"Cloud Atlas": Critics rate the new time travel film

Tom Hanks in a scene from "Cloud Atlas." AP Photo/Warner Bros.

Critics are mixed on "Cloud Atlas," the new sci-fi time-travel drama, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, along with Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon.

The film, which clocks in at nearly three hours and cost an estimated $100 million to make, is based on the David Mitchell 2004 novel of the same name.

With three directors and six story lines, "Cloud Atlas" is an ambitious endeavor. Was it worth it? Critics praise its visuals but some say it overall comes up empty.

"Cloud Atlas" has a 59 percent rating on the film aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes.

Here's a sampling of reviews:

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone: "For all the spectacular settings and visionary designs, 'Cloud Atlas' left me feeling disconnected."

Joe Neumaier of The New York Daily News gave it 2 out 5 stars: "For all its strengths, the film is cursed by an ADD-style structure and a flashy but inevitably ineffective casting stunt."

Rafer Guzman of Newsday: "Sumptuous visuals and audacious acting, but the quasi-profound message of cosmic connectedness isn't worth all the trouble."

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times: "Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made. The little world of film criticism has been alive with interpretations of it, which propose to explain something that lies outside explanation. Any explanation of a work of art must be found in it, not taken to it."

Ty Burr of The Boston Globe: "'Cloud Atlas' offers more answers than it does questions, and by the end of its nearly three-hour running time - which flies by surprisingly fast, all things considered - it feels like the most feverishly expensive late-night college bull session ever."

Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle: "Enormous in length and scope, a film whose purpose doesn't even begin to come into focus until two hours in."


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