Written September 24, 2012
There are so many nuances and the material is so rich that I believe I may have to see it again to form an opinion.
There are definite scenes that will stay with you!
Written September 23, 2012
Great acting, but confusing, non-linear story, director places style over real revelation of characters, motives, or ideas. Fascinating topic, but we did not come away feeling as if we had a deeper understanding of what motivates the cult leader or followers, other than the fact that some followers are deeply damaged (e.g. Phoenix's character) and the leader is borderline nuts (not to mention his wife!) Met friends outside after the film. Their reviews:
1. "I hated it."
2. "Oy vay"
Written October 03, 2012
Excellent acting but no storyline whatsoever. 2+ hours of boredom. Almost no one in the theatre. One couple left after about 30 minutes. I should have joined the exodus.
Written September 21, 2012
The hype for this plodding piece of film is so wrong. Although the acting is great, save the overly melodramatic performance of Amy Adams who I love, there is simply no story there....2 1/2 hrs of my life I can never get back...
Written July 24, 2014
Perhaps Mr. Anderson's most subtle and mature work yet, The Master doesn't deliver quite the same pace of Boogie Nights, nor the savage passion of There Will Be Blood. Yet, I'd deem this a better work than both of those (and I enjoyed them a great deal). I might argue that Magnolia gives The Master a run for its money, in terms of ensemble casts and epic scale, yet The Master succeeds precisely because PT Anderson has scaled BACK a bit, His insistence on driving at one story with multiple dimensions proves beneficial for his direction of talented cast members with ranges capable of astonishing us. Joachim Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, already accomplished talents, dig deep here to showcase their characters' competing fears and strengths, their grudging courage, and their frailties.
As thorough a Tour de Force as The Master proves to be, I do think it could have lost half an hour in the editing room to no deleterious effect