Written June 26, 2016
Though the story didn't gel in many areas this is a must see if you want something different. All the the acting, especially Joaquin Phoenix was brilliant and carried the show. Certainly interesting script and guaranteed to be fuel for many fun discussions. Could see it again even with many story flaws and connections that didn't quite meet. I will never forget Joaquin's whole, unique and thoroughly developed character. What a phical, mental and emotional character he created.
Written January 18, 2017
I loved "The Master", but wholly recognize that this is not a film for everyone.Joaquin Phoenix gives a performance of a lifetime; I can honestly say I have never seen such an embodiment of character matched on film. The film abounds in strong performances, from Philip Seymour Hoffmann to Amy Adams to Laura Dern to all supporting cast. In this film, the cinematography and score are as integral to the performance as the actors.
What makes this not a "Must Go" for everyone? Freddie Quell (played by Phoenix) is a repellant character, matched in amorality by the other leading roles. The plot is often enigmatic, and the film---at two hours 15 minutes---feels even longer, even to one as entranced as myself.
Nonetheless, for those for whom artistry is a magnetic pull, this is a must film to see.
Written May 26, 2016
What a fabulous movie! Great cast with great acting. Really good story without a clear answer. It isn't often that ambiguity is a characteristic of films but it is in this one and that is all to the good. You are left to make up your mind about what is being presented but whether or not that means you've made up your mind about Scientology is something else altogether. Hooray.
Written July 23, 2016
No fan of Scientology I, but this paean to a flawed leader by a devotee of his cut is full of fine moments and outstanding star turns. I was constantly getting happily surprised by its unvarnished portrayals.
Written September 25, 2016
Great cast, great movie maker, fantastic reviews, but horrific, tortuous experience. My wife and I had no clue of what the story really was about and got nothing but boredom form our 2 hour experience.