Peoples Reviews of Magnolia

score = 100 
krizs offer some really good insights.  I'm going to search for other discussions, because this was definitely a provacative movie with A LOT of subtle references and references.  I did not think the movie was too long at all.  Great acting by, yes, Cruise, Robards, Moore, et al.  A modern day allegory..just incredible to think back to it and try to tie all the pieces together.  I loved American Dream and Ice Storm, but this is in it's own category.  Kinda like an elmore leonard movie (get shorty?) meets The Wasteland. If you don't know if you should go see it, go see it. If you don't understand subleties, too bad, but if you enjoy unique movies, see this in the big screen. The only thing that disturbed me a little was the when they all broke out in song---I thought it was too MTV--but HEY, The MOVIE WAS ABOUT TV--so that may be what was intended---Brilliant---see I just realized that! after seeing it last night.  WOW!

score = 100 
ok, well personally, I loved the movie I've seen it twice, and yes I realize that's 6 hours of my life gone but oh-well. Other than the extremely obvious exodus 8:2, why does the number 82 appear about 20 times thorughout the movie? eg. the arguing parents of the man who jumped off the roof lived in rm. 82, it said 82 in the rope near the jumping mans feet, the opening sequence in black and white where the man is being hanged, the weather etc...I also noticed that in every characters room there are pictures of Mgnolias or some sort of flower on the wall. The crack sniffing chicks room number kept changing from 12601 to 12501 to 12601 and a half. Her outfit changed when she was going on the date with the cop...and the list of weird little things goes on...I'm just wondering if there's signifcance to these things, if there is please tell me!

score = 70 
Magnolia and Frogs! A sure combination for extreme feelings derived from watching this film. The good aspect is that you spend the whole movie trying to make sense of all extreme events taking place. On the bad side is that you would live the theatre still trying to make sense of it. May be that is what is all about: life makes no sense and things DO HAPPEN. For as much incredible and coincidental as they happen, they DO happen. Tom Cruise's performance is outstanding. But help me here.. Why Magnolia? Why would P.T. Anderson choose the flower of a Magnolia as a title?

score = 90 
Some people deserve to die, some want to die, some peoples fate is in others hands, all in utter lonliness.  most of these characters fall in a mix of all these categories.  best movie of the year.  if your looking for a movie to help escape from reality, go see another film.  I'f you want to see great acting, and great filmmaking this is the one to see.  Some parts could be cut (scene where all are singing to the music).  but other than that, the pace of the movie was perfect for what was happening. i loved almost every minute!

score = 100 
I knew very little about this film going into it-- My friend gave me a free ticket. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of drinking an enormous cup of coffee before hand. Twenty minutes into the movie I had to pee. What does this have to do with anything? Well, after only 20 minutes of Magnolia I was convinced that if I stepped foot out of the theater-- I would in fact die. (Unprovable, yes-- but after viewing the work as a whole-- I am personally still convinced.) I had no idea how long the movie was, and I have a notoriously weak bladder-- but I had to watch the entire movie. For anyone who has seen it, you can see my sympathy for poor Stanley knows no bounds. If this film fails to win all awards and accolades that it deserves, I'll be forced to sue everyone. In explaining my love for this movie to my sister, I asked her what she felt was the best movie of the year, she answered "American Beauty" or "Being J.M."-- and whereas I agree that these were both excellent movies, I explained it to her like this: "If "American Beauty" & "Being J.M." were to have a baby, it would still only turn out to be a tag-along, bedwetting younger brother to "Magnolia."

frank t.j. mackey (tom b) 
score = 100 
Absolutely brilliant.  anyone who does not like this movie has both no culture, and no sense of greatness. the best acting of the year, best directing, best screenplay, what more do you need?  whoever thinks it is too long, please tell me one scene that shouldn't have been there?  hilarious, poetic, beautiful, sad, forgiving, i have now seen it about six times, and am more touched and in more awe each time i see it.  everything makes sense- if it was "too confusing," next time don't even try to see something of substance- see "down to you."  bottem line: as close to perfection as you can get.  i have a.d.d., and i wanted to sit through another three hours, it was so good.  movies simply do not get any better then this.  pt anderson is simply a genius. THANK-YEE!

Daniel J. Christie 
score = None 
I'll skip the 1-to-10 rating since it's generally misleading and almost always born of an initial burst of either enthusiasm or disappointment. Magnolia was a beautiful, elegiac piece of cinema. It gave me hope that America is still capable of great art in a time of lowest common denominator movies. It didn't insult my intelligence. It allowed me to draw my own conclusions. And, really, at its core, what was Magnolia? Nothing more than a day in the life of Los Angeles. (Yes, I know it wasn't L.A. proper. I'm Canadian. It all looks the same from up here. And it's been raining 'frogs' up here for two hundred years...)I'll see it again. I was astounded at the behaviour (good) of the audience. Everyone at the theatre I attended was quiet, very quiet. It was as if every person there saw something of themselves on the screen. A truly beautiful film. Not for everyone, mind. But truly beautiful to those who care to give this movie the attention it deserves.

score = 20 
Excellent acting.  That's all.  I've noticed many people saying that only people who like cliche, contrived, and, in my opinion, horrible movies like Titanic WON'T like Magnolia.  This could not be further from the truth.  I love movies that are difficult to understand, and cannot be understood fully until the fourth or fifth time seeing it.  These movies are like tapestries, with interwoven pieces (which can be difficult to understand) weaving together throughout the film to form a masterpiece.  This is how I heard Magnolia described.  It isn't true.  And to those of you who are faulting its critics saying that they didn't fully understand the Biblical undertones, etc.  I completely did.  I knew every part of the Bible that was discussed or aluded to in that movie.  It still didn't make sense in any deeper way than saying "life is chaotic."  Magnolia was horrible, and unless you often find yourself going to artsy movie festivals, watching a movie, and thinking it was brilliant while everyone else in the theatre walks out saying "that made no sense whatsoever," DON'T SEE IT.

David Grazziani 
score = 80 
Is everyone blind? The meaning is deep rooted. Many minds are to jumental to see that their is a religous theme to the movie. First lets start with 8:2. the number 82 is repeated constantly throught the movie. If you understand the bible you will know what it means. "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs." This would explain the refrence to the frog showers. There are many more refrences to the bible;if you care to know what I have found, just email me at

score = 100 
This was a great slap in the face. remember:"The book(bible)says we may be done with the past, but the past is not done with us" The bible is the way to salvation and the movie Magnolia tells it. You may have already heard of the meaning in Exodus 8:2, so I will elaborate on other refrences. When the frogs were comming down and the boy was reading, did you care to notice where the light was comming from??It came from the book!!The bible is the light that guides us out of darkness. Or how about When the cop prays for god to help him find his lost gun?? No prayer goes unanswered and as we latter see, his gun came from the sky. Remember The bible is the word of God. Some may think it is Irrational for any of the revalations to come true, but as the movie so delicatly put it,"but it did happen."Mail me for more info

Dave H. 
score = 10 
Bar none, the worst movie I have ever seen. I can only think that Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore have all of the money they will need and wanted to torpedo their careers. A film to avoid... at all costs.

score = 10 
Absolute worst film I have seen in my life.  Three hours of mindless, disjointed confusion.  There was no story being told in this movie, just utter nonsense.  People if you read this to see what others are saying ...  Read this: DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR YOUR MONEY!  This film will be on video release very soon I'm sure.

score = 100 
Is that as high as the scores go? Magnolia is by far the most inventive and utterly amazing film released this year. It is good to know that as we enter the year 2000, there are still filmakers out there that will challenge us. That will leave us in our seats to ponder the great thing our minds just beheld. But it is also a very, very depressing thought that as we enter the year 2000, the movie audience has been dumbed down by such drivel as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo, Big Daddy, and any other movie that makes ridicule of our intelligence. Magnolia requires thought and opinion and interaction with the characters and with the film itself. If you didn't enjoy or feel challenged by this film, I truly hope that you didn't like the film on more of a reason than "This is just dumb." Or because you because you wanted to just sit there and have everything explained to you. Form your own opinions on the film and treat yourself to a true art and brilliance. Stop eating McDonalds crap and sit and enjoy a 5 star meal. This film is nearly miraculous and utterly worthy of all superlatives. If you can recommend any film, recommend this one and see what they think about it. Im sure you are the only ones that missed the boat.

score = None 
It amazes me to see everybody's different reaction to this movie.  As for the title, Magnolia is a street in the San Fernando Valley where much of the movie takes place.  Everybody intersects around Magnolia, so much takes place on it throughout the movie.  And, I think I heard that PT Anderson grew up just off of Magnolia in North Hollywood.

Andrew Black 
score = 80 
Paul Anderson is undisciplined.  There was too much going on in that movie.  The first fifteen minutes of the movie was fantastic as he unloaded all that energy on the screen.  It was downhill from there.  The characters motivations seemed muddy.  I really did not believe anything that came out of Julianne' Moore's mouth, since she was on drugs most of the movie, and I found her suicide attempt to be more odd than believable.  Likewise, I never understood why William H. Macy decided to rob the store.   Yeah, I get that he was mad and felt ripped off, still seemed out of character.  Granted both were dramatic which is what Paul Anderson likes, all climaxes.  There is too much repeition in the film.  We get not one but two seniors dying of cancer with unfinished business.  We get two drug addicts.  We get two quiz kids (old and young).  We get three public humiliations/public meltdowns (the kid show host, the kid show contestant and Tom Cruise after the nacho break.)  It was just two much. Having said that, the visual style of the movie is fantastic, some of the performances are outstanding (Julianne Moore in the drug store, Tom Cruise when the reporter begins to crack through his game), and the pace never lets up. The resolution felt weak (the quiz kid saying to his dad: you'd better be nicer to me--so what?).  What are we to assume that the coked up daughter will suddenly straighten out?  She and the cop are headed for trouble unless he finds an Al-Anon meeting real fast.  It is interesting that P. Anderson's movie "Boogie Nights" was about the porno industry, because  his "Magnolia" feels like porno too, all climaxes.

score = 60 
Although well acted and poiignant, this was still a very confusing movie. Unlike life, we do expect our movies to make a certain kind of sense. Usually things begin and end and have a purpose in movies. I do not understand the frogs, I looked in the Bible about the plagues upon the children of Israel, and they were sent because pharoah would not let the Isrealites leave their enslavement. Nowhere in the movie was there an enslavement. Unless it was the young boy with his father on the game show. Please, someone, explain this to me. Thanks. FB

score = 100 
Luis: You've just explained everything I wanted to say! To anyone who didn't like the movie: Ever heard of a thing called symbolism? The symbols and themes and motifs are just exploding out of this film, which make it such an interesting movie! It's deep, yet has messages which I think everyone can use. The frogs, the songs, the powerful emotion and the irony - this should be used for a study in English class. Thank you P.T.A! We've been waiting for something like this...

score = 90 
Yes, Magnolia was Three hours long, and yes there were many characters with no real main character stated...but I am giving a Standing Ovation to Paul Thomas Anderson for making a superb film.  This film is in it's own rank.  I love the style Anderson uses...with Mann's music actually USED in the film  to the fact that this movie has three distinct parts to it( partly cloudy, rain, and rain)and yes, the ending...which is wonderful. Anderson must've known that there would be a point that the ending would be no longer believable and cheesy, and he succesfully brought us almost to that point, making it all the more entertaining and scrumptious.  And a note to Chase--I don't know where you're from buddy...but here nobody blurted out or moaned because of that ending-I think you're in the minority!  Congrats...P.T. Anderson on a remarkable film!!!

score = 100 
No in depth analysis of the film here. Like real life, this film is so disturbing and offensive at times that I felt uncomfortable seeing it so up-close and personal on the big screen. Still I was sucked into the film and experienced it with my heart, head and stomach in a way that most movies never even come close to.  A million thanks to PTA and all that were involved, and an even bigger thanks to the extremely talented Aimee Mann who has a knack for writing songs that I end up listening to with my heart first and ears second.

For someone who asked: Magnolia is the name of a street that runs through the San Fernando Valley-- it's a main drag that basically divides the affluent from the poor. The big question, though, is why did Anderson actually substitute Victory Blvd. farther north for the night scenes at the intersection? And was that a set, or the actual Laurel Canyon/Victory crossing?

Tyler Durdon 
score = 100 
I thought that Magnolia was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Combining excellent acting, camera work, music, and a fast paced story, I think Magnolia deserves special recognition. Also, I believe that the people who didnt get this plot were slow dim wits who wouldn't know a good movie if it bit them in the *nose*. *cough carrie/eva* I totally agree with Josh. Some movies need to be appreciated by intelligent movie-goers who like Titanic and others that were so cheesy they were funny. Anyways, I have never been so absorbed with a movie, and its tragic and realistic story was completely believeable.

Enns, G. 
score = 90 
Hello Movie fans, The dichotomous responses to this movie were not a surprise to me. Paul Thomas Anderson very boldly wrote a script full of "in your face" controversy and deep symbolism which always has a tendency to stir the crowd. However, this movie is about more than just a collection of convoluted life stories. On a superficial level, it provides many obvious references to how emotionally retarded we are as a society and how it affects our childern. On a symbolic level, the movie makes several references to the  "Element of chance," and the Bible. The beauty of this movie is that there is so much subtlety that one would have to watch it again and again to fully comprehend it. People who hate riddles will probably hate this movie.

Scott L. 
score = None 
All time worst movie I ever saw.  Was emotionally draining while almost boring me to death at the same time.  Now that is a strange mix.  The acting and casting where excellent.  If you feel you have to see the movie wait till it is out on video so you can fast forward...

Hugh Braselton 
score = 100 
This has got to be one of the most exhilirating movie experiences I have ever had.  The acting is way above par, and the writing and directing is the best I have seen in the past few years.  P.T. Anderson is amazing, and just like his other two movies, Magnolia feels like a breath of fresh air in a world full of smog.  The opening thirty minutes of the movie is some of the best filmmaking I have ever seen.  Magnolia forces the viewer to think and for most moviegoers that is a scary thought, but it is not near as scary as thinking of that Blair Witch sequel, good god!  Anderson is a true auteur and the best filmmaker of his day.

score = 100 
I don't know if my review made it, but I would like to get my say in on Magnolia.  In the past four years the moviegoers that like good movies have been pounded with crap like Titanic(what a joke) and Wild Wild West.  Thank God for PT Anderson and his guts to make such a involving movie.  After seeing Magnolia I felt like I lived through the heartache and pain of the people on screen, and the frog part at the end shows how extreme measures can bring people together.  An incident as absurd as falling frogs is what it takes to bring some people to forgiveness and to start over.  The extremities of these people's actions seem almost unforgiveable.  Someone who says this movie is not entertaining is obviously someone who thinks Jean-Claude Van Damme is a good actor and that Simon Sez with Dennis Rodman was great. I advised a friend to go see American Beauty, and his girlfriend cried the whole time, she hated it with a passion.  The next week they went and saw Blue Streak.  I asked her,In two years which movie will you remember Blue Streak or American Beauty?  And you have to ask yourself, what will you remember Magnolia or Stuart Little?  If your scared of emotions do not go see Magnolia.  If you love movies and think that the quality of movies is awful go see Magnolia and you will be converted.  If you don't go see Magnolia read Exodus 8:2.

score = 100 
Wonderfull, amazing, perhaps perfect!, you have to think abaut it, i think thats why someones dont like the movie, they dont like to think

score = None 
Impossible to give a score to, this just trancends normal filmic experience. It is wonderful to watch something so bold, so ambitious put together with such care and craft and with such sympathy and human understanding. Fascinating to see the US film industry really beginning to see the market for intelligent, literate, risk taking projects and I hope that this remarkable film raises these stakes even higher. Paul Thomas Anderson, how did you ever fit this into a 3 sentence pitch? ......'Er, OK, it's LA and theres these people........'. Go and see it to see what movie making and story telling can be about.

score = 80 
A splendid film, only a little bit too lengthy but never boring. A person of average culture (but I am European) should be able to catch a significant part of the innumerable references the film contains. It is highly rewarding that so many of them go unexplained, so that it is up to the viewer to read the whole thing at different levels. Those who give Magnolia a score of 50 or less probably did not get past level one. I was stunned to read here that "(...) the first job of the playwrite [playwright, I assume] or the novelist is to tell a story" as this is plain nonsense, as James Joyce (and lots of others) have shown.

score = 100 
the movie is just great. its made for intellgent people, so decide if you are one of those,and see it. if you are of those that only like TITANIC type of movie, dont waste your time!!! (titanic its not a bad movie.)

Guilherme Castro 
score = 80 
Paul Thomas Anderson reproduz o fluxo alucinante de ações, sons e emoções de nosso cotidiano. Surpreende com linguagens cinematográficas inesperadas. Vale a pena ver.

score = 90 
First of all, my girlfriend and I loved the film. With these "types" of films, I tend to judge them based on how often I look at my watch - with this one, I looked once after about 2 hours, then didn't look again. Having seen it here in Stockholm, we had the advantage of avoiding fuzzy dialogue, since all foreign films are sub-titled. Krizs's reviews were intersting inasmuch they make me realize I'll have to watch this film again when it comes out on video, since there were obviously loads of hidden messages in the film that I neither saw nor understood. Without wanting to be patronizing - to all of you who hated the film, there are films that are entertaining (and that you forget as soon as you leave the theater), and there are films that you can discuss for hours afterwards (such as Breaking the Waves or Von Trier's Festen (a Danish film))


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