Written September 22, 2012
In a nutshell, Joaquin Phoenix is the entire entertainment value in this movie. His character development is outstanding!
I also thought, what I'll call "the psychology," of the film is well done. (Exploring the psychology of cult recruitment and a believable examination of a drifter's mind.)
But, the movie itself is disappointing. With a terrific cast and a provocative subject matter, the story could've been so much more, but isn't. The promotions make it seem like it's going to not only be a character study, but also a look at the shady underpinnings of a cult.....it does with Phoenix' character, but it is lacking in every other area.
I think this is the first time I've ever written a response to a movie on this site where I'll suggest that it's OK if you wait for this one to come to cable.
So, 4 out of 4 stars for Phoenix, 2 out of 4 stars for the movie as a whole.
Written September 23, 2012
To start off, this is a movie which you'll either love, or you'll hate. You will either love this movie for it's contents, or despise it for it's length. So, saying that the movie was very long, hence it was bad is somewhat a quick conclusion. The movie is over 2 hours, but that doesn't mean it was bad. No, quite the opposite. The movie being longer makes it better. Why? The movie itself is very beautiful. Looking back at every scene, I just want to go back to the movie theatre, buy another ticket, and just look at the movie again for that art. Sure, if you can't stand long movies, it doesn't matter how good the movie is, because the issue is with length. If you can't stand 2 hours of continuous watching, don't go and see this. However, if you can withstand 2 hours, by all means, go and watch it. It's a little slow, but as I said before, those scenes are just amazing to look at. Now, I won't even go into the actors. The acting in The Master is off-charts, that is without question.10/10
Written September 25, 2012
I love intelligent, thought provoking films. This was not it. I went to this movie yesterday and came out wondering why this movie was creating so much positive feedback. It shouldn't have been called The Master, but should have been called The Nut Jobs Who Join Cults. The acting was excellent especially with what they had to work with but this was babble for the sake of babble. This was one of those movies where people are told they are supposed to think it's wonderful so they say it's wonderful - hmmm sounds like a cult. It is scary how easily the public can be led along by the nose and convinced they should think a certain way. Well, the emperor has no clothes and this movie has no THERE there. Save your money.
Written September 23, 2012
First of all, let me say I LOVE movies and all of their elements... the acting, the cinematography, the directing., the music, everything. But most of all the story. And that is what is missing here. Without it, you are not left with much. Yes, the acting is very good, although a little too nuanced and overblown for my tastes. The directing...well, it's hard to tell since there is no story. There was no investment in the characters. I didn't care what happened to any of them. Personally, this is one of those times I feel like I was sucked in by critics' opinions who need to feel they have discovered the next work of cinematic art. Unforgettable? The only thing that is unforgettable is the fact I wasted too much time and money on this experience. There was no audience reaction at the end of the movie. Unusual for a touted movie in limited release such as this. Stay home and take a nap for free.
Written September 26, 2012
This is not a movie for everyone. This movie is more of an intellectual film or a movie for those who love acting. The actors were excellent and the story was OK. This movie also has a strong psychological undertone and symbolism.