We don't typically re-post previous reviews on the site, but in the case of Cloud Atlas we feel it's necessary. The movie was one of the best films of 2012 and went almost completely unnoticed.
The negative reviews of Cloud Atlas that have been streaming in are symptomatic of our A.D.D. culture and a society that can't accept a film that has a longer run time than 90 minutes. This film is a landmark cinematic achievement that pushes the artistic boundaries of theatrical story telling while further expanding the Wachowskis back in to the grandiose territory they achieved with the first Matrix film.
Cloud Atlas is one of the best movies I've ever seen. The story telling is nearly flawless while building a foundation strong on character and high on emotion, all the while setting an ethereal tone that absolutely delivers. The movie expounds on every genre of film as it blends science fiction, action and love story in to one nearly perfect picture. The Wachowskis teamed with Tom Twyker have not just created a motion picture but an experience that will have people talking for years to come. Much like The Matrix, Cloud Atlas is not a simple story but an epic excursion in to a greater form of modern cinema. I'll be able to watch this movie over and over again trying to connect the dots.
Don't go in to Cloud Atlas with a closed mind. It will only hamper your full enjoyment of such a masterful creation. Films like this do not come along often. This is story telling in it's finest form with a depth of character lacking in most modern movies and a grade A cast that can do no wrong. Tom Hanks delivers one (several) of his best performances since Castaway as he plays a multitude of characters. And Halle Berry finally breaks her cursed franchise run with her strongest role(s) in years.
If ever the Wachowskis abandon their career as film makers, this will be their crowning achievement. Cloud Atlas is a near perfect sextet of stories that intertwine perfectly while setting an uplifting tone of hope even as the world is crumbling.