then again, what do you expect? With the plot in mind, it does fit to use The Beatles as the main back drop simply because The Beatles were all about peace, love, and freedom among people in nations corrupted by hatred.

The main surprise for me, while watching this film, was the interpretation of The Beatles's music and how they are presented. There is something funny about art: no two people will have the same opinion of a piece of music. To some, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony tell the story of a great war while to someone else they believe it tells of death, destruction, and hatred. Same with The Beatles. For the most part, this film did not show how I imagined the songs to represent, but that was what was so interesting about this film: you get a new perspective on almost an entire separate genre of music and, in doing so, the songs build a new meaning.

Another shock was how talented and random the cast is. Among the main people we are with, my personal favorites include angelic Lucy (Evan Rachel Woods), Sadie (Dana Fuchs), and Jo-Jo (Martin Luther McCoy). The main reason is due to how they represent their songs and the power of their talent. But when you throw in random people in like Bono from U2 and Eddie Izzard (in my personal favorite scene in the entire film), what you are left with is one cast that is abnormal, odd, but so fun to watch.

Rethinking about this film, this is a musical that goes perfectly with the sub-genre of musicals I have given a name to called 'The Bohemian Musical'. Basically, the plot is simple: random people meet up, they start fighting for a cause, and it ends either in tragedy or in a very bitter sweet format. Musicals that come to mind include the formally mentioned Moulin Rouge! and Rent. But with 'Across The Universe', it takes this structure in a way that is new, fresh, and beyond fun to watch.

Okay, to get this out of the way: this is a Beatles musical that is perfect for those that want to know about why The Beatles were so good, the impact it has left, and a sample of the timelessness of the music that was made over the period of eight years by four young men from Liverpool. Now, as a Beatles fan, I adore this film. As a film fan, this is a flawed film at times. But, the flaws this film does have (like the slow pacing, kind of wooden characters, cliches) can be excused by how gorgeous this film is.
September 29, 2012
Zach Brehany

Super Reviewer

Pretty much the only thing I loved about this was the music and a couple of the dance scenes. Evan Rachel Wood and Joe Anderson gave good performances, and it does give off some important messages about world peace and war however I just felt it was a waste of time. The whole way through I was thinking 'why?'. It didn't really affect me too much and whilst the ending was good and unconventional, it dragged on too long and left me feeling like I'd wasted my time. Only for Beatles fans I think!
May 23, 2012
StarCrossedVoyager

Super Reviewer

    1. Max Carrigan: I'm a cross dressing, homosexual, pacifist with a spot on my lung.
    – Submitted by Madeline T (20 months ago)
    1. Dr. Robert: We're navigators, we're aviators, eatin' taters, masturbatin' alligators, bombardiers, we got no fears, won't shed no tears, we're pushin' the frontiers of transcendental perception.
    – Submitted by Madeline T (20 months ago)
    1. Max Carrigan: Would you excuse me? I have a date with Uncle Sam.
    – Submitted by Jose R (2 years ago)
    1. Mr. Kite: Nice make of the woods!
    – Submitted by Jose R (2 years ago)
    1. Lucy: I would lay down in front of a tank if it would end this war and bring Max home!
    2. Jude: Yeah? Well it wouldn't.
    – Submitted by Georgia S (2 years ago)
    1. Jo-Jo: Never knock the way another cat swings, man.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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