Rent Cloud Atlas (2012)

3.1 of 5 from 493 ratings
2h 45min
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Six stories spanning centuries. One soul. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry lead an all-star cast in interwoven tales as time shifts between past, present and future. As characters reunite from one life to the next, their actions generate consequences: A killer evolves into a hero. An act of kindness inspires a revolution.
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Stefan Arndt, Grant Hill, Tom Tykwer, Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
David Mitchell, Lana Wachowski
Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Release Date:
Run Time:
165 minutes
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
  • A Film Like No Other: See how three visionary directors came together, divided their tasks and created a cohesive masterpiece
Release Date:
Run Time:
172 minutes
Cantalonian, English, French, Spanish
Castillian, English, English Hard of Hearing, French
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
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Reviews (7) of Cloud Atlas

Eventually quite good - Cloud Atlas review by JL

Spoiler Alert

There are reviews which tell you the story line so I won't bother to do that again. It is a mammoth undertaking to watch as the film meanders through time with six stories connected, not because the same cast are in each story, but by the purpose of the film which I didn't get until about the last 30 minutes (not having read the book or the synopsis). Halle Berry says it all about then "Why are we continually making the same mistakes?". It's about people speaking out for their beliefs, fighting against oppression etc. pretty much what is going on now. It has a strong message and suggests it won't be resolved for the next few centuries.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Salami slicing - Cloud Atlas review by Alain

Spoiler Alert

Much like other reviewers I didn't like the film. I was able to follow the 6 stories but only because I had just read the book, my wife, who hasn't read it gave up after an hour or so. The issue is mainly the editing: trying to lead the 6 stories in parallel, at the same time just doesn't work. It was nice at times to be able to make connections between them but the end result is a mishmash.

Whilst I thought the acting was good, the idea of using the same actors for different parts in different stories makes it even more difficult to follow.

Although this is a very long film, the directors made the choice to cut an awful lot of good elements of the book and for what? replacing them with pointless action scenes. The stories that suffer most from this process are that of Sonmi and Robert Frobisher, missing out some crucial pointers.

When reading the book, I thought the mise en abyme didn't work that well, particularly with the outermost stories because I found it hard to remember the characters and where the action had stopped. However it was still better than having a soap-opera style structure jumping from story to story randomly.

At best he result can be described as salami slicing.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Are some books simply not meant to be filmed ?? - Cloud Atlas review by Rod

Spoiler Alert

Hmmm.... Hmm again...

I enjoyed the book a couple of years ago - it was chunked to set out a series of different stories sequenced through time with a definite, detectable but tenuous thread between them. With the film, I was anticipating a clever, intriguing story-line that would envision for me pretty much what the book chapters would "look like", with the interpretation of the futuristic episodes most interesting of all..... I was disappointed after about 20 minutes

So, the chopping of sequences was rapid-fire and seemed quite unlike the book. And, apart from the different characters' comet-shaped birthmark [ big deal! ], I didn't detect a strong-enough link between the stories. I persevered for about 90 minutes then hit fast-forward for much of the rest of the film. With the continual darting backward and forward in time, I would have much preferred one story at a time. Then about the futuristic peasant-speak ( I assume these folk were 'peasants') I wondered whether sub-titles would have helped, but then it might have looked word-for-word just the same (sorry guys, a bit flippant there). All in all a clever book, but a translation to film that seemed too turgid and 'worthy' for its own good.

Maybe, as said by another reviewer, some books are best left to the imagination and thus unfilmed ! But... I will now read the book again ... and hire the film again in say 6 months time....

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Cloud Atlas review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso

Based on the award winning novel of the same name, which it in itself seems to have been inspired by various earlier literary greats, including Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (which many will known as the on screen adaptation Blade Runner) and Virginia Wolff’s Orlando, which too was adapted for the screen by Sally Potter.

Cloud Atlas however is a quasi-science fiction exploration of freedom and relationships, with several overlapping and yet seemingly unlinked storylines it uses the recurrence of the same actors in various roles to depict the way in which the actions and relationships of individuals have an impact upon the lives of others, even far into the distant future.

With a cast full of famous faces from both sides of the Atlantic Cloud Atlas could never be condemned for a lack of ability, whilst it’s directors have a real range of titles under the belt that suit the various themes of the film. These elements, along with the sparse but effective soundtrack, ensure that the individual stories are all very well accomplished, each telling its tale with the right amount of tension, drama and characterization.

The problem however comes when one tries to piece the individual stories together, like pieces of a second hand puzzle, without all its bits and pieces of sky from another box all together, the stories struggle to blend right up until the film’s final quarter. When they do fall into place however they fit in a really innovative and interesting fashion – don’t expect clean lines however, some of the connections are incredibly tenuous. My only qualm in this respect is the story of publisher Timothy Cavendish, whose brief stint in a retirement home seems like misguided light relief rather than contributing anything to the story itself.

This is a complete shame because the other aspects of the story are both heavily detailed and deep. This leads me to the films other flaw, its length, at a hefty 172 minutes there were several points at which I began to loose all faith of ever leaving my seat. A viscous edit, removing all the Cavendish nonsense, is very much in order – easily killing two birds with one stone.

All in all I thought Cloud Atlas was an interesting story, and watching the film certainly made me more intrigued about the novel, its foibles however were such that by the end of I was somewhat glad it was over.

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