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The Fountain -- a movie about metaphysics, universal patterns, Biblical symbolism, and boundless love spread across one thousand years -- is visually rich but suffers from its own unfocused ambitions. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A man (Hugh Jackman) travels through time on a quest for immortality and to save the woman (Rachel Weisz) he loves. As a 16th-century conquistador, Tomas searches for the legendary Fountain of Youth. As a present-day scientist, he desperately struggles to cure the cancer that is killing his wife. Finally, as a 26th-century astronaut in deep space, Tom begins to grasp the mysteries of life, love and death.

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Critic Reviews for The Fountain

All Critics (204) | Top Critics (60) | Fresh (107) | Rotten (97)

  • It's difficult to recall another American film that, in pursuing a passionate and personal vision, goes so maddeningly, uproariously wrong.

    July 6, 2010
  • I will concede the film is not a great success. Too many screens of blinding lights. Too many transitions for their own sake. Abrupt changes of tone.

    September 14, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    February 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Bonkers, adventurous, silly, ambitious, charming, foolish; it's all those things and it'll be gone in a week. But it's not mainstream Bore-o fare, and for that it should be celebrated.

    January 29, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Ambitious? You bet, but also a towering, tumultuous folly. It's the movie equivalent of a prog-rock double album, short on humour, long on pomposity, and as for what it all means - you might well ask.

    January 26, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • If only all reputed turkeys gave us such a trip.

    January 26, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fountain

  • Dec 15, 2013
    The king of esoteric films, Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain is perhaps his most divisive work. It's a movie that is incredibly ambitious in its scope and narrative format, yet simple in its story. It's both enthralling and, occasionally, inaccessible. The film's style is grand, imaginative, and highly symbolic. Whether one likes it seems to be a product of if you buy its central theme, or at least if you understand it. The film tells the story of a man, played by Hugh Jackman, trying to save the woman he loves, played by Rachel Weisz. This sees him in three separate journeys, in apparently three separate incarnations. The stories are interwoven cleverly with match cuts and visual tricks, making the film very abstract in both content and execution. The central theme is that of mortality, and our quest to defy it. Symbolism is rife throughout, with many biblical references, adding to the film's abstract nature. The visual aspect of the film is its greatest specter, with Aronofsky avoiding CGI as much as possible, opting for creative uses of macro photography and other techniques, which serve to give the film a unique feel. It doesn't feel ornate for the sake of ornate, rather it looks truly surreal and meticulously conceived. It's this visual wonder that seeks to anchor the film through its more esoteric moments, and sustain its momentum. That the film is abstract is a given. Its approach is reminiscent in some respects of the more recent Tree of Life, though more accessible with its strong central story. Had it not been for this story, the film would have failed. Yet Aronofsky smartly recognized the need to keep the film anchored. The symbolism does perhaps get away from the story to some degree, especially toward the end, and the film does suffer from some disjointed moments and abrupt changes in tone. Yet, this is made up for by the rich and vibrant world building, in addition to the intelligent approach to the story, which doesn't opt for easy explanations, but rather puts faith in the audience. Overall, a very unique science fiction film. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 09, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2013
    In Pi and Black Swan, Aronofsky proved to be a brilliant filmmaker, worthy of being compared to Roman Polanski. This is what makes The Fountain such a frustrating and bleak disappointment. It was possibly the easiest film to become bored with that I have ever seen. It is melodramatic--with almost laughably bad dialogue--and a confusing and useless storyline. It is strange to think that this disaster of a film came from the same genius who brought us such masterpieces like Black Swan. But I suppose every director must have his bad film. This one should have never seen the light of day. Aronofsky should stick with films based on the human psyche. Fiction/fantasy is not a genre he should delve into again.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2013
    The Fountain is an incredibly ambitious film that crams too much into its slim 90 minutes, but has just enough moments to keep it from being the disaster it could have been. The story isn't the most involving thing in the world and goes back and forth between three very distinct & different stories all tied together by the subject & characters it is portraying. The visuals are solid as is the acting, but the pacing could have used a little adjusting. It starts and ends very slow, even though the middle section was the most involved part for me as a whole and kept my attention. The Fountain has lofty ambitions and tackles many subjects all at once and doesn't quite do some of them as well as others. Some feel a little "tacked-on" and pretentious at times, but others are delivered pretty well. This film has started to take on a little bit of a cult classic status and I can see why. It will make you think hard and requires perhaps a little too much from the viewer after a first viewing, but subsequent viewings certainly seem like they would be more rewarding. I may not ever re-watch this film, but I have a feeling I would end up liking it more if I did. Aronofsky is an incredibly talented director and even though this isn't his best work to date, it's unique and definitely better than most of what Hollywood produces these days. I can't fully recommend it, but if the premise interests you than give it a watch. It might surprise you.
    Josh L Super Reviewer

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