Review: 'Cloud Atlas' Leaves You in a Fog

This week's review is like getting six movies for the price of one. It's nearly a three-hour mind-bender they may just leave you scratching your head.

Six major plot lines taking place over 500 years -- featuring the same actors playing multiple roles -- is what you get with "Cloud Atlas."

All of the stories are crosscut together, jumping back and forth from one another across different time periods ranging from a 19th century South Pacific sea voyage to the distant post-apocalyptic future where humanity lives on the very brink of extinction. The cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant. They do their best to tell the secrets of the universe and the human heart while leaving you, well, confused.

"Cloud Atlas" is simply too long and too scatterbrained. The central message is that we are all connected from womb to tomb and our lives are not our own. It's part comedy, fantasy, crime thriller, and hard-core sci-fi. I respect the effort but, honestly, it's like trying read a new board game in another language. I had a hard enough time trying to figure out who the stars were disguised as behind makeup, wigs, and other prosthetics. The Flick-O-Meter gives "Cloud Atlas" a three out of five. I loved the concept but this film was really all over the place. This movie is better off as a book. And when a film critic like myself says that,  you know there are problems.

Let me know what you think.

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Sue Dooley Krotz October 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM
i just finished this book in prep to watch the movie....i figured as much. If someone goes to see this movie without watching the trailer/website/reading book..it would be really confusing. I thought the same thing about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as I read it...how on earth will they make this a movie??? but they did...with Tom Hanks too...lol I will still go see it, but 3 hours...yikes!
Otherself October 28, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I feel the wide range of reviews of Cloud Atlas suggest that Wachowski accomplished part of what she set out to do. To get people thinking for themselves. No doubt, influential and important events often make waves when they are first presented. Cloud Atlas encourages questions and introspection in its viewers. I prefer this over many predictable, repetitive hollywood options. The many story lines of Cloud Atlas absolutely demand more attention than the average movie, but I have faith that the general population is more intelligent and open minded than the media often gives us credit for and will leave inspired and self empowered with another lens to view their world.


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