Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
There will be many who find To the Wonder elusive and too effervescent. They'll be dissatisfied by a film that would rather evoke than supply. I understand that, and I think Terrence Malick does, too. But here he has attempted to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need.
Malick is a true searcher, true to his preoccupations and definitions of soulful rhapsody. To the Wonder repeats its central motifs aplenty, yet you may find yourself thinking about life, and living, and love, while sorting through the movie. Even if it drives you nertz.
Typically, To the Wonder seems mostly locked in the thoughts of its characters, whispered so only we can hear, with no more actual back-and-forth dialogue than would cover the back of your ticket stub.
Through the character of a saddened priest, Malick seems to be saying that the reason for our breakups, for our fragmented lives and relationships, is that we can no longer see God. If we could, we would be whole again. That may be true, but in To the Wonder, it's Terrence Malick who isn't letting his characters be whole.
Malick keeps pushing Affleck to the corner of the frame, as if he's more interested in the women. I found it difficult to maintain interest in anyone. If there's such a thing as a feather that weighs a ton, it's To the Wonder.
Pretty but inert, To the Wonder is a vaporous mystery wrapped in a gauzy enigma - a cinematic riddle that'll appeal principally to those eager for another piece, however tiny, of the puzzle that is Terrence Malick.
"There's nothing here!" screams Romina Mondello - Kurylenko's Euro gal pal, walking the deserted sidewalks of this Anytown, U.S.A. Boy, truer words . . ..
Having been deeply moved - though often exasperated - by Terrence Malick's previous film, "The Tree of Life," I don't have the heart to belabor the failings of his new one, which is depressed and deeply depressing. The only thing that's wonderful in To the Wonder is the imagery.
It feels like a high-end perfume ad.
Never was a film so visually stunning and so intolerable as To the Wonder.
A film that seems drained of life and ideas rather than sustained by them.

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