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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2016
One of the most unusual and touching films I have ever seen. The success of the writing alone for such an intricate work is a feat... The only criticism I have (what made me dither on the rating) is that of art vs entertainment: Artistically it is a masterpiece; entertainment wise, the film has a lot of sadness and pain. The story explores humans' ugliness to each other and to the world (the universe perhaps?) throughout time. In the end however, we are reminded that hope and love transcend the worst characteristics: cruelty, greed and despair. We are all connected. We live on again and again. Love does conquer everything. Even in a heartbreaking ending, there is always another chance for a happy ending the next time – another door always opens. So, there is always sweetness to remedy the bitter.

If you believe we have all lived before (and that you have met people in this life before), if you believe we are all connected, if you believe you are here for a reason and each life is a chance to improve: WATCH THIS FILM. (If the afore sentence sounds like highbrow, sentimental nonsense, you won't get this film.)
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on 5 September 2016
Extraordinary. Wonderful. Imaginative. Brilliant performances from Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Tom Hanks and Ben Whishaw in this unique experience of a film. It may seem a bit confusing at first, but soon its multithreaded storylines start to naturally weave into a profound resonance. It is demanding and takes a while to get used to its multi-era genre folding threads but once it takes hold it does not let go. It treats its audience with great respect while breaking rules and reinventing cinematic expression. Postmodern brilliance does not have to be quirky. It can be a powerful statement. This film was enjoyable and powerful. Discursive and wonderfully all over the place. Highly recommended for those who enjoyed films that require a bit of thought.
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2013
This major new film has an underlying theme that we're all bound together and true love never dies,taking place through 6 stories over a period of time from the 19th to the 24th centuries.Ideas of reincarnation, metempsychosis, repetition avoid the value systems of the monotheistic religions,giving it a sweep and freedom of manouevre.It uses the same group of actors (Hanks,Berry,Wishaw,Grant,Broadbent, Sturgess, Weaving, D'Arcy, Bae, Sarandon) to act the different characters in different times,different genres,different races,which can seem strange at times.You visited every story line in turn and went back to them in reverse order.Every story line is chopped up into a mosaic of storylines,so you zip between these different timelines and characters,which is confusing the 1st time you watch it,but it did work.Larger themes of liberation,tyranny,enslavement,crossing boundaries or conventions,self sacrifice,the communication of forbidden truths, are woven into the shifting tapestry.Each of the 6 episodes is succeeded by a story which contains something of the preceeding story,whether it be a journal,music,letters or motif.Based on the Mitchell source novel,Cloud Atlas, and structured like a Russian doll or onion. The Wachowskis and Tyker use the syntax of crosscutting, montage, flashback and flashforward to interweave the multiple storylines in various genres.Narrative strands are cut up and reordered so they appear to be unfolding simultaneously across gulfs of space and time.This allows the precise structure of the novel to work on the big screen.The editing is immensely sophisticated.

By turns historical drama,dystopian SF,post-apocalyptic fable, nuclear thriller and knock-about-farce,it's like a multi-ethnic meal with many dishes from all round the world.One can admire the ambition,the risks taken,maybe only some parts succeed. It's one of the biggest independent films ever made(costing $100 million).I loved the moments of knockabout farce in the nightmarish modern-day publishing farce of Tim Cavendish(Broadbent),with Hugo Weaving as Nurse Noakes as light relief from him playing Old Georgie the demonic tempter to Old Zachry(Hanks) in the post-apocalyptic 24th century. There is a very New Age-y feel to the themes in the movie. Carlos Casteneda is mentioned in the 70s story,where Luisa Rey (Berry)wonders"why we keep making the same mistakes over and over";or Frobisher's(Wishaw) `Cloud Atlas Sextet',where he says whole movements were written "imagining us meeting again and again in different times."Hanks nerdy scientist tells Berry "that when I opened a door a powerful déjà vu ran through my bones."Most care seemed to be given to the Tyker-directed 1930s narrative, with Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent at the top of their respective games as feckless young Cambridge drop-out Robert Frobisher anddyspeptic husk Vyvyan Ayrs, united by their talent for music, which in Frobisher's case is at a fertile peak leading to the composition of the Cloud Atlas Sextet that gives its name to the film. Also the Neo-Seoul , near-future dystopian political SF succeeds because of the excellent sets of a Blade Runner-like quality and the acting skills of Doona Bae and James Frobisher,which is moving.Tom Hanks has quitted himself well as theeveryman actor of modern cinema andI have never seen Halle Berry so good since Monster Ball.

This film should be watched for sheer entertainment value,some parts are better than others with the odd, idiosycratic false nose,teeth or wig standing out,but still for gutsiness,bravura,leaps taken,it's a remarkable spectacle for sweeping ambition and narrative boldness.Be warned to use subtitles for the 24th century patois episode.
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on 19 January 2017
Definately need to read the book first to be sure of making all the connections. Once you have and you watch the film, you are in for a treat. It is an amazing visualisation of what is probably the best book of our generation. If you aren't moved with emotion by the end, you must be a synthetic!
It would be nice to see some more David Mitchell books made into films by this team.
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on 21 September 2016
You really need to watch this film alone or with someone prepared to let you watch it without interference. It covers the time period from the 18th century to the distant future, and shows us how we are born and reborn over and over again. Tom Hanks is of course brilliant, but so are the supporting cast. There is not one average performance here, they all give their all.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 October 2015
Early on in the viewing, I did wonder whether it was such a good idea to watch this film as the plot seemed to jump around all over the place, which left me feeling more than a little bewildered. But I soon caught up and started to make sense of what was going on, and enjoy this very intelligently crafted film. It certainly needs more of your concentration than the average film - not only do you need to keep wide awake to stay on top of all the plot shifts, you also need to try to relate current scenes to ones you've seen earlier in the film; it's all a bit of a puzzle, but very rewarding if you stick with it.

I'm not much of a Tom Hanks fan, but I thought he did very well indeed in his multiple roles - some of which I only realised were played by him when I saw the credits at the end of the film (the novelist was a real surprise!). Halle Berry was also very good in her many roles, and Doona Bae gave a very moving performance as the fabricant. But I thought the whole cast was very strong, and several also had multiple roles - some are quite obvious, but others will keep you guessing (unless you cheat and look it up beforehand!). Hugo Weaving must have had a lot of fun with his characters (even changing sex for one of them, which was very funny). But, for me, Jim Broadbent deserved the acting honours for his quality portrayals - I loved his composer and publisher characters, and the tale of the publisher is probably the most amusing (look out for the escape from the old peoples' home and the pub fight!).

Like some of the other reviewers have already said, this film probably needs to be watched a couple of times at least to fully appreciate it, although I'm tempted to read the book before returning to the film. Recommended!
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on 7 November 2016
Extraordinary film. I'm not surprised the critics couldn't agree about it, because you really have to open all the doors and windows even to keep up with the ebb and flow of the narrative, but I thought it was an amazing piece of work with a stellar cast. I'd write much much more but I'm only using one finger and it'd royally **** me off
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It's one of those films that need watching a few times, this my first time,
I found it hard going during the first half of the film trying to link the
six stories being told, the time span covering several hundred years past
present and future.
The characters remain the same 'cast-wise' telling tales throughout
their different lives down the ages.
Somehow the different stories cleverly inter-link reaching there own
Watching it a second time would without question bring the stories together
at an earlier stage, you wouldn't be struggling to make the link.
Great cast list, interesting and clever concept............worth giving
it a go.
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on 13 August 2016
I visually enjoyable film; coupled with that aspect was the nature of the story. It was nice to see a film where one had to pay attention so as not to miss out on aspects of it.
Tom Hanks and Halle Berry both gave great performances; but it must be said, so did everyone else.
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on 25 August 2016
Wonderful evocative and entertaining movie with some wonderful acting. A very simple premise of Karma but aparently even that is too complicated for your spoon fed hollywood critic. We nearly lost bladerunner to these people when will they learn. If you have any kind of interest in the subject then you will most likely love the movie. Best movie I have seen for a long time.
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