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Vanilla Sky
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Reviews & Ratings for
Vanilla Sky More at IMDbPro »

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307 out of 393 people found the following review useful:

Why people dislike this movie...

8/10
Author: udkyle from Delaware
4 December 2003

I for one really like this movie for some reasons I'll go into late but I want to touch on why I think people don't like it. First off, there are people out there who just like to hate Tom Cruise. I don't understand it really. Second, Cameron Crowe I think successfully p***es off two groups of movie-goers with this film. The casual, relaxed, "not looking to think too hard" group of movie-goers are left confused when the plot takes a complete 180 at the end of the movie. And the deep, philosophical, mystery-fans are devastated when Crowe has one of his characters completely explain the mystery.

This is a good movie. And Tom Cruise does a very good job in it. I think it's probably his best performance from what I've seen all though I haven't seen all of his movies, or even a majority of them probably. The supporting cast is good as well. Penelope Cruz gives a solid performance and Jason Lee was enjoyable.

I like the story, and I think that's what Vanilla Sky is more than anything. It's a mystery, an adventure, and a romantic comedy, but it's mostly just a good story. And it has a lot of philosophical undertones to it, and many similar ideas and stories like this occur in historical philosophy. David Aames (Cruise) is the man that had everything he wanted, more or less lost it, was given a second chance with a catch to regain it all back, and in the end facing his demons and the full scope of what is happening, chooses reality, simplicity, and normality to see if he can finally find the one thing he could never get a grip on: happiness.

Many people were disappointed that Crowe laid out the complete mystery at the end. I think it's necessary. The audience then knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that David is aware of his circumstances and it makes the choice at the end all the more powerful.

And the music in the movie is great. It's probably what makes the movie as enjoyable as it is. Particularly, "Njosnavelin" by Sigur Ros, which is an amazing song.

All in all, I'd give it 3 out 4 stars. It's a movie with some substance for those who like to think things through, and a great story for those looking to relax. That "moderate" approach is probably why people dislike it so much because it isn't a full blown mystery, or a full blown love story. It mixes and matches different elements and genres.

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220 out of 259 people found the following review useful:

Frightening, sad, touching and so underrated

8/10
Author: yellonet from Sweden
15 January 2006

I had heard some not too good things about this movie and had probably seen the low score here at IMDb and that's why I had avoided it. Today they showed Vanilla Sky on TV and as I had nothing better to do... and as it turned out, I would have had a hard time finding anything better to do. Vanilla Sky is a frightening, sad and touching movie, actually one of the best I've seen in a while. I was surprised by how I was affected watching it. It's hard to explain, but during the movie your feelings towards the characters and your perception of what is going on changes and it's quite an emotional journey. Vanilla Sky really touched me in a way that is very rare for a movie, or any media for that matter.

I really recommend everyone to watch this movie. Regardless of what you have heard about it.

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237 out of 346 people found the following review useful:

Open Your Eyes

10/10
Author: monk_venkman from United States
24 March 2004

Vanilla Sky is a 2001 remake of the great 1997 movie, Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). And in my opinion, a much more human and emotional version. Tom Cruise plays David Aames, a selfish egomaniac who takes other people's emotions for granted, and thinks only of himself. Jason Lee plays Brian Shelby, David's best, and in many ways, only friend. Penelope Cruz plays Sofia Serrano, Brian's girlfriend whom accompanies him to David's birthday party. Cameron Diaz plays Julie Gianni, David's occasional bed buddy. Kurt Russell plays Dr. Curtis McCabe, a psychologist interviewing David. All of their interactions, and the consequences of them, make Vanilla Sky one of the most emotional, and complex thrillers ever made. I won't explain anymore of the plot, because it's far more compelling, the less you know. Ignore all people that call this film too confusing to follow. If you pay attention, you won't be confused. The film is very complex, but not confusing. And in my opinion, one of the best movies ever made.

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185 out of 279 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best of 2001

10/10
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon
19 December 2001

How strange the human mind is; this center of activity wherein perceptions of reality are formed and stored, and in which one's view of the world hinges on the finely tuned functioning of the brain, this most delicate and intricate processor of all things sensory. And how much do we really know of it's inner-workings, of it's depth or capacity? What is it in the mind that allows us to discern between reality and a dream? Or can we? Perhaps our sense of reality is no more than an impression of what we actually see, like looking at a painting by Monet, in which the vanilla sky of his vision becomes our reality. It's a concept visited by filmmaker Cameron Crowe in his highly imaginative and consciousness-altering film, `Vanilla Sky,' starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz. At the age of thirty-three, David Aames (Cruise) inherits a publishing empire left to him by his father. His fifty-one percent controlling interest, however, has made him something of a marked man, as there are seven members of his board of directors, and each deems himself more worthy than the young Mr. Aames of the lion's share of the company. And fueling the fires of discontent is their perception that David lacks the focus the job requires.

Admittedly, David likes to play; still, he's in control of the business and does what he sees fit, whether the board (he refers to them as the `Seven Dwarfs') likes it or not, and no one has ever had the courage to challenge him directly. But during a lavish birthday party in his honor, one of the corporate lawyers, Thomas Tipp (Timothy Spall) warns David that the seven are up to something behind his back. At the time, however, it's the last thing on David's mind; he's been having a casual affair with a friend, Julie Gianni (Cameron Diaz), but even that moves to the back burner when he meets a woman at his party that he can't get out of his mind. Her name is Sofia (Penelope Cruz), and after knowing her for only one night, she becomes a pivotal part of his life-- which is about to be turned upside down, as on the morning after his party he makes a decision that will change his life forever. And he is about to learn that sometimes, there is simply no going back.

Director Cameron Crowe has crafted and delivered much more than just another film with this one; far more than a movie, `Vanilla Sky' is a vision realized. Beginning with the first images that appear on screen, he presents a visually stunning experience that is both viscerally and cerebrally affecting. It's a mind-twisting mystery that will swallow you up and sweep you away; emotionally, it's a rush-- and it may leave you exhausted, because it requires some effort to stay with it. But it's worth it. Think `Memento' with a driving rock n' roll soundtrack and a vibrant assault of colors proffered by the stroke of an impressionist's brush. There's darkness and light, and sounds that pound and drive until you can feel the blood rushing through your veins and throbbing in your brain. And all played out on a landscape of virtual reality swirling beneath that ever expanding vanilla sky. Simply put, this one's a real trip; it's exciting-- and it's a mind bender.

As to the performances here, those who can't get past the mind-set of Tom Cruise as Maverick in `Top Gun,' or his Ethan Hunt in `Mission Impossible,' or those who perceive him only as a `movie star' rather than an actor, are going to have to think again in light of his work here. Because as David Aames, Cruise gives the best performance of his career, one that should check any doubts as to his ability as an actor at the door. He's made some interesting career choices the past few years, with films like `Magnolia' and `Eyes Wide Shut' merely warm-ups for the very real and complex character he creates here. And give him credit, too, for taking on a role that dispels any sense of vanity; this is Cruise as you've never seen him before. `Jerry Maguire' earned him an Oscar nomination, and this one should, also-- as well as the admiration and acclaim of his peers. Cruise is not just good in this movie, he is remarkable.

Penelope Cruz turns in an outstanding, if not exceptional performance, as well, as Sofia, the woman of David's dreams. There's an alluring innocence she brings to this role that works well for her character and makes her forthcoming and accessible, yet she lacks any hint of mystery that may have added that special `something extra' to the part. But Crowe knows how to get the best out of his actors, and he certainly did with Cruz.

He also knew what he was doing with Cameron Diaz, who is absolutely vibrant in the role of Julie. She's never looked better, and fairly sizzles on screen. But make no mistake, this is no `window-dressing' part, and Diaz delivers a complete package with this character. The quality of her performance can be measured, in fact, in the impact she makes with rather limited screen time. And it's the persona she integrates so fully with her innate beauty that makes Julie so unforgettable. Overall, a terrific job by Diaz.

The supporting cast includes Kurt Russell (Dr. McCabe), Jason Lee (Brian), Johnny Galecki (Peter), Armand Schultz (Dr. Pomerantz), Noah Taylor (Ed), Mel Thompson (`L.E.' Man), Jean Carol (Woman in New York) and John Fedevich (Silent Ed). About half-way through, this one may have you questioning your own sense of reality; but rest assured, by the end of `Vanilla Sky' all will be revealed. It's a reality-bender, to be sure, and a wild one; but this is exciting entertainment that offers a satisfying-- and unique-- experience, one you have to see to believe. It's the essential, and absolute, magic of the movies. 10/10.

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109 out of 141 people found the following review useful:

Engaging psychological tale

Author: Danny_G13 from Glasgow, Scotland
21 December 2003

Recently the BBC in UK held a poll for worst film ever, and while Titanic *won*, this came 4th. I just don't understand how anyone can dislike this movie...

Vanilla Sky is a dark psychological drama about dreams, reality and 'what might have been'.

Tom Cruise is Dave, a yuppie who has it all. He has a 51% stake in his father's company, therefore the majority shareholder, and constantly finds himself in a battle to main his control over the '7 dwarves' who make up the rest of the board. His personal life is a mess, with a shallow relationship with Julie (Cameron Diaz) the closest he gets to love, while his best friend Brian (Jason Lee) who adores Julie sticks by him regardless.

However, on holding a birthday party he's introduced to Sofia (The perfect Penelope Cruz) and falls instantly for her.

This is all very well but the plot is parallel to a side story of Dave wearing a white mask in a cell with Dr McCabe (Kurt Russell) who's accusing him of murder and wants to understand why it happened.

Dave begins on a journey to make sense of his life.

I admit there is a 'Hollywoody' feel to this film, and given it's a remake of a Mexican/Spanish original also featuring Penelope Cruz it's probably disappointing to purists. But only viewing this on its own terms I absolutely love this movie. It keeps you guessing, and the ending is very conclusive.

It may not be to everyone's taste, but I loved it.

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114 out of 168 people found the following review useful:

Made me think

10/10
Author: fallinginsane from Colorado, USA
13 September 2004

"Vanilla Sky" was a wonderfully thought out movie. Or rather, "Abre Los Ojos" was well thought out. I watched that movie late one night, excited about what was to come. I wasn't disappointed. By the end of the movie, I was awstruck. I couldn't get it off my mind. The whole idea of it just blew me away. The ending, was more of a surprise than Shyamalan could ever do. The plot line was also something that kept me interesting through and through. The cast, superb. It was an all around wonderful movie. The kind of movie you can watch again and again and always find something new. I've seen it four or five times and I'm always finding something new. It's a movie to keep you interested forever.

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107 out of 158 people found the following review useful:

Vanilla Sky is dream come true.

10/10
Author: mindcraft-1 from California, USA
19 August 2006

I could not agree more with the quote "this is one of the best films ever made." If you think Vanilla Sky is simply a "re-make," you could not be more wrong. There is tremendous depth in this film: visually, musically, and emotionally.

Visually, because the film is soft and delicate at times (early scenes with Sofia) and at other times powerful and intense (Times Square, post-climactic scenes).

The music and sounds tie into this movie so perfectly. Without the music, the story is only half told. Nancy Wilson created an emotional, yet eclectic, score for the film which could not be more suitable for such a dream-like theme (although never released, I was able to get my hands on the original score for about $60. If you look hard, you may be able to find a copy yourself). Crowe's other musical selections, such as The Beach Boys, Josh Rouse, Spiritualized, Sigur Ros, the Monkees, etcetera etcetera, are also perfect fits for the film (Crowe has an ear for great music).

More importantly, the emotional themes in this film (i.e. love, sadness, regret) are very powerful, and are amplified tenfold by the visual and musical experience, as well as the ingenious dialogue; I admit, the elevator scene brings tears to my eyes time and time again.

The best part of this film however (as if it could get any better) is that it is so intelligently crafted such that each time you see the film, you will catch something new--so watch closely, and be prepared to think! Sure, a theme becomes obvious after the first or second watch, but there is always more to the story than you think.

This is easily Cameron Crowe's best work, and altogether a work of brilliance. Much of my film-making and musical inspiration comes from this work alone. It has honestly touched my life, as true art has a tendency of doing. It continually surprises me that there are many people that cannot appreciate this film for what it is (I guess to understand true art is an art itself).

Bottom line: Vanilla Sky is in a league of its own.

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98 out of 161 people found the following review useful:

This is an ace film

10/10
Author: InOne22 from United Kingdom
9 February 2006

This film is one of Tom Cruise's finest films. He captures the audiences imaginations with his role of David Aames. His character can relate to us all in some way.The story line is very clever and keeps the audience on edge throughout the whole film. I never really watched Cruise movies that much before but after seeing this it shows me his true talent. My favourite part in the movie is the end where it all comes to a big conclusion and he find out the truth. If you have not seen this yet you definitely should give it a try. It's one of those films that once you've started watching it you just got to see it until the end or it will keep you thinking and you will regret it. My opinion is you should just go buy it and take a risk thats what I did and it became one of my favourite films of all time. It's A* 10/10 I promise once you watch it, it will stick with you and you will like it forever.

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76 out of 121 people found the following review useful:

Vanilla sky all time movie

10/10
Author: Bogdan Huleva from Romania
26 November 2007

I'm from Romania i'll try to speak in English. All i want to say about this movie is that it is and will be my all time number one. Seen it above 30 times at least and will see it for many years now. It has all the little things i like in a movie , it's very touching makes me cry . Shows a whole lot of twisted love things and questions about love and reality , and the true things that matter for different people. It so happens that for me this matters the most , the love , the soul of a man , he's inner being, and this i see in this movie. Perhaps for me it's much more than a motion picture , it's a proof in my mind that it could really exist and that you most make the best out of every moment you live with your soul mate. It's a long way from reality to sci-fi , but .. what if. What if all the capitalism disappeared and economy would go down , would fall? We would all be concerned about other issues and my thought is that , on your death bed , the bigger thing you remember , is not the wealth , not the adventure , not the countries you visited and the people that remember you. But the true friends and your true love and the hope that after you die , all will be god damn perfect and people would be good and care more. WATCH THIS MOVIE and probably it will guide you through your life like it did to me :) Hail from Romania

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45 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Sweet and Sour

9/10
Author: belowzero8 from United States
7 December 2007

"The sweet is never as sweet without the sour." This quote was essentially the theme for the movie in my opinion. Tom Cruise plays a young man who was handed everything in his life. He takes things for granted and it comes around full swing in this great movie with a superb twist. This film will keep you engaged in the plot and unable to pause it to take a bathroom break.

Its a movie that really makes you step back and look at your life and how you live it. You cannot really appreciate the better things in life (the sweet), like love, until you have experienced the bad (the sour). The theme will really get you to "open your eyes".

Only complaint is that the movie gets very twisted at points and is hard to really understand. I think the end is perfect though. I recommend you watch it and see for yourself.

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