Customer Reviews


143 Reviews
5 star:
 (85)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (28)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG
I read a lot - at least by most people's standards. And I watch quite a few films. And the vast majority of what I read/watch leaves me feeling just so-so. Take it or leave it. Though now and then I'll think something is good. Maybe very good. Five-stars-out-of-five good.

And then - very, very occasionally - you come across something which is...
Published on 19 Nov 2008 by EmmaH

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars So so, and ending clearly not credible
I am surprised to see how many reviews have been made on this one. I found it tiring, in the sense that it requires maximum attention. Besides, the music, which per is must be very good, adds to tension, and tiredness, as in some places is out of sync with what happens. Tom Cruise (whom I do not particularly like in general) does gives an imprint to his character. After...
Published on 16 Jun 2012 by F. Panin


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG, 19 Nov 2008
By 
EmmaH (Dorset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read a lot - at least by most people's standards. And I watch quite a few films. And the vast majority of what I read/watch leaves me feeling just so-so. Take it or leave it. Though now and then I'll think something is good. Maybe very good. Five-stars-out-of-five good.

And then - very, very occasionally - you come across something which is another-order-of-magnitude good. Something which just takes your breath away and doesn't give it back until you turn the last page or watch the closing credits roll up in front of you. And you realise that what it's all been for. That's why you've ploughed through all those novels or sat through all those movies. To get to here.

Last year I got there with Victor Pelevin's The Clay Machine Gun. Last night I found myself there again when I watched a film I knew nothing about but had popped on my Lovefilm list after seeing an interesting review. Magnolia. Where was I in 1999 when this was released? What was I doing? How could it possibly have come to a point where, nine years later, I'd never even heard of this film?

I won't even try to describe it to you - beyond saying that it follows the interlocking lives of a series of characters in Los Angeles - but it was absolutely captivating. Several minutes into the opening montage I had that feeling of absolute 'rightness'. That sense that there was absolutely nothing in the world I'd rather be doing at this moment than sitting here, laptop propped up on my knees, watching what was unfolding in front of me. And three hours later (yes, it's long, but then, hell, so is War and Peace) I was still captivated. And open-mouthed. Literally. Towards the end my jaw actually dropped, I was so astounded and moved and transfixed by what was happening on the screen.

This is a work of consummate genius, at once puzzling and heart-rending and wise and funny and tragic and uplifting. The acting is astonishing. I've never been a particular fan of Tom Cruise but in Magnolia he proves he's more than than just a pretty face with one of the most powerful performances I have ever seen. The musical score is hypnotic, and the frog scene is probably the most dramatic use of special effects in cinema history.

If only everything in life were this good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What word's to use?, 28 Oct 2003
By 
Darren Carroll "darren_carroll" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Magnolia is not perfect but for it's sheer scope, ambition and creativeness it remains the best movie I have seen. Upon each viewing I find myself emotionally drained whilst identifying with each of the characters in different ways. This is a human story about imperfect human beings, its about the tragic irony of our need for communication and our utter lack of ability to do it.
At three hours long it may be a little long for some viewers, but many of the scene's are classics in their own right.
Perhaps my favourite scene and perhaps the most dramatic is the interview scene between Frank Mackay (Tom Cruise in awesome form) and a female reporter set on uncovering the REAL Frank. This is raw emotional stuff and the power of the scene gets me every time.
It's hard for a review to do justice to Magnolia, but it's a film that everybody should see and if this tiny review helps one more person watch this film and discover something about themeselves then that's great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, overwhelmingly brilliant, 28 Sep 2006
By 
Pingu (The North Pole (probably)) - See all my reviews
This film is a work of genius, the complexity and elegance of it makes it flow perfectly. At times funny, at times extremely touching, it is like nothing you will have ever have seen. The most accurate comparison I can think of is a Haruki Murakami novel (which I also strongly advice you to read) in the surreal texture and occasional fantastical elements. To put it simply, you watch this film, it ends, it's brilliant, you've really enjoyed watching it, but you must ask the question "what the hell just happened?" to gain any real understanding of the themes and nuances, you really have to watch it at least 3 times. All in all, an amazing experience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Masterpiece, 26 Dec 2004
By 
juggertrout (London, England) - See all my reviews
Paul Thomas Anderson's third feature film is without a doubt one of the greatest films of the 90s. It was here that PTA perfected his brilliant directing style and screen writing ability.
An ensemble piece showing how the lives of 10 characters changes over the course of one rainy evening doesn't sound original, but the script is so wonderful and the acting talent - especially Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore and William H Macy manages to truly bring the script to life. The final hour brings us through so many ups and downs as the characters stories intertwine into one of the most brilliantly executed climaxes in film history. This is what truly sets the film apart from many other ensemble films, such as Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts', or Todd Solondz's 'Happiness'.
PTA also manages to use music to marvellous effect. Not only is Jon Brion's haunting score a prefect companion to the non-stop drama, but Aimee Mann songs also appear throughout the film. At one point, all the characters are linked in their respective scenes, singing along to Aimee Mann's 'Wise Up'. It sounds stupid, but it is so perfectly executed that it simply adds an extra element to this amazing film.
Thanks to this film, and all his other wonderful films, PTA manages to lead the group of all the upcoming new generation of film-makers (Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Spike Jonze etc). Let's hope he can continue making films to this standard (his 2002 follow up 'Punch-Drunk Love' was a slight let down for me) although it is very unlikely he (or anyone else) will ever reach the heights of the masterpiece that is, Magnolia.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Microcosm of what life really is: Amazing., 1 Feb 2001
It saddens me, and at the same time makes me chuckle slightly, reading the reviews of those that deem this film 'too long', 'boring' and so on. It's not confusing when you realise that the film is about different aspects of life, and the wonderfully uncategorisable people that reside in it.
It's a long movie, but its epic scale demand this length. 'The Characters aren't interesting' said one review...well let me say this: if you need a character to be simple, unsophisticated, happy-go-lucky and straight out of the Hollywood back-catalogue, then this might be the case; For those of us that love really intelligent and engaging films, Magnolia hits all the right notes.
The singing scene will split audiences down the middle, but it certainly stays in your memory long after the final credits. Infact, the whole film, from each wonderfully rendered character study to the brilliant details such as the biblical allusions of the plague of frogs, is mesmerising.
If the film starts rather confusingly, it's purely because the it does SO much in 3 hours. It's not slow moving in terms of emotional intensity or the sheer realism of the astonshing events that make up the lives of those we watch. And the result? - A film that, like American Beauty -far more cinema-friendly for many, I'm sure, (but possibly the inferior movie) explores the amazing details of life, love and death that pervade everyone's existence.
I loved it. And if you've got this far in the review, you will too. Buy it.
Regards,
Peter Wilson (London)Email your views to me!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interlacing lives and interwoven stories, 3 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Starting with the fact that three people died in circumstances that most people would say 'that only happens in films' the film moves foward unfurling stories within stories to engulf each character. Confused, you won't when you see the film! The fact that these individual stories do interlace and that the character do cross each others live, just proves that there are 'odd' events that do really happen! I for one have experienced a time when 'coincidence' could not have been stated, but rather fated.
A truly remarkable film with a script that young-eager scriptwriters will need to read and diseminate to produce high quality good movies that make the audience feel rather than just be entertained. The story of coincidence is finely put onto the screen with real emotion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate, 16 April 2006
By 
David Welsh (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A interweaving series of stories of life, death and love which all take place on the same day and affect each other in unexpected ways. This is a beautiful and intelligent film, with excellent performances from actors such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy and others; as well as an outstanding soundtrack by Aimee Mann. First-rate filmmaking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A damning inditement of city life at the turn of the century, 31 Aug 2000
By A Customer
A Hollywood must for anyone out there who believes that Hollywood is only capable of over-producing glitzy action movies.
Euro-Cinema take note, this tale, its delivery by ensemble cast and its evocative soundtrack has it all and more to steal your off-beat thunder.
Following the coincidentally intertwined lives of a selection of city dwellers each character is used as a vehicle for a social commentary which is thought provoking, disturbing and truly compelling. Those looking back at this film in years to come will be able to identify many of the social ills of the late 20th Century in Western Society.
Happy Days ...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "When the sunshine dont work the good lord brings the rain in!", 3 April 2008
By 
Charles J. A. Novello (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Iv read every review for Magnolia on here folks, and every one of them seem to miss the point(including the 5 star reviews).
I would like to point you all in the right direction....
The number 82 is everwhere in this film....the 3 prologues for example(some 82s are more obvious than others). Hell, theres even a member of the What Do Kids Know? audience with Exodus 8:2 writen on a placard. Which brings me to the reference itself... Exodus 8:2 - "But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs." :o)
Given that the movie revolves around a game show that abuses children, and that most of the people involved with that game show abuse children(in many different ways)...a plague of frogs as punishment from "God" is quite fitting. I should add though(being an athiest) that P.T.Anderson does seem to lean toward the natural and scientific explanation for this event.. "A scientific explanation for the phenomenon has been developed that involves waterspouts. In effect, waterspouts are capable of capturing objects and animals and lifting them into the air. Under this theory, waterspouts or tornados, transport animals to relatively high altitudes, carrying them over large distances. The winds are capable of carrying the animals over a relatively wide area and allow them to fall in a concentrated fashion in a localized area."...and this is reflected in his various weather updates during the movie. Dont they say that its the timing of such an event and not the event itself that makes a miracle!
I hope this helps...and perhaps gives fans of the movie the chance to watch it again with a fresh perspective.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Oddity from Boogie Nights Director, 8 Sep 2006
By 
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Watching Magnolia in one sitting is quite hard going. It's 3 hours long and there are so many characters that the film can become a little confusing until all the various stories intertwine and we see how each character is involved in each other characters life. It's an incredibly bold film and most would agree it is better than Boogie Nights, just a little less accessible. Both films feature many of the same cast members, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and William H Macy all star in Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

All the characters are a little tragic, there is a lonely cop looking for love (Reilly), the former quiz show child prodigy who lost his fortune to scheming parents (Macy), the gold digging wife of a rich dying TV executive who sees the error of her ways (Moore), the devoted male nurse taking care of the dying man (Hoffman), a TV show host with a shameful past and his estranged drug addicted daughter but best of all there is Tom Cruise in one of his best ever performances as the charismatic motivational speaker, Frank TJ Mackie.

The film is based around coincidence and the impact peoples actions can have upon others. All the characters have been affected in some way by their parents and upbringing and this reflects in the person they have become.

Like this? Try: Happiness
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Magnolia [Blu-ray]
Magnolia [Blu-ray] by Paul Thomas Anderson (Blu-ray - 2010)
Used & New from: £7.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews