Critics Consensus

Critics say Magnolia is an ambitious, lengthy work that ultimately succeeds due to the interesting stories and excellent ensemble performances.



Reviews Counted: 145

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 192,729


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Magnolia Photos

Movie Info

An intriguing and entertaining study in characters going through varying levels of crisis and introspection. This psychological drama leads you in several different directions, weaving and intersecting various subplots and characters, from a brilliant Tom Cruise, as a self-proclaimed pied-piper, to a child forced to go on a TV game show and the pressures he faces from a ruthless father.

Watch it now


Tom Cruise
as Frank T.J. Mackey
Jason Robards
as Earl Partidge
Julianne Moore
as Linda Partridge
Melinda Dillon
as Rose Gator
Philip Baker Hall
as Jimmy Gator
William H. Macy
as Donnie Smith
John C. Reilly
as Jim Kurring
Melora Walters
as Claudia Wilson Gator
Michael Bowen
as Rick Spector
Ricky Jay
as Burt Ramsey
Jeremy Blackman
as Stanley Spector
April Grace
as Gwenovier
Henry Gibson
as Thurston Howell
Don R. McManus
as Dr. Landon
Danny Wells
as Dick Jennings
Michael Murphy
as Alan Kligman, esq.
Pat Healy
as Sir Edmund William Godfrey/Young Pharmacy Kid
Genevieve Zweig
as Mrs. Godfrey
Mark Flannagan
as Joseph Green
Neil Flynn
as Stanley Berry
Rod McLachlan
as Daniel Hill
Allan Graf
as Firefighter
Patton Oswalt
as Delmer Darion
Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales
as Reno Security Guard
Brad Hunt
as Craig Hansen
Jim Meskimen
as Forensic Scientist
Christopher O'Hara
as Sydney Barringer
Clement Blake
as Arthur Barringer
Frank Elmore
as 1958 Detective
John Kraft Seitz
as 1958 Policeman
Cory Buck
as Young Boy
Tim 'Stuffy' Sorenen
as Infomercial Guy
Jim Ortlieb
as Middle Aged Guy
Thomas Jane
as Young Jimmy Gator
Holly Houston
as Jimmy's Showgirl
Benjamin Niedens
as Little Donnie Smith
Veronica Hart
as Dentist Nurse No. 1
Melissa Spell
as Dentist Nurse No. 2
Jake Cross
as Pedestrian No. 1
Charlie Scott
as Pedestrian No. 2
Juan Medrano
as Nurse Juan
John Pritchett
as Police Captain
Cleo King
as Marcie
Michael Shamus Wiles
as Captain Muffy
John S. Davies
as Cameraman
Kevin Breznahan
as Geoff/Seminar Guy
Miguel Pérez
as Avi Solomon
David Masuada
as Coroner Man
Neil Pepe
as Officer No. 1
Annette Helde
as Coroner Woman
Lynne Lerner
as Librarian
Scott Burkett
as WDKK Page No. 1
Bob Brewer
as Richard's Dad
Julie Brewer
as Richard's Mom
Nancy Marston
as Julia's Mom
Maurey Marston
as Julia's Dad
Jamala Gaither
as WDKK P.A.
Amy Brown
as WDKK Page No. 2
Meagen Fay
as Dr. Diane
Patrick Warren
as Todd Geronimo
Virginia Pereira
as Pink Dot Girl
Craig Kvinsland
as Brad The Bartender
Patricia Scanlon
as Cocktail Waitress
Clark Gregg
as WDKK Floor Director
Art Frankel
as Old Pharmacist
Matt Gerald
as Officer No. 2
Guillermo Melgarejo
as Pink Dot Guy
Paul F. Thompkins
as Chad (Seduce & Destroy)
Mary Lynn Rajskub
as Janet (Frank's Assistant)
Jim Beaver
as Smiling Peanut Patron No. 1
Ezra Buzzington
as Smiling Peanut Patron No. 2
Denise Woolfork
as Smiling Peanut Patron No. 3
Bob Downey Sr.
as WDKK Show Director
William Mapother
as WDKK Director's Assistant
Larry Ballard
as WDKK Medic
Brett Higgins
as Mackey Disciple Twin No. 1
Brian Paul Higgins
as Mackey Disciple Twin No. 2
Michael "Jocco" Phillips
as Mackey Disciple In Middle
Lillian Adams
as Donnie's Old Neighbor
Steven Bush
as Paramedic No. 1
Mike Massa
as Paramedic No. 2
Dale Gibson
as Paramedic No. 3
View All

News & Interviews for Magnolia

Critic Reviews for Magnolia

All Critics (145) | Top Critics (32)

Audience Reviews for Magnolia


Magnolia is a very good film by director Paul Thomas Anderson. However I don't believe it is his best like so many critics have pointed out. Anderson would hone his craft in his future work, but with Magnolia we get to see a director creating something unique. Anderson has always been one of the finer directors who are able to craft quality films with great casts of talented actors. Magnolia is a sweeping movie that intertwines the lives of different people into a powerful story. I really loved the film, but I just don't feel that it is Thomas Anderson's best. He would later make the far superior Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood. But Magnolia is a fine film that should appeal to viewers looking for a well directed picture that tells a good story. Is it the sweeping masterpiece that viewers have claimed it to be? No, it isn't, but it is worth seeing, and Paul Thomas Anderson's direction is wonderful and he tells an interesting story that is dark and intense. A theme that seems to pop out constantly throughout the film is finding happiness and hope. Magnolia draws its strength from its captivating performances from the cast, and each brings something wonderful to the screen. Although not perfect, Magnolia is a well executed picture that tells a solid story. This is a must see film for fans of the director, and it is a well paced film that you soon won't forget. The cast is what makes this one overcome its shortcomings, and the best actors here that have impressed me are Julianne Moore, John C. Reilley and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I liked Tom Cruise, but I simply thought he was a bit overdoing it in his performance. Magnolia is worth seeing, but like I previously stated, Anderson would later mature as a director with more interesting films that really pushed the envelope even further.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Absa-f***in'-brillaint.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: A[/color][/font]

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer


A realist and surrealist ambitious work by P.T., Magnolia it's the Short Cuts from the end of 90's and a more serious version of Happiness.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Claudia Wilson Gator: I'll tell you everything, and you tell me everything, and maybe we can get through all the piss and shit and lies that kill other people.  "Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours." Magnolia is a good example for why Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best filmmakers around. He's yet to make a bad movie, and a lot of the time, at the end of watching one of his films, I am left stunned. That's the case with Magnolia, maybe more than any other of his great movies. This a beautiful, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, film. We watch characters and their personal lives intersect. At first, we don't know how these different stories relate, but slowly Anderson brings them together. You know a movie is amazing when just over 3 hours of runtime feels quick. We see the lives of different people intersect and the movie comes to an unforgettable end. The people who's lives we see are a child on a gameshow, a gameshow host that just found out he has cancer, the daughter of the gameshow host is a cocaine addict, and a cop. Also there is a dying old man, his much younger wife, a caregiver, and a guy who teaches men how to fuck any woman they want to.  This is an extremely emotional film and there are a wide array of subjects touched in Anderson's amazing script. Addiction, guilt, forgiveness, and love happen to be some of the biggest. Everything is handled with such care, that every single thing Anderson is trying to present comes across in a clear and precise way, but without being too in your face obvious.  Magnolia is an absolute masterpiece. Its length may be a turn off for some people, but it is a film worth sitting through. There's nothing hard about watching it either. I was never bored and for a movie that runs 3 hours; that is a rarity. This is visionary filmmaking from one of the best around right now. There's a huge cast with big names like Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Jason Robards, Philip Baker Hall, William H. Macy, and John C. Reilly. All of them, plus a variety of others give flawless performances. Cruise, Macy, and Reilly are my standouts. I don't care what your opinion of Tom Cruise is; his performance in this is ridiculously good. Like every PTA film, this is a must watch. Anderson calls it his best film and who am I to disagree with him. There Will Be Blood, Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love; they're all great. Punch Drunk Love is one of my absolute favorite movies ever. There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights, both masterpieces. But Magnolia is a movie that is just something else entirely. Describing what that is, is just about impossible.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Magnolia Quotes

News & Features