Time Out! No Way Is 'Cloud Atlas' The Worst Movie Of 2012

Cloud Atlas Time Magazine Worst Movie 2012

Here's an easy formula to get attention for your Worst Movies of 2012 list. Take the unfathomable big-budget box-office failure that's likely to top a lot of these year-end thumbsuckers — and make it number two. Next, single out an ambitious film by a trio of filmmakers with a passionate following. Put it at the top (or is it the bottom?) of your list and wait for their fans to scream. That's what Time magazine, in the role of media Old Georgie,  has done with its "Top 10 Worst Films" list for the year.  Writer Mary Pols chose the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer's collaboration Cloud Atlas as the year's stinkiest over Disney's bomb John Carter.

And I'm calling bullshit.

Before I explain, take a look at Pols' entire list:

10. One For The Money
9. The Odd Life Of Timothy Green 
8. What To Expect When You're Expecting 
7. Alex Cross 
6. The Lorax 
5. This Means War
4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
3. Hyde Park on Hudson
2. John Carter
1. Cloud Atlas

Most of those movies are largely formulaic and, in some cases, cynical attempts to put asses in seats. They should be on the list, particularly the aptly named One For The Money and What to Expect When Your Expecting, which would have tied for worst movie had I been doing the ranking. (Even though Jennifer Lopez is the mother of twins in real life, I cannot summon the suspension of disbelief to buy her as a parent in the movies.)

Yes, Cloud Atlas is an unwieldy, problematic movie that could have used a good streamlining in terms of the sheer number of  stories that were adapted from David Mitchell's novel, but a film this ambitious — and unabashedly spiritual at its core — does not deserve to be on a list of the year's worst. Movieline's chief critic Alison Willmore explained it beautifully in her review:

Cloud Atlas strives continually for transcendence and only sometimes grasps it, but the sincerity with which it pursues the emotion and the very idea of the reverberating impact selfless actions can have is quite moving. It's rare, these days, to see a movie declare its aims for greatness so openly and without a leaden sense of self-importance. And though the film doesn't achieve all of its goals, it does offer an indelibly powerful vision of a throughline from the past to today and on through the end of things, that expresses faith in the ability of people to overcome animalism. It's spiritual but entirely humanistic, and salvation, when it comes, arrives from within or from other people — an outrageous, silly and beautiful ode to the better nature of mankind.

You won't see anyone writing that about What to Expect When You're Expecting. 


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  • Uncle Scoopy says:


    In my opinion, you are confused between the concepts of a "bad idea" and a "bad movie." Cloud Atlas does not suffer from poor thinking, but from poor movie-making. The acting level and the make-up are roughly at the level of a middle school play, and the film generates lots of unintentional laughs from its sheer failure to achieve its ambitions by delivering failure after massive failure in either the line readings or the sheer idiocy of the lines themselves.

    If Ethan Hawke played Hamlet, for example, there would be nothing wrong with the ideas. Shakespeare wrote them, after all. But the amateurish execution (excluding Liev Schreiber), including occasional mispronounced words, would make the film a legitimate selection for the worst film of its year. Oh, wait, that already happened.

    We may debate whether a complete lack of ambition in a slick package is worse than than excessive ambition which turns a meritorious project laughable from bad execution. I find the latter more deplorable, and less commonplace, and therefore more worthy of ridicule. John Carter and the bad rom-coms are just typically misbegotten studio movies, but Cloud Atlas is one for the MST3000 crowd. That's the difference between mundanely bad and hilariously bad.

  • Uncle Scoopy, I'm genuinely grateful for your well-argued feedback, and I actually agree with some of it. But the next-to-last line of your comment suggests to me that you are in the tank, so to speak, when it comes to filmmaking. MST3K could make 'Citizen Kane' and 'Vertigo' look ridiculous, and your willingness to accept rom-coms such as 'What to Expect...' as "typically misbegotten" studio movies is, in my opinion, sad.

  • Nico says:

    Disney's summer bomb John Carter.

    Um Nope, actually John Carter was released in February so not really a summer bomb as it's theatrical run was in the winter/Spring

  • In a year that's brought us Total Recall, Underworld Awakening, Prometheus, Battleship, and The Master, to have Cloud Atlas and John Carter top the list is pure rubbish.

  • godfreymwenda says:

    not understarding the thing

  • Rae says:

    I say watch the film and judge for yourself. If you liked it then its not on "your" worst list. Even the supposedly "best movies" of the year can be the worst for you if it didn't connect with you somehow.

  • Matt says:

    Cloud Atlas is my favorite movie I've seen all year. The one word I'd use to describe my experience watching it is invigorating. When so much of what comes out is flat and unoriginal, something made with such strong passion and creativity stands head and shoulders above the rest. In terms of craftsmanship, I found the effects, production design, and editing outstanding, the acting solid, and I was able to give a willing suspension of disbelief to the makeup. Most of all, I found the story fascinating. I had no trouble at all following the six simultaneous storylines. They were all actually quite simple and dealt with the most basic of human themes, good vs. evil, freedom vs. tyranny, kindness vs. cruelty all set in different times, places, and even genres. Overall I just found it to be a beautiful and life-affirming film. In oasis in the tedious dreck of the same 'ol same 'ol.

    • Matt says:

      And, yes, Uncle Scoopy's assertion that it's better to aim for and achieve mediocrity rather than aim for greatness and fail is frankly pathetic.

    • ernsign says:

      Matt, I could not possibly say it better than you. My favorite movie of this year, and of many years.

  • clint says:

    Cloud atlas is total rubbish! 4 or 6 stories in this film all totally uninteresting, in somecases you see 30 seconds of 1 story then 2 minutes of another story then its back to the other story, its like surfing the tv channel at home the director seems to have a very short attention span ranging from 10 seconds to 2 minutes before he shows you the next story again, the make up is the worst i have seen in a hollywood film, & to see white actors made to look like there chinese actors is something i have not seen since 1960's american cop shows, believe it or not there are chinese actors that can speak english. i was stuck with family or else i would have walked out after 30 minutes of the drivel, but after 2 hours i could not take anymore & told the family i would meet them outside. Quite how this film was ever sanctioned is amazing, there are alot of interesting books that would make excellent films, yet they still pick drivel like this, please dont believe any good comments on this film here they are obviusly Ed Wood fans too.

    • Marcus says:

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine is complete opposite from yours. I have now seen this film twice and plan to go again this week. This is the kind of movie that people will either love or hate with no in between. I enjoyed the six stories all intertwining and had no problem following them. It was enjoyable to keep coming back to the different characters throughout the film. It's a film that makes you think, and you have to be one of the those movie goers that enjoys a film that makes you think.

      I do completely disagree with your chinese actor comment. First off, they were supposed to be Korean, not Chinese. Second, that was the point of the film (one of them). They were showing how we all are connect, and that race, gender, & status don't matter from one life to the next. It's the journey of the soul. They had had asians playing caucasians, they had african americas playing caucasians, they had caucasians playing asians, men playing women, women play men, etc. For you to say 'there are chinese actors that can speak english' is just absurd, obviously the whole world knows that, this was in no way a racial issue.

      Have your own opinions on a film, love it, hate it, it's cool, but to say 'please dont believe any good comments on this film here they are obviously Ed Wood fans too.' is just rude.

      • clint says:

        So you think jumping into a story midway where a actor says 3 words which happened a few times in under 10 seconds then we jump to another story is entertainment? i have no problem with 4 or 6 stories in a film if there is a point to it & there is character development, i was not the only person that walked out of this movie i saw at least 9 before me, generally a sign of a bad movie is walk outs, as for the rest that stay they have the mentality that i want my moneys worth, or this film has to get better or there must be a tie in. As for white actors speaking jamacian rap old english in one story this all smacks of left wing political correctness, most people do not like left wing film makers or do gooding religous nuts giving us guidance in a film, film making at its best is about good story & good acting with no left or right wing message being fed to us, once again i will repeat myself a actor saying 3 words then we are off to another story is not film making it is channel surfing, example "my cars green" then cut all i can say you are very easily pleased, not one person in a group of five that i went with liked it & no one saw a link to the other films other than the left wing PC nonsense that is rampant in american media as the american elections showed with obama being portrayed as a saint & anyone who dared to say anything against him was senile (clint eastwood) or the anti christ what happened to democracy & freedom of speech.

        • Marcus says:

          I respect that you and your party didn't enjoy the movie, and if people walk out, it's their own prerogative. Yet your group of five reaction doesn't mean the rest of the world should feel that way. I happen to get the connection of the film and in my own opinion I really enjoyed it and thought it was a powerful message. I think the cutting away fast from one story for only three seconds of another story worked, for some it wont, that's fine, but I think it worked. In my opinion all of the stories intertwined nicely. I felt like this film had great acting and a great story, and the arc of the six stories all flowed evenly throughout the film. I also do not see how this film was cramming, as you put it, 'left wing PC nonsense'.....it was a movie about how the soul never dies and how actions in one life can effect your next. We will just have to agree to disagree.

      • clint says:

        Neither Tom hanks or broadbent were in the korean story, but they were in all the other stories, the fact of the matter is the casting director was lazy & could not be bothered to find a number of english speaking oriental actors & in america the source for such actors would come from the japanese or chinese communities, so he makes up white actors to play the central roles something that has not been done since 1970's cop shows. "They had had asians playing caucasians" i dont know what film you were watching but i saw no such thing, & even if there was, they would be there just to justify the casting directors lazy ass in casting whites for some of the oriental roles, i hope i will never have to endure watching a white person playing a oriental on film again i find it very insulting to the asian community, oriental roles in the american film industry are very few & far between in comparison to white or black roles, so if we do have a oriental theme in a film i hope american directors will get off there fat asses & fill these parts with oriental actors, even if there unknown actors.

        • Marcus says:

          Check your facts first.....Both Tom Hanks and Jim Broadbent appear in the Somni storyline. Hanks is playing an actor on the movie that Sonmi is watching and Broadbent has a very brief moment as a musician playing in the street that Sonmi watches from her window. Only four actors appeared in all six story lines: Tom Hanks, Halle Barry, Jim Sturgess, & Hugo Weaving. If there was no character that connected with a character from a different storyline to show the soul evolving then they didn't reuse the actor for that segment.
          What movie was I watching? Clearly one you were not paying close attention to.
          Doona Bae who played Sonmi played a Mexican lady during the Lusia Rey storyline and played Tilda Ewing in the Adam Ewing storyline. Zhou Xun played Rose in the Future storyline.
          Also you can't blame a casting director (IMO no one should be blamed, I thought the idea was brilliant, and it stems from what the book is about), the director states what they want, what roles an actor will play, and the casting director just follows the orders and finds talent based on that.
          I agree, if it's a part for a certain race to play, whether it be asian, black, white, etc, they shouldn't try to disguise another race to make that race. But when the storyline is nothing about race and about how the soul has no race or gender, and you have all races and genders in the film playing different races and genders at different points based on the journey of the soul from each life, it not anyone being lazy or offensive,

          • jay mckim says:

            It obvious why the directors refused to use "Blackface" but Yellowface OK. Asians community don't have power to fight back. Had used Blackface, Jesse Jackson,
            Sparky Lee and Lebron James and other Black activists will get on their butts.
            Yellowface is clearly a mean to insult Asian male where Hollywood used to do that in the past. Those 3 White actors in Yellowface and one black actor in Yellowface speak clearly the packing order in Hollywood. It is not that I'm against Yellowface or blackface or
            whiteface or pinkface but the way they used the Yellowface remind Hollywood has not changed the racist tradition since old day. Why is that Yellowface still being used when Blackface has virtually disappeared from the screen? The answer is clearly

            Bring the intention of the storyline is an irresponsibility while ignoring the outcome of the
            Yellowface makeup is overtly mocking at Asian males. Audiences notice the Yellowface as white guy in silly awful Slanty-eye look. There is no way White guy can become Asian guy in screen but only to mocking at Asian male in general while Asian females are allowed to play their race and gender in order to serve not Asian male but White guys.
            When audiences see the relationship between Korean girl Sonmi and Yellowface guy, they see white guy with Asian girl, not with Asian guy. Remember that Yellowface actor is white guy in ugly disguise as Asian male. This film is overtly racist.

      • Stewy says:

        Well said Marcus. Themes of the movie brought to life. Marcus Vs Clint....good vs evil.....enlightened vs ignorant.....kindness vs cruelty.

        And Clint it was 6 short stories not 4 or 6. Tom Hanks is not a bad actor. If all you're interested in from a movie is good make up and bright lights check out the Ladyboys of Bangkok. They might not be right wing enough for you. At least thats what you'll say.

    • jay mckim says:

      Right your opinion is. MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian American) came out say that that this film is a racist film against Asian. Using Yellowface is controversy for using white guy in slanted-eye makeup verse they could hire asian male to play asian male role. MANAA pointed out that this film
      had good opportunity to cast Asian male actors. They did not just as what Hollywood used to be.
      Even without Yellowface controversy, this film is failed to make a point at all.

      • clint says:

        Something Marcus cant quite grasp, even the asian community is calling it racist, Marcus soothes all the potholes & bomb crater holes in this script with bullshit & honey, the reality is it was made by idiots who have no concept of how to make a film.
        Hollywood blockbuster Cloud Atlas slammed for using 'yellow face' make-up on white actors to make them look Asian

        "Asian American media watchdog says using white actors to portray Asian characters is 'disturbing'
        Claims the film's makers have missed 'great opportunity' to break stereotype of Asian characters"

        It seems Marcus no one is happy with a white man with slanty eyed make up, orientals get practically no parts in films or tv & when parts do come along lazy casting directors get white asses to portray them so insulting.

        • Ian Johnston says:

          Ha, please tell me you didn't use 'The Daily Mail' as part of your argument...they are a bunch of right wing idiots and a disgrace to journalism. This film is not racist. Racism by definition a prejudice against a specific race or a judgement on their ability due to their ethnic background, and as both white and asian actors played each others roles then you could just as easily claim it is racist against white people. Ridiculous.

      • Grant Campbell says:

        I wish they had pacific islanders in place of the african actors for the Morioris. But then how would they use them for the other parts and places? Its just a story. Grow up.

  • clint says:

    "Cloud Atlas" US box office Total Domestic Gross: $26,539,928, i think this speaks volumes about what a turkey of a movie this is, if clint eastwoods "trouble with the curve" a baseball film starring a supposed senile 82 year old actor can take Total Domestic Gross: $35,763,137 and eastwoods film was considered flop, what on earth is cloud atlas considered the populaltion worldwide has voted on cloud atlas & its a christmas turkey complete with trimmings & stuffing.

    • mlabanadrian says:

      Ah yes, I shall have to re-look at all the movies I've watch to see which made the most money so I know they are the superior movies to the ones that didn't make as much. Thanks!

      • clint says:

        Science fiction movies usually do very well at the box office, the ones that do not are the one that are absolute rubbish "cloud atlas" being one of them, anybody that thinks cloud atlas is story telling on any level is living in cloud cuckoo land, I would rather endure 24 hours of the xfactor or britains got talent than sit through another showing of "cl
        oud( for barbie doll bimbo brains) atlas" again this film bombed the only critics writing anything good about it have been bribed by the film studios, the first alien film & the last one both (Ridley Scott) are story telling at its best or blade runner intelligent writing cloud atlas was written by a hippie who was high as a kite.

        • Marcus says:

          You keep judging people that like a film like this, by saying things like 'for barbie doll bimbo brains' and saying comments about how it made no money so it must be a bad film....and you praise films like Blade Runner and Alien.....both movies not my taste, but I recognize to be classic movies.
          How the heck do you judge a film like Cloud Atlas as not being story telling when it is telling a story through six different decades about the soul? It's fine if you don't like the story it's telling, or don't fully understand it, but all films from farce to action flicks are telling a story, it doesn't matter how well written anyone thinks it is or not. Even the worse films I've seen I can at least admit there was a story there, not one I liked, but it was there. It's fine to not enjoy a movie, but the way you generalize anyone liking something you don't just sounds rude. The conclusion of our debate will just have to be that we agree to disagree, we will never be on the same page with this one lol.

          • clint says:

            Without a doubt there is people who loved it, just like there are some people who love oprah winfrey, the xfactor, jerry springer, barbie dolls, eddie murphy, kevin costner tree movies, him being the biggest tree, there also people who are serial killers & people who love buying automatic weapons in america,
            Ok the above people are called the minority group of people the type of people who sign up for religous groups like the moonies or harry krishna & enjoy turkey films like inglorious
            basterds & who think the blair witch project was actually a film & not a 14 year old director shaking a camera & getting a bunch of kids to scream in the dark. Then we have the majority people who enjoy classic films like cassablanca, the outlaw josey wales, alien 1st & last both films highly intelligent writing & both films you cant quite grasp or like, i think you should stick to watching jerry springer reruns, instead of singing the virtues of a brain dead film, i have seen more action & better story telling in a zombie film, you would love this science fiction film "Melancholia" kiefer sutherland which is a appalling film & crappy directing but in your world it probably is a oscar type of a film.

          • Marcus says:

            It wont let me reply to your last comment...so this comment will be out of order but it applies to your newest comment. You're just rude, not that you probably care, but Heaven for bid anyone likes something that you did not, and to not only state your opinion bluntly and in a cocky, 'my opinion is right' way, but to belittle the fact that someone likes something you personally did not by comparing a film to reality television (or saying to stick to watching shows like Jerry Springer) or suggesting other movies to watch since, once again, in your opinion is an 'appalling film and crappy directing' so I must like it is extremely rude. And to say that people that like this film are the same people that are into cults, there is just no call for 3/4 of your comments on here, it's has stopped being a discussion about opinion, it is just you being rude.
            Anyone can have a discussion about different beliefs on a film, but when you're being rude, there is no point to even discuss further and your other comments can't be held with a grain of salt.

          • clint says:

            Marcus How am i being rude? i am just stating the obvious, am i using bad language, no i am not, but because i ridicule your choice of bad film that makes me a bad person, how about a more simpler example for you to compare our choice in good films, you like big macs, i like fillet stake cooked in a quality restaurant, you like swimming in a childs plastic swimming pool in the back garden, i like to swim in a adults swimming pool, its called taste, class, there is nothing wrong in having no taste like you or to think like a blond bimbo thats the way you are, me i like the finer things in life classic films, classic singers, i appreciate talented people, you appreciate hippies finding there way in hollywood & i think thats good your supporting talentless directors & writers with your support & others like you maybe it will give them the confidence to write & direct a actual intelligent adult film, because at the minute there incapable of neither, but regardless of what either of us think of this turkey of a film, the box office takings & critics & the movie public have said it all & the majority agree its a turkey, $26 million dollars in america that is a absolute joke the film cost 100 million to make with a further 20 million taken worldwide it has lost over 50 million, somehow i dont think there will be a cloud atlas 2, the movie public the vast majority that is not the minorities dont have any interest in this film, i mean mean maybe you enjoy watching paint dry too each to there own tastes.

          • Ian Johnston says:

            Clint...you are an idiot. See? there are more ways to be rude other than swearing. p.s - anyone who spells Steak as STAKE should not be mocking anyone. Prick

  • Top Critic says:

    Some directors try to be too ambitious for their abilities.

    The movie "Cloud Atlas" is a bunch of self serving director interpretations and really does a terrible job connecting the character development threads across the stories. I like Clint's comments about it felt like Channel surfing.

    The only fact some people rave about this movie is because it seems awe inspiring to them life is interpreted this way (jumping all over the place till it gets annoying. I like the individual stories, however would rather watch reruns of SpongeBob while on drugs to get a deeper meaning of life than this drivel.

    Perhaps if you had Sponge Bob, Family Guy, American Dad, The Simpsons, South Park and Pinky and the Brain all interlaced with a serious black crow character visiting each show intermittently trying to find his way home thru CS Lewis ponds it would be much more entertaining and fullfilling.

  • fizzlefried says:

    So I've just finished cloud atlas, and read for the past hour or so the vitriol spewed towards this film and it mystifies me that i don't think i watched the same thing. But isn't that the point, the duality of human nature, we either love or hate, suppress or enrich, we are either good and embrace humanity or evil and serve on our own greed and stubborn biased. So be it, I know what it said to me. I know it has problems but it left me feeling some thing. And that's better than feeling nothing. Was it 100% successful, no, but it is shoulders above most Hollywood products. Haters will hate, but at least some filmmakers are trying to engage rather than pacify.

  • Up your arse, TIME Magazine. Another list cobbled together by dough heads. Why JOHN CARTER gets hate is an anomaly to me - have these guys read Burroughs? The pulp, weird retro adventure spirit is alive in that, handsomely mounted, giddily weird, sadly ignored film. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, same thing. A bold, bizarre and compelling piece of esoterica masquerading as a blockbuster. And my kids adore THE LORAX, so I'll ride their barometer. And please...CLOUD ATLAS was the worst? A sprawling film whose gorgeous production design and impassioned filmmaking and visionary spirit alone mad it far more compelling and interesting that most pithy, soon to be forgotten "best" films this year. A work so huge and viscerally textured, so grandiose that to dismiss it on a list so casually just makes me sad at the state of film criticism. Fuck you TIME, and fuck you internet whose tendrils have made twitters and smug twatters de riguer.

  • Rebecca says:

    I wouldn't cut one second from Cloud Atlas, one of my all time favorite movies. Not one second.

    • clint says:

      I would not cut one second neither, i would send the uncut film to the Smithsonian Museum to show future generations what a $100 million dollar budget buys, 2 hours of channel surfing, & how retarded the film industry is getting, me i would rather have stayed at home and channel surf, rather than have the cloud atlas director flip channels every 10 seconds to 3 minutes of a story segment & call that a movie, yeah a movie for boneheads.

  • porko says:

    There are simple movies for simple people and then there is Cloud Atlas. Great movie, There is not much to understand you either feel it or not. The same as with piece of classical music or jazz. Thank you Wachowski family.

  • Nadine says:

    Clint clearly cannot grasp or comprehend a film of this magnitude..
    I've never heard of anyone who would take so much time out of their lives just to talk about how much they hate a film! If you don't like something,why get angry at the world and start spewing your weirdness all over the internet like a total loon?! Nut.
    ps people walking out of a film doesn't prove a thing about the quality of the film. How ridiculous. Some of the best films of all time have not been very lucrative at the box office, but still became huge because of how good they were.

    • clint says:

      "cannot grasp or comprehend a film of this magnitude." there is nothing to grasp, i can comprehend the matrix, bladerunner, alien, all brilliant, cload atlas is just mindless drug induced writing, as for people walking out of a film does not prove anything? really? so people are quite happy paying $15 for a movie ticket give up there precious free time, just to walk out after 60 minutes, they do it for a reason, they would rather watch paint dry or look at shop dummies for a couple of hours than endure another 2 minutes of channel surfing cloud atlas. The film bombed it lost $50 million, did lord of the rings lose money? no it did not the difference being a decent script that is coherent & not drug induced.

      • Banko says:

        Lord of the rings can be a box office success. I personally did not even make it to the cinema. Later tried to watch on television and finally understood the fun of channel surfing.
        Talking about stupid movies..you probably liked Dancing with Wolfes also..

  • Matt says:

    The numbers it posts in US aren't a reflection of a movie's true worth anyways 😛
    Maybe we can fix the wiki/IMDB with some International numbers.
    It is a German film, so don't throw US politics into the mix either.

    The points made into why actors played various races is 100% correct, certainly not due to 'casting' or 'money issues', it was integral to the story's deeper meaning.

    I did however feel like some stories did not mesh quite as well to the whole mosaic. South Pacific and modern day UK felt unneeded. They could have spent that time fleshing out the other lines more. Could have really helped avoid the 'channel surfing' feel that some felt.

    Soylent green / recycling fabricants felt like a shock slapped onto the story though :/

    I do appreciate the aim for 'epicness', it did fall a little short, but certainly far better than 95% of the drivel or remakes going on. As for the initial reason for the thread, it does not deserve to be top worst film of 2012 by a long shot.

    And yes Nadine, so great movies aren't seen as such until a decade later. Just ask John Carpenter lol.

  • jeef says:

    98% of the complaints about the Cloud Atlas boil down to "in order to understand the movie I had to pay attention, and I couldn't do that, so therefore it was a bad movie and it was too long anyway". I found it uplifting and thoughtful. We clearly need a new rating system for movies; I propose that we add two categories; "MB" would denote mindless banality and could be applied to 98% of what comes out of Hollywood. The Cloud Atlas would have to have something like an "MT" (must think).

    • clint says:

      Pay attention to what? there is no coherent story out of any of the 4 or 6 drug induced segments, if i snorted cocaine day in & day out, then the cloud atlas script would be my achievement too, you cant tell me with a straight face this crap of a film can be compared to good science fiction films like alien 1 or Prometheus or bladerunner, old peoples home story crap, doc after patients money on a boat story & poisons him, crap, chinese looking robot does not want to be a robot anymore, crap, i you call this a good film it is total crapppppppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Stewy says:

        You are such an idiot Clint. There are too many idiots like you in the world and thats why this movie didn't make more money.

  • Leabee says:

    A few thoughts: Firstly, it's ridiculous to say 'there are plenty of Asian actors who could have filled that role..." when the entire cast was made up in different ways to play different people in different times. The actress who played Sonmi was made to look white in one scene - no one was complaining about that. The whole point was that these same people change races and even sexes (Hugo Weaving as the nurse, Doona Bae played a male hotel staff, there are probably more), so of course they had to be made up to look different, and of course you aren't going to substitute them with 'authentic' actors.

    Secondly, it's not hard to follow each individual storyline, even if the movie jumps around. Pulp Fiction did that and it was heralded as 'brave' and 'brilliant'.

    Thirdly, even if the makeup was terrible (and it was, especially Weaving as the nurse, but that was probably more a statement made by the recently sex-changed director "Lana" Wachowsi), that shouldn't detract from the meaning of the film.

    The real issue I had with the film was that if you're going to go to so much trouble to describe 'the journey of the soul', it's a good idea to have the souls actually change or evolve or something. Each character was exactly the same through each lifetime. No growth, no changes - just different makeup. Possibly Tom Hanks' characters showed some growth, but not much (poisoner to waitress rapist). Overall kind of pointless, as if saying our souls are fixed and there's no point in trying to grow or improve.

    • clint says:

      Pulp fiction was brilliant, cloud atlas is crap thats the difference, there is not one intelligent story in cloud atlas it is pure garbage written by a drug induced hippy, quentin tarantino used to be good but if you look at him now at film events he is high as a kite on cocaine any fool can see it looking at him, inglorious basterds complete garbage of a film but because he had a good previous reputation the film gets good reviews, we should all stop praising people for crap films just because they have a good track record Matrix was brilliant, cloud atlas is not.

  • Alex says:

    I seldom have a favorite movie, my last one being Dead Poet Society, ages ago. I have to say now, that Cloud Atlas was not written or made for everyone, but it connected with me in a way no other movie ever did. It is a masterpiece and brings out the best and worst in humanity. Best movie i ever watched.

  • Daniel says:

    Cloud Atlas was a brilliant film. I knew it was going to polarize viewers - as it stands, everybody has a different taste when it comes to movies, music or books. Any film that becomes the subject of a monumental discussion where so many people either love or hate it, can be considered a work of art. And although this film lost approximately $40 million, I hope it still makes Bluray, so I can keep it and watch it whenever I want to look at art again.

    Let me tell you why I enjoyed it. Interweaving multiple storylines is very challenging for the mind of the viewer, just like telling a story backwards (Memento), or portraying entangled dreams (Inception). I am also particularly fond of these genres. Adapting a book adds to this challenge, because the linearity of the book source must be broken up, in order to keep the mind occupied. If you read a book, you define the pace at which you absorb the story. When watching a movie, you are at the mercy of the pace the director and editor chooses. Lord of the Rings was similar. Most who read the book and watched the film will agree that important storylines were changed or omitted, but the overall pacing was spot-on for a film of that magnitude. Cloud Atlas breaks up a relatively small number of storylines even further, sometimes scenes lasting a couple of seconds. I particularly enjoyed it when the tension rose and you knew the scenes were going to intercut almost constantly. The mind expected that to happen and the film followed suit. I am not sure but you looked at almost 25-30 characteres being portrayed. Using a different actor for each character would have been too much for the brain to handle and probably wouln't have been financially feasible. Also the soul which is reborn throughout the centuries needs to be portrayed to the moviegoer in a quick, simple recognizable way - using the same actor is the only viable solution. A technique used quite often in theatres.
    I believe the film used some intelligent tools to solve the problems of the story and if any flaws remain, they are mostly minor. Bad make-up for the western actors in the Korean scenes? Sure, that could have used some work. Hugo Weaving as nurse Noakes? I wouldn't consider that a flaw, since the Timothy Cavendish storyline was comedic in tone from the start. Les Dawson, anyone?
    The Wachowski's are very unconventional in their work and luckily I enjoyed their work in the past, which made it easier for me to connect to this film when I first saw it.

    Please people, I enjoy a good discussion. Tell me what you liked or disliked about the film? Not just, "oh, great movie", or "urgh, bad movie". And to those who haven't quite understood the film, watch it again. That will clear up many things you were too slow to grasp.

  • ericmvan says:

    Over at the IMDB message boards, I seem to have cracked the mystery of why this film has so polarized viewers. It's not just a work of art -- it's essentially a *neurological examination.* Let me explain.

    The human brain is not necessarily wired to follow six rapidly intercut narratives and, more importantly, *stay emotionally engaged with all of them.* Think about that: to enjoy this movie, your brain needs to react emotionally to the story you're watching, while stashing in emotional memory your prior emotional reactions to five other stories and their characters; and it needs to be able to swap the sets of reactions in and out at will. That's not that easy to do. You also have to be hard-wired to make connections between things *as a default brain state*, because the movie does not give you time to make those connections by conscious effort. (In other words, you need to be a Meyers-Briggs "Intuitive" type rather than a "Sensing" type.)

    Thus, you have Mary Pols at one extreme, who gives her nearly sole reason for hating it: "there’s as much opportunity to get attached to characters as there would be watching people go by on a roller coaster." And at the other extreme there's, I guess, me, who wept openly at the end of four or five of the six stories. After seeing it twice, I rank it as my #18 favorite of all time, two spots behind The Rules of the Game and three ahead of The Seventh Seal (or, if you want a different sort of cred, right between Inception and Blade Runner).

    Back at Harvard a decade ago (as a non-degree Grad Student affiliated with the Psych Dept.) I developed a theory correlating brain chemicals to personality traits. "Getting" * Cloud Atlas seems to depend on three of them (holding information / emotions in memory, switching attention, connecting information), so I constructed a personality test for the three traits and put the link up at IMDB. I got 84 responses, got results that largely confirmed the theory, and found two questions (one combining two of the traits) that explained 56% of the response to the film. I had very few haters among the respondents, and with a broader sample I think that number could be pushed quite a bit higher. (By the standards of personality psych, it's already insanely high.)

    [* I put "getting" Cloud Atlas in quotes, because "connecting to Cloud Atlas" would be better. "Getting" implies a failure of intelligence, and the three traits don't correlate to intelligence all that much (one does so moderately, one very mildly, and one probably a little backwards). You can be whip-smart and fail to connect.]

    Anyone who finds this interesting should check out my blog, http://ericmvan.livejournal.com/, where I'll be posting much more about this, together with a link to a revised version of the survey, by this weekend. That will be part of the kickoff to a series called "This is Your Brain at the Movies," which will examine the psychology and neuroscience of film enjoyment. (There's already some film criticism and neuroscience already -- it's about time I combined the two passions.)

  • Richard says:

    I screened this film at the Dubai Inernational Film Festival before a largely 20-something crowd. So, you have Tom Hanks (yawn) and Halle Barre (yawn) attempting to prop up what seems like a dystopian sci-fi film. I've been attending the DIFF for 6 years and, when there, I usually screen 20+ films. Cloud Atlas finally, mercifully, put me to sleep. You do the math. Horrible and bloated, this makes "Dune" seem like a cinematic treasure.

  • myklvncnt says:

    Great film. I'm guessing from all the comments that no one has read the book. Try reading the book. Then watch the film with subtitles. I guarantee you'll appreciate the movie more. Kudos to the Wachowski's for the balls to even think of tackling this film. The adaptation might not be perfect but let me see anybody else try and do better.

    And I can't believe you're all feeding a troll like clint.

    • clint says:

      Cloud atlas Tom Hanks

      "A telling sign: Tom Hanks did not want to discuss the film on The Colbert Report at the end of October, but he was more than happy to talk about his past roles as trick-or-treaters dressed as movie characters played by Hanks dropped by Colbert’s place one by one."

      Read more: http://entertainment.time.com/2012/12/27/the-flops-cloud-atlas-and-the-years-other-terrible-movies/#ixzz2H8AZnkFv

      Cloud atlas Hugh Grant
      “I bitterly regret doing the whole film,”

      It seems a few of cloud atlas actors are trolling cloud atlas too, and once they are no longer contracted to promote this garbage film, i have no doubt they will be calling it there worst film.

      You cant honestly tell me halle berry was actually acting in cloud atlas with a straight face, as for the 4 or 6 stories a 14 year old child could write better, a whole story on a uk old peoples home & the farce of them escaping are you people for real, a whole story on a educated doctor wanting to kill a man for his ring on his finger & a key around his neck bordering on total farce again, then we have hanks & halle dressed as a scruff & her as a reject actor from logans run in a story that was even worse than a episode of lost in space.

      You cloud atlas fans are having a laugh, as for me trolling my anger is from wasting 4 hours of my valuable time & money on this crap of a movie that insulted me on every level, yes country folk would love it, george bush type of people.

      • Tobias says:

        Clint, sorry but you are a total ignorant..
        "He did not want to speak about Cloud atlas".. perhaps you should see the video again (perhaps you should see cloud atlas again.. :D) and then write your so intelligent comments.

        After reading most of your comments:
        1. cloud atlas IS NOT a Hollywood movie, but an independent production
        2. it was filmed in Europe, mostly in Germany... There are not that many "English speaking Asians" available there (not that it matters in any way, I just wanted to make a stupid comment too)

        Sorry, I could not resist in feeding a troll.. hope you like it. 😉

        About what matters: I liked the movie.. It is not perfect but still one of the best movies I've seen lately!

        • clint says:

          These quotes were directly from the website, nothing to do with me, its rather odd that a actor would say i bitterly regret doing this movie 2 months after its release, as for me "perhaps you should see cloud atlas again" i would rather watch a shop window dummy for 3 hours, or read the george dubba bush biography, i feel alot you fans are impreesed by the special effects & the sci fi feel good factor, but if you bothered to look at the content of the script & spent less time looking at the pretty pictures you might realise what a turkey of a movie it is,

          story 1, old man in old peoples home plots escape, eventually escapes with help from scots in a pub who are supposed to hate the english & beat up those nasty evildoers from the home.

          story 2, a educated, wealthy doctor, decides to murder a man on a ship on a very long voyage knowing all to well that once he does it he still will be on that same ship, how many murderers are happy to be at the scene of the crime after they murder someone? & all for a ring & a magic key one can only assume its the lord of the rings ring.

          story 3, a young English musician who is bisexual who would shag a lamp post, tries to hump his hot 80 year old mentor who refuses him then blackmails him to compose music for him, how fucking interesting that was.

          story 4, post-apocalyptic man tom hanks looking like a victorian beggar, gets visits from this boring black chick from the future who could cure insomnia with her acting, 1st he believes her then doubts her, then believes her, then doubts her, and this belief & doubt in her persists for the entire story leaving me doubt my insanity, at which point i left the cinema 50 minutes before the end & being very jealous of the 10 or 15 people that left well before me, i said goodbye to my family & waited in the lobby for a hour & watched a fascinating spider in its web wait for a fly on the ceiling, so much more interesting than the 100 million mess that i just saw.

          • Carlos says:

            Clint don't worry you are a jerk but maybe in next life you be a different person, so don't worry just wait to "surf" to your next life, by the way, I regret wasting my time replying to all your nonsense but you're really annoying to read.

      • Tobias says:

        Just for the record, this is where Hugh Grant says “I bitterly regret doing the whole film,”

  • Hu Nhu? says:

    Not a perfect movie, but thought-provoking, and at times moving. I'm very glad I saw it. I intend
    to watch it again. I don't know anyone who takes Time Magazine seriously.

  • clint says:

    Carlos, i wonder could tell me what is midly interesting or intelligent in these mind numbing stories everything below describes the content of these stories, i think steven speilberg, ridley scott would not go near these infantile stories with a 90 feet barge pole, they were written by children for children i am glad to see the 10 to 16 year olds posting here enjoyed it, i am a 46 year old adult & detested it & so did the cinema going public who will probably bankrupt the film company behind this mess with 50 million losses, & that is something not one of you can deny the massed loathed it, word of mouth killed this movie dead, so drop it you are all in the minority who liked it, if you bother to read the below stories you will understand why we all hated it.

    story 1, old man in old peoples home plots escape, eventually escapes with help from scots in a pub who are supposed to hate the english & beat up those nasty evildoers from the home.

    story 2, a educated, wealthy doctor, decides to murder a man on a ship on a very long voyage knowing all to well that once he does it he still will be on that same ship, how many murderers are happy to be at the scene of the crime after they murder someone? & all for a ring & a magic key one can only assume its the lord of the rings ring.

    story 3, a young English musician who is bisexual who would shag a lamp post, tries to hump his hot 80 year old mentor who refuses him then blackmails him to compose music for him, how fucking interesting that was.

    story 4, post-apocalyptic man tom hanks looking like a victorian beggar, gets visits from this boring black chick from the future who could cure insomnia with her acting, 1st he believes her then doubts her, then believes her, then doubts her, and this belief & doubt in her persists for the entire story leaving me doubt my insanity, at which point i left the cinema 50 minutes before the end & being very jealous of the 10 or 15 people that left well before me, i said goodbye to my family & waited in the lobby for a hour & watched a fascinating spider in its web wait for a fly on the ceiling, so much more interesting than the 100 million mess that i just saw.