The Tree of Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tree of Life Reviews

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April 19, 2017
En extremo surrealista, me gustů bastante.
½ April 7, 2017
This was a boring movie that went on way too long.
½ March 23, 2017
Somewhat meandering and long-winded, although I would watch this film again for the opening sequence alone, apparently, according to 2011 me.
½ March 17, 2017
self important and completely dull. This is one of the worst movies I have seen in years. Just because it is convoluted does not mean it is good.
March 16, 2017
The cinematography and nature sequences look fantastic, But they go on for way too long which is when I realized this should've been a narative
½ March 14, 2017
The Tree of Life: Large in Scope, Minuscule in Execution
February 27, 2012
By Ben Kuettel

The Tree of Life
After hearing about the plot of The Tree of Life and the extreme reactions to it, I was naturally intrigued to see it. Almost everyone I asked said it was good but had a lot of problems, mostly people just told me they had mixed feelings about it. Last weekend, I finally saw it. The plot is practically nonexistent. It is purposefully confusing, and for some reason, it has the need to splice nature and galaxy clips in between the action, complete with whispered voiceovers and operatic music. It almost feels like two plots meshed into one. In one, we see a nature program about the evolution of life, while the other has three brothers terrorized by their overly stern father, played by Brad Pitt.

The movie is of course too busy showing us galaxies and CGI dinosaurs to actually make any effort in the beginning to introduce or establish any of the characters or their motivations. This makes the sequences with the family seem questionable and leaves the audience asking, ‚Where did this come from?‚? While the plot deals with a stern father and his rebelling children, most of the footage is actually just of the children playing. There will be up to ten straight minutes of the brothers doing nothing but running around in a field. These scenes add nothing to the story and drag on painfully slowly. By the end, the audience is left questioning what they just saw and what exactly the point of it is. The real message always remains hazy and undefined.

The entire film plays out to distance the audience rather than to engage them in what is happening. I have a love for psychological, surreal, mind-bending movies (The Machinist, Eraserhead, The Seventh Seal, The Fountain, Donnie Darko, etc.) but all of them succeed where this movie fails. Movies can‚(TM)t be made with a theme and a plot of only life. Every movie is about life. There has to be a real story to it. Dazzling visuals and shots of nature edited together with whispering, then showing children playing, just isn‚(TM)t enough. It also doesn‚(TM)t help that The Tree of Life thinks it‚(TM)s the best movie ever made. It is pretentious, obnoxious, and self-indulgent. It manipulates the audience, which honestly, can sometimes be a good thing when done right. But when the audience is cheated and repelled from a disjointed, half-executed plot and scenes ripped off from the BBC series Planet Earth with no connection to each other ‚" this is where The Tree of Life fails.

A particular line from The Tree of Life caught me and seems important to share: ‚If you have nothing important to say, don‚(TM)t say anything at all.‚? If only Terrence Malick had asked himself this question, he probably wouldn‚(TM)t have been able to make the movie. The Tree of Life shows us a lot but makes no attempts to say anything about it. The beauty of nonlinear plots is watching all the pieces of the puzzle come together in a satisfying and usually confusing conclusion (ex. Inception, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). But The Tree of Life never pulls any of it together. It begins as a shattered mess of visuals and symbols and remains that way by the time the credits start rolling.
March 6, 2017
Excellent in many ways, but far too esoteric for the mainstream.
February 22, 2017
The Tree of Life is a very unique movie, it has good themes and is a very beautiful movie, but it's boring as hell. Malick forgets to have interesting characters, but I guess that's ok for a film like this.
February 12, 2017
Started watching this movie expecting the unexpected, and the unexpected is what I got. The entire movie is visually stunning, but the narrative was lost on me. I had to read interpretations written by others to get a semblance of its meaning, but even they were not totally convincing.
February 3, 2017
Although considered only an 'Art' film this film has tremendous depth & visual scope. On the surface it's the story of a Mid West American family & their struggles & joys but there is so much more to this than initially seems.

The film in my opinion focuses on creation in general with the juxtaposition of the creation of the earth & a child itself.

This is by no means entertainment but very deep & thought provoking. Sensational performance by Jessica Chastain who is a shinning star. Also terrific performances by the young boys..Terrence Malik has directed a beautiful film.
½ January 27, 2017
Absolute waste of time!
January 10, 2017
It's should've been better than this
January 3, 2017
"The Tree of Life" evokes the wonder and awe of the naturalistic pain, suffering, and acceptance that are all part of life's experience. A truly incredible experience.
December 26, 2016
One of the most artistic film's of all time.
December 24, 2016
'The Tree of Life' is an incredibly ambitious project, that tries to tell the story of the universe and explain the meaning of life through the life of an ordinary family during the 50s, but at the same time its themes and the questions it raises are extremely relatable,. This movie isn't an easy watch, since the plost is almost non-existent, but this is functional to what Malick tries to communicate. Intersped with the everyday life of the family are stunning images from the creation of universe and the birth of life, accompained by fittingly wonderful music by Mozart, Smetana and Brahms. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki is absolutely jaw-dropping, both in the everyday scenes and in the oniric sequences. Ultimately the movie proves to be an overwhelmingly emotional experience, that manages to make us feel part of something beautiful and hard to understand. One of the best films of the last years.
December 23, 2016
I felt like i was on a never-ending acid trip while watching the discovery channel. I'm all for artistic movies; but even a Brad Pitt led performace can't erase the stench that is the trash of this moview
½ December 6, 2016
Dreamy and fragmented with a nod to Kubrik's 2001.
November 29, 2016
It's kind of like that Insane Clown Posse video for Miracles, but a master film-work.
½ November 14, 2016
There seem to be two different reactions to this film. Some see it as a pretentious artsy project, others see it as a beautiful representation of life. Me, I'm in that second group, but I can understand that first group. I do think this film could have worked better as a documentary. That would probably be more satisfting for all.
½ November 13, 2016
The Tree Of Life might be the most overrated movie I've ever watched. I've seen films before which received rave reviews that I didn't connect much with, but I could at least see what people liked about them. Not in this instance. I've completely run out of things to say about the Emperor of Emptiness, Terrence Malick, because each time I end up at the same conclusion: The cinematography is gorgeous and the lighting is beautiful, but the characterisation is non-existent, the acting is disinterested, the narration and score are insanely irritating, it drags on for far too long and all of it is wrapped up in a big, thick, inescapable blanket of pretentiousness. The Tree Of Life fails primarily because it doesn't tell a story, instead shoving constant artsy symbolism and imagery down the audience's throat until they gag. Apparently, Mr. Malick found God before making this film, and it turns out he was very, very eager to inform us of this fact, so rather than reading from a script the cast seem to have been given a prayer book instead, making the whole think feel less like a piece of entertainment than an interminable Sunday church service. There is no way to connect, absorb or enjoy it. It's the most blatant example of cinematic self-pleasuring and aggrandisement I've ever seen, and a classic example of how a fashionable director can make seemingly anything and, no matter how pompous, vain or lifeless, will still be showered with praise.
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