Across the Universe


Across the Universe

Critics Consensus

Psychedelic musical numbers can't mask Across the Universe's clichéd love story and thinly written characters.



Total Count: 177


Audience Score

User Ratings: 333,546
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Movie Info

"Across the Universe" is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock 'n roll, moving from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam. The star-crossed lovers, Jude and Lucy, along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with "Dr. Robert" and "Mr. Kite" as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy--against all odds--to find their own way back to each other.

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Joe Anderson (VI)
as Max Carrigan
T.V. Carpio
as Prudence
Robert Clohessy
as Jude's Father
Dylan Baker
as Lucy's Father
Linda Emond
as Lucy's Mother
Lynn Cohen
as Grandmother Carrigan
Bill Irwin
as Uncle Teddy
Jennifer Van Dyck
as Daniel's Mother
Timothy T. Mitchum
as Jo-Jo's Brother
Carol Woods
as Gospel Singer
Elain R. Graham
as Jo-Jo's Mother
Joe Cocker
as Bum/Pimp/Mad Hippie
Jacob Pitts
as Rap Magazine Employee
as Dr. Robert
Daniel Ezralow
as Mother Superior
Kiva Dawson
as Max's Girl
Eddie Izzard
as Mr. Kite
Salma Hayek
as Singing Nurse
Luke Cresswell
as Tramp Drumming on Bin Lids
Jarlath Conroy
as Bartender at Max's Bar
Lisa Hogg
as Jude's Liverpool Girlfriend
Angela Mounsey
as Jude's Mother
Erin Elliott
as Cheer Coach
Curtis Holbrook
as Dorm Buddy
Matt Caplan
as Dorm Buddy
Aisha de Haas
as Tavern Waitress
Leah Hocking
as Tavern Waitress
Bill Buell
as Old Guy at Tavern
Ellen Hornberger
as Lucy's Sister
Danya Taymor
as High School Friend
as Hooker
Staceyanne Chin
as Rap Magazine Employee
Leonard Tucker
as Katz's Waiter
Daniel Stewart Sherman
as Cop at Wharf Warehouse
Harry Lennix
as Army Sergeant
James Urbaniak
as Sadie's Manager
Kathleen Early
as SDR Worker
Ching Valdes-Aran
as Aran-Luna Park
Luther Creek
as Prankster
Peter Mui
as Prankster
Ambrose Martos
as Prankster
Peter Muir
as Prankster
Karine Plantadit
as Bageot-Prankster
Dan Weltner
as Prankster
Tracy Westmoreland
as Fillmore Manager
Ron Cephas Jones
as Black Panther
W.W. Wilson
as Precinct House Sergeant
Mandy Gonzales
as Sadie's Singer
Jarleth Conroy
as Bartender at Max's Bar
Destan Owens
as Sadie's Singer
Cicily Daniels
as Sadie's Singer
Saycon Sengbloh
as Sadie's Singer
Sam Kitchin
as Sergeant on Rooftop
Chris McGarry
as Seargant on Rooftop
Frank Hopf
as Door Officer at Strawberry Records
Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow
as Cousin Brucie Morrow
Navarra Novy
as Williams-High School Girlfriend
Navarra Novy-Williams
as High School Girlfriend
Sarah Jayne Jensen
as High School Girlfriend
Michelle Lookadoo
as High School Girlfriend
Geoff Countryman
as High School Dance Band Member
Julien Joy
as High School Dance Band Member
Conrad Korsch
as High School Dance Band Member
Brian McKenna
as High School Dance Band Member
Jack Petricelli
as High School Dance Band Member
Timothy Keiper
as Sadies Band Member
Arthur Lewis
as Sadie's Band Member
Mark Lewis
as Sadie's Band Member
Bryan Noll
as Sadie's Band Member
Michael Arenella
as Circus Band Member
Cyro Baptista
as Circus Band Member
Frank Fighera
as Circus Band Member
Ritt Henn
as Circus Band Member
Mark Stewart
as Circus Band Member
Bruce Williamson
as Circus Band Member
Charley Drayton
as Sadie's Rooftop Band Member
Tom Grasso
as Sadie's Rooftop Band Member
Joey Sykes
as Sadie's Rooftop Band
Paul Wallfisch
as Sadie's Rooftop Band Member
Bob Gaynor
as Dancer
Christine Woodside
as Gospel Choir Member
John Selya
as Dancer
Ryan Kelly
as Dancer
Caryn Allen
as Gospel Choir Member
Ronald Blackman
as Gospel Choir Member
Erik Justin Gaines
as Gospel Choir Member
Marlene Mason
as Gospel Choir Member
Tanisha Mason
as Gospel Choir Member
Cheryl McClurkin
as Gospel Choir Member
Donald A. McClurkin Sr.
as Gospel Choir Member
Lorna McClurkin
as Gospel Choir Member
Olivia McClurkin
as Gospel Choir Member
Terrell Middleton
as Gospel Choir Member
Jada Scott
as Gospel Choir Member
Murl Smith
as Gospel Choir Member
Jor-El Wharton
as Gospel Choir Member
Devin Wharwood
as Gospel Choir Member
Alyssa Woodside
as Gospel Choir Member
Tim Acito
as Dancer
Ian Carney
as Dancer
Jean Emile
as Dancer
Cody Green
as Dancer
Holly Ryan
as Dancer
Mari Koda
as Dancer
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News & Interviews for Across the Universe

Critic Reviews for Across the Universe

All Critics (177) | Top Critics (42)

  • The Beatles already survived one attempt by Hollywood to turn them into kitsch -- 1978's infamous Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band -- and so you have to wonder what they did to deserve Across the Universe.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • If you're a fan of the Beatles and their music, of unconventional musicals (this isn't Hairspray) or even of Bono (he has a couple of songs), this trippy trip Across the Universe is one you won't mind taking.

    May 13, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The imagery is pretty astonishing -- Taymor treats some of the more fantastical moments as if she were making big-screen music videos -- and it's all very intelligently done. But it's kind of a silly idea, very intelligently done

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Bob Mondello
    Top Critic
  • Goo goo g'joob; save your money for the Help! DVD.

    Jan 18, 2008 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • It's more than a nostalgia trip. The real pleasure lies in Taymor's ability to make it all seem brand new.

    Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • ...the long and winding road that is Julie Taymor's opulent, eye-filling, and disappointingly uninvolving musical extravaganza...

    Oct 19, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Across the Universe

  • Nov 03, 2017
    Nearly insufferable with one-dimensional, boring characters who draw no sympathy, and a plot that is whisper thin. Musical numbers vary from clever, to exhausting and over-the-top, with visuals that overstimulate. It results in a movie musical that is just not much fun. Rating: 40
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 18, 2016
    Across the Universe is directed by Julie Taymor and is a love story structured around a soundtrack of songs from the Beatles. There really isn't much to say about this except that it just didn't work for me. As interesting as it might sound, Across the Universe is a pretty run-of-the-mill story covered up by poppy versions of familiar hits. I'm sorry, but a dramatic cover of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" doesn't hold a candle to the original. This movie reminded me a lot of Rock of Ages, though it isn't nearly as big of a disaster. As one who appreciates music, I'm not opposed to covers of famous songs, but, like an old movie being remade, there has to be something new brought to the table to justify its existence. Across the Universe's soundtrack is full of unjustified remakes performed by forgettable actors in an overall forgettable movie. With a run-time of over 2 hours, this movie drags on and on until finally ending with the cheese being applied heavily. Even if you dig musical movies, you can find way better options than Across the Universe. Final grade: D+ -Ben
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2015
    Oh god, disguised as a romantic musical but it really was a progressive film glorifying hippies. The story itself tried to mimic Forrest Gump to an extent but ultimately failed. The scores were quite forced, the Beatles were butchered.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 24, 2014
    Across the Universe is a compelling musical drama that's incredibly imaginative. Set amidst the backdrop of the Vietnam War and using the repertoire of the Beatles, the film follows a Liverpool dockworker named Jude who comes to America and falls in love with a young girl named Lucy. Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, and Joe Anderson lead the cast and give excellent performances, and there are fun cameos from Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek, and Bono. The music is also extraordinarily well-done, doing an exceptional job at constructing a narrative and conveying the emotions of the characters. Additionally, the choreography is amazing, creating some remarkable imagery, which juxtaposed against the new musical arrangements, gives the songs new meaning and subtext. A beautifully crafted film, Across the Universe is loving homage to the music of the Beatles.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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