The Sea of Trees Reviews

September 2, 2016
Van Sant seems unsure of what kind of movie he's making or what he's trying to say. It's best to just enjoy the scenery and look the other way.
September 1, 2016
No wonder Watts rules the movie. She's playing the only remotely sympathetic character; the men seem consumed by grief and guilt and platitudes.
August 26, 2016
The Sea of Trees uses depression, cancer and suicide as manipulative devices to tug at heartstrings instead of offering insight into the human condition.
August 25, 2016
A numinous meditation on grief that's more likely to inspire laughter than tears.
August 25, 2016
A stronger movie experience than one might expect. It's anchored by a fine, understated performance by Matthew McConaughey and a deeply felt, if at times melodramatic, story that proves strangely immersive.
August 25, 2016
[A] soggy mess of a movie ...
August 25, 2016
McConaughey and Watts seem to be reading from a tired script of unhappy, protracted matrimony. The dialogue feels rehearsed, and not in a good way.
August 25, 2016
This is Van Sant's nadir: a sophomoric metaphysical drama that benefits from the director's pictorial eye (the forest looks fittingly ominous), but succumbs to the sentimentalism that has long been his Achilles' heel.
August 16, 2016
This risibly long-winded drama is perhaps above all a profound cultural insult, milking the lush green scenery of Japan's famous Aokigahara forest for all it's worth, while giving co-lead Ken Watanabe little to do.
August 16, 2016
Woefully sentimental and maudlin.
August 16, 2016
The whole film needs cordoning off with safety rope and "Keep Out" signs. There's nothing to see inside.
August 16, 2016
The most confounding element of Sea of Trees is that Van Sant has already made a far better movie about two men struggling to live another day in the middle of nowhere -- his minimalist 2002 drama Gerry.
August 16, 2016
You know, artistically, that the news is going to be bad in the opening minutes when Van Sant feels compelled to provide a shot of the keys McConaughey's character leaves in the ignition. There are almost two hours left of that kind of filmmaking.
June 2, 2015
Gus Van Sant has made the weakest movie of his career, which is particularly unfortunate given that it stars Matthew McConaughey, who's been on quite the hot streak lately.
May 15, 2015
Resembles one of Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase's spiritualist tone poems brutally hijacked in the editing suite by M Night Shyamalan.
May 15, 2015
The Sea of Trees touts a variety of lazy stereotypes in the hope of saying something vaguely profound about how the processes of grief and guilt differ in other cultures. (Spoiler: it doesn't.)
May 15, 2015
For all its apparent sombreness and thoughtfulness, The Sea Of Trees is an exasperatingly shallow film on an important and agonisingly painful subject - depression and suicide. This it slathers in palliative sentimentality.