The Master (2012)

The Master (2012)

The Master (2012)

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson follows up his masterpiece There Will Be Blood with this 1950s-set drama, loosely based on the founding of Scientology. Lancaster Dodd  (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the leader of cult religious movement 'The Cause', and Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, impulsive World War II veteran who Dodd takes under his wing. 

Freddie struggles to re-integrate into society after the war, seeking solace in substance abuse and exploding in violent outbursts as he battles his demons. When he stows away on the boat of the charismatic Lancaster, Quell is discovered and welcomed into the midst of The Cause. A bond between the two men forms, and Quell becomes an advocate of Dodd's teachings until pressure from authorities, tensions within the group, and Quell's volatile nature combine to test the pair's relationship.

Inspired in part by Scientology's early days, The Master also includes material once in early drafts of There Will Be Blood. Anderson's musical collaborator on There Will Be Blood, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, is back on scoring duties.

Winner of the Silver Lion for Best Direction and the Volpi Cup winner (Best Performance) for Phoenix and Seymour Hoffman, Venice Film Festival 2012.
2012Rating: MA15+, for sexual content, graphic nudity and language138 minsUSA
Drama
Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson ('There Will Be Blood', 'Punch-Drunk Love', 'Magnolia', 'Boogie Nights')
Writer:
Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast:
Joaquin PhoenixPhilip Seymour HoffmanAmy AdamsRami MalekLaura DernJesse Plemons
89%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

A sustained immersion in a series of hypnotic moods and longueurs, an imposing picture that thrillingly and sometimes maddeningly refuses to conform to expectations.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

With potent performers and poetic visuals, Anderson has made the boldest American picture of the year.

5.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

This is a movie that defies understanding even as it compels reverent, astonished belief.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It is a movie that may alienate and exasperate some, but its audacity, its formal daring and Joaquin Phoenix's performance, make it simply unmissable.

5.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior...

0
Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

[This] spiritual post-war love story will restore your faith in cinema.

5.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A bold, challenging, brilliantly acted drama that is a must for serious audiences.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

An often brilliant '50s-throwback character drama that never feels nostalgic, with terrific central performances and a luminous, unforgettable visual beauty.

5.0
0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate.

0

I really enjoyed this movie it made me laugh

0

This is about a man played by Joaquin Phoenix coming out of World War II and struggling to get back into the real world. He meets Lester Todd a religious leader who may have started the beginnings of scientology. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dodd is great as always and very interesting in this role. He also has a wife played by Amy Adams who is also excellent....

4.0
0

I really wanted to like this film a lot more. With incredible performances from all of the cast. It's hard not to call this film a completely character driven film. With Joaquin Phoenix role as the War veteran completely commanding and a serious well driven performance that should be commanded. Also Philip Seymour Hoffman role as the cult leader Lancaster...

3.0
0

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers of this generation. The Master is a masterpiece. Everything about this triumph is crafted with utmost skill. The cast is at the top of their game. Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, a World War II veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, getting into fights, having sex, and making...

5.0
0

I enjoyed the film, but left not satisfied... the sum of its parts didn't quite meld for me. But it's worth watch for interest and Joaquin Phoenix's performance is phenomenal.

3.0
0

I saw the Master on the weekend, with high expectations. There Will Be Blood is one of my favourite movies, and I appreciate Paul Thomas Anderson as much as the next cinephile. But I don't think I was prepared for the Master. Perhaps I do need narrative? Perhaps my head cold didn't help. Perhaps I should stop making excuses? The scientology or cult...

3.0
0

Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' is perhaps the director's most ambitious work alongside the daring 'Magnolia' and the grandiose 'There Will Be Blood'. Hailed as one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, Anderson had earned the right to indulge with his narrative impulses. However, with The Master, his impulses prove ultimately exasperating....

4.0
0

After taking forever to reach us down here in New Zealand, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master finally has a limited release this week. I'm not quite sure how I felt about it, so this isn't a review so much as just a few thoughts I had about the film. Despite the lack of a best picture Oscar nomination, The Master is possibly the most highly regarded film of...

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A sustained immersion in a series of hypnotic moods and longueurs, an imposing picture that thrillingly and sometimes maddeningly refuses to conform to expectations.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

With potent performers and poetic visuals, Anderson has made the boldest American picture of the year.

5.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

This is a movie that defies understanding even as it compels reverent, astonished belief.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It is a movie that may alienate and exasperate some, but its audacity, its formal daring and Joaquin Phoenix's performance, make it simply unmissable.

5.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior...

0
Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

[This] spiritual post-war love story will restore your faith in cinema.

5.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

A bold, challenging, brilliantly acted drama that is a must for serious audiences.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

An often brilliant '50s-throwback character drama that never feels nostalgic, with terrific central performances and a luminous, unforgettable visual beauty.

5.0
0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate.

0

I really enjoyed this movie it made me laugh

0

This is about a man played by Joaquin Phoenix coming out of World War II and struggling to get back into the real world. He meets Lester Todd a religious leader who may have started the beginnings of scientology. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dodd is great as always and very interesting in this role. He also has a wife played by Amy Adams who is also...

4.0
0

I really wanted to like this film a lot more. With incredible performances from all of the cast. It's hard not to call this film a completely character driven film. With Joaquin Phoenix role as the War veteran completely commanding and a serious well driven performance that should be commanded. Also Philip Seymour Hoffman role as the cult leader...

3.0
0

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers of this generation. The Master is a masterpiece. Everything about this triumph is crafted with utmost skill. The cast is at the top of their game. Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, a World War II veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, getting into fights, having sex, and making...

5.0
0

I enjoyed the film, but left not satisfied... the sum of its parts didn't quite meld for me. But it's worth watch for interest and Joaquin Phoenix's performance is phenomenal.

3.0
0

I saw the Master on the weekend, with high expectations. There Will Be Blood is one of my favourite movies, and I appreciate Paul Thomas Anderson as much as the next cinephile. But I don't think I was prepared for the Master. Perhaps I do need narrative? Perhaps my head cold didn't help. Perhaps I should stop making excuses? The scientology or cult...

3.0
0

Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' is perhaps the director's most ambitious work alongside the daring 'Magnolia' and the grandiose 'There Will Be Blood'. Hailed as one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, Anderson had earned the right to indulge with his narrative impulses. However, with The Master, his impulses prove ultimately exasperating....

4.0
0

After taking forever to reach us down here in New Zealand, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master finally has a limited release this week. I'm not quite sure how I felt about it, so this isn't a review so much as just a few thoughts I had about the film. Despite the lack of a best picture Oscar nomination, The Master is possibly the most highly regarded film...

4.0
0