In a Tree of Life review that he had the luxury of building and refining over a few days, having seen it last week in Los Angeles, Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy says that Terrence Malick‘s film “is hardly a movie for the masses and will polarize even buffs, some of whom might fail to grasp the connection between the depiction of the beginnings of life on Earth and the travails of a 1950s Texas family.
“But there are great, heady things here, both obvious and evanescent, more than enough to qualify this as an exceptional and major film. Critical passions, pro and con, along with Brad Pitt in one of his finest performances will stir specialized audiences to attention, but Fox Searchlight will have its work cut out for it in luring a wider public.”
So far the Village Voice‘s Jim Hoberman is the biggest name-level critic to pan it…I think. Here, again, is my 60-40…okay, 70-30 review. And here;s an admiring take from N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis.