Magnolia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Magnolia Reviews

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May 17, 2017
I wasted 40 minutes of my life watching this dreck. The idea that there was over two more hours to go made my decision to turn it off easy. Maybe it get better later on. Maybe it makes sense later on but the odds were overwhelming that it would not improve. I did think the performances were very good, particularly Tom Cruise but I simply don't have time to waste.
May 11, 2017
Proves that Paul Thomas Anderson is capable of more emotional depth compared to the superficial pleasures of Boogie Nights, without losing the electric directorial style of his early career. The length weighs down the film a little (over 3 hours.) Still, you can't blame him for taking time to tell his most personal story. None of it would be possible without the performances.
April 6, 2017
Paul Thomas Anderson balances Magnolia's epic scope with it's intensely personal tales beautifully.
April 4, 2017
"Magnolia" is an impressive feat. It contains an engrossing sense of uniqueness that I've never seen done before in a movie in such a way like this. Despite being over 3 hours, this movie never lost my interest for a single minute. I loved "There Will Be Blood". However, this is now my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson film.

This movie features numerous interconnected storylines of characters who undergo internal and external conflicts such as a nurse (Phil) sent to look after an elderly man (Earl) dying of cancer, a boy genius (Stanley) who's close to breaking a record on a game show called "What Do Kid's Know?" in which the host (Jimmy) also has cancer, a sex-guru (Frank) who grew to hate women due to his childhood, a cop (Jim) who becomes attracted to a woman (Claudia) whose house he goes to, a previous winner of the game show (Donnie) who wants to get braces, and a woman (Linda) who doesn't want to get will money from Earl after he dies.

Despite being over 3 hours long, I feel like this is one of the most engaging films I've seen in years. All of the main characters in the film undergo different kinds of conflicts. I felt feelings of suspense and sadness in about every single one of its shots. As the film cut between different sequences of the characters' struggles, I was completely absorbed in the film. It didn't lose my interest at all. A great scene from the film is when all of the characters start singing Aimee Mann's "Wise Up." This scene shows how all the characters are going through similar struggles. It's also an example of the theme of coincidence. The most beautiful sequence in the film, however, is when Earl talks about his regrets to Phil. This scene is emotionally powerful, and it lingered with me long after watching it.

However, probably the most memorable scene is the surprising final act. Although that sequence seems out-of-place at first glance, it makes sense considering the theme of "coincidence" in the film. The first scene from the film which showed the 3 instances of coincidence justified the final act. It showed that instead of something bringing all the characters together in a conventional way, something bizarre would do it. What happened at the final act concluded all of the character arcs. The final act is, without a doubt, the best scene from the film. It's also one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.

The theme of parenting and the effects that it has on children was handled well. A character who's a good example of this theme is Frank. We learn from an interview that Frank had to take care of his mother since his father left him. When he grows up, he becomes a sex guru and a misogynist. The movie raises the question: How did his hatred pass from his father to women? There is also Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, a former winner of "What Do Kid's Know?". When he was young, his father took all the money he won on the show away from him. This eventually influenced him to try and steal money to afford the braces. The best example of this theme, however, is Stanley Spector since he's the only main child character in the film. While on the show, he acts out against his dad after he realizes that his dad is using him for money. Since these characters were fully developed in the film, this theme was handled well.

The ensemble cast did a great job. Tom Cruise as Frank T.J. Mackey did a great job. Cruise is usually hit or miss for me. However, I think that this role was perfect for him as he did a great job in it. This is, undoubtedly, his best role yet. Jason Robards as Earl Partridge did an outstanding job. Despite playing a weak, elderly man dying of cancer, there was always humanity and emotion that he delivered (it's ironic that the actor playing Earl died of cancer a year after this film was released). Julianna Moore as Linda Partridge was also fantastic. She always managed to sound charismatic and energetic without sounding over-the-top. All of the other actors and actresses were great as well. I didn't have any particular issues with a cast member.

In conclusion, this movie is definitely a masterpiece. When I consider how it's able to create suspense and heartbreak out of just about every scene, have one of the most surprising movie scenes of all time, and contain a lot or re-watch value, it sticks out as one of the most impressive films I can think of. We witness the pains and struggles of the people in this epic throughout its 3 hour runtime, and the film remains absorbing from beginning to end.
March 10, 2017
I'm Still Getting Movies On DVD.
February 11, 2017
Few films encapsulate a singular idea as beautifully as P.T. Anderson's epic masterpiece MAGNOLIA. It's very simple: this is a perfect film.

This movie is quite obviously about mishandled relationships, specifically parents and children. Anderson's opinions on father-son relationships are really fascinating to me. There are very few secure or healthy father-son relationships in Anderson films. Dirk Diggler walks all over his impish, emasculated father in BOOGIE NIGHTS, Daniel Plainview realizes his incapability to choose his son over his own greed in THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and Barry Egan only has female familial relationships in PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.
February 5, 2017
Magnolia is truly a masterpiece. I agree with the fact that it's a long movie, but it stories are truly interesting and you will never be bored while watching it.
You'll be emotionally touch, and you'll think about it for some time, trust me.

Technically, it's great too. Music are perfectly fitting with the beautiful images of it.

So yeais, definitely a classic for me.
February 2, 2017
Despite being over three hours long, Magnolia was over in what seemed like no time at all. It was equally funny and dark and sad and frantic, as many "mosaic" films try to be. But none have pulled it off in the same way PT Anderson was able to here. I liked every main character-- Actually, I didn't like all of them, but I understood everyone's thoughts and motives enough to not get frustrated when one did something that upset another. And all of the performances were top notch. I find with most PT Anderson movies I end up mostly watching for the portrayal of the main character. Not to say I don't like the stories in them, I've just really enjoyed the characters a lot (especially Barry, in Punch-Drunk Love). They're always mesmerizing. But since there were so many main characters here, I was watching for all of them, as well as the story, and I just watched even more attentively when my favorite characters were on screen. Magnolia is a movie with a premise that I think only PT Anderson is capable of perfecting. It seems to be polarizing for new fans of the director, but at the same time I think it's his best work.
January 27, 2017
Magnolia is a very weird, dark movie, totally sucks you in...this movie is genius
January 19, 2017
Having watched this a few times I still haven't a clue what the ending is all about. Well made, nice idea, good performances but the unfathomable tieing together of the characters lives at the end just leaves me thinking "okay, so what?"

Were I rating this on performances and basic idea only, I would have scored it higher but the story execution and ending left me not caring if I ever saw it again, thus 2 stars is the best I can do.

The intriguing promise of the opening few minutes about coincidental happenings ultimately doesn't deliver a rewarding or particularly meaningful conclusion.
January 18, 2017
In Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson breaks the paradigms and did a 3 hour prophetic movie. Right from the start we see the idiosyncratic nuances of a master storyteller, as the narrator gives us three urban legends that show us ''coincidence'' , a theme that cements the conceptual base for the movie.

The film has 5 different plots, and 8 different main characters. Dealing with a large variety of themes and stories, Magnolia manages to take us deep into the characters and their inner crisis through deep introspection, which works due to the outstanding acting from every single role and the inspired directing of Anderson, who takes us through this tragic journey in almost lyrical manner that pays off beautifully.
½ January 15, 2017
Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia has an excellent direction work, wonderful stories and unforgettable dialogues. A movie to be seen several times.
½ December 26, 2016
The advertising worked! I want a pair of OAKLEYS+A lesson in how to TAME HER?
½ November 28, 2016
Different and intelligent. Paul's film shows us a whole new and creative storyline. Despite being a long movie, it entertains us with several stories and characters that will somehow join in the end. It's an incredible puzzle. It is not just a reference to the excerpt from the bible.
November 15, 2016
An absolute masterpiece. P.T. Anderson, who is the most interesting and Important directors of our time, said that no other film he makes will surpass Magnolia. This instant classic is mesmerizing from beginning to end. The actors all shine but in my opinion Anderson brings out the best in Julianne Moore who's character stays with you long after the film. All that being said this film is not for everyone. Coming in at a running time of over 3 hours and the many complex characters who's different stories intersect in the most creative way, could turn off those who want to just watch mindless entertainment and not really have to get a message or take something from the experience. But if you are a film buff or just want to see excellent performances with a mind blowing premise this is a must see. I also read that Anderson came up with this movie around the songs on the equally impressive Aimee Mann. Her songs are all throughout the film and if I'm not mistaken the songs came before the film - the film was inspired by the songs used in the movie.
This is my personal favorite film of all time and each time I see it I get something more out of it.
So do yourself a favor and give it a try. All of Andersons movies are outstanding, but Magnolia is more than that.
½ November 7, 2016
A terrific cast, interesting dialogue and great ambition lets Magnolia works on pretty much every level, improving Paul Thomas Anderson's great catalogue of films.
½ September 25, 2016
An outstanding ensemble cast and Paul Thomas Anderson's solid grip to intertwine complex stories makes Magnolia a must-see drama.
September 22, 2016
A very good movie until it got to a point where they didn't know how to end it.
½ September 11, 2016
Paul Thomas Anderson directs a movie about unique occurrences that happen in life that cannot be viewed as mere coincidences. The story covers various characters including a woman-seducer (Tom Cruise), a troubled drug addict (Melora Waters), a shy cop (John C. Reilly) and a former kid prodigy (William H. Macy). The camera quickly pans between each of these characters telling all of their stories in peace-meal while minimally explaining how the other characters are related to each other. The film is filled with subliminal text, and hidden messages that include multiple references to Exodus 8:2, Magnolias pictures appearing in every location and musical interlude consistencies with characters. The movie is a masterpiece, and done in a similar vein to how Nashville was directed in the 70s. The movie is quite original, but the performance and direction of the film make it for quite a compelling watch.
½ August 8, 2016
Extremely well acted from an amazing cast. So much going on and all brought together seamlessly. Over three hours but doesn't seem like it all. I've seen it twice now and I usually don't like long movies.
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