The Master (Film) Review

The Master

Released: 14th September 2012
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons
Rating: R
Running Time: 138

Smart, powerfully acted, beautifully filmed, and solidly engrossing, The Master extends writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences.

A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman). -- (C) Weinstein

Michael Bonner (Uncut Magazine [UK]) said:
"This is more character study than story. Yet, it feels as shallow as The Cause itself, as maddeningly opaque as Dodd's motivations."

Damon Wise (Empire Magazine) said:
"An often brilliant '50s-throwback character drama that never feels nostalgic, with terrific central performances and a luminous, unforgettable visual beauty."

Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) said:
""The Master" is fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air."

Andrew O'Hehir ( said:
"This is an almost apocalyptic tale of thwarted emotion - love cut short - set in a pitiless land of delusions."

Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times) said:
"It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior, the interplay of troubled souls desperate to find their footing."

Claudia Puig (USA Today) said:
"Aiming for epic, it's undeniably thought-provoking, but too ambiguous to fully satisfy."

A.O. Scott (New York Times) said:
"This is a movie that defies understanding even as it compels reverent, astonished belief."

Karina Longworth (Village Voice) said:
"It's a film of breathtaking cinematic romanticism and near-complete denial of conventional catharsis. You might wish it gave you more in terms of comfort food pleasure, but that's not Anderson's problem."

Anthony Lane (New Yorker) said:
"On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to The Master, because it gives us so much to revere, starting with the image that opens the film and recurs right up to the end."

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) said:
"I believe in the church of Paul Thomas Anderson. Fierce and ferociously funny, The Master is a great movie, the best of the year so far, and a new American classic."

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