Magnolia - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Magnolia Reviews

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September 15, 2018
Anderson's third feature showed him throwing everything he had at creating an Altman-esque drama bursting at the seams. Covering topics like child abuse, forgiveness, redemption, judgement, and love; Anderson shot for the stars and only narrowly missed.
August 27, 2018
A massive mess of three long hours.
½ August 23, 2018
How on earth there is a space for sympathetic characters, terrific performances, coherent drama, comedy, miraculously connected storylines, logical sense in such a bizarre lengthy mess of a movie?

Wait a second! .... am I not describing humans and their lives?

Blending realism with surrealism, Magnolia is one of Paul Thomas Anderson's works and ,definitely, his most ambitious one.

Every story is as rich and intriguing as their characters. Stories that are harmoniously told, and embellished with Aimee Mann's heavenly soundtrack. The result is a three-hour epic mosaic devoid of any moment of boredom.

I think Donnie Smith's story, William H. Macy's character, is the most profound and the richest one. Nevertheless, it's also the most poorly told one, comparing it to the others. It could have been explored more. I wish I was as invested in it as I respected it after it ended.

Also, the movie could have been less on exposition in terms of characters a little bit more. Because I think what I've seen from the fantastic acting and the masterful use of symbolism are more than enough to make everything clear.

That being said, these issues are almost indiscernible, and it was difficult for me to notice them.

Magnolia is not my favorite PTA film, but hands down it's the most entertaining one despite its long runtime.

(9/10)
August 22, 2018
Magnolia is a fantastic ensemble film by wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson. Featuring a host of actors- all somehow interconnected in the vast brawl of Los Angeles . Featuring a top notch cast and an inspiration directly lifted from Robert Altman's many movies (especially perhaps shortcuts) Magnolia is an art film masquerading as a mainstream feature courtesy Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, William H Macy and a few others. This is a must watch for any cinema lover.
August 18, 2018
Magnolia is a fantastic ensemble film by wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson. Featuring a host of actors- all somehow interconnected in the vast brawl of Los Angeles . Featuring a top notch cast and an inspiration directly lifted from Robert Altman's many movies (especially perhaps shortcuts) Magnolia is an art film masquerading as a mainstream feature courtesy Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, William H Macy and a few others. This is a must watch for any cinema lover.
August 6, 2018
Featuring a bevy of great performances and providing ponderous motifs throughout, Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia is a unique, effective drama that serves as one of the director's very best.
½ July 27, 2018
A complex set of stories that tie together seamlessly with plenty of characters, all of whom we grow to care for.
½ July 25, 2018
Wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson is today considered an auteur legend but back in 1999 he was the kid everyone kept an eye on- and boy did he deliver with Magnolia. This is an epic ensemble drama film consisting of so many names you'd have to take out your notepad. All the stories are intertwined, and the only constant is the San Fernando Valley. The camerawork is excellent, and a long take taken at a game show setup is a highlight. Magnolia is deeply layered, and many writers and film students have written about their perspective on the film. It is astonishing that a young man of less than 30 could write and direct such an in-depth film.
July 5, 2018
Magnolia is a fantastic ensemble film by wunderkind Paul Thomas Anderson. Featuring a host of actors- all somehow interconnected in the vast brawl of Los Angeles . Featuring a top notch cast and an inspiration directly lifted from Robert Altman's many movies (especially perhaps shortcuts) Magnolia is an art film masquerading as a mainstream feature courtesy Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, William H Macy and a few others. This is a must watch for any cinema lover.
June 18, 2018
Cinematic perfection
May 31, 2018
A creatively strange interconnected story.

Magnolia is Paul Thomas Anderson's first big movie that is as wild as it is weird. It is a quick cut, but long and slow narrative between around 10 major characters' lives. I wish it were shorter and more fast paced, but alas Anderson fails to cut down his films to a more manageable size. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Magnolia. Its unique shots, story twists, and excellent writing keep it in check.

Beautiful music and heartfelt writing collide as the intertwined lives of these various figures in society mesh for the most original film I have seen in a long time. There is no other film quite like Magnolia. It is like the intense crescendo of harrowing events like Requiem for a Dream with the scattered perspective narrative of Pulp Fiction. It even has moments of the surreal comedy like the Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski or Fargo.

Notably, Magnolia features incredibly moving acting. Tom Cruise gives one of his most versatile and enjoyable performances, while John C. Reilly delivers his most touching dramatic role ever. Philip Seymour Hoffman is also so empathetic and kind. You feel his acting in your soul. William H. Macy is wonderful. Julieanne Moore continues her endless string of brilliant dramatic roles. Magnolia is perfectly cast.

Magnolia may be odd, but its originality and creativity know no bounds. Check it out if you can handle delicate subject matter. The drama is worth watching.
May 22, 2018
Darkly comic, sometimes depressing, and filled with stunning performances from an ensemble cast that shine, Paul Thomas Anderson directs with fierce and ambitious force and focus that makes 'Magnolia' a masterpiece that is hard to define, as it is to forget.
May 15, 2018
Despite it's 3h runtime, what a movie.
½ May 10, 2018
I remember thinking this was special when it came out - I was about 19 at the time. Watching it again in my 30s, I'm so disappointed. So much overacting, and some pretty caricatured roles. There is potential here - it starts out well but starts to unravel. it didn't need to be so long. Once the scene where they all sing the same song came on, it was like the last straw. There are a few scenes with some brilliance - the interview with Tom Cruise's character comes to mind. However some are so terribly written - the cop's romance is so unbelievable. I was surprised to find it's the same director as There Will Be Blood. I guess he's really developed his game since this.
April 7, 2018
This is the best movie I have seen so far in my life. Good cast, good music, and very nice story. Suggestion people who likes this movie: Boogie Nights, by the same director.
½ April 3, 2018
This is a tough film, and definitely adult-material. Not "adult" as in nudity, gore, and cussing, but "adult" as in "speaks to the aspects of life most are blissfully unaware of until after 40". Near-genius in many ways, slightly missing the mark in others, I waver between 4 & 5 stars depending on which aspects I consider.

This is, in my opinion, Tom Cruise's best role. He has never received due recognition his amazing portrayal here.
April 1, 2018
Magnolia is so skilfully directed and performed that it manages to pull off one of the strangest and most bizarre plots I have ever seen. Having read other reviews, the runtime seems to be the low hanging fruit but if this film were a minute shorter it could have failed spectacularly. I have no idea how the film made it through the table-read but I'm glad it did.
March 10, 2018
Feel bad movie of the most beautiful and wonderful kind. The human condition is full of pain and Magnolia captures this with a mosaic of stories wowen into a fragile yet powerful fabric. Tom Cruise is amazing.
March 8, 2018
"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.
February 27, 2018
Few movies have done this to me. Paul Thomas Anderson is the greatest, I do not how he made me empathized with 9 different people...Wait, I know, he is brilliant. Loved everthing about this film, the script, acting, soundtrack, well developed charcters and of course the vision that the director transmits. A movie with such a great message and symbolism without being pretentious. This movie has really touched my heart and soul, Paul Thomas Anderson thanks for this.
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