The New World - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The New World Reviews

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November 2, 2016
Essentially a near 3-hour tourism advert for pre-colonial New England, The New World begins promisingly, with gorgeous visuals, a pensive sensibility and a genuine respect for the Native Americans as they encounter the strangers arriving on their land. The film's most interesting aspect is the difficult interactions between the natives and the colonials, which go through very natural and believable stages, such as suspicion, doubt and inevitable hostility. If the movie had focused on this, it might have been entertaining. But since Terrence Malick is apparently averse to the idea of enjoyment, instead we get trees, water, people walking aimlessly through fields, more trees, more water, people walking aimlessly through towns, even more trees, even more water, and people walking aimlessly through nowhere. Had it been an hour or so shorter, it might have been tolerable, but as it is, it's easily one of the most frustratingly tedious movies ever created. The score sounds like the composer fell asleep on their keyboard, it's beautiful but gratuitous, and Colin Farrell, usually a great actor, turns in one of his dullest performances. Throughout the entire film he wanders about endlessly, looking like a man who's forgotten his lines, and appears to care little about what happens around him. It's such a shame to see an actor with such charisma playing such a lifeless bore. Most of the dialogue is either whispered or mumbled, and since it's a Malick production, everything we learn is communicated through constant narration. The man loves voiceover so much that in some scenes a character will be talking, and narration will be played at nearly the same time. Half the time it seems like the characters are chatting with the narrator. Wouldn't be of much use mind you, since the voiceover tells us what we either know explicitly, or could very easily work out. Basically, the film treats you like an idiot. Watch the first 30-45 minutes, admire its natural beauty, then immediately hit stop, because the rest of it will drive you mad.
½ October 10, 2016
Playful, daring, beautiful and visionary escape back to 1615. Don't expect a action movie, rather a explotion of senses and impressions. A sheer naturalistic beauty of the notion of nature and civilizations clashing together.
½ September 8, 2016
Extended Cut Review: I enjoyed the first half or so of this sweeping epic. The shots of the new world, and the little bits of violence and authenticity add a nice touch of realism. Only after the movie begins to focus on romance does it get bogged down. I watched the 3 hour cut so there was a lot more moping. Also the voiceover was kind of pretentious, among other problems. The movie has the right idea at the beginning but doesn't follow through with a compelling narrative.
September 2, 2016
Apparently Terrence Malick is entering the exclusive club of directors whose the mohrity of movies I don't understand and therefore like. The MVP of this club are for sure the Cohen brothers, but Malick is traling them shortly. I don't understand this need of trying to create aetherial moments for 2+ hours of a movie, and therefore I can't appreciate anything else because it always seems like if I am looking in a dream. But I don't want to look in a dream, I want to watch a movie!!
½ July 27, 2016
I'm a fan of Malick, but the theatrical version is very hard to sit through. Ironically, the recut extended version found on the new Criterion set is miles better at setting up the story and adding context to the breathtaking visuals. From a two star film to an easy 3.5 or even 4 star film. Give it a watch!
May 25, 2016
The New World definitely features Terrence Malick's beautiful imagery, but a lack of intriguing characters and lazy storytelling make the movie a relative disappointment.
May 12, 2016
I give it five stars because I like long slow "operatic," finely shot movies. If you like a straight-ahead story line and lots of events, this definitely isn't for you. If you like Kubrick, this is a must see.

What I mean by operatic is many recurring themes set against beautiful, often melancholy backgrounds--with a mix of heaven and horror--that slowly prime the brain for a gigantic sublime cadence at the end. This is one of those films. And the extended version makes it all the more powerful to viewers like me.
½ May 11, 2016
Typically enchanting cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki and the hypnotizing sense of natural immersion from Terrence Malick coast us through this story with a fresh viewpoint, but considering its subject matter, it definitely deserved more dialogue or narrative clarity. [Theatrical version]
½ March 25, 2016
It is long and boring, but beautiful.
March 20, 2016
Quite a long film which, to me, seemed to have a lot of flaws and load of things which you sit and say to yourself "That didn't happen". This is like a natural sequel to Apocolypto as it starts at exactly the same place Apocalypto ends. Well made film, but too long and dull.
March 12, 2016
Visually moving and powerfully acted (this is the first time I've ever bought the relationship between John Smith and Pocahontas), but ultimately not quite at home in Malick's style. This feels like someone trying to turn a commercial film into a Malick picture. However, a Malick picture hidden under thin layers of convention is still a Malick picture, and this one is still spectacular.
½ March 5, 2016
Pure art in every sense of the word. Those that complain about the pacing are the same people who would gobble a great meal or chug fine wine. Yes it is unmistakably Malick's style but why change? Relax and enjoy a great experience!
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2016
A beautiful poem to Western civilization's arrival on American shores told through the by now familiar romance of John Smith and Pocahontas. Malick's work is not for everyone as he ignores conventional storytelling. The leads are powerfully convincing in this, the visuals lush and the music epic. Meant for a quiet space in your life where there's time to let it all in.
½ January 2, 2016
Terrence Malick directed a masterpiece - Badlands - in the early seventies. It was short, stunningly photographed, and unselfconsciously acted. It also had an unusual counterintuitive score by Carl Orff and others. Since then he's had real difficulty recapturing that genie, and The New World suffers from a windy platitudinous seriousness that spoils the smaller better film it should have been. Worth seeing for the occasional transcendent sequences, but someone should have given him a good shake in the edit suite.
December 16, 2015
Realisation parfois derangeante. Des longueurs interminables. Le choix de prendre une actrice de 14 ans et quon ne peut assister a une reelle passion. De reels baisers. Les scenes sont souvent trop propose, suggere, le spectateur est laissà (C) à se poser un tas de questions.
November 24, 2015
I was hoping for more. Boring.
½ November 23, 2015
While visually beautiful and stunning, it turns into a slow paced awkward drama with its choppy editing and close to no dialogue, just narrarations expressing how that particular person feels in that moment instead of building the characters relationships.
November 20, 2015
Malick never disappoints! Although I saw the shortest version so in the future I'll have to track down the others.
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