The reviewers reviewed: Terence Malick's The Tree of Life

  • The List
  • 21 July 2011
The reviewers reviewed: Terence Malick's The Tree of Life

What we said, and they said, about the Brad Pitt-starring Canne-divider

The Tree of life

What we said:

‘The result is a sprawling, sometimes unfathomable epic on the endless conflict between "the way of nature and the way of grace".' The List

What they said:

‘Cinema that’s thinking big. [Director Terrence] Malick makes an awful lot of other film-makers look timid and negligible by comparison.’ The Guardian

‘An overwrought compendium of topographical and cosmic imagery that awkwardly sits alongside an assiduously-constructed but far from exceptional depiction of emotionally repressive small-town life in 1950s America.’ The Telegraph

‘For all the grand ideas and the sweep of history at its core, the film comes to feel repetitive and even simplistic.’ Time Out London

The Tree of Life is on general release now.

The Tree of Life Trailer

The Tree of Life

  • 4 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • 2h 19min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Terrence Malick
  • Written by: Terrence Malick
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain

The lives of a 1950s family are contrasted with a history of life on earth (including CGI dinosaurs). Soaring music, gliding camerawork, the frequent absence of dialogue and a constant sense of yearning gives The Tree Of Life the feeling of a heartfelt sermon urging a re-engagement with spirituality.

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