The Master Reviews

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Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
May 26, 2013
A perverted sausage party in which Anderson fully indulges his obsession with male genitalia.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Rachel Cooke
Observer [UK]
November 4, 2012
After an hour, I was baffled. After two, I was bored stiff.
Jeff Beck
September 20, 2012
"The Master" merely ends up being a reminder that performances can take a film pretty far, but they can't make up for poor writing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Calum Marsh
Slant Magazine
September 10, 2012
The Master is Paul Thomas Anderson with the edges sanded off, the best bits shorn down to nubs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Nordine
L.A. Weekly
September 16, 2012
What seems revelatory in the moment is often obvious in retrospect.
Jeff Meyers
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
September 23, 2012
Anderson's style is clearly epic in scope, but his narrative approach is ambiguous, opaque and chillingly detached.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Graham Young
Birmingham Mail
November 16, 2012
This is ( ... ) for cinephiles. You are expected to love it, but it sometimes left me scratching my head.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 20, 2012
"The Master" is fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Julian Roman
September 18, 2012
Anderson's filmmaking skills are tremendous, but he suffers here under his own conceit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 14, 2012
As Hoffman's Master strives to impress w/eloquent language, fine suits and psychic parlor tricks, serving as cerebral misdirection, so too does Anderson, similarly pulling elaborate wool over our eyes. Quoting Ms. Stein: There is no there there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/10
Kirk Honeycutt
September 11, 2012
A hollow epic that searches for a big bang yet ends in a whimper.
Full Review | Original Score: 4
Robert Levin
September 13, 2012
This movie defies the usual fresh-or-rotten dichotomy. It's an awesome feat of filmmaking, but so opaque that it keeps you at a remove and proves hard to sit through.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tony Macklin
September 26, 2012
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master baits the audience. One may admire The Master for its scope, style, and maybe some of the acting, but its vision is myopic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Stephen Silver
September 24, 2012
Great performances and visuals, but painfully slow and not much happens. Not Anderson's best work
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Michael Bonner
Uncut Magazine [UK]
November 8, 2012
This is more character study than story. Yet, it feels as shallow as The Cause itself, as maddeningly opaque as Dodd's motivations.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
September 25, 2012
... an attractively wrapped but thick and indigestible slab of baloney.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Cole Smithey
October 2, 2012
As with Lou Reed's notorious album of over-modulated feedback ("Metal Machine Music"), the audience is left to decide if the movie is some kind of bad joke, or an artistic project gone horribly astray.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 13, 2012
Aiming for epic, it's undeniably thought-provoking, but too ambiguous to fully satisfy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Willie Waffle
September 21, 2012
Get ready for the first big, vaunted, art house movie heavily lauded as a masterpiece and Oscar contender that will leave you wondering what all the hype was about.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
September 4, 2012
The problem with The Master is that it doesn't extend or expand Anderson's artistic journey.
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