Down 91 this week

Cloud Atlas (2012)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  26 October 2012 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 269,268 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 807 user | 494 critic | 45 from Metacritic.com

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.


(novel), (written for the screen by), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 69 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mr. Nobody (2009)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman
Looper (2012)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young man blocks out harmful memories of significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life.

Directors: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Melora Walters
The Fountain (2006)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. During this, Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams.

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Moon (2009)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith.

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Source Code (2011)
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Prometheus I (2012)
Adventure | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following clues to the origin of mankind a team journey across the universe and find a structure on a distant planet containing a monolithic statue of a humanoid head and stone cylinders of alien blood but they soon find they are not alone.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton
Equilibrium (2002)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system.

Director: Kurt Wimmer
Stars: Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Emily Watson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Henry Goose / Hotel Manager / Isaac Sachs / Dermot Hoggins / Cavendish Look-a-Like Actor / Zachry
Native Woman / Jocasta Ayrs / Luisa Rey / Indian Party Guest / Ovid / Meronym
Captain Molyneux / Vyvyan Ayrs / Timothy Cavendish / Korean Musician / Prescient 2
Adam Ewing / Poor Hotel Guest / Megan's Dad / Highlander / Hae-Joo Chang / Adam (Zachry's Brother-in-Law)
Tilda / Megan's Mom / Mexican Woman / Sonmi-451 / Sonmi-351 / Sonmi Prostitute
Cabin Boy / Robert Frobisher / Store Clerk / Georgette / Tribesman
Kupaka / Joe Napier / An-kor Apis / Prescient
Talbot / Yoona-939 / Rose
Autua / Lester Rey / Duophysite
Madame Horrox / Older Ursula / Yusouf Suleiman / Abbess
Robert Fyfe ...
Old Salty Dog / Mr. Meeks / Prescient 1
Mr. Boerhaave / Guard / Leary the Healer


Everything is connected: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his lover; a thriller about a conspiracy at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living in post-apocalyptic Seoul, far in the future. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everything Is Connected


Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| | |



Release Date:

26 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cloud Atlas  »

Box Office


$102,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,612,247 (USA) (26 October 2012)


$27,098,580 (USA) (18 January 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vyvyan Ayrs's mansion in the 1936 plot-line shows up again as Aurora House where Timothy Cavendish becomes imprisoned in the 2012 plot-line. Jim Broadbent plays Vyvyan in 1936 and also Timothy Cavendish in 2012. See more »


The 1973 Sixsmith says his niece is enrolled in Caius College Cambridge, but Caius did not admit women as fellows or students until 1979. See more »


[first lines]
Zachry: [shivering beside the fire] Oh, lonesome night. And babbits bawling, the wind biting the bone. Wind like this... full of voices. Ancestry howling at you, yibbering stories, all voices tied up into one. One voice differing. One voice, whispering out there, spying from the dark. The fangy devil, Old Georgie hisself. Mm. Now your ear up close, and I'll yarn you about the first time we met, eye to eye.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When a montage is shown of all the characters the actors are playing, the font of the names changes with each time period. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Let's Go Fly a Coot (2015) See more »


Looking For Freedom
Music by Jack White
Lyrics by Gary Cowtan
Performed by David Hasselhoff
© by Radiomusic - International (50% for Germany/Austria/Switzerland) / Young Music Publishing (Remaining World)
Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Group (Germany)
Mit Freundlicher Genehmigung von Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A soul's odyssey
3 November 2012 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Cloud Atlas is unlike its contemporaries at the multiplex. It tells a big story in an engaging, difficult fashion. It has big names and a big budget. But it also is thematically dense… it wants to tell you something through plot, characters, dialogue and symbols. Cloud Atlas is also thankfully a very enjoyable film, much longer and denser than much of what is available today. "Ambition" defines this film.

In just under 3 hours, six radically different stories are told, and they appeal to a broad audience: a 19th century tale of unlikely brotherhood, the letters of a gay composer to his partner in the 1930's, a San Francisco- set conspiracy in the 70's, A hilarious account of an old publisher's woes. A Blade Runner-esque clone's struggle for freedom, and the survival of a tribe after 'The Fall'. Genre conventions are toppled, as these stories with different tones are juggled in short intervals, leading from comedic highs to shocking drama in minutes.

But as with the characters, these plots are connected thematically, and clever wordplay and visual imagery links the stories, such as the end of a monologue referencing "the gates of Hell" and cutting to a shot of the gates of a building that, for Cavendish at least, is the gates of Hell. Each of the stories has strengths, a few have faults, but together the medley is incredible.

I found that while the earliest two stories began slowly and plainly, they developed very well and provided fantastic drama, especially the 1849 story. The Nuclear thriller was strong, Halle Berry is great and there are some real twists, and I also loved the 'Dirty Harry' and 'China Syndrome' vibes, but comedy bled into it from the 2012 story which diminished the climax. The 2012 story is hilarious, and its first scene is a standout; Tom Hanks is incredible as Dermot Hoggins. Although while the story is interesting, it doesn't fit quite so well thematically- it's almost too light. Listening to the 'Cloud Atlas Sextet' fits with all the stories, but can't resonate with Cavendish's. The future Korea is visually stunning and communicates its themes well, certainly the darkest plot, but the action can get over the top (Yes, I know who directed this) and there are some horrible clichés. But that scene of horrendous dialogue, the weakest in the film, can't derail a great piece. Lastly is the bleak, Hawaii- set post-apocalyptic story. It was my favourite, possibly because I'm a sucker for anything involving apocalypse. But Hanks and Berry are fantastic again, the barbarians are menacing and scary, and the story is cool. It also concludes the film perfectly.

I've only talked about the plot! The actors really steal the show. In the credits, each actor's name is placed with a clip of every one of their characters… everyone in the theatre stopped and stayed. People play characters you had no idea they played. A few highlights: Sturgess' lawyer and the slave Autua, Frobisher, Hugh Grant's sexist nuclear boss, Cavendish and Hanks' Hoggins. Doona Bae as Somni and Hugo Weaving's "Old Georgie" round it out- the latter is truly a demon. Much credit has to go to the makeup, literally making actors disappear into their roles. There is a huge number of transsexual and even race-bridging roles- it's worthy of note that Lana Wachowski was at one point Larry Wachowski. Also deserving of praise, and possibly Oscars is the large scale visual effects that cover hundreds of years and look so believable. Sound quality is top-notch as well, listening to Old Georgie is chilling, as is the vision of Korean diners, and well... the whole future.

But all this plot serves a purpose, and Cloud Atlas intends to tell you things. Freedom is possibly the biggest theme, as well as the idea that our actions affect others greatly throughout time: we're part of a large human network. Really though there's so much to talk about you should just see the film. There are small stumbles every so often, but the structure hides them very well. No one story takes more time than others, no one character takes more time than others, and the structure and pacing drives the film forward briskly. It's a shame this film hasn't been better received commercially, because it's a phenomenal achievement, interesting sci-fi and drama, and as of now, the best film I've seen in 2012. 8.8/10

261 of 378 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What's the point of this movie? dreaming-stranger
So, honestly, I do not understand why people had trouble with this film nefertiti324
Not sure I understand spidey_taylor
7/10, definitely not 10 alan_hanley2003
A truly outstanding film that has changed my whole outlook on life Lifesforliving
'worst movie of 2012'-TIME whitwarren95
Discuss Cloud Atlas (2012) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: