Opening

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The Tree of Life Reviews

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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This film's rewards are many, for those with the patience to simply let it float.

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

June 16, 2011
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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In this flawed yet masterful, unforgettable movie, Malick argues that even the tiniest mote can have value. He sees miracles everywhere. You just have to make an effort to see them, too.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 15, 2011
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Glibly put, this challenging time-skipping rumination is the big screen equivalent of watching that "Tree" grow.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 1.5/4

June 13, 2011
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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"The Tree of Life" is rooted in human nature but ascends to the infinite mystery. It's a dizzying climb with few footholds for the timid or cynical, but the view from above is heavenly.

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

June 10, 2011
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The result actually plays like a divine pronouncement, cosmic in scope and oracular in tone, a cinematic sermon on the mount that shows its creator in exquisite form. Exquisite but frustrating.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

June 10, 2011
Tom Long
Detroit News
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The vision is dazzling. The portrayal of family life palpable. The ending ... well, let's go back to the vision.

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

June 10, 2011
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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What a transcendent achievement.

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

June 10, 2011
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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[It] not only aspires to change your life - it tries to explain it, from the first cosmic blip to those busy amoebae splitting and multiplying, to jellyfish jellying through the primal seas, to the planets lined up in a row.

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

June 9, 2011
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Beautiful, baffling, poetic, pretentious, it's one big ball of moviedom.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

June 9, 2011
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Striving for no less than the pinnacle of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Tree of Life falls short of masterful but retains a power that far too many motion pictures lack.

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

June 9, 2011
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
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A beautiful, messy film: at times lyrical, intimate, and uplifting; at others, vast, inscrutable, and maddening.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

June 3, 2011
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Both good and bad, great and fatally flawed, transporting and disappointingly literal.

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

June 3, 2011
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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This movie weighs so much, yet contains so little. It's all vault and little coin.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 3, 2011
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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These audacious sequences can't help but evoke the metaphysical questing of 2001, and in fact The Tree of Life often feels like a religious response to Stanley Kubrick's cold, cerebral view of our place in the universe. Not to be missed.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

June 2, 2011
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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An audacious visual poet known for gently probing life's big questions, Malick has gone to the source of it all. He's gifted enough to bring out the spiritual dimensions of astrophysics.

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

June 2, 2011
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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"The Tree of Life" is at times trying and perplexing, but it also contains some of the most psychologically insightful and ecstatic filmmaking imaginable.

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

June 2, 2011
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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I've seen it twice now, and though this childhood was not my childhood, and my spiritual yearnings are not Malick's, "The Tree of Life" already has come to mean a great deal to me.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 2, 2011
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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It's a flawed but impressive experiment, the sort of shoot-the-moon gamble that cinema can't do without.

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

June 2, 2011
Bob Mondello
NPR
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The Tree of Life is astonishing in some spots, almost incoherent in others and if it doesn't frustrate you at least some of the time ... you're not paying attention.

Full Review Source: NPR | Original Score: 10/10

May 31, 2011
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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It's a phenomenal artwork but, for all its solar flares, it's cold to the touch.

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

May 28, 2011
Dana Stevens
Slate
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Here's a testament to this reclusive, stubborn, visionary director's stunning achievement: His films can change the way you look at the world by showing you how another person sees it.

Full Review Source: Slate

May 27, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Both sharply smart and maddeningly elusive, it's yet another film by a great director working at the height of his powers to do something genuinely new.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 27, 2011
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Daring in concept, occasionally daffy in execution and ultimately unforgettable, Mr. Malick's film offers a heartfelt answer to the question of where we humans belong- with each other, on this planet, bound by love.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

May 27, 2011
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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It's overflowing with powerful images that will stay with me a long time, even if I still can't explain some of them.

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

May 27, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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"The Tree of Life" is long, often redundant and certainly on its own wavelength. But movies so rarely provoke serious consideration and debate.

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

May 27, 2011
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Some will dismiss its overarching themes and elliptical visuals as pretentious. Others might question its quasi-biblical images. But the artistry in every frame is undeniable.

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

May 26, 2011
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Are you looking for serious philosophizing, fluid filmmaking and stunning images? Or are satisfying drama and deep emotional connection what draws you in? Ideally you would have both, but that is not the case here.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

May 26, 2011
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Wonder, dread, hope. They're among the emotions prompted by the cascade of images in something that's closer to epic poetry than to anything resembling narrative cinema.

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

May 26, 2011
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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With disarming sincerity and daunting formal sophistication "The Tree of Life" ponders some of the hardest and most persistent questions, the kind that leave adults speechless when children ask them.

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

May 26, 2011
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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'Tree' delivers truths that don't go down easy. No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 26, 2011
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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If you're open to letting the imagery wash over you, to allowing yourself to get sucked into the film's rhythms and fluidly undulating tones, you'll be wowed.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

May 25, 2011
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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We've shared in something divine.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

May 25, 2011
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The Tree of Life is both luminously precise ... and maddeningly without form and void.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

May 25, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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[Malick is] a meticulous visionary who knows where to place a camera, but he hasn't a clue about how to tell a story with simplicity and coherence.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

May 25, 2011
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
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Better than a masterpiece -- whatever that is -- The Tree of Life is an eruption of a movie, something to live with, think, and talk about afterward.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 24, 2011
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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Amid one's exasperation, there is no mistaking Malick's unfailing ability to grab at glories on the fly.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

May 24, 2011
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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"Tree of Life" is a cinematic poem that will challenge your intellect, your faith and at times your patience.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 4.0/5

May 23, 2011
David Edelstein
New York Magazine
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Will you find it ridiculously sublime or sublimely ridiculous? Don't be afraid to find it both.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine

May 23, 2011
Laremy Legel
Film.com
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The ambition of Tree of Life is sweeping and robust.

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

May 21, 2011
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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...it's the most bold and unconventional and visionary picture made using the apparatus of big-studio pictures since Kubrick's [2001].

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

May 19, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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What Malick does in "Tree of Life" is create the span of lives. Of birth, childhood, the flush of triumph, the anger of belittlement, the poison of resentment, the warmth of forgiving.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times

May 18, 2011
David Fear
Time Out New York
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I have no idea what I'll think of it tomorrow, next week, ten years from now, but it demands a repeat viewing.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

May 17, 2011
Justin Chang
Variety
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Few American filmmakers are as alive to the splendor of the natural world as Terrence Malick, but even by his standards, The Tree of Life represents something extraordinary.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 16, 2011
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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Brandishing an ambition it's likely no film, including this one, could entirely fulfill, The Tree of Life is nonetheless a singular work, an impressionistic metaphysical inquiry into mankind's place in the grand scheme of things.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 16, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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It's a noble crazy, a miraculous William Butler Yeats kind of crazy, alive with passion for art and the world, for all that is lost and not lost and still to come.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

May 16, 2011
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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It doesn't always communicate well, and when it does, it's sometimes trite, but it's also a film that's incredibly beautiful and wide open for the taking.

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

May 16, 2011
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