Life of Pi - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life of Pi Reviews

Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
June 14, 2013
Veteran filmmakers will warn you, don't film at sea and don't work with animals. Ang Lee built a vast tank in Taiwan and he whips up awesome storms. [However,] watching the water here is more rewarding than watching the characters.
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
December 11, 2012
Flawed, yes, but marvellously ambitious, and unforgettably gorgeous to look at.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 22, 2012
Mr. Lee's film is stronger as a visual experience-especially in 3-D-than an emotional one, but it has a final plot twist that may also change what you thought you knew about the ancient art of storytelling.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 21, 2012
There's an audience out there for this movie, but the question is whether they will find it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
November 21, 2012
The movie's energy peters out in a series of book-club conversations about divine will, the power of storytelling, and the resilience of the human spirit.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 21, 2012
A movie that can't be dismissed because there is too much in it but can't be embraced because it's all spread too thin.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
November 21, 2012
This transcendent fable carries a real sting in its tail. Ang Lee has made a bold and wondrous movie, one of his best.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 21, 2012
Claudio Miranda's luminous camera, set to Mychael Danna's intoxicating score, captures all manner of wild delights.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
November 21, 2012
Don't wait for Netflix. Life of Pi demands to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 21, 2012
Shelve your dislike of 3D glasses. Quiet your nattering criticism of CGI. Because Lee and his able crew wield those tools like wands.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 21, 2012
Everything looks beautiful in Life of Pi.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 21, 2012
Like that other "unfilmable" novel, Cloud Atlas, it has, of course, been turned into a movie -- with rather happier results.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
November 21, 2012
Ang Lee's signature style -- tasteful, measured, and devoid of personality -- translates surprisingly well to 3-D.
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 21, 2012
Every once in a long while, the right director comes across the right project at just the right moment, and things so often discordant fall into perfect harmony.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 21, 2012
Pi's story makes you believe why Pi would believe in God, sacrificer of innocents, tester of souls, creator of rapturous beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 21, 2012
"Pi" is a wonder to see; too bad it's not wondrous to feel.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 21, 2012
"Life of Pi," even more so on the screen, is a dream to help us keep the nightmares at bay.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
November 21, 2012
It's more compelling to focus on Lee's visceral cinematic experience than on the larger, fuzzier messages Martel's story conveys about humanity's connection with God.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
November 21, 2012
Though the film's setup trudges and its closing is too pat, that hour or so on the raft is something special, and few would dive into the story's soul as Lee does.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 21, 2012
"Life of Pi" both draws the audience in and encourages it to settle back, the better to enjoy its virtually nonstop display of daring, wonder and cinematic virtuosity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 21, 2012
It's so hypnotically beautiful that people will be using it to calibrate their new TV monitors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 21, 2012
Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is a miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
November 21, 2012
One of the most remarkable films in recent years.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 20, 2012
If the story, based on the popular novel by Yann Martel, can't quite keep pace with the look of the film (and, alas, it can't) it will take you awhile to notice.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
November 20, 2012
There are always moral crosscurrents in Lee's most provocative work, but so magical and mystical is this parable, it's as if the filmmaker has found the philosopher's stone.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 20, 2012
With Life of Pi, Lee takes on a not-so-crouching tiger to bring audiences a wondrously enthralling adventure fable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
November 20, 2012
If the religious discussions in David Magee's script occasionally seem contrived, they're also quite sincere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
November 20, 2012
An adventure yarn that is gloriously old-fashioned - and often just glorious.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
November 20, 2012
The movie works on a bedrock level that many ostensible action films forget.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
November 20, 2012
Technology and transcendence may sometimes be at war, but in Life of Pi, Ang Lee's spectacular take on the popular Yann Martel novel, they instead make for graceful dance partners.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
November 20, 2012
"Life of Pi" is an absolutely gorgeous movie, aglow with color and filled with wraparound 3-D effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 20, 2012
"Life of Pi" is as enchanting as it is ambitious.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 20, 2012
The movie invites you to believe in all kinds of marvelous things, but it also may cause you to doubt what you see with your own eyes - or even to wonder if, in the end, you have seen anything at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Nick Schager
Village Voice
November 20, 2012
Life of Pi manages occasional spiritual wonder through its 3-D visuals but otherwise sinks like a stone.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 20, 2012
Life of Pi, Yann Martel's beautiful little book about a young man and the sea and a tiger, has transformed into a big, imposing and often lovely 3-D experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 20, 2012
Life of Pi puts 3D in the hands of a worldclass film artist. Ang Lee uses 3D with the delicacy and lyricism of a poet. You don't just watch this movie, you live it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 20, 2012
However wishy-washy the story's theology may sometimes be, Lee's mastery of imagery is superb, as he effortlessly shows off what technology means in the hands of a true artist.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
November 20, 2012
The film, at its best, celebrates the idiosyncratic wonders and dangers of raw, ravaging nature.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 20, 2012
Ang Lee's thrillingly audacious film transforms this inconceivable premise into visual poetry, high adventure and sheer enchantment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
November 20, 2012
Magical realism was rarely so magical and never before so real.
Top Critic
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
November 19, 2012
With "Life of Pi," Lee outdoes himself visually, without a doubt setting a new standard for 3-D, a technology Hollywood has mostly abused with crass recklessness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
November 19, 2012
... the movie handles an alternate version of the story, and its ramifications, in an almost shockingly perfunctory manner. Which I think, in the end, compromises what the story wants to convey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 19, 2012
I felt like I'd been invited to a seven-course dinner, and all seven turned out to be cake - and then the host insisted on delivering a lecture about how cake would bring me closer to God.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 19, 2012
Lee and screenwriter David Magee find rich and clever ways to translate even Pi's stillest moments, the film unfolding through intricate flashbacks, whimsical voice-overs, harrowing sea hazards and exquisite flashes of fantasy and hallucination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 19, 2012
The film is transcendent.
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
September 28, 2012
There isn't a dull moment in the film, and there are about 300 worthy of a "wow."
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
September 28, 2012
Melds a harrowing high-seas adventure with a dreamy meditation on the very nature of storytelling.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
September 28, 2012
A gorgeous and accomplished rendering of the massive best-seller.