The Fountain Reviews

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 14, 2007
I will concede the film is not a great success. Too many screens of blinding lights. Too many transitions for their own sake. Abrupt changes of tone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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David Jenkins
Time Out
January 25, 2007
Lurches on a thin line between hyper-ornate space oddity and extended perfume advert.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Dana Stevens
Slate
November 30, 2006
The Fountain is the story of a gifted artist who dared to reach for the stars and paid for his ambition with a really stupid movie.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 29, 2006
Mr. Aronofsky's outlook on life remains too constantly pessimistic for my taste, and too completely joyless as well.
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
November 27, 2006
Darren Aronofsky clearly didn't set out to make a usual movie...[The Fountain's] a story of overreaching that itself overreaches, but that might have been impossible to avoid.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 27, 2006
This is one of the worst movies of the year.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 27, 2006
The movie may have significant truths to impart, although I have my doubts, but it feels too inexperienced, too unworldly, to have earned the right to them.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 23, 2006
A tagline has been affixed to the campaign -- 'What if you could live forever?' -- and it has a certain resonance, especially after seeing the film, which makes 96 minutes seem like eternity.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
November 23, 2006
Anybody could see that Aronofsky was one of the few American filmmakers who saw the cinema past as a jumping-off point, not a toy store to plunder. His films were full of promise; and more, they delivered on their promises.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 23, 2006
I'm perfectly content to float with [Aronofsky] even if he doesn't solve the riddles of the universe.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 23, 2006
It's borderline unwatchable.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 22, 2006
It's a sprawling experiment in philosophical time travel and metaphysical noodling. And it's an earnest, magnificent wreck.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 22, 2006
Guys like Darren Aronofsky give auteurs a bad name.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
November 22, 2006
It's refreshing to be in the hands of a filmmaker with a unique vision, and a pleasure to be challenged by a film's flights of imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
November 22, 2006
Like the time traveler at its center, it's all over the map.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 22, 2006
It's a spiritual journey about the timelessness of true love. And it's a journey better not taken.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 22, 2006
The Fountain is [Aronofsky's] most accessible movie, romantic and almost straightforward until its finale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 22, 2006
Sitting through a foundering film can be miserable experience. It's particularly painful to see a talented director miss the mark.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 22, 2006
For every flaw, though, the movie has a strength.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 22, 2006
[The Fountain] doesn't make one lick of sense, and it doesn't seem to be about much of anything at all.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 22, 2006
It's often maddening, because of its structure, and some of its visuals are pretentious nonsense. But, as a story of undying love, it's certainly unique.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 22, 2006
Despite Aronofsky's obviously earnest and heartfelt efforts, this would-be trippy fantasy about love and death is kookier and sillier than anything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 22, 2006
It's mostly for naught, because while the central relationship in The Fountain covers a lot of ground, it doesn't really go anywhere.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 22, 2006
I know someone who told me the movie's central love story made her weep, but my tears had more to do with disappointment -- I've been a big Aronofsky fan.
| Original Score: D+
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
November 22, 2006
Exquisitely beautiful and almost unbearably sad... The Fountain is cinema as poetry; romance as revelation; science fiction as prayer.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 22, 2006
Director-writer Darren Aronofsky could reasonably be described as ambitious, obsessive and gifted. It's just too bad about his taste.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 22, 2006
The Fountain is every bit as visionary as Aronofsky's 1998 Pi and 2000's Requiem for a Dream, but this time the vision could be one of a third-grader on hallucinogens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 22, 2006
The Fountain is the most ambitious, rich, romantic and ridiculous film of the year, a movie that's both awe and giggle inspiring.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
November 22, 2006
The Fountain is either innovative science fiction or overwrought melodrama; I can't quite pinpoint which. I realize I'm charged with reaching an opinion here, but it's not easy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 22, 2006
If there were more Darren Aronofskys, the multiplex would be a stranger and better place. Flaws and all, The Fountain believes in itself more fervently than any other movie you may see this year -- so fervently it doesn't need an audience's faith.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
November 22, 2006
The story of Darren Aronofsky's ambitious sci-fi epic The Fountain spans a thousand years. The movie itself only seems that long.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 21, 2006
Though his movie is visually inventive, writer/director Darren Aronofsky has fashioned a ponderous, overblown, genre-bending mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 21, 2006
In his third feature, Darren Aronofsky tries to replace the prose of narrative cinema with a poetic language of rhyming images and visual metaphors.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
November 21, 2006
A metaphysical melodrama about the quest for eternal life, it makes a pretty decent case for euthanasia; here is what it's like to long for a swift, merciful end.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 21, 2006
With its whispered dialogue and funereal tone, The Fountain takes itself far too seriously. No one else will.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Bob Townsend
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 21, 2006
Aronofsky's long-time-coming version of spiritual wonder is finally more mind-numbing than soul-stirring.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Kathy Cano Murillo
Arizona Republic
November 21, 2006
Even without all the bells and whistles, it still boils down to one love story worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 21, 2006
The premise is lachrymose, the sets are clammy, and the metaphysics all wet. The screen is awash in spiraling nebulae and misty points of light, with the soundtrack supplying appropriately moist oohs and aahs.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
November 21, 2006
It's an incredibly ambitious film of sometimes thrilling visual achievement, but it didn't connect fully to my mind and nerves.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 21, 2006
Technically, this is an impressive motion picture, but the fragmented story results in poor character development and Aronofsky's clinical approach limits identification.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
November 21, 2006
Aronofsky's passion on this topic runs away with him so much that he neglects to make the characters connect in any meaningful way.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
November 20, 2006
It's as if Aronofsky was so consumed with the film's elaborately contrived aesthetics that he took no time for a little thing called character development.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 20, 2006
I think I finally understand what George H.W. Bush meant by 'a thousand points of light.'
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Meredith Brody
Chicago Reader
November 16, 2006
A pretentious, unfocused, and fussy mess, in which director Darren Aronofsky manages to make Hugh Jackman unattractive and unsympathetic.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 13, 2006
Folly? Maybe. But a risk worth taking.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
September 20, 2006
Part historical fantasy, part lovers-separated-by-death weeper, part New Age fever dream, The Fountain isn't truly horrible, just very, very silly.
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Leslie Felperin
Variety
September 5, 2006
Pic's hippy trippy space odyssey-meets-contempo-weepy-meets-conquistador caper starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz suffers from a turgid script and bears all the signs of edit-suite triage to produce a still-incoherent 95 minutes.
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
September 5, 2006
Zardoz anyone?