• R, 2 hr. 18 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Paul Thomas Anderson
    In Theaters:
    Sep 14, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Feb 26, 2013
  • The Weinstein Company

Opening

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The Master Reviews

David Thomson
The New Republic
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It's a mess; it's pretentious; it is thundery with dismay.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

June 14, 2013
Tom Charity
CNN.com
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In the end it may not have the emotional uplift the Academy or a popular mainstream audience craves, but make no mistake, this is an enthralling drama about a peculiarly American restlessness, and the striving for insight and grace.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

January 8, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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[A] challenging, psychologically fraught drama.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 8, 2013
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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The actors' commitment to their roles is impressive, but it's tethered to a weightless, airless movie, a film so enamored of itself, the audience gets shut out.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

September 23, 2012
Cary Darling
Dallas Morning News
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The Master may go down as one of Paul Thomas Anderson's most compelling works for two simple reasons: Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 4/5

September 22, 2012
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
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Where There Will Be Blood transmuted sullen earth into flame and launched it violently skyward, The Master is, as its opening shot advertises, a more fluid undertaking, a story of ebb and flow.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

September 21, 2012
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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The Master is as confounding as it is magnificent.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 21, 2012
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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[Phoenix and Hoffman] suggest duelling Brandos.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 4/4

September 21, 2012
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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It's a surprisingly compassionate look at two people: A lost sheep and his shepherd.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 21, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Both Phoenix and Hoffman are on fire within their characters. If only they'd had some place to go.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B-

September 21, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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"The Master" turns out to be more of a self-defeating whimper than the big, important bang it could have been.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 21, 2012
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Entrancing from first frame to last. The lights go down, they come up 137 minutes later, and you're left to ask yourself: What on earth did I just see?

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A

September 20, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A film that starts off seeming like the best of 2012 becomes a chore to sit through, and I suspect that few, even among this film's enthusiasts, will come to the end of the movie wishing there were more.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

September 20, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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This portrait of 1950s America is like none you've ever seen, and it's unsettling - but the minute it was over, I wanted to watch it again.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 20, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Master is a work that demands attention, and it satisfies on many levels - it is a film of intelligence and ambition, teeming with ideas, assembled with fearless artistry.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

September 20, 2012
Steve Mirarchi
Boston Globe
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The film is interested in a cult of personality. Like Anderson's previous movie, "The Master" is a portrait of megalomania.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

September 20, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Anderson's audacious films defy facile interpretation. Having seen it just once, I'm not sure I grasp it.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 20, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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For film fans who have lost faith in the transportive power of cinema, "The Master" will make you a believer.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 4/4

September 20, 2012
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Likely Oscar nominees both, Phoenix and Hoffman command the giant screen so completely it's hard to imagine anyone pulling it away from them.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 4/4

September 20, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Warts, wanderings, reiterations and all, this is a film destined to be processed in many different ways. And hallelujah to that.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

September 20, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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"The Master" is fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 20, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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The film is not an epic. It's not a masterpiece. But it is an involving study of men searching, searching for answers, for belonging, for a foothold in life at a time when footholds were hard to find.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4.5/5

September 19, 2012
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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137 minutes of Joaquin Phoenix's nose hairs is not my idea of appetizing.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 1/4

September 19, 2012
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
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The first time watching is like breezing past a piece of beautiful art, being stunned, uncertain and intrigued by it. The second time can only encourage more interpretation, reflection and understanding.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 4/4

September 19, 2012
Michael Nordine
L.A. Weekly
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What seems revelatory in the moment is often obvious in retrospect.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

September 16, 2012
Dana Stevens
Slate
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I left the theater not entirely sure what The Master was about. I can't wait to get back and see it again.

Full Review Source: Slate

September 15, 2012
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The movie may not even be fully comprehensible on first viewing, the bigger patterns in the narrative and the rhythms of the filmmaking revealing themselves more fully and clearly only with a return visit.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

September 14, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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This is an almost apocalyptic tale of thwarted emotion - love cut short - set in a pitiless land of delusions.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

September 14, 2012
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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It is the work of an artist; every shot is carefully composed.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

September 14, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is a disturbing experience in ways that matter.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A

September 14, 2012
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior, the interplay of troubled souls desperate to find their footing.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

September 14, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Aiming for epic, it's undeniably thought-provoking, but too ambiguous to fully satisfy.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 13, 2012
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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As gifts to homo sapiens go, it's a rich one.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

September 13, 2012
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Phoenix gives the performance of his career.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

September 13, 2012
Ella Taylor
NPR
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The Master will burrow its way into your mind, heart and soul, and simmer there long after you leave the theater.

Full Review Source: NPR

September 13, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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This is a movie that defies understanding even as it compels reverent, astonished belief.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 5/5

September 13, 2012
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it's over doesn't mean it's settled.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A

September 13, 2012
Laremy Legel
Film.com
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Beautifully done, but oppressive and claustrophobic.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: B-

September 11, 2012
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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Ponderous and demanding, Paul Thomas Anderson's latest slows to a rattlesnake-swallowing-a-mouse lurch, a pace that makes There Will Be Blood feel like Boogie Nights.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

September 11, 2012
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
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It's a film of breathtaking cinematic romanticism and near-complete denial of conventional catharsis. You might wish it gave you more in terms of comfort food pleasure, but that's not Anderson's problem.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

September 11, 2012
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to The Master, because it gives us so much to revere, starting with the image that opens the film and recurs right up to the end.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

September 11, 2012
Linda Holmes
NPR
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Gorgeous to look at and an absolute feast of strong and interesting acting.

Full Review Source: NPR

September 11, 2012
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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It's a sharply written, unforgettably directed character study with brilliant performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams ...

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 11, 2012
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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In his first film since the 2010 performance-art stunt of "I'm Still Here," Phoenix once again digs deep to mine his character's inner torment and comes up with a mix of haunting quirks and tics.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 10, 2012
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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I believe in the church of Paul Thomas Anderson. Fierce and ferociously funny, The Master is a great movie, the best of the year so far, and a new American classic.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 4/4

September 10, 2012
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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Quite possibly the movie of the year, or the decade.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 5/5

September 10, 2012
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Anderson is a romantic who has earned his nihilism. He clarifies nothing, but leaves us brooding on our own confusion.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

September 10, 2012
Justin Chang
Variety
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A sustained immersion in a series of hypnotic moods and longueurs, an imposing picture that thrillingly and sometimes maddeningly refuses to conform to expectations.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 5, 2012
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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The problem with The Master is that it doesn't extend or expand Anderson's artistic journey.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

September 4, 2012
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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'The Master' is another tale of warped power and fanatical delusions, and it sees Anderson on captivating form as a director who is able to surprise and impress with scene after scene.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

September 4, 2012
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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A bold, challenging, brilliantly acted drama that is a must for serious audiences.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

September 1, 2012
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