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The Tree Of Life 2011 PG-13 CC

(824) IMDb 6.7/10
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The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950's. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father.

Brad Pitt, Sean Penn
2 hours, 19 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Drama
Director Terrence Malick
Starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn
Supporting actors Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Jessica Fuselier, Nicolas Gonda, Will Wallace, Kelly Koonce, Bryce Boudoin, Jimmy Donaldson, Kameron Vaughn, Cole Cockburn, Dustin Allen, Brayden Whisenhunt, Joanna Going, Irene Bedard, Finnegan Williams
Studio Fox
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

235 of 244 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban on February 17, 2012
Format: DVD
The Tree of Life is not only a movie, but an experience. It's a visually stunning, deeply moving and perfectly acted film. And if you know what to expect, you may enjoy it as much as I did.

But be warned. The Tree of Life does not have a linear narrative, and doesn't tell a story as much as it shows it. And the regular viewer--that is, most of us--, used to be told in images and words what we are supposed to see and feel, may find this story hard to follow.

The movie starts with a flaming light and a quotation from the Book of Job: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation...while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

Then we are shown a woman (Jessica Chastain) as she learns in a letter the death of her son, age 19. In her grief and despair, enhanced by the absence of sound in the subsequent images, the mother questions God's design in such a seemingly cruel act.

From here, the movie proceeds in two alternating levels. One shows the creation of the universe, the gathering of dust that made the planets, the apparition of microscopic life, scenes from the time of the dinosaurs and the destruction of most life on Earth as a consequence of a meteor hitting our planet.

In another level we are shown images from the life of a contemporary middle aged man (Sean Penn): his birth in the 1950s to a loving mother (Jessica Chastain), his growing up in Texas under a strict father (Brad Pitt), his rebellion as an adolescent and his relationship with his two younger brothers. The second, the one he is closer to, will die later at 19 as we learned at the beginning of the movie.

The story unfolds in pieces and bits, the way our memory works: some scenes from our past are vividly clear while others are lost.
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385 of 411 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Chase on October 17, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
What a film means to you kind of depends on where you are in life. I think if saw this film 20 years ago, I probably would have hated it. Now, I'm faced with big decisions - whether to start a family, and all the concerns that come with it. This movie raises issues I'd rather not think about. I almost wish I hadn't seen it. If you're looking for escapist Hollywood fare, the film might seem boring. It plays like a movie where nothing happens. The first third of the film, the director puts you into the head of a mother who has lost a child. Yeah, it's pretty heavy. And most of the rest of the film is of the kids growing up. The film is a meditation, more heavy on emotion than story. And it's more of a spiritual/religious film than a traditional drama. There is little dialogue in the movie. The imagery is compelling, though. Some of the imagery is surreal and dreamlike - and yeah, dinosaurs make an appearance in the film. But it's not Jurassic Park. I wrote down a quote from the film: "The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by." I wouldn't have given a second thought to that if I were a 20-year-old. But I'm older now, and this suddenly means something to me. It's definitely not an upbeat feel-good movie. And to be honest, I probably wouldn't recommend it to my friends and family, even though I couldn't stop watching it.
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403 of 455 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin McCormack on September 25, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
What I can't understand is actually the fuss surrounding this film. People aren't just confused by it, they're acting offended by it. Apparently audiences in a lot of showings were yelling at the screen and snapping at people who tried to shush them. This movie was unusual, but I don't get what caused people to be so actively offended by it when they can sit through most movies, ambitious or otherwise, without any real problem. Is it the norm in our culture now to react to unexpected or strange images on the screen by getting angry and yelling? Could I just go out on a limb and say that if you leave before a film's over or spend the entire time yelling at the screen, I have no respect for your opinion of the film?

Chimps parading as people aside, I at least enjoyed the movie. I saw it late in its run so I never had to worry about an audience yelling at the screen.

I'm the kind of person who's patient. If a movie confuses me I don't flip out or start yelling and ranting; I sit it out. So that's what I did with this movie. I tried my best to see what Malick was doing, because I think it's pretty obvious that such a respected filmmaker would have seen at least some reason for making this movie.

First of all, there's one major reason why this film isn't for everyone and it's not one I've heard anyone else mention:

The film, from top to bottom, is extremely musical. I mean that in many ways, but let me be clearer: The father in the family the story focuses on wanted to be a conductor and dropped off that career path in favor of a secure job. The soundtrack is all very carefully-chosen classical music.
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188 of 213 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
THE TREE OF LIFE is not the usual film - a story that begins, develops, and ends. Yes there is a story here: in a small town (Smithville, Texas) lives a family - a stern, painfully frustrated artist/man who can't seem to succeed in anything for long except raising three boys with his rather quiet passive wife. One of the boys dies and the remaining family enters into a realm of questioning life, both at the time of the death of the child and years later through the experiences of the oldest boy reflecting on the meaning of life, his response to his father, his sense of continuing loss. The setting is in the 1950s - that structureless decade following the horrors of WW II, the unleashing of the atomic bomb, the difficulties of making a living and sacrificing dreams for a reality in a way that changes the way individuals interact not only with outsiders but also with the family unit whose only seeming hope of meaning is relying on religious protocol. Yet even religion seems to fail when the inexplicable tragedy of an innocent child's death changes everything. The journey of the film is the maturing of the eldest son as he grows into a man forever challenged by the meaningless of the loss of his brother and the effect that has on his own maturation.

The power of the film is in the visual and auditory miracles that unfold on the screen.
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