Bottom Line: At almost three hours, this cinematic examination of the human condition and how we connect is a big, bold and ambitious-to-a-fault piece of filmmaking that sometimes gracefully and mostly obnoxiously ping-pongs six convoluted storylines spanning hundreds of years. Hanks, Halle and crew adequately tackle multiple roles in an era-hopping, head-spinning, try-and-connect-the-dots genre juggler that - above all else - requires a whole lotta patience. You should find a bit of beauty, a tad of soul and a dash of spirit to the proceedings; but the makers of THE MATRIX and RUN LOLA RUN have ultimately delivered us a dimensionally slaphappy patchwork film that’s occasionally intriguing yet never fully satisfying. With my thoughts on its chances of Best Picture Oscar gold now diminished – all CLOUD ATLAS ultimately did was make me shrug.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess and Jim Broadbent
Directed by: Andy and Lana Wachowski (THE MATRIX TRILOGY) and Tom Tykwer (RUN LOLA RUN)
Running time: 172 minutes
Story: Based on the best-selling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a story that unfolds in multiple lifetimes as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. Each member of the ensemble cast appears in multiple roles as the story moves through time. (Warner Bros. Pictures)