Movie Review: Cloud Atlas


“Everything is connected.” So reads the tagline for the nearly three hour opus of one of the most unified pieces of cinema in recent years I have ever seen, period. I just saw it with some friends for the first time on Blu-ray and I cannot believe how well-crafted this film is. I’ve been meaning to see this for a while now after a good friend of mine recommended it but I never had the time until now.

In six different eras, we partake in six different stories as we see their impact on everyone else.

I usually have trouble with films that go beyond the 2 1/2 hour mark with very few exceptions (Solaris, Terminator 2: Judgement Day to name a few). It’s mainly due to pacing and wanting to reach the resolution but the film wants to pad it out some more. Here, I was fully engaged in each story and wanted to see how they would end.

Notably, the film features actors playing multiple roles, regardless of gender. Tom Hanks is the easiest one to spot out of each story but there were some surprises. The makeup is incredibly well-done. When the credits roll, you see the actor from era and believe me there are some surprises where you can do nothing but be impressed by the stellar job that was done.

The worlds of each era were immersive, particularly Neo Seoul and Big Isle. With Neo Seoul, I madly wish the technology to change the room’s appearance would be here NOW. The execution of the act is of course futuristic but also rather functional. With Big Isle, I felt like I was in a world where the island from LOST and the entire Myst series became one land.

I became engaged and attached to nearly every single character. When I wondered how a certain character was doing in one part of the story, I then saw it play out on the screen as if the film knew what I was thinking. I wanted each character to succeed in their arc but success is never a guarantee in life. With this infographic, you can see each story play out and how everything is connected (don’t see it until you’ve seen the film as there are spoilers).

The music is subtle and dynamic at the same time. It is not at all overpowering, trying to hammer in the feeling you’re supposed to feel at the moment; rather, it plays with sophistication and intelligence where no other piece of music would fit in the film except for what you hear.

This is one film that must be seen on Blu-ray on the biggest screen possible, no questions asked. After seeing this, I am definitely adding it to my library so that someday I can see it at home on Blu-ray, that is whenever I get a player.

The frustrating part about this film is that it was snubbed at the Oscars. By snubbed, I mean it was up for pre-nomination for Best Visual Effects but never made the actual list for any category. That breaks my heart, seeing all that hard work into making this film be ignored. As of this post, it has not made the 1001 list; hopefully that will be fixed in future editions.

This is more than a film, this is a work of Art with a capital A.



4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Cloud Atlas

  1. I mostly agree. It is very good (I wouldn’t to 10/10, but I like it a lot all the same). It falls apart some when you think about the stories individually, but it is very, very good as a collective whole.

    Good review.

  2. Good review Thomas. It’s a long, very strange movie, but it was always entertaining, despite it never really being any deeper than what it actually thought it was.

  3. Wow! You liked this film much more than I did. I thought it was a fascinating concept with great performances, but for me it was just too confusing and smashed together for a single film. I think it would’ve worked much better as a mini-series or something. Nice review!

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