Starring: Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Bowen, Orlando Jones

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Produced by: New Line Cinema, Ghoulardi Film Company, Magnolia Project, The

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Genre: drama

Xibo's grade:


Average grade:



A- A- A-
Review by Xibo Date seen: December 24, 1999
Viewing Location: Lincoln Square, NYC Grade: A-
Summary: Excellent star performances shine through.
This movie has an all-star ensemble cast of nine characters with subplots that all entertwine in not-so-odd coincidences. We're meant to think they're odd, but they're not, really. Tom Cruise gives one of his best performances ever, and others in the cast also do amazing jobs. My favorite was John C. Reilly's role as the bumbling cop stumbling through and trying to make a difference. The first hour and a half of this film is simply stunning, absolutely shocking in direction. Had the director been able to maintain this pace, we would be looking at the film of the year. The soundtrack was very, very impressive; the tension builds as the orchestral track gets louder and louder and travels with us from scene to scene; in addition, each scene has its own music, rock/pop stuff, played on top of the orchestral score. The effect is stunning, and extremely loud.

But then the movie fails. Halfway through, we suffer through seeing a young prodigy struggle as he has to go to the bathroom, but he's not allowed to. You too, will want to go. This movie is three hours long! Shortly after this scene, we come across a really goofy thing where every character sings along with Aimee Mann "it's never going to stop" well guess what, this MOVIE is never going to stop, it just keeps going and going and going.

Then the movie devolves into a package to showboat Aimee Mann. I've never heard of her before this film, and her songs aren't really all that good. So we go from having easily recognizable songs in the soundtrack, to some indie artist the director is in love with. Well, gee, what happened to the film, guy? So it loses its A+, it loses its A, I give it an A-. Definitely worth seeing if you can afford the time though. 

C+ C+ C+
Review by Jessamine Date seen: February 4, 2000
Viewing Location: Atlanta, GA Grade: C+
Summary: Weird and pointless.
This movie bored me to tears. The best part was the first 5 minutes, and then it was 3 hours of mind-numbing torture. It jumped around in the style of "Pulp Fiction" without the "hip and cool" attitude found there. . . the only characters without serious problems were the nurse and the lawyer....  

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