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Across the Universe
MPAA RATING: PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language
Evan Rachel Wood,
Across the Universe is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of antiwar protest, mind exploration, and rock and roll. The film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool and the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village to the riot-torn streets of Detroit and the killing fields of Vietnam. The star-crossed lovers, Jude and Lucy are swept up into the emerging antiwar-counterculture movements. They are also joined by a small group of friends and musicians, with "Dr. Robert" and "Mr. Kite" as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy--against all odds--to find their own way back to each other. (Columbia Pictures)
Julie Taymor (story)
Dick Clement (& story)
Ian La Frenais (& story)
| RELEASE DATE:
Theatrical: September 14, 2007
||131 minutes, Color
All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...
Here is a bold, beautiful, visually enchanting musical where we walk INTO the theater humming the songs.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
This much is inarguable: In the more than two flamboyant hours of Across the Universe, Julie Taymor doesn't cheat us for a single second.
The film is a strange, nostalgic, suitably outrageous ode to a very real revolution in consciousness.
The New York Times
Somewhere around its midpoint, Across the Universe captured my heart, and I realized that falling in love with a movie is like falling in love with another person. Imperfections, however glaring, become endearing quirks once you’ve tumbled.
A load of kids singing Beatles tunes? You better believe it.
San Francisco Chronicle
While the songs are recycled, Across the Universe stands out just by existing.
Across the Universe can't achieve the transcendence and exhilaration musicals strive for, but it often generates a singular kind of magic you've never experienced before.
It's a funny thing: On the one hand, you fault Taymor for going out of her way to create some of the more disposable sequences. On the other, you can forgive her: Who wouldn't get carried away given the opportunity she has been given here to play with one of the world's greatest song catalogs?
If you're a Beatles fan who's not offended by people taking serious liberties with the arrangements of your favorite songs, the unrepentantly exuberant and seriously tuneful Across the Universe is pretty much a sure thing.
All you need is love -- for the Beatles, for psychedelic visuals, for ideas about being young in the ‘60s -- to fully enjoy Across the Universe.
The Onion (A.V. Club)
It's all very clever and thought-through, but all the allusions don't much bolster the bland central romance or the paper-thin treatment of '60s social issues.
Christian Science Monitor
Taymor's flower-powery phantasmagoria is ambitious but ultimately tiresome.
A bizarre counterculture jukebox musical.
To call it trippy would be an understatement. Your head might explode. Just don't accuse Taymor of playing it safe.
And yes, that is Salma Hayek in the chorus line of sexily sinister nurses, perhaps repaying Taymor for lending her dramatic credibility with "Frida."
New York Daily News
Julie Taymor says the idea for her Across the Universe was "to create an original musical using only the songs of the Beatles." That's like saying you're going to create a new element using only gold.
New York Post
An interesting failure, not a fascinating one.
While style trumps substance, something in the way this '60s tribute moves attracts us.
Disarming, discombobulating and disappointing.
The film does not know what it is, tonally changing within and between structural acts.
Across the Universe, which filters the cultural revolt through a blizzard of early Beatles songs, ends up both reductive and smugly condescending to a presumptively know-nothing audience.
Elements of Across the Universe are shockingly awful and the film lasts at least 30 minutes past the bearable stage. But if you like the Beatles and the idea of hearing about 20 covers of their work fills you with a perverse joy, this may be the movie for you.
The Hollywood Reporter
Julie Taymor's visual gifts are very much in evidence in Across the Universe, an ambitious, only partly successful attempt to reinvigorate the musical genre.
Goofy, pompous, annoyingly boomer-myopic Fab Four musical.
A yawn and most unforgivably features some appalling arrangements of the Beatles' best-loved songs.
Hobbled by its vaguely insulting comic-book version of the '60s and by a humorlessness that can only come from talented people convinced they're creating work for the ages.
If a bullet hadn't killed John Lennon, this Beatles-scored musical might have.
Director Julie Taymor's gargantuan all-Beatles-songs musical is that rarest of animals, the perfect disaster that fulfills expectations by defying them.
Across the Universe will have ardent defenders, but in the long run, it will do nothing to infuse life into the current mini-revival of movie musicals and is as soft-headed as the wishful refrain “All You Need Is Love.” Maybe that works in real life but not in the movies, sister.
The average user rating for this movie is 7.5 (out of 10) based on 92 User Votes
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