(1,854)8.03 h 8 min2000X-RayR
This sprawling character study follows 10 people whose damaged lives intersect--often by sheer coincidence--during a single day in Southern California's San Fernando Valley.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Tom CruiseJulianne MooreJason Robards
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
William H. MacyJohn C. ReillyPhilip Seymour HoffmanMelora WaltersPhilip Baker HallMelinda Dillon
Michael De LucaLynn HarrisJoanne SellarPaul Thomas Anderson
Warner Bros.
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Violencenuditysexual contentfoul languagedrug use
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4.5 out of 5 stars

1854 global ratings

  1. 77% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

RygaReviewed in the United States on May 25, 2020
2.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best Directed and Acted Super-Depressing Movies of All Time
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A fantastic cast. Superb direction and acting. And even a smattering of decent-people characters. But, overall, one of the most depressing movies I've seen in a long time. Very powerful what end? To make me feel like crap? I gave it two stars for the great performances, but wish I could unsee it.

I just don't see people suffering horribly and hurting others as entertainment. If you do, you'll probably love it.
11 people found this helpful
Eli GReviewed in the United States on July 23, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsComplex, gripping drama from Paul Thomas Anderson
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A complex, intricately crafted character drama of monumental proportions. Featuring truly an ensemble cast, Magnolia never focuses too little or too much on any single character. Instead, it focuses on similarities, differences, and a great deal of parallels between characters and their lives. It explores symbolism and metaphor in the way only a Paul Thomas Anderson film can. If you are a fan of his work, don't let the run time dissuade you. The writing, direction, editing and cinematography draws you into this chaotic drama as few films do.
19 people found this helpful
JSSReviewed in the United States on September 2, 2015
5.0 out of 5 starsYou'll love it, or hate it. "It's ok" is an unlikely response to this movie.
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One of the most unexpected surprises of my movie going life. I saw this in the theater over 15 years ago. I had never heard of it, didn't know anything about it, didn't know who was in it, and had no expectations. I was just going to see a movie with a friend. I didn't even ask what we were seeing. And from the opening narrative scene, I immediately suspected I was in for a great movie. The cast is unbelievably deep. I've never been a Tom Cruise fan, but he absolutely NAILS this role. Having met some of these pickup "gurus" over the course of my life at various bars and clubs when I lived in and around L.A., I can say Cruise's take on them is SPOT ON! And I can't think of a disappointing performance. It is an INTENSE movie! I remember clutching my seat as if I was watching Saving Private Ryan for the first time. It was that kind of intensity. And for a movie that could not be further away from an all-time classic war movie? That's pretty special. It's probably not for everyone. But if you "get it", you'll LOVE IT!
15 people found this helpful
ZeldaReviewed in the United States on December 7, 2014
5.0 out of 5 starsThe most brilliant film of Paul Thomas Anderson's career
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What can I say? Paul Thomas Anderson's heart is on his sleeve in this film. The rules he breaks, will move you beyond belief. He is one of the most ingenious writer, director, producers in Hollywood and has been since he was 17 years old, winning Oscar's for "Boogie Nights." This masterpiece shows the best of Tom Cruise, the very best of Philip Seymour Hoffman (the soul of PTA's films). John C. Reilly is the sweetest thing as the muddled cop playing against an incredible performance by Melora Walters. Julianne Moore gives the performance of her career as the drug addled wife of a dying Jason Robards, who died within a year of making this film.William H. Macy will take you for an emotional, heart ride. It explores every aspect of pain, betrayal, honesty, sadness, hope, joy, death and more pain...and it all takes place in the intersection of Victory & Magnolia Avenue. Frogs and all. Thank you Paul. We love you.
16 people found this helpful
Mary MarinkovichReviewed in the United States on February 6, 2014
5.0 out of 5 starsPhillip Seymour Hoffman's Favorite Movie
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Phillip Seymour Hoffman said in an interview that Magnolia, in which he acted, was his favorite movie of all time. That's why I watched it. But why I liked it was that it made a very good case for the saying that "We may be done with the past but the past is never done with us."

The characters move at breakneck speed through the carnage of their unexamined lives with their pasts in hot pursuit. And as the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that the past is gaining on them. In the end, they cannot reach the peace, or resolution, or happiness that each of them is yearning for, until they face the terrible past.

This is a movie that you have to 'surrender yourself to.' Stop trying to figure out where it is going, or how the characters are related. All in good time that will be made clear. Buckle up. Sit back. Take the ride. You will not regret it.
22 people found this helpful
prisrobReviewed in the United States on April 17, 2008
5.0 out of 5 starsA Game Of Psychological Pick-Up Sticks
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"Magnolia" is the kind of film I instinctively respond to. Leave logic at the door. Do not expect subdued taste and restraint, but instead a kind of operatic ecstasy. At three hours it is even operatic in length, as its themes unfold, its characters strive against the dying of the light, and the great wheel of chance rolls on toward them." Roger Ebert

Eleven people caught in LA who's lives intertwine during the film. A film of such magnitude that I had to stop and try to put pieces together. I have seen this film three times and each time am struck by the brilliance of director, Paul Anderson. How did he keep all of these characters in place and put together?

One life runs into another and another. Great performances all. Need, love, humanness, forgiveness, anger, hate, joy, are all brought to the fore within these characters. Tom Cruise in one of his best performances as the crude Frank- 'The Cock Has It'. Jason Robards as the drying man so loved and hated. Julianne Moore as his young wife, hooked on drugs and trying to find her place in life. Philip Seymour has the nurse who loves his patient and tries to do all he can to fulfill their last wishes. John C Riley, as the cop trying to find love and truth . William Macy as the child prodigy quiz kid who never grows up. Phillip Baker Hall as the TV quiz master who has cheated and lied and wants forgiveness as he is dying. Their are other connections, the young quiz kid who wants his father to be nicer to him. The father who wants his kid to bring him fame and fortune. The young woman hooked on cocaine trying to forget her life. All of these lives come together and in the final minutes of the film the skies open up and all have their lives in front of them.

"Magnolia"makes it three-for-three for writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson, 29, who follows Hard Eight and Boogie Nights with his most ardent and ambitious movie yet. Anderson keeps a tight lid on his work so that audiences can approach his character-based dramas with a sense of discovery. Fair enough. Magnolia is one of the best movies of the year - startling, innovative, hugely funny and powerfully, courageously moving."
Peter Travers

Highly, Highly Recommended. prisrob 04-16-08

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16 people found this helpful
jennifer jordanReviewed in the United States on December 17, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat movie! Do yourself a favor and purchase
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Your in for a real treat if you purchase this movie. It’s sad but true. You get several stories going on in this film that all tie together at the end. One of my favorites! Always will be. I never get tired of watching it.
One person found this helpful
Anthony CurtisReviewed in the United States on January 7, 2012
5.0 out of 5 starsGettin better all the time!
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I liked this film years ago in the theater. I liked it even better later on dvd. I watched recently maybe for the 4th or 5th time and this time now LOVED it... it just blew me away! I sometimes watch favorite movies again and again...kinda comfort food... but I've never had this experience of a movie I liked and knew pretty well just suddenly knocking my socks off and vaulting to the top of my "best movies list"....guess when the student is ready the movie will appear :) Hence I too as the last reviewer, felt compelled to put in a positive plug... and I'll also add a nicely written piece of an old review which I think sums it up well for me:
"If you can appreciate that a movie can touch your heart, can be something more than just simple entertainment, and can actually say something both simple and profound about the human condition, then you will love Magnolia. It is not easy watching. It is at turns foul-mouthed, confused, chaotic, irrational, depressing, uplifting, unrealistic, too realistic, unpredictable, heavily symbolic, violent, and unflinchingly, gut-wrenchingly honest in its portrayal of damaged characters trying to make sense of the wreckage of their lives. And yet, through all of this there is a beacon of hope and redemption that shines through, and most of the characters do find the strength to carry on. Watching Magnolia is like having an entire lifetime's worth of powerful emotions crammed into a three hour movie. If you have an open mind, and an open heart, you must see this movie. I have a hard time imagining how anyone will ever be able to make a better one."...from this site M. 2004.
I'll just add that the last 5 seconds of the movie is pure redemption.
One person found this helpful
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