'Cloud Atlas:' What Are The Critics Saying? (VIDEO)
This weekend, the directors of The Matrix trilogy returned to science fiction with their most ambitious epic yet – Cloud Atlas.
Andy and Lana Wachowski teamed up with Run Lola Run’s Tom Tykwer to adapt and co-direct the adaptation of David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, which centers on the interconnected lives of several people across key time periods.
Oscar-winners Tom Hanks and Halle Berry top-line an impressive ensemble cast, each playing multiple roles as Cloud Atlas uses a dense narrative tapestry to explore how individual actions can ripple effect throughout past, present and future.
Independently financed for $100 million and clocking in at almost 3 hours, the R-rated film marks a significant turning point in independent filmmaking – especially in the growing climate of “risk-averse” studio productions.
So does Cloud Atlas deliver?
Yes and no, depending on the critic. By most accounts, however, if the film succeeds at anything, it’s that it gives audiences something they have never seen before.
Celebuzz's Todd Gilchrist: “A stunner of an opus that isn’t just admirable but thought-provoking and moving, Cloud Atlas is the Wachowskis’ most personal film to date…”
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: “Even as I was watching "Cloud Atlas" the first time, I knew I would need to see it again. Now that I've seen it the second time, I know I'd like to see it a third… Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made.”
The Guardian: “Tykwer and the Wachowskis' other twist on this karmic hokum - to cast each of their actors in multiple roles across the stories, regardless of age or race - is less successful.”
The Hollywood Reporter: “Not quite soaring into the heavens, but not exactly crash-landing either, Cloud Atlas is an impressively mounted, emotionally stilted adaptation of British author David Mitchell's bestselling novel.”
The Playlist: “Too long by at least a half hour, and both dull and repetitive as it goes on, Cloud Atlas reaches for envelope-pushing storytelling but never delivers on its promise.”
Entertainment Weekly: “Cloud Atlas is certainly out to be a ''visionary'' mindbender, but the film's secret is that it's a nimbly entertaining and light-on-its-feet Hollywood contraption, with the actors cast in multiple roles as if playing a game of dress-up.”
The Telegraph: “Cloud Atlasis going to be far and away the most divisive film of 2012, but I don't think it's possible to fault it for shortage of chutzpah… In the hands of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer there was a danger of it mutating into a monstrous ballooning folly. So even more amazing is that it strays frequently in that direction but never quite bursts.”
Variety: “As inventive narratives go, there's outside the box, and then there's pioneering another dimension entirely, and this massive, independently financed collaboration among Tom Tykwer and Wachowski siblings Lana and Andy courageously attempts the latter.”
Watch the trailer for Cloud Atlas below. The film opens nationwide October 26.