Magnolia  Weekend B Office DVD and Video Movie Navigator  2000 R Schedule Oscars 2000

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Magnolia: Friday January 7, 2000

There are stories of coincidence and intersections and strange things told. There is the story of a Father, the Young Wife, his Lost Son, the Caretaker, the Boy Genius, his Father, the Game Show Host, the Daughter, the Mother, the Ex-Boy Genius and the Police Officer in Love.

This is a story set in the San Fernando Valley on a day full of rain with no clouds.

This is a story about family relationships and bonds that have been broken and need to be mended in one day. -- © 1999 New Line Cinema

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For Peoples Reviews of Magnolia Scroll Down The Page



Ebert UsaToday Mr Showbiz EW Average
Points 100 87.5 85 85 89.38



89.38 - A Must See

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Rating System:

0 - 40 points

Not Worth Seeing
40 - 65 points  Go See At Matinee
65- 85 points Worth Seeing
85-100 points Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"


Paul Thomas Anderson 


Paul Thomas Anderson 






William H. Macy as  Donnie Smith
Julianne Moore as Linda Partridge
Philip S. Hoffman as Phil Parmer 
Michael Bowen as The Boy Genius' Father
Tom Cruise as Frank T.J. Mackey 

Running Time

3 hours


Rated R for strong language, drug use, sexuality and some violence. 


New Line Cinema


Real Player


Official Site


Soundtrack from 


Screenplay  from 




 The People's Review of Magnolia

score = 100
I didn't know what to expect from Magnolia-- nobody really had anything to say about it because they never really got around to seeing it... but what I got was a roller coaster of emotions. I watched this movie twice in a row when I first rented it because it was an emotional roller coaster ride for me to watch. The movie touched me in so many ways-- both good and bad. To the man who said it was the job of the filmmaker to cater to his audience, I believe you are wrong. If Shakespeare, Dickens, Tolstoy, or Austen tried to please all people with their works, then they would not have created the masterpieces that still live today. This film takes a lot of effort to truly understand and appreciate. Some of its beauty lies in its chaotic complexity. However, as hard as it is to try and follow it, it is worthwhile to go through the headache and confusion in the end.

score = 80
comments = This film, along with others such as American Beauty, Resevoir Dogs, and Dead Poets Society, are definitely quality films.  If all a person expects when they go to a film is to be entertained, go see Independence Day or Sleepless in Seatle(Great Films; don't get me wrong).  But not all movies have to have cookie cutter good endings or be blockbusters or be trite and emotional(titanic. .yuk).  If you are a shallow individual or lack a sense of complexity or hate philosophy and understanding deep truths, Don't see this movie!  You'll hate it, strait up.  But does that make the movie bad?
Some could say that this movie was too realistic and I would have to agree with them on that.  It is not the most pleasant movie to watch.  But it is not meant for that.  It is meant to make people realize that although life seems at times to be mere chance, that people are still held responsible for their actions and are accoutable for them.
At least that's what I took from it.
Some people just want to be entertained and escape from reality when they watch a movie.
That's great.  Just don't expect everyone to have the same opinion and views.  I believe one can learn from movie just as much as from books, we just go in to movies with a different mindset.  No one expects to learn from a movie.  I hope that will change.
Please stop the closed-mindedness and give thought a chance.  God gave you a mind, a heart, and a will for a reason!

score = None
My main concern are the raining frogs.  My mother grew up just off of Magnolia Blvd. in the Valley.  She and a bunch of her now grown up friends from the same area viewed the movie as a memorial of their "glory days."  This is where the frogs come in.  It seems that most of them remember a day in the valley when it actually did rain frogs.  This is actually a somewhat common occurance in different areas of the worlds, so why not the valley?!  It is possible that a large storm in the desserts or mountains surrounding the valley picked up the frogs and droped them off in the Magnolia area neighborhood.  Is there anyone else who has this recollection?  I think it is quite interesting and makes the biblical reference a little more real!!!

score = 40
comments = I watched this movie over a two day period...glad I didn't see it at the theatre. But there was some fine acting by all...I can handle the frogs....and the inter-twining stories. I didn't understand a word of the kid's rap except the word 'worm' and I still don't know why it's titled 'Magnolia'  Any help out there????

Joćo PCL 
score = 100 
This is simply brilliant. Along with American Beauty, this is one of the best movies of the year. Brilliant PT direction, great music, a great cast, an enourmous film. Well worth seeing it.

score = None 
In a word, Magnolia was: art. This movie displayed the ability to take its viewers by the hand and subject them to every conceivable human emotion. Any time you manipulate the morality of a person and shift someone's paradigm, you're inevitably going to encounter opposition. To those of you who didn't enjoy the film, I perceive that as a grave tragedy. If you were expecting multi-million dollar special effects complete with exploding buildings, overturned cars and gunshot wounds, I can understand your disappointment, but there are more to movies than Jean Claude Van Damme and the Die Hard series (thankfully). In a film world dripping with mediocrity, Magnolia was a pleasant alternative to the visual garbage offered to us daily by Hollywood. If you didn't enjoy the film, it doesn't necessarily mean you're not intelligent. To me, it simply means, for whatever reason, you are unable to appreciate art and make no mistake about it, this movie was, indeed, a masterpiece. If Magnolia didn't appeal to any human emotion you possess, you must be dead. Whether you enjoyed it or not, it guided you on an emotional journey coupled with phenomenal acting and original, incredible screen shots. This movie was sensational, but it's not for everyone. If you can appreciate artistic approach, you absolutely must see this film. However, if you're more endeared by movies which offer audiences scores of high school students and pie fu*#)@g, then you should probably skip this one because, quite frankly, you don't deserve to view Magnolia. But, to each his own. Remember, though, people aren't comfortable confronting genius because it makes themselves feel inferior. They are much more comfortable settling for mediocrity; that way, they aren't intellectually challenged. Good day.

score = 90 
it was one of the best films i had ever seen. a very good story and good actors. the only bad thing is the length of the film he could be only 2h.

score = 10 
I totally disagree with the positive reviews given to Magnolia.  I would not rate this "a must see".  It was three long hours of confusion.  Don't waste your time or your money!

Brian Denzler 
score = 90 
This movie Magnolia was a serious butt kicker, acting is surperlative for sure, but charecters are even better?  About FAte, chance, forgiveness, and of course, the human condition, this ones a must see.

score = 10 
Oh, please, this is ignorance and bad taste trying to pass as a narrative.  P-L-E-A-S-E.  I wasted my money, but worst of all, my time.

score = 100 
Note to Carrie: Some movies are metaphorical or symbolic. This means instead of cheesy dialog that explains what happens the movie requires intellegence on the part of the viewer. Yes the movie is chaotic because"major hint" so is life. If you make a movie about life it seems a little contrived to make all the pieces fit at the end because in life that does not happen. Also pay attention to the game show segment many of the questions are direct references to the subject of the film. I sugest maybe you read up on art, or only see films like titanic which are obvious and patronizing.

score = 30 
I was disappointed and disturbed by the whole movie. Tangled logic,disjointed,music background so loud it masked important dialog. Never really saw a connection between the odd introduction and the rest of the story. No better ending than the stupid raining frogs?

Evan Burleigh 
score = 100 
This is the greatest movie i have ever seen in my entire life, EVER. and this is the first time i have ever called a movie my favorite of all time.. I have seen it 4 times already, this film deserves BEST PICTURE if it can get an oscar this late in the game.

score = 10 
As a fellow (aspiring) filmmaker, I feel qualified in measuring the greatness of this film by how much  HURT!!  I was sitting in the theater, bored and confused.  It's not that I couldn't follow the storyline,(didn't take much intelligence to do that)or appreciate some of the finer performances (actually they were all strong).  It's simply that, as a filmmaker you have a resposibility to your audience.  A responsibility not to waste their money, or 3 and a half hours of their life.  The "symbolism" was cheap, the "coincidences" that intertwined the characters lives were contrived.  Finally, c'mon, raining frogs?  At that moment the entire theater let out a collective  We all left shaking our heads.  Was it art, or a filmmakers mental .I vote for the latter.

Phillip Andrew 
score = 90 
Having seen the magnificent Magnolia a second time, I must say that it was even better the second time around, and P.T.A. is a genius.  I will say one thing to Tom Cruise fans: Under no circumstances even attempt to watch this film because a film of this scale cannot even begin to be absorbed by your intelligence and you will ridicule it in fear of your small minds.  Instead, wait until next summer when you can go see Mission Impossible the sequel

score = 40 
The characterizations were strong.  The acting was superb.  The storyline itself - *very* true to life - was good.  I give it less than 50% because....when I go to a movie, I expect to get entertained.  This was too much like life - and the negative side of it at that - to be appreciated.  However, I do not take issue with those who loved it enough to see a second and third time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so...if anyone is looking for a solid "yes or not" to the question "should I see this movie?" don't expect a solid answer.  The only thing I object to in these reviews are those who, like Josh and Phillip presume that those who don't like it are limited in intelligence. That's unfair, cheap and uncalled for.  This movie, like all art, should speak for itself and IT SHOULD SAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT to everyone who views it. Right?

Will Vancans 
score = 10 
All I have to say is that I went into the theatre with an open mind because I love twisted, off-beat films, however; this film was just "garbage". It was a non-sense filled, un-organised, drab, ignorant, weird, un-connecting venture into a pseudo-intellectual's subcontience; P. T. Anderson tried too hard to dazzle with bolderdash. Using an off-kilter camera style and un-fitting background music, he physically created... nonsense. There are really no true connections made in this film, and the points are very unclear. The acting was wonderful, and the cast was great, but the writing and directing was absolutely a non-success. It's too bad, there could have been so much more done with this film. It seems to me that P. T. Anderson is just another Oliver Stone "wanna'be" with some artsy visions and a lot of drug taking; that's not a personal attack, it's just mere observation. I give the film 1 star for the acting. Otherwise, it's truly not worth seeing. Anyone who says differently, must have some awkward views on film.

score = 90 
Frank and Chase:   Yes, the raining frogs is bizarre, but check out the reference to Exodus 8:2!

score = 100 
I was facinated, saddened, confused, excited and vastly entertained by Magnolia.  Tom Cruise was wonderful, but so were all the others in it.  I want to see it again.  It encompassed so much about real, hate , forgiveness, redemption, salvation, happenstance, parenting, death....I loved it.

score = 100 
A tremendous accomplishment. A very emotional film that contains all our hopes and fears of love lost or found. The acting truly held me in place. A 3hr movie is the norm these days but I am glad I endured this one. A original conception. Not a typical films unlike some viewers who claim to be confused and bewildered by it. I afraid we have some people living with blindfolds around us. I think we all can relate to one if not all of those characters from time to time. And finally, it was the best waste of my money I have ever spent and I would enjoy doing it again.

score = 100 
Best movie of the year, if you're the intelligent viewer without any attention deficit disorder.  Writing, acting, and direction are brilliant.  Many questions about the human condition:  sin, forgiveness, regret, and most effectively innocence. Anderson really conjured up a winner with this one..

score = 10 
this movie was confusing and a waste of money. it's one of those films where you want to throw your popcorn at the screen!!! definitely not recommended. three hours is a long time to sit through any film, let alone this one!.

score = 30 
Two hours into the movie it rates a 10 at best. Finally it pulls itself up from the rubble as the knitting of characterizations unfolds. Perhaps this would have unfolded earlier if one could understand the lyrics of it's youngest actors' street rap. The frogs saved it. It was only then that the filmakers were able to blatently tell those of us who shelled out real money to see it that we were fools for coming in the first place!

score = 20 
Overwritten. In one sentece the work tries too hard to capture what can only be known by living life.  Make up your mind; does this movie portray the lives of people who are trapped by the roles they play in life, or is it about the seemingly innocuous bystanders who may play a role in entrapping us or setting us free? In the end it doesn't come together (and yes niether does life, however this movie makes the claim of coming together.) Either way the blatant biblical references interspersed throughout had me praying for a plague of frogs to free me from the theater even BEFORE they came down on screen.

score = None 
The idea of attaching a 'score' to any form of art is kind of a distasteful idea to me, so I won't, regardless of my feelings toward the film. However, I can say that I did enjoy all three hours but have to question...How many real frogs were used in the last hour, and were any injured? Inquiring animal rights activists want to know. Hopefully, this production was "cruelty free" because if not, no movie is worth it!  Hmmm...Exodus...but what of the other plagues?

score = 80 
I am disappointed with the lack of discussion about the symbolism in the movie.  I don't know a great deal about the bible, but the "stupid" raining frogs scene is a biblical reference.  Remember the game show crowd scene?  There was a sign that read Exodus 8:2.  Check it out - that might explain what the "stupid" frog scene is all about. I also noticed references to the "Prophet" (Moses) and an "Oppressor" (possibly the Pharaoh) in the little boy's rap sequence.  (There are probably tons of Biblical references that I missed) If anyone else has ideas about how the Bible fits into this story, please elaborate - since it is such a crucial element of Magnolia. This is definitely a movie that must be seen again.  I loved the cinematography and the acting, and the plot seems like it must be seen a number of times to be fully understood.  For those who "hated" the movie, check out the symbolism - this is not the kind of movie that reveals its nuances.  It must be interpreted to be understood.

score = 50 
After watching this movie and letting it sit in my mind for a while I've concluded that it wasn't as good as I originally thought.  I think its more a series of well acted scenes.  The problem is that the story is just a tired reach for our emotions:  drug use, cancer, mollestation.  It also suffers from using type-cast actors in their very type-cast!  William H. Macy in a hole too deep to dig out of, Julianne Moore teetering on the edge of breakdown.  I thought the frogs were an event that simply jolted all these lives into sync. It could have been any event,  like the earthquake at the end of Short Cuts.  My favorite character in the movie was the cop.

mr . scott 
score = None 
I love it , Every one with such a different opinion , such a wide cast of reviewers and when you look at it , its almost 5o/50 .... how can a movie be such an argue ? well , thats easy ... it takes balls . and let me tell you something P.T. andersons got em . he starts us out laughing , then smashes us with a ton of bricks (the bricks being life , as sad and bleak as it is ) only to shock us with the most off the wall thing to show us , its possible for miricles to happen to bring us together to make us change to make us forgive ... and you will only leave the theater thinking , "oh my god , i've never seen anything like that in my life " but , its something that will not leave your head for a long time . that my friends is a movie . 99 is my review  and this movie is my pick for best movie of the year .

score = 10 
As this film progressed (bad choice of words---progress implies a beginning and an end and movement in a direction.), I placed a bet with myself that most of the professional reviews of this film would be positive.  Being a movie buff and a voracious reader, I have come into contact with many so-called artistic endeavors, which were unworthy of a fourteen-year-old's creativity. However, if the piece was totally incomprehensible, totally boring and totally raunchy, I could always count on pseudo-intellectual critics to rave about it. It seems as though they figure that if enough manure is present, there must be a pony in there somewhere. Magnolia fails for a very simple reason. In his desire to fill the screen with profanity, suicide, drug use and public urination, P.T. Anderson forgot that the first job of the playwrite or the novelist is to tell a story. This film has no story, nor does it tie together its confusing pieces at the end as some critics suggest.  In my youth, I might have been intimidated by this film, thinking that I was either not bright enough or not knowledgeable enough fully appreciate it. Please do not allow yourself such feelings if you decide to waste six dollars on this film.

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