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Movie 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.

teresa bratcher October 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Haven't seen the movie and already sounds complicated. Why don't they leave it as GOD created us in our mothers womb and has a purpose for us in this messed up world.
JAS October 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM
why don't you find a nice cushiony chair somewhere and write your own book and leave other people free to write whatever message they want....
Brian October 28, 2012 at 04:07 PM
teresa, on what authority do you say you know how God created us?
Brian October 28, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I'm going to see this movie because the last movie that people called "foggy", Vanilla Sky, was very understable. I haven't seen Cloud Atlas, but it sounds like it's attacking the concept of linear time and talking not only about how things are connected in our present time (e.g. 6 degrees of separation, ripple-effects), but also how things are also connected across time forward and back (not just the butterfly effect). It will be interesting to see if it lives up to my expectations of depicting that connectedness.
Roger N October 29, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I survived "Inception" relatively unscathed, so I think I'll give this one a shot!

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