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Reviews & Ratings for
Magnolia More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

it could be the best movie in my life

Author: despoticfacts from Egypt
8 January 2011

a piece of art .. a piece of my life and your life or our lives .. actually when i decided to watch this movie it was not my best mood , i thought i will watch one boring movie with too much stupidities and i really don't know why i have formed this idea , but i shocked when i found myself sitting on my chair for about three hours can't feel time , in three hours i lived with one movie talking about 24 hours as if i lived my whole life .. it strange ,magic feelings when feel like you have lived your childhood and your youth and your manhood and your autumn in those fantastic three hours , sometimes crying .. other time laughing , having all feelings in this world at the same time .. shortly , this wonderful piece is the life as it is with all what it has.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Loved It!

Author: pandora12 from United States
5 April 2008

I am making my way down the IMDb Top 250 list, starting with some of the latest movies made in the 1990's until current. I don't know why I never heard of this movie before, but it is awesome. The one thing I didn't like was the title of the film. I thought it was a chick flick. Even though, I am a woman I don't like so-called 'chick-flicks.' There were a couple of other things I didn't like near the end. I also noticed that many other reviews disliked those two things as well. The film was otherwise excellent and profound and it deserves its rating as a minimum. I will be adding this to my DVD collection. I rented three other movies the same time I saw Magnolia and this was the only one I wanted to watch twice before I returned it to the video store. It has that "Wow!" factor.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

How did this screenplay get funded?

Author: AlecMac from United Kingdom
28 October 2001

I new nothing about this film before I watched it. What I found was;

Good acting, fine production excellent cast, BUT something worried me. How on earth did the screenplay get funding. Who read this dirge of a story thought it would make a good movie. There's an old saying `You can't polish a turd.' And no amount of acting or production could turn this into a worthwhile effort.

THREE HOURS for crying out loud. Six characters living out painful lives and in two cases deaths with some frogs at the end. THREE HOURS. What sort of pretentious self obsessed person thinks they can fill THREE HOURS of celluloid with soap opera relationships.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Certainly Not a Top 100 Film

Author: doug_otto from US
9 October 2000

This movie does not belong in the this site's Top 100. During the course of watching this movie, you will most likely find yourself wondering just how much longer this movie will continue -- not necessarily in a bad way, but because of seemingly pointless and excruciatingly painful dialogue (most notably Robard's wife). There's at least one character you will not care for at all (Robard's wife; acting good, writing pitiful). At times the "background music" almost completely envelopes the actor's voices making the viewing experience difficult to endure. If you were truly gripped watching this flick, you are a certified movieholic.

A truly great film always makes me "feel" something, as if your soul (or spirit or human essence, whatever) is touched during specific moments throughout, or, at the film's end -- Magnolia shoots blanks, leaving you wondering if you missed something. You haven't.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An ugly and hateful film

Author: tontin
9 January 2000

1999 will go down in history as the year the movie critic lead the general public astray. First they sent us to EYES WIDE SHUT. Then they hyped up THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and now MAGNOLIA which is by far the worst movie of the year. What is it about? Who the heck knows. Its full of self-indulgence and loaded with bad acting. I always like to stay and watch the credits, but when this thing was over I couldn't get out of the movie theatre fast enough. Most of the audience that attended the showing that I was at, felt pretty much the same way. Dates were arguing with each other as well as strangers. It's an ugly and hateful film that will make you feel ugly and hateful.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

I just didn't get it. It was too weird for me.

Author: commie_fever from Canada
26 December 2006

The purpose of this comment is to provide a note of caution to people considering whether or not to watch this movie based on the high praise that it received from other reviews and ratings.

I consider myself to be an average movie watcher. I rarely write comments because I don't have anything of value to add. However, I believe the high praise for this movie is so misleading that it drove me to take the time to write these words of warning.

My basic criteria for enjoying a movie is whether I feel like I'm sitting there watching a movie. If I feel like I'm sitting there watching a movie, then that movie has failed my test. During Magnolia, it was struggle to watch, stay positive, and stick it out to the end. It wasn't worth it for me. I repeatedly tried to give it the opportunity to pull me in to the story lines, but I could not relate to it. I didn't understand.

After the movie, the person that I watched it with made the comment "well, that was weird." Yes, that about summed it up.

My basic criteria for good acting is whether I see the character in the story or whether I see an actor trying to play the character in the story. The acting in this movie was good. The characters were human. The dialogue was in English. The camera was usually in focus. But I still didn't get it.

I don't understand how the story lines came together. I didn't understand the point of the individual story lines. Perhaps I am stupid or perhaps the Emperor was naked.

I watched Magnolia based on positive reviews and I don't want others to be misled. So if you are not into 'weird' movies, give this one a pass because there are better things to do with your time.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Awful waste of time......very disappointing!

Author: beth12 from South Florida, USA
18 March 2001

Sorry that I wasted my time on this movie. My friend and I could NOT make much sense out of this movie, even though it had well-known actors in it, like Jason Robards (as the dying father) and Tom Cruise (as the horrible TV salesman).

I couldn't believe that the word F--K was thrown around so much or so much vulgarity to make one movie. There was so much movement in the movie from one family to another, it was hard to keep the storyline straight.

At the end with the "raining of frogs" was the ultimate limit. I giggled all the way through this part, but after that, we finally turned the movie off after spending 3 hours on a wasted, vulgar movie!

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films of the year!

Author: andy-227 from Sterling Heights, Michigan
18 September 2000

"Magolia" for starts is not a film that's easy to like. Many people at Blockbuster have told me how "horrible" it was, and my sister hates it. I didn't really like it the first time around, mainly because of the way the characters reacted to the bizarre incident that concluded the film(I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet). However, I gave it a second chance, and I think that it's a really great movie that uses it's three hours wisely and pays off brillaintly and intelligently in the end.

The film follows the lives of nine characters in a series of stories that are seamlessly interwoven together in a way that flows through perfectly and is never boring to the viewer. They seem somewhat related to each other in the actions that they are undertaking and the events happening in their lives seem coicidental and ironic with each other.

However, their lives all center around one thing...they are suffering. They hate their lives, they feel their cause in life is pointless, and they seem to have lost all hope. They also feel that the world revolves around their pathetic little lives, and that they are the only ones that feel pain. Some viewers may not want to sit through the first 2 1/2 hours just to see these poor souls wallow in their own pain. Yet it's important that we see it, because people can waste their whole lives away because of how they feel and that they think they're the only person who's ever had any pain in their lives. Jason Robards' 10 minute monologue ties all their pain together, and all their feelings of regrets and losses. Boy does life suck!

Then comes the ending which I wont spoil for those who haven't seen it yet. I'll only say that I believe it's a sign from God, a message to these people that they aren't the only ones on Earth and that there is a supreme being watching over all their little lives and that as far down the spiral of pain and how much hope they have lost, life still has it's rewards and happiness can still be found in the worst of lives. By showing that there is a God and that he created this world for us to live on, it suggests that we should use our lives wisely and that we are just another amazing creation of his in his world that helps maintain the balance of nature. People complain that there was no resolution that tied everyone together, but I think that it didn't have to be that way. The point of the film was a look on life, how bad it can be for people, and yet, how we as human beings can make it good and still find happiness and goodness even in the worst situations and pains of our lives. One of the very best films of the year!

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

My Personal Favourite

Author: Benedict_Cumberbatch from United States
21 March 2007

For years, "Magnolia" has been my favourite film - more precisely, for almost 6 years now (I watched it for the first time on May 13th, 2001 - I was only 13 back then). I have seen it 20 more times since then and never get sick of it - the other way around, if it's possible, I love it even more and always find a new detail I'd missed before - tell me, how many movies can amaze you so much? I can't say this is the best film ever made because, of course, I haven't seen every film ever made, but this is by far my all-time favourite. I think (I hope) I'll see more films I'll love as much as I love this, but I don't think any film will surpass "Magnolia".

Paul Thomas Anderson ("Hard Eight", "Boogie Nights", "Punch-Drunk Love" and the upcoming "There Will Be Blood") created a masterpiece that touches me on so many levels. I wish I could describe in details why this film moves me this way, but I can't. Maybe it's just the extraordinary screenplay (PTA dares to mix biblical references, suicide, incest, loneliness, depression, guilt, murder and still make an oddly lyrical and uplifting film), the magnificent ensemble cast (William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, Melora Walters, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, Jeremy Blackman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Melinda Dillon, Philip Baker Hall and the late Jason Robards), Aimee Mann's unforgettable songs (the real inspiration to PTA's script)... or maybe everyone involved was in their best days and for this reason achieved to make this puzzling, moving and unique film called "Magnolia". PTA himself said he thinks he'll never make anything as great as this again. No problem. It is an ambitious film indeed and that's not a flaw when you do have something original to offer. I wish I could add something to all the great (and not so great) things that were already said about this film. I'm afraid I don't have much to say, except that "Magnolia" is human, sad, confusing, surprising, but definitely beautiful and worth experiencing - like life itself. This is Art at its highest level, making us reflect, suffer, rejoice and have hope. And that's why I love it so much.

10/10, ***** out of *****, A+.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Utter waste of time, talent and celluloid

Author: janus-pangloss from United States
13 October 2005

Three hours of my life that I will never get back.

The first fifteen minutes was all I needed to see, to know that the writing wasn't going to get any better. My husband had read some glowing reviews on it, and thought that it would get better. It didn't.

The writer/director/producer thinks that if you have the characters yell and use profanity it means that THEY ARE ANGRY.

It would be like a symphony composed of only one note, but played VERY LOUDLY.

It was suggested to me by a friend that if the writer had lost the "F" key on his keyboard, that he would be unable to write.

I believe it.

To show anger, you shouldn't always be screaming. You should sometimes whisper malevolently. Or give a knowing smile, showing that revenge will be yours. It is only with variety that a compelling performance is made.

It's hard when you're working with such utter tripe of a script.

There are a lot of big named actors that participated in this monstrosity, and I don't know why they accepted the part they did.

It is the worst movie that I have ever seen. If I can help someone avoid wasting their time watching it, then I will have done a good deed for the day.

Of course, if you'd like to use this movie as an example of how bad a movie can be made, have at it.

Personally, I think it was far worse than "Heaven's Gate" which I actually saw in the theaters on opening night. Not many people can claim that!

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