The Fountain (2006)

7.21 h 36 min2006X-RayPG-13
Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Past, present, future. Through time and space, one man embarks on a bold 1000-year odyssey to defeat humankind's most indomitable foe: Death.
Darren Aronofsky
Hugh JackmanRachel WeiszEllen McRae
Science FictionSuspenseActionFantasyDramaAdventure
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Mark MargolisJim BroadbentStephen McHattieFernando HernandezCliff CurtisSean Patrick ThomasDonna MurphyEthan SupleeRichard McMillanLorne Brass
Eric WatsonArnon MilchanIain Smith
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentviolence
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4.3 out of 5 stars

3735 global ratings

  1. 67% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

KyleReviewed in the United States on October 16, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Foutain
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As of right now, this is my favorite movie. It is the most beautifully made film I've ever seen. The painting like visuals and amazing transitions serve to stun the audience, while the story and acting affect you on a truly deep level. Everyone should give this film a chance, despite critical disagreements.

The acting in this movie is great. Hugh Jackman brings sadness, ambition, and anger in a very natural way. Rachel Weisz's character feels very realistic, and her humanity is very welcoming. Stephen McHattie is also great.

The film has three storylines, and blurs them together to show the mental state of those who are dying or dealing with loss. The film succeeds at making one of the most beautiful historical story, with one of the most unique space travel story. You can interprete the film in many different ways, but in the end it deals with something every human must: Death.

With a film like this, it's easy to call it pretentious because it's multiple storylines and artistic representation of complex emotions and mental states is ambiguous and ambitious. I personally believe Aronofsky pulls it off perfectly.
76 people found this helpful
T. GageReviewed in the United States on January 15, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Simply one of the best movies I have seen in my life.
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A deep, intelligent movie. While this movie got a 52% rating on both metacritic and rotten tomatoes, I believe I know the reasons why. This movie is not for everyone. It is beautifully filmed with excellent casting and a engrossing story line, however, it skips back and forth between three different time periods and if you are not paying attention to it, it can be confusing. In addition to that, the trailer is horrible. It depicts a movie that you would assume is an action movie, full of conflict. This inevitably draws the type of audience that enjoys such films and boosts sales, however, those who went expecting some big action movie were disappointed I am sure. The movie is rather a beautiful and poignant love story that encompasses scenes that span from the time of the Spanish Inquisition to the end of our existence.

As I said, this movie is not for everyone but if you are looking for a engrossing, deep, beautiful movie with incredible filming and acting this is "the ticket". I promise you will not be disappointed.

Side note: Hugh Jackson has said that this was the best movie he has ever made. Amazing cinema.
94 people found this helpful
pomogirlReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
All climax, no movie.
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This film is very atmospheric and emotional, but the emotions are unearned and stretch monotonously throughout the film. It's like one long climax without proper buildup and development. Jackman's overacting combined with the extremely dark lighting of the film keep my own emotions muffled almost the entire way. This had so much potential, but I imagine the director became overly enamored of the ethereal and the weepy because that's all this is about.
21 people found this helpful
Renegade: Bold As LoveReviewed in the United States on December 13, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Love Supreme, Supremely Acted and a Great Experience
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What an amazing film.

It transcends every definition of film, narrative, myth, spirituality and above all speaks to the power of love and devotion. Love that spans ages, time and the fact that our love remains even though we inevitably die. The Fountain is the perfect name and the perfect metaphor this film offers the viewer. Watch it, and you will understand.

This is not a film for everyone. It’s somewhere between ER on TV and a pure art house film. There is action and swordplay along with astral projection. It’ takes place in three different times frames involving two people who live beyond a single lifespan. It’s a challenge to explain it but when you watch it you totally start to understand how that could be.

It begins with a love so strong a 17th century Spanish soldier pursues the fountain of youth for his queen — who is his love. Then, he’s a doctor in the present looking for a cure for his love who has cancer. Then he’s in the future with the tree of life, which is his love as she transforms from use of The Fountain. They’re together heading to a nebula that guided the Mayan priests to The Fountain. It’s a beautiful story of a a love that spans time and space. It works — and it’s passionate and compelling.

The actors are completely believable in their different incarnations. Hugh Jackman just seems to command any role given. This is a favorite as he is just human and doesn’t have blades coming out of his knuckles, putting together the world’s greatest show, or overplaying the macho bit. He’s impassioned and driven. It’s a great role for him and he is the main character throughout.

As said, this is not a film for everyone. It is literally poetry in motion. Although originally conceived as a big budget film with Brad Pitt, when he dropped out the end result was a drastic budget cut. Like the love story of this film, that couldn’t stop it. I think Jackman is a better fit even though I’m a big fan of Brad. The budget somehow made the whole production excel in spite of studio politics. The creativity is all on the screen. The sparse sets put more emphasis on the characters and story. Like the story itself, the production found the essence of what was important. An example is the Queen’s chamber. Rather than an elaborate set of a castle with red velvet and lush with gold, there are simply votive candles hung on string abstractly in the chamber — and the Queen is behind a curtain of glass beads. That may sound cheap and cheesy— but just the opposite. It’s wondrous and beautiful. The two will eventually travel through the universe and like that journey, the tiny candles foreshadow the journey to a dying star, in space with twinkling lights. It’s perfect.

The entire film uses such foreshadowing references throughout. A ring of gold, a ring of earth. The Tree of life and the ground from which life spawns. A golden star that guided the Mayans and the journey to life eternal. Within all of that, a tale of a love supreme. One who finds awe in death, one who will do anything to live forever, never seeing death as just the beginning.

Take a chance on this one. Leave your sense of reality or what is thought is real behind and swim in The Fountain.
12 people found this helpful
MsTikl1Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Je ne sais quoi; beautiful
Verified purchase a difficult to describe way. The basic story is simple - a man desperate to save the life of his beloved. We observe as his attempts at heroism actually serve his need to deny mortality. Are the dream-like sequences pure escapism, or depictions of reality on another plane? Karma? Themes regarding eternity, the cycles of lives, and transcendence become entwined with the mundane. Quite different from most typical films: poignant, complex, weird, and thought-provoking. Good production values, lovely actors and writing, CGI not too overdone. "Finish it!"
27 people found this helpful
sandyReviewed in the United States on December 14, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful but disturbing--spoiler alert
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I bought this because of the themes of multiple planes of existence, soul mates over incarnations, and the other reviews describing the beauty of the film. It's a story about a research doctor whose soul mate wife, whom he has incarnated with multiple times, has a terminal tumor, and his desperate attempts to save her, even with unethical, multiple surgeries on monkeys, which he leaves sedated and opened up surgically for hours at a time while he takes breaks. The story is supposed to show his desperation and love for his wife, and, predictably, the film does not show the true horrors of animal research, in which screaming animals are tortured over and over in the quest for human cures, even though cutting edge human cell research is available now. The film shows Donavan the monkey sitting quietly while constrained in his seat, surrounded by bars, placidly waiting for his next operation, while the doctor becomes more and more frenzied and desperate to save his wife.

Other than this horrific theme, which sanctifies animal research, if not promotes it, although the movie was beautifully done, there was no real message or moral to the story. In previous incarnations, he was a Spanish conquistador in search of the tree of immortality for his queen, his wife in this life, where he was sacrificed in one scene and kills the shaman in another. At the end of the movie, he finally eats from the tree of immortality and becomes part of the tree.

Maybe the moral of the story is that immortality cannot be attained in this life. Had they left out the animal research theme, it would have been a more enjoyable movie, but once these recurring scenes played, showing his utter disregard for the research animal, it killed the movie for me, although I did watch it to the end.

I regret buying this.
4 people found this helpful
J. FitzpatrickReviewed in the United States on April 2, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Worth watching more than once!
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Hugh Jackman beyond the spikes and the funny wolfie sideburns. Beware that this movie is not for everyone's taste (sorry), but if you persevere and are willing to think rather than react to the visceral rush there's a lot to think about.

It's dangerous to try to summarize without spoilers, but suffice that there are 3 more or less simultaneous stories roughly 500 years apart - all spin around a man trying to accomplish a goal for a woman. Reincarnation is implied, but not a necessity - simultaneous existences could also work.

Anyway, watch and enjoy....
18 people found this helpful
J. S. BellReviewed in the United States on January 12, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
More experience than story
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Maybe it's just that I'm not ready for a movie like this. Maybe there's some mystical insight one needs to grasp the unity of all the layers. I have a more practical mind.

(Spoiler alert: do not continue if you wish to come at the movie unprepared).

For example, I wanted to know whether Conquistador Tom's Mayan jungle thread was 'real' or just the writing of Izzi, or some ambiguous middle-ground. As an avid follower of the time travel genre, I wanted to know if Researcher Tom's change of mind to follow Izzi out the door and make amends while she was alive changed the universal timeline, or if it was nothing but a simple-minded metaphor for making the best of the present. And I really wanted to know something about Mystic Kung Fu Tom and his space bubble, like, is he simply a reincarnation? A Super Distant Future Tom that never died? Or was he just Astral Projection Tom, living in a plane of existence incredibly like our own, except for where it's different? I didn't get it.

I did get that it was supposed to be this amazing love story. That's what it was trying to be, and it reached that for a lot of other people. Me, not so much. Love for me is so much more than dramatic beauty and grandiose dreams and pronouncements, like, so cool of you to cure death to keep someone alive forever, you love them that much. But you treat them badly while they live, because you're so obsessed. I get that's supposed to be the character arc, that Tom progresses from being a rather obnoxious and unpleasant person to this supreme mystical father of life figure, because love.

But I just couldn't buy into it. It was, in fact, too external. Odd, right? This story is so much about that inner life, supposedly, but where is it in the story? Where do we find this real, living connection building between two lovers? It's more clear and more believable in something like Pride & Prejudice. That's a real picture of a tender love blossoming from hard dirt. Even Casablanca is better. But for this film, the love story is simply presumed to be there, so we can watch stunning visuals about it.

And I have no wish to be insensitive to the statement the movie is making about accepting death, which I understand has made this movie very meaningful for others. For me, I am dealing with those issues in my life, and this movie says nothing to me in that regard. Ambiguity as a style choice I understand. But it's shallow comfort compared to clarity. I felt empty at the end of this story, confused, no better off than I was at the beginning. Maybe that's just me. Like I said, I have a practical mind. Maybe I'm not the right sort of person for a film like this.
One person found this helpful
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