The Tree of Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tree of Life Reviews

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Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
October 23, 2008
[Volterra's] affinity for Italian stereotypes is countered with delightful truculence by the film's most engaging character, her down-to-earth octogenarian aunt Viviana.
Top Critic
Laura Kern
New York Times
September 12, 2008
Ms. Volterra, acting as narrator and interviewee herself, can't seem to resist the urge to be the star of her own film, which too often feels like a wearisome exercise in self-therapy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Prairie Miller
September 7, 2008
Moments of uncommon creativity and poignancy, but often coming dangerously close to crossing the line between biopic and home movies.
Frank Ochieng
World Voice News
May 5, 2008
...absorbing, mysterious, lyrical and distinctively titillating...a moody masterpiece that is thrillingly alarming...[a] tale of wandering hedonism and anguish
Full Review| Original Score: 3/4
Kim Voynar
February 19, 2008
I think Byler is at his best when he directs material he writes on his own, and he's at the top of his game with Tre.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 19, 2008
Byler has a knack for elegant composition, as well as the hazy middle ground between friendship and friendship with a sexual asterisk.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
February 14, 2008
[Byler] ventures into Douglas Sirk territory with astonishing skill (not an easy task), presenting this potential melodrama with gravity and intelligence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Sobczynski
February 7, 2008
A smart and incisive look at contemporary relationships that avoids all the cliches that one might expect to find
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Richard Horgan
January 31, 2008
If you're looking for fresh, compelling proof that the best training for young actors aspiring to authentic film performances is still the theater, look no further.
Top Critic
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly
January 31, 2008
Unlike most indie dramas about rudderless 20-somethings who exorcise their hang-ups by talking and screwing each other to death, Tre is something rare: a perceptive, nonindulgent chamber piece that wrings a little art from that anxious age.
Top Critic
Dennis Harvey
March 24, 2007
Tale of a 30ish quartet at personal crossroads in the wealthy, idyllic Santa Monica Mountains sports juicy conflicts and prickly dialogue, though the directorial approach remains judiciously low-key.
Nora Lee Mandel
November 1, 2008
Vivid animation, illustrations and puppetry lighten up interviews and elementary reflections on a personal history of Jews in Italy, better left to a family reunion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
October 24, 2008
It's a sympathetic notion, to be sure, but it leaves one feeling you're on the couch with Volterra, not on a roots quest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Mark Keizer
Boxoffice Magazine
September 15, 2008
While Hava probably gained a lot from the experience of making The Tree of Life, the audience will gain demonstrably less.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Matt Noller
Slant Magazine
September 11, 2008
Yet another example of therapy masquerading as documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/4
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
September 9, 2008
It's clear why Volterra would have felt driven to make such a film. It's less clear why anyone not related to her would pay to see it.
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
March 31, 2008
A character study about characters I never cared about, Tre features actors whose acting shows. Never for a minute did I buy that the characters they were trying to create were real.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bill Stamets
Chicago Sun-Times
February 27, 2008
Smacks of an audition exercise.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
Boxoffice Magazine
February 19, 2008
There's a strange sort of vacuousness to Tre, Eric Byler's newest installment on relationships amidst directionless twentysomethings.
Top Critic
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
February 15, 2008
Feels like a vanity project, or worse, like homework.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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