• Released
  • September 14, 2012
  • (Limited, Expands 9/21)
  • R , 2 hr 16 min
  • Drama
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100

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
Nothing as big and strange and right as The Master should feel as effortless as it does. That's not the same as saying that it's light. It's actually heavy. It weighs more than any American film from this or last year. It's the sort of movie that young men aspiring to write the Great American Novel never actually write.
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100

The Hollywood Reporter

By Todd McCarthy
Two things stand out: the extraordinary command of cinematic technique, which alone is nearly enough to keep a connoisseur on the edge of his seat the entire time, and the tremendous portrayals by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman of two entirely antithetical men
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100

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Written, directed, acted, shot, edited and scored with a bracing vibrancy that restores your faith in film as an art form, The Master is nirvana for movie lovers. Anderson mixes sounds and images into a dark, dazzling music that is all his own.
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100

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
It's also one of the great movies of the year - an ambitious, challenging, and creatively hot-blooded but cool toned project that picks seriously at knotty ideas about American personality, success, rootlessness, master-disciple dynamics, and father-son mutually assured destruction.
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90

Movieline

What makes The Master such a singular experience, as dense as a mille-feuille, is that it is not Lancaster's story but Freddie's, and told as such, in layers that are sensorially rich but that do not always lead easily from one to another.
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90

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
Paul Thomas Anderson's remarkable sixth feature addresses, by extension, the all-too-human process of eager seekers falling under the spell of charismatic authority figures, be they gurus, dictators or cult leaders. Or, in the case of this masterly production, a couple of spellbinding actors.
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80

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
This superb, cerebral film about unchecked belief is a fictionalized and cutting drama hinging on the origins of Scientology. Scratch around a bit, though, and its wider indictments become clear.
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75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Phoenix's performance is one of such wild, intense abandon that it is not to be believed, and this, in fact, was my problem as The Master sailed into its momentum-less second hour.
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63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Anderson has taken pains to re-create the '50s with superb production design and gorgeous cinematography. But he seems less concerned with whether the audience is along for the ride. The story can leave viewers at sea, floundering to give meaning to what they are watching.
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50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
If it were just a middling effort, The Master would be a lot less frustrating. But the latest from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson has greatness in it - two extraordinary performances, intuitive and revealing photography and scene setting, and a distinct directorial sensibility that hovers between sobriety and satire. Yet all those virtues are undermined by a narrative that goes all but dead for the last hour.
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86 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.