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Cloud Atlas

  R HD Closed Captioning

Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski

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Plot Summary

From acclaimed filmmakers Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, the powerful and inspiring epic drama "Cloud Atlas" explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Featuring an all-star cast led by Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 253
  • Fresh: 167
  • Rotten: 86
  • Average Rating: 6.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: For all the spectacular settings and visionary designs, Cloud Atlas left me feeling disconnected – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Oct 26, 2012

Fresh: They key to successfully absorbing the movie may be in not trying to overthink what's on screen. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Oct 28, 2012

Rotten: Whatever your age, even if life is an ocean made up of many drops, you may resolve that life is too short for this errant nonsense. – David Thomson, The New Republic, Jun 14, 2013

Fresh: Despite the fact that ot sometimes looks like $102 million celebrity dress up party where Tom Hanks got a really good bulk deal on latex noses Cloud Atlas sometimes strikes moments of sheer beauty. – Marc Fennell, Triple J, Apr 8, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Life Changing

I've always been a strong believer in the idea that there is deeper meaning in life and that perhaps we affect each other in profound ways beyond our own lifetime. This movie overtook me; pulled me through a range of so many emotions, questioned my beliefs, restored my hope, and gave my life a whole new meaning. I haven't been the same since I stepped foot in the theatre. It is a stunning masterpiece of storytelling, brilliant imagery, and Oscar-worthy acting, directing, and cinematography. I have been changed by this film. It isn't just a film; it's a profoundly life changing experience.

Cloud Atlas

Most under-rated film of 2012. Great stuff! Are people dumb or what?


For what it's worth, "Cloud Atlas" is indeed a beautiful film. Unfortunately, it's also a very long one that ambitiously attempts to pack in as much story as it can within its near three-hour run time with frustrating results. This sci-fi fable might have been better served as a mini-series, or even as a full-blown TV show, giving it the elbow room it deserved to explore each storyline and every character throughout its time-spanning narrative. What the film gets right it gets very right. There are moments of real emotion and beauty. The ambition is palpable, the visuals are daunting, and the acting is often, but not always, excellent. The biggest problem here is that there's simply too much going on. With six interweaving stories being told at once, it's nearly impossible to keep up to full speed or even stay engaged with any single narrative since they all tend to move at a slow, dreary pace and abruptly end after only one scene to make way for the other plots. It's the clumsy execution of this film's events and how they fail to interconnect in a cohesive or emotionally enriching manner that ultimately ends up bringing it down in the long run. But is that to say "Cloud Atlas" is a disappointing experience all around? Not at all. In fact, more than anything, it greatly benefits from the all-star talents of its wide cast - which includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D'Arcy, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant. Starring in multiple roles that span sex and race, many of the actors in this movie are hardly recognizable due to all the makeup and prosthetics covering their faces. It isn't until the very end when the credits appear that we find out who played which character. And even I have to admit I was shocked by the results, as was most of the audience in the theater I was in. Physical appearances aside, I couldn't help but feel disconnected from the protagonists in each narrative. None of them ever stood out to me on a clear emotional level (with perhaps the slight exception of Sonmi-451, a futuristic Korean clone who grows smart enough to rebel against her corrupt society), and I couldn't help but feel let down by their severely underdeveloped motives and personalities, despite the actors' best efforts to portray them. In particular, Hanks impressively commits to all six characters he plays, although I do wish he could've toned it down with the over-the-top accents at times. At the end of the day, there's no denying the ambition of "Cloud Atlas" and its heartfelt message that "everything in this world is connected." It's clear from start to finish that the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer wanted to create something that had never been done before, a sprawling cinematic opus telling six stories that range across continents from the 19th century to the post-apocalyptic future. Unfortunately, the connection between those plots just wasn't there. This flick gets so lost in its wild narrative ambitions that it almost entirely forgoes the character development and cohesive storytelling required to fully immerse its audience in its worlds. Nonetheless, this is still a wildly imaginative drama of truly epic proportions, despite its several frustrating drawbacks. With its breathtaking cinematography, stunning special effects, and gripping score, "Cloud Atlas" is endearingly sincere in its attempt to deliver a truly original larger-than-life cinematic experience with an existential theme, but it's never able to recover from its uneven screenplay and overlong run time. Still, if you're looking for some out-of-this-world entertainment full of visual and emotional grandeur, this time-spanning adventure is a solid pick. Yes, the screenplay is far too disjointed and undisciplined to truly resonate, but it's worth watching just for the expansive, thought-provoking ideas it brings up about humanity and the universe. In the end, this is a mixed bag of a flick that viewers will either come to appreciate or dislike. As long as you have an open mind and the patience to sit through and explore a wildly ambitious yet often unwieldy drama that's years ahead of its time, "Cloud Atlas" is well worth a watch.

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