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Magnolia (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  7 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 231,867 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 1,429 user | 221 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

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From $9.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sir Edmund William Godfrey / Young Pharmacy Kid
Genevieve Zweig ...
Mrs. Godfrey
Mark Flannagan ...
Joseph Green
Stanley Berry
Rod McLachlan ...
Daniel Hill
Delmer Darion
Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales ...
Reno Security Guard
Craig Hansen
Forensic Scientist
Sydney Barringer
Arthur Barringer
1958 Detective
John Kraft Seitz ...
1958 Policeman
Cory Buck ...
Young Boy


24 hours in L.A.; it's raining cats and dogs. Two parallel and intercut stories dramatize men about to die: both are estranged from a grown child, both want to make contact, and neither child wants anything to do with dad. Earl Partridge's son is a charismatic misogynist; Jimmy Gator's daughter is a cokehead and waif. A mild and caring nurse intercedes for Earl, reaching the son; a prayerful and upright beat cop meets the daughter, is attracted to her, and leads her toward a new calm. Meanwhile, guilt consumes Earl's young wife, while two whiz kids, one grown and a loser and the other young and pressured, face their situations. The weather, too, is quirky. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, drug use, sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mag·no'li·a  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$193,604 (USA) (17 December 1999)


$22,450,975 (USA) (12 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


To elaborate, the final riddle is never answered but gives the notes B-E-E. The letter "B" resembles an "8" and there are two letter "E's" in BEE. Another 8:2 reference. See more »


The blood on Kurring's forehead changes at the end of the movie. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: In the New York Herald, November 26, year 1911, there is an account of the hanging of three men. They died for the murder of Sir Edmund William Godfrey; Husband, Father, Pharmacist and all around gentle-man resident of: Greenberry Hill, London. He was murdered by three vagrants whose motive was simple robbery. They were identified as: Joseph Green, Stanley Berry, and Daniel Hill. Green, Berry, Hill. And I Would Like To Think This was Only A Matter Of Chance. As reported in the Reno...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pedestrian #2 is incorrectly spelled Pedistrian #2. See more »


Featured in The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000) See more »


Written by Colin Devlin
Performed by The Devlins
Courtesy of Radioactive/MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I have never before spent so much time analyzing, discussing, or viewing a film...
12 January 2000 | by (West Linn, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

And it is a FILM. It is no ordinary movie. As a fan of Boogie Nights, I couldn't wait for Magnolia. Although its running time has made at least 20 people leave the auditorium, I have stayed for every single second. The mood and stories and characters keep building and building and building, and when it finally comes down, I feel this immense sense of relief and wonder at how PT Anderson was able to come up with something so clever and intertwining and wonderous, and was able to pull it off. This "movie" is not for everyone. It is thinking-hat required. I have also never been so excited to look up Bible verses before. The cast, as you have probably read, is superb. I have never been so impressed. This film has "restored my faith in the filmmaking industry. To see these actors, crew, and the writer/director/genius at work is inspiring." These people obviously love their craft, and one of my friends even said that the cast was "touched by the hands of God..." to which I whole-heartedly agree. He also has said, ""This film not only teaches film makers how to make films, but it teaches movie watchers how to watch movies!" to which I again whole-heartedly agree a thousand times over. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is absolutely outstanding as the only character who is "normal." His performance has made me smile and shake my fist in the air the three times I've seen Magnolia since it opened. Tom Cruise is also spectacular. As with every single last character, every line he utters is important to his character and what it means for the rest of the stories. Another outstanding performance/character is the part of police officer Jim Kurring, played by John C. Reilly. His character is just so perfect and JUST SOOOOO PERFECT that it makes me smile every time he is on screen. Add to all of this one incredible soundtrack, and you have something that will go down in film history as legend and probably one of the most underappreciated, misunderstood, and definitely underseen films of all time.

The soundtrack, oh, the soundtrack. When listening to the songs, I can picture each exact moment as if I was watching the movie all over again, and it brings unexplainable feeling. Aimee Mann's songs, especially, are a perfect fit to a perfect story and mood. This film is not for everyone, but, if you want to see glorious filmmaking, acting, writing, and characters in action, I HIGHLY suggest you see Magnolia.

299 of 430 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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