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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The film that started my philosophical interest.

Author: DeeKyuBee from Ontario, Canada
10 April 2015

If there was ever a film that I could say got me into analyzing and figuring out the deeper meanings behind a film, it would be Cloud Atlas. Welcome ladies and gentlemen and today I'm going to be writing my very first review which would be for Cloud Atlas if you haven't guessed already. I remember a year ago looking into this film on a top 10 list and it really intrigued me. Something about the style and look of the film caught my eye. I did some research about it and found out just how complex it was. The film is about 6 interconnected story's about different people in different locations and different time periods.

The film even before watching the actual movie just hooked me. Its story was so complex, interesting, and thought provoking I wanted to figure how the story's are all connected. If I were to describe how the film is connected I would have to say the characters souls are connected. Your probably wondering what I mean by that, Cloud Atlas's main cast each play in the same stories. The difference between the actors characters is... pretty much everything except for the characters souls. For example, Tom Hanks in the first story (in chronological order of the time periods) plays a greedy doctor and is the villain in that story. In the sixth story however, Hanks plays the main protagonist and is the hero of that story. That example I just showed you tells you that the soul of Tom Hank's character is reincarnated. If there's anything to describe the interconnections its that the soul gets reincarnated into another body. Not all the characters change from bad to good however, some stay good throughout the whole movie some stay bad throughout the whole movie. The film has such amazing visuals and a great set of characters. The movie talks about slavery, good and evil, and how our choices and actions affect the future. It grips you right in the first 10 minutes or so when they show you one scene from each story in chronological order.

If you want to know my obsession with Cloud Atlas I basically watched the trailer nearly 20 times, it was so engrossing. It took me a while to seek the film out and while I was doing that I looked at charts and graphs to see how all the characters were interconnected. The main reason this film spoke to me so much was the fact that it got me into complex, thought provoking films, it is the film that started my love for incredibly deep themes. I owe so much to Cloud Atlas, I bought it on Blu-ray and in total I saw it 3 times and I wish to see it more times. Its also a film that whenever I watch it I always love it and I always take something new out of it. I have no problem giving Cloud Alas my highest rating and I'm looking forward to making more reviews. Thank you for reading my first review. Thank you and Goodbye.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding Film!!!

Author: john_hugo from United States
23 May 2014

Someday Cloud Atlas will get the respect it deserves.

A completely original film. Doona Bae steals the show, in her first English speaking role: An incredible performance. One of the greatest casts ever assembled. Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Xun Zhou and many more all playing a wide variety of characters, races and genders. There is nothing not to like about this film. At over 3 hours long, I was sorry to see it end. It never lost momentum.

The movie flips from 6 different times over and over. sometimes in rapid succession. In most other film, this would be annoying, but in Cloud Atlas, it really works.

The special effects are very convincing, and the dialogue, was obviously written by intelligent people. Both creative and thought provoking.

I am so sad, it never got the recognition it deserved. I think. this is one of those films, which will stand the test of time.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Easily the most amazing piece of film-making in recent times

Author: arunsrid from Bangalore, India
5 January 2014

Was searching for "psychological science fiction" movies in google, when I stumbled upon this gem by the Wachowskis. The first 10 minutes got my attention and I immediately realized (at the 11th minute) that this is one of those movies which I will see again and again. It is difficult for me to say that I understood the film completely, but you do not always have to understand a movie to admire it (this is not a math test), sometimes the emotions that you go through and how the film makes you feel can make you a crazy and ardent fan. I respect and adore films which present a new thought process especially about the 'dharma', 'karma' and 're-incarnation' that spans centuries. This is one such film.

As you might have seen the character names listed in IMDb, the same actors are re-casted as different characters in 6 different periods of time (whether or not the same person re-incarnates again repeatedly is entirely upto the viewers perspective). It is impossible to identify some of the actors in their characters, till the credits roll in the end. As for the performances in the film, everyone has given their heart and soul - that much I can say Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving and the lot. The complexity, length, multitude of story lines and dynamic editing are stupendous and is one of the best movie watching experiences in the last couple of decades. (Try to watch with headphones if possible to enjoy the nuances in background score).

I do not wish to reveal much but this movie has got everything (science fiction, drama, history, spirituality, romance (straight and gay), revolution, soul, god, battle, humour, satire. I've already seen the film 3 times and each time it was a totally different experience and each time I discovered something new about the film (and about myself). I will definitely see it more number of times.

You will not regret seeing this film, even if you don't understand it.


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful movie.

Author: VivyLang from Latvia
29 December 2013

This is an absolutely beautiful movie. If at the beginning it can be a bit confusing, mainly because there are several stories with different time-lines and with different characters yet the same actors, soon it becomes easy to follow and feel each story and main characters.

One of my favourite features of this story about how one soul lives so different lives, is that as stories change the same actor would be a character of a different gender, different race and absolutely different personality yet these stories and characters would be so united.

Another excellent feature (among many others) of this movie in music. Brilliant work!!!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Modern Classic!!!

Author: ryukdeath23 from Bogotá
3 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When you hear Cloud Atlas you ask: What is it? Is it a fantasy film? Is it a romance film? Is it a comedy film? Is it a Sci Fi Film? Is it an epic film that combines six stories into one? All of those answers are true.

Cloud Atlas is a mesmerizing three hour cinematic masterpiece written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix) and German director Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run) and based on the novel by David Mitchell. The original novel is one of the most challenging books I've read in my life and if you want to enjoy the film entirely I suggest you read the novel first. But anyway, Cloud Atlas is a film that you can see either you've read the novel or not.

The film presents us six stories: An American notary who travels in a ship in the pacific islands in 1849, A British bisexual composer who starts working with his idol in 1936, An American journalist who is seeks answers against a nuclear reactor conspiracy in 1973, A British publisher who lives the ordeal of his life in 2012, A female clone who tells her story to an archivist in a futuristic Korea in 2144 and A Valleysman who tells or "yarns" his story during the final days of planet earth.

Now when you see this kind of plot or plots, you will be thinking: This does not make any sense. And that happens in the first hour of the film, you are completely lost but something keeps you watching the film. In the second hour everything will start making sense and in the final hour you will see how this masterful stories are masterfully ended.

I was never bored with Cloud Atlas. Despite its length, I always felt engaged with the film and here is the proof of why I was never bored with this picture:

1. The editing is perfect, you can almost sense that the events in the movie are happening simultaneously.

2. The make up is so well done that I couldn't recognize several of the actors, or I recognized some of them but they looked entirely different. One clear example is Hugh Grant's character the Kona chief or Jim Sturgess character of Hae Joo Chang. 3. The acting is impressive. The idea of several actors playing several characters is challenging, but the directors cast the right ones to do the job. The actors really impressed me, some of them play both men and women, Americans or Europeans or Koreans, young and old etc. Tom Hanks and Jim Broadbent are some of the greatest actors in the world, and although they are stars we can't just ignore the rest of the cast composed by: Halle Berry, Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, Doona Bae and so on... In my opinion, Doona Bae is a breakthrough character, her performance as Sonmi-451, (who I think is a futuristic representation of Jesus Christ), is flawless. 4. The Production Design and Effects are impressive, they are so great that you can see that Hollywood isn't the only one who can make big CGI in the industry. (Remember this is a German film). 5. The cinematography is incredible that easily adapts itself to each story. 6. And finally the music. The soundtrack composed by Tom Tykwer, Reinhold Himel and Johnny Klimek is in the lack of a better word: Perfect! When you thought each of the story would need its own music, what these three minds create is chamaleonic music that blends n perfectly with all of the stories. The Cloud Atlas Soundtrack is an album that you should have in your home.

Cloud Atlas is an impressive film. I am always angry because critics and moviegoers didn't appreciate this extraordinary film. I highly recommend Cloud Atlas, and like the great Roger Ebert, I call this one of the best films of 2012. Only 2012? I think this is one of the greatest films of the 2010's that someday will be deemed like Watchmen, Fight Club or Dark City as one of the greatest films ever made.

Cloud Atlas shows us that a good story in film is far from dead.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great movie that made one big mistake.

Author: gbest-gb from usa
2 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie will be a cult classic and would have done much better with the critics but one of the most entertaining events in the movie (in a dark humor sort of way) was when a critic gets thrown off a high rise to his death. I,m going to read the book because the movie intrigued me. I don't pretend to understand movie world politics but it is clear to me that this movie got the shaft. With proper promotion it could have done much better at the box office. It has action, humor, romance, gore, and heart. The acting is great and the pacing is spot on (I was into it the whole movie). Cloud Atlas is a intricate piece of movie art that stands heads and shoulders above the formula fluff most movies are.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An astonishingly successful adaptation

Author: mistabobdobolina from Canada
1 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. I'm a big fan of the novel this was based on, but I also would have rated it -- as a whole work -- one of the most unfilmable books I've ever read.

And yet they pulled it off, with surprisingly little condensation of the set of stories that form the whole. To those not familiar with the novel, Cloud Atlas tells a set of stories stretching from a 19th century Polynesian voyage to a distant post-apocalyptic future Hawaii, with stops along the way in the Thirties, the Seventies, the present day and a dystopian future "Corpocratic" Korea with overtones of Brave New World and Soylent Green. Each of the stories is based on a period document and is linked to the others by the appearance (somehow) of the previous document in the sequence in the current one, and also by the apparent reincarnations of at least one character.

The novel is structured in onion layers, moving forward in time and then backward. The movie, wisely, takes a more complicated approach, introducing each of the tales in a brief vignette and then moving forward and backward through them by thematic connections. It's quite brilliantly done and surprisingly easy to follow -- although viewers who were less familiar with the source material might perhaps have found it confusing in spots.

Moreover, it's nice to see that the emotional heft of the stories (the poignant tragedy of Robert Frobisher, the spunky amateur sleuthing of Luisa Rey, the broad comedy of Timothy Cavendish, the haunted future world of Zachry and Ol' Georgie with its overtones of the classic Riddley Walker) has been retained. I was worried that the overall effect might be to diffuse that kind of impact, but partly owed to fine visuals and partly to strong performances, that didn't happen.

And the performances are very strong: Tom Hanks shows off a quite diverse range -- making it easy to forget that his Henry Goose and Zachry, for example, are products of the same actor. Halle Berry's roles are less demanding, but she shows stronger acting chops than she's usually given credit for. Other members of the cast, woven through each story by the reincarnation theme, deliver solid to brilliant work as well, including Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving in some expected roles and some... rather unexpected ones.

A special word needs to be said about the makeup, which was extensive as befits an attempt to transport an entire cast through multiple human lifetimes. It was so flawlessly done for the most part -- I didn't detect Halle Berry under the makeup for Jocasta Ayrs until I saw the credits -- that when it was distracting I have to assume the effect was intended. Sometimes the intention is clearly comic: we're meant, I think, to see Nurse Noakes precisely as Hugo Weaving in heavy drag as befits the comic tone of the Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish. Likewise, where the makeup is weird and off-putting -- as in story of Sonmi with all the fake epicanthic folds and lumpy foreheads in view -- I have to assume the effect was intentional, although I'm less sure what the intention was. In any case, it's a prominent part of the film and something viewers should be prepared for.

The only other minor flaw was that in the final piece in Zachry's post-apocalyptic future, the degraded pidgin-like English the characters speak sounds awfully stilted coming out of the actors' mouths. It's not a bad distraction, though, just a slight blemish on what's otherwise an excellent film.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Classic Movie Experieince

Author: eyehaveewe from United States
23 August 2013

I have not read the book, but the film is utterly amazing. This is one of the few truly epic movie experiences.

Cloud Atlas is bloody and visceral to the point of excess. There are a few graphic sexual scenes. I count this as a point against the film, because it was not needed and seems like pandering to the masses.

Still, the theme and philosophy are incredible and motivating. I cried for about five minutes straight at one point. I've never seen a movie capture my emotions like Cloud Atlas did.

The Kabuki style of gender and race roles can be weird at times, but I think the directors executed it well and plays into Cloud Atlas' theme.

The separate plots don't come together all that well in showing what effect each timeline had on another, which is odd considering what a great job the script writers did at illustrating that this 'Cloud Atlas effect' is a real force in our lives.

All-in-all, this movie was a tremendous philosophical success. This is the type of thing that changes lives and it needed to be made. There are few movies which operate on this scale. Its mildly disturbing, but it teaches just as much as it disturbs. I feel like I should read the book, as perhaps the movie was good only because the book was excellent.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Magical Film & brilliantly edited

Author: terry from Phoenix, Arizona United States
14 August 2013

'Cloud Atlas' - watched the DVD this weekend and was just stunned by the incredibly beautiful theme, the outstanding acting and sets, and the profound passion and scope of the story. A Truly unique and challenging and amazing film. Just gave it the first 10 I ever ranked a film on IMDb. 'The Matrix' is being used to teach philosophy in some colleges now - is this just a trick to catch young students attention? Or is using the media to posit philosophical points to large audiences a new idea? No, this is not the first time that has been done - but Cloud Atlas certainly puts the philosophy out front, and extremely well done visually and thematically. After watching 'Cloud Atlas' for the second time this week, the overwhelming core philosophy is karma and the Golden Rule, and very close to ‪Buddhist‬ ‪philosophy‬. "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future." "Fear, belief, love; phenomena that determine the course of our lives. These forces begin long before we are born and continue after we perish." And Tom Hanks, once again, shows the incredible range of his skills. A Magical Film.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Refreshingly Inventive Film that Spans Generations

Author: brando647 from Spring Hill, FL
9 August 2013

Aw man, I wish I hadn't missed this film during its theatrical run. We're at a point when movie studios spend the majority of their efforts on bombastic summer blockbusters that appeal to the masses (of which, I admit, I'm a member…), and it's not often we get a movie where the filmmakers really get a chance to go all out in bringing their vision to life. In my opinion, CLOUD ATLAS never really stood a chance in mainstream theaters and it's a shame to see that it grossed so low in the United States. From what I can determine, your average Joe theatergoer isn't going to invest a lot of energy into following nonlinear storytelling, especially when there are six separate stories spanning five hundred years blended together into a mosaic about reincarnation of the soul and the cyclical nature of life with themes of opposing oppression and achieving one's fate. At least, that's what I took away from this movie. I believe CLOUD ATLAS is one of those films that are open to interpretation from each member of its audience. Over the course of the film, we watch as souls move from one generation to the next and observe how the actions of one generation can drastically affect generations of the future:

In 1849, an American lawyer falls ill as he crosses the Pacific Ocean and befriends a stowaway slave while under the questionable care of a doctor. In 1936, an aspiring composer accepts a position as an aid to world famous musician and quietly composes his own greatest masterpiece. In 1973, a small-time journalist discovers evidence that an oil magnate might be organizing sabotage of the nuclear energy industry and endangering innocent lives. In 2012, a publisher on the run from hoodlums believes his brother has found him sanctuary in a quaint hotel in the countryside but discovers its true sinister nature. In 2144, a fabricant (clone) used for menial work in the fast food industry of Neo-Seoul escapes from her life of servitude and is shown the horrifying truth regarding the life of fabricants. And in 2321, a man of a primitive culture in the aftermath of catastrophic global events journeys to the top of a mountain where he risks facing the Devil itself to aid a friend.

The first aspect of CLOUD ATLAS one is bound to notice would be that every major actor in the film plays multiple roles. The filmmakers took this angle a step further and each actor portrays characters of various races and genders. This is where things can become a bit distracting at first. The makeup effects in the film are impressive and generally seamless, but Hugo Weaving in drag is still Hugo Weaving in drag. Hard as you might try, it's hard to ignore. Thankfully, this particular instance occurs in the only real comedic story in the bunch ("The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish") so it doesn't hamper the story. Other cases don't necessarily fare as well. The 2144 tale is set in a futuristic Seoul, Korea so the characters are naturally Korean…except a good portion of the cast is not. I'll be honest…it mostly works. It doesn't sit well for a little while but you become accustomed to it and future revisits to the movie become easier to settle in with. Some might also believe the language of the primitive islanders in the 2321 tale to be a problem. It sounds a little childish at first and it's weird hearing it spoken so earnestly by people like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, but just like Jim Sturgess disguised as a Korean, you get used to it.

Don't misunderstand me, though: these are not to be construed as problems with the film. If anything, they add flavor and I love it. And once you get past some of the oddities, this is just a really, really good movie. I love how each of the stories has their own feel and each of them ties into one another in some fashion, whether directly or indirectly. Everything here is connected, and they all share the common themes found scattered throughout the movie of rising up against the powerful and oppressive. The movie is made even more effective with some amazing casting. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, and many, many more populate the film. CLOUD ATLAS is a unique experience and you have to give each cast and crew member involved for coming together to create something so different from 99% of the rest of the movies released each year. My concern is that CLOUD ATLAS did so poorly in theaters that it might discourage directors from taking chances and providing us with content more creative than your average summer explosion-fest or screwball comedies. So, in an effort to bring about more films as inventive as CLOUD ATLAS, I encourage everyone to give it a chance. It's one of those films that are perfect for a post- viewing discussion.

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