Paul Thomas Anderson's films aren't for everyone but for fans of his work, The Master truly delivers something special. Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman deliver top notch performances giving completely of themselves to their roles. But without these 2 actors, this film doesn't have much to offer. The story is plain, slow, and somewhat boring (as is often the case with dramas imo). There isn't much entertainment for mainstream audiences. Phoenix and Hoffman create these characters that are quirky and abnormal but serious and deep and it is their relationship to each other which forms the backbone to this film and the reason to watch it. It's also what I disliked the most. I'm not a big fan of Phoenix or Hoffman in general. They are extremely talented but I just don't enjoy watching them. So for me, an entire film revolving around these two actors was a little painful. Combine that with the slow pacing, uninteresting story, and a genre I'm not really into and you might wonder why I'd give the film a 3 star rating. The story, for what it is, is extremely well told but it's the performances of the 2 leads that raise The Master up despite my personal opinions about the actors.