Critic Reviews



Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Tree of Life spanned eons to capture the entirety of existence, and while the filmmaker works on a tighter four-year canvas this time around, the feeling that the stakes are nothing less than the soul of all humanity has persisted. This is art of salvation.
A sombre spiritual war epic which surges up to claim its place among the director’s most deeply felt, sturdily hewn achievements.
A Hidden Life is a lucid and profoundly defiant portrait of faith in crisis.
A Hidden Life is an invocation, the wrenching and unheeded plea of a man struggling to preserve his humanity intact as the world around him plunges deeper into evil, and worse, watches motionless and indifferent as said evil blossoms, spreads, and becomes normalized.
Whether or not he is specifically referring to the present day, its demagogues, and the way certain evangelicals have once again sold out their core values for political advantage, “A Hidden Life” feels stunningly relevant as it thrusts this problem into the light.
Malick, a Christian philosopher-poet whose meanings can often be vague and elusive, seems to have been stung into an uncharacteristically blunt response, a forceful denunciation of the complicity of church and state.
Terrence Malick often wrestles with the cosmic, the spiritual and the eternal, but with A Hidden Life, the meditative writer-director attacks his usual themes from a rewardingly timely and urgent perspective.
Malick does succeed, to some degree, on his own terms; he attempts to give some (stylised) sense of this man’s inner life: his emotional and spiritual architecture. It is admirably serious but static.
Maybe Malick has committed so hard to his own principles, artistic as well as ideological, that he’s lost his grasp on drama. I’d love to see him step out of the church he’s built around his work and give us the world again, with or without a script.
Unfortunately, instead of embracing the weighty moral, religious and political components of the story, Malick has alternately deflected and minimized them.

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