Critic Reviews

85

Metascore

Based on 43 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A shape-shifting film, it resembles a poem. At other moments, it is closer to a symphony. Most often, it approximates a fervent prayer.
100
At times trying and perplexing, but it also contains some of the most psychologically insightful and ecstatic filmmaking imaginable.
100
Still, somehow, The Tree of Life - impressionistic, revelatory, elliptical - works.
100
The film is gorgeous and abstract, leaping around in time and space, structured in movements and more like a symphony than a conventional narrative.
100
The only other film I've seen with this boldness of vision is Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," and it lacked Malick's fierce evocation of human feeling.
90
Daring in concept, occasionally daffy in execution and ultimately unforgettable, Mr. Malick's film offers a heartfelt answer to the question of where we humans belong - with each other, on this planet, bound by love.
90
Brandishing an ambition it's likely no film, including this one, could entirely fulfill, The Tree of Life is nonetheless a singular work, an impressionistic metaphysical inquiry into mankind's place in the grand scheme of things that releases waves of insights amid its narrative imprecisions.
88
Like its predecessors (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line and The New World), Tree delivers truths that don't go down easy. No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.
83
Malick clings to the promise of grace: His vision of the afterlife is a dreamy beach, enhanced by an excellent playlist of fine classical music, and promising the peace that surpasses all understanding. Plus a beautiful sky.
80
Like so much in this astounding, consistently beautiful and challenging movie, the answer depends on what you bring to it. Think of it as the Ultimate Anti-Summer-Blockbuster.
65
The Tree of Life is gorgeous to look at. It's also a gargantuan work of pretension and cleverly concealed self-absorption masquerading as spiritual exploration.
50
While Malick's great ability holds us for a time, it is finally not enough to compensate for a lack of dramatic involvement - those eschatological quandaries tend to overwhelm the story. The Tree of Life, its enormous advantages notwithstanding, ends up a film that demands to be admired but cannot be easily embraced.

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