Matt's Review of Cloud Atlas
An epic, but far from a masterpiece, "Cloud Atlas" has visual splendor and a compelling concept, but lacks any substance to give it weight. It tries way too hard to be grand and important, without actually ever being so. What it all amounts to is a pretentious, occasionally thrilling, story that takes place with a whole cadre of characters over six different timelines. It's a self-indulgent mess, but you have to admire the ambition.
The problem is, once you take away that intriguing premise, the stories within each of the six timelines are mediocre at best. We're led to believe they have some sort of connection, but, spoiler alert: They don't. Aside from a few minor connections here and there, all six stories are irrelevant to each other. Which makes the whole thing feel unnecessary and completely underwhelming. Throw in the trivial character voiceovers trying to sell how important this film thinks itself is, and you end up with "Cloud Atlas": an enjoyable, but not great, film.