Magnolia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Magnolia Reviews

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May 19, 2016
Magnolia is a film that will explicitly transcend the typical plot of a movie-for better or for worse. Following a cast of characters for a single day in Los Angeles, their lives intersect and crash into each other. As pressures of the day cause them to irrevocably change their lives, they all must face the consequences down the road and meet their new realities. While no singular conflict exists, there are numerous parallels between the stories that unfold onscreen, among which, most notably, is a broken parent-child relationship: Tom Cruise plays a misogynistic strong man who gives testosterone filled speeches for men on how to seduce women, and it all becomes too clear his actions stem from the absence of his now dying father (Jason Robards). That father has a all-too-helpful nurse (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and a now regretful trophy wife (Juliane Moore). On a seemingly unrelated story, John C. Reiley is a by-the-rules, bumbling cop who falls for Claudia (Melora Walters), who has her own drug and attachment issues from a less than perfect father (Philip Baker Hall). That father hosts a game show with children whose current star (Jerry Blackman) is facing abuse by his own father. Meanwhile, a past child star (William H. Macy) now has financial issues from his parents squandering his winnings and must face his own emotional troubles.
In what plays like a sophisticated Lifetime drama, these characters come to face their pasts and hope for a brighter future. However, with a confusing yet no less inspired ending, director Paul Thomas Anderson leaves the film as a question as to what is truly possible in connections and in relationships. Throughout the film, there are anecdotes about incredible coincidences and discussions about the fundamentals of movie plotpoints. Anderson leaves us wondering whether these resolved endings are truly possible in life. While it could be seen as a commentary on the ridiculousness of how some movies end, I have no doubt it is an inspiring message that allows people to try to achieve those happy endings that sometimes seemed to be trapped in the films we love to watch.
Magnolia is a very competent film: using songs by Aimee Mann, the film never falters from the bittersweet tone that encompasses life. Anderson utilizes the camera to never leave a dull moment, but by far, these actors' performances stand out above all. In what can only be described as Williams-esque, each actor gives a fully flushed out emotional journey that leaves not one person questioning the authenticity of each particular feeling. Tom Cruise particularly stands out, with a complexity and development that could surmount to the best of his career. All in all, Magnolia can hold its own. Although dragging its feet at times with filler, the entire experience is an enjoyable one; it's a film that will keep the characters in your heart, and its blatant, but no less timeless lessons in your life.
½ May 15, 2016
I too liked Magnolia because the critics told me to. Actually I didn't. This film figured to how to make potentially interesting, boring. It was a lot of clutter that was very loosely stiched together. This pile of garbage was passed off as being extremely clever under the guise that it was avant-garde. It isn't. This was nothing new. It's only unique quality was in how poorly it was executed. I don't know who funded this, I'm not bothering to look it up. They are idiots and the money would have served a better purpose being burned in a giant pile. That would have been more watchable. They must have spent a ton on advertising and bribing critics to turn any profit. The money spent on the soundtrack was the only real intelligent investment and that would have been much better spent on real writers. I watched this movie again recently, thinking that I had never seen it before, wondering how that could have happened. I rewatched it and slowly remembered why. I had forgotten almost everything. It is just that forgettable. I also must have put some effort into forgetting it so as to not let it poison my brain, because I had watched it a few times before. I honestly can't wait till the next time I forget it. But I wrote this review as a reminder so that I may never be burdened again with it. I hope this review stops you from making the same mistake I did, watching it ever in the first place. Over the top performances by actors are usually something to be seen, but this film showed some of the most terrible performances that any of these people have ever done in their lives. I lost so much respect for everyone who was in it. It wasn't their fault though. They were written and directed, by the same person, to do so. Total trash. This film should have ended everyone's careers, but insead it recieved accolades. It must have been the kind of spin artists who conviced people we won the Vietnam war. Oh, I got it. For those that may accuse me of "not getting it". I just happen to be able to be honest, while being tasetful, and courageous enough to tell the truth about what I had seen. This movie is just an example of how the power of critics can destroy the future of culture. People do not have their own opinions. They are followers. The human behaviour experiments, the salem witch trials, the Third Reich. You critics keep telling people that this is good and we are gonna see more like it. Poison the world. I have a review for any critic that positively reviewed this movie. These critics are human garbage who are playing off of your insecurities and trying to pretend they are more intelligent than you. Be honest with yourself. Was this good storytelling? The characters were empty, pointless, and unrealistic. They were like watching animated scenery, and a poor personification at that. The whole movie, the plot, start to finish, the characters and their choices, all seemed extremely contrived pretentious nonsense. This is the worst kind of elitist arthouse crap. I'm not saying that I have disliked all arthouse style films. I am saying, that if people lived in an actual art house, this would be what they would flush down the toilet.

The one negative about this review process is that I can't rate it lower.
July 19, 2012
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
August 11, 2014
Few films encapsulate a singular idea as beautifully as P.T. Anderson's epic masterpiece MAGNOLIA. It's very simple: this is a perfect film.

This movie is quite obviously about mishandled relationships, specifically parents and children. Anderson's opinions on father-son relationships is really fascinating to me. There are very few secure or healthy father-son relationships in Anderson films. Dirk Diggler walks all over his impish, emasculated father in BOOGIE NIGHTS, Daniel Plainview realizes his incapability to choose his son over his own greed in THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and Barry Egan only has female familial relationships in PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.
February 24, 2015
Paul Thomas Anderson considers this movie his masterpiece. and it's a perfect film. it follows several stories of several characters throughout one day and the various ways that characters interact and collide. the acting, directing, writing, cinematography, score, and soundtrack are all brilliant. it gets called overlong, but that's a stupid statement. it never drags and is never boring. perfect pacing for a movie over three hours long. emotions run high in this one and it had me tearing up. great film in every way!

10/10
April 8, 2016
Each subplot a short film unto itself all woven beautifully match cut together and tied off with never ending strands of sound.
½ April 3, 2016
As a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan, let me just say that; films such as this are why I am a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan.

It's clear from the get-go that Magnolia is an ambition work- you know what to expect going in. An ensemble cast, each playing intricate characters whose lives we will catch a good glimpse of and all the while we'll know that everything is going to come together in some way and we're gong to leave feeling completely satisfied. To some extent, that is exactly what happens, but it also isn't.

Sound complicated? Well, that's because it is. Magnolia is brimming with ideas and it's blatantly obvious that Paul Thomas Anderson had a blast when putting this one together. There are so many characters, none of whom are short-changed in this three hour film and so many different emotional colours are touched upon throughout the piece.

It's never even slightly dull or boring though and it goes from dramatic to comedic with such ease and Grace that you begin to understand why the likes of Hoffman, Moore, Cruise, and Macy would all be willing to take part in this film without any of them ever being the star.

There is no one story here, instead there's like seven or something- I don't even remember, but I loved them all and I believed them all and I didn't really care that, as the film went on, it looked less and less likely that I was every gong to feel truly fulfilled when all was said and done. By the half-way point, I saw no real way for the characters involved to come together and it was fine with that. I still wanted it though, I really did.

Then it happened. This... thing, just kind of happened and, as critic Joe Siegel noted (very disparagingly, I might add):

"(it) had nothing to do with anything that we've seen before that I couldn't watch. I literally could not watch it".

I, on the other hand, could not stop watching it. This 'moment' will ever hit you as the great success or the great failure in this film and I'll let you watch it for yourself and decide. However, for me, it was clearly a success and it remains one of my favourite moments in film history. As Ebert put it:

"what it transforms at the end is our expectation that every movie has to be dead in the water and be predictable, be formulaic and in the way we expect it to. This movie is alive and free to surprise us".

This is a pretty melodramatic work and it heavily features the music of Aimee Mann, going as far as to have characters in the film both quote her work and, at one, point even actually sing it. To some people, this will probably be a bit much but, hey, I really like Aimee Mann and I think the songs are great so I liked it.

You might think that this film is a disaster but I think that you should watch it anyway. Why? Well, instead, you might end up thinking that it's kind of a masterpiece. Isn't individual interpretation great?
March 24, 2016
like a flower, its beautiful. and i like how fluid the movie is.
½ March 2, 2016
Magnolia is over whelming (maybe sometimes in a bad way) but it has great performances and writing. You have to give P T Anderson credit for making a three hour multi dimentional drama that didnt lose its grip or bored me.
February 17, 2016
Magnolia does have its inconsistencies with some dated aspects to it and a couple of boring or underused characters plus it is poorly edited, but it is still so incredibly well acted with Tom Cruise being surprisingly good and delivering his finest performance to date, it is very emotional at times, the stories are mostly interesting, some characters are so relatable and endearing and  the film is mostly very engaging, dramatic and emotionally rewarding.
½ August 10, 2015
"Magnolia" is Paul Thomas Anderson at his densest and most structured.
February 18, 2011
Huge, operatic, magnificently ambitious and emotionally exhausting, Magnolia is one of the greatest films of the last 30 years, possibly ever in fact. An incredible ensemble cast give across the board astonishingly powerful, complex performances, it's indeed hard to single out a single one, but Tom Cruise deserves mention, he gives a performance to silence all his haters as Frank Mackey, delivering a role of Nicholson esc manic intensity that makes you wish the actor would play out side his sandbox more often, he's truly amazing. This is a profound exploration of the real possibilities of cinema, an experiment in pushing the boundaries of movie storytelling and narrative, ans a beautiful look at the flaws and beauty of people and the ties that bind us all culminating in a final sequence of stunningly mad audacity that will prove too much for some to get past. A true masterpiece that will leave you feeling elated, and emotionally knackered.
January 2, 2016
A highly emotional modern-day epic.
April 3, 2013
A thrilling and emotional rewarding experience that can only be achieved through the magic of cinema. this film reaches emotions in a complex level that is beyond any verbal description; definitely a film that needs to be felt.
January 22, 2016
Emotionally heavy and depressing beyond reason, this movie takes some rather peculiar themes and develops them in an even more peculiar way to end up with a strangely captivating, but largely unsatisfying story.
January 7, 2016
Long, wacky, making me dizzy, but moving and beautiful all at the same time.
½ January 1, 2016
What? This film made no sense at all, and the entire film I was thinking that all the characters would kill each other because of the coincidental murders in the intro. Instead there was a mass murder of frogs??? What?!
But the cast was star studded. Very good acting.
November 29, 2015
A magnificent tapestry. Filled to bursting with bold filmmaking, incredible acting, an amazing soundtrack-- both by Jon Brion and Aimee Mann-- and an engrossing, compelling, story that keeps you so emotionally and intellectually invested over its 3 plus hours running time, that when it's over you won't know what hit you. Perhaps a raining frog or two. Also, you may not even realize it has been 3 hours, as the saddest moment of Magnolia is when you realize it's about to end. This is still my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson film, maybe tied with There Will Be Blood.
November 28, 2015
Mi película favorita de todos los tiempos.
November 28, 2015
Awesome movie..acting, script, theme. PT Anderson's best film
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