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Across the Universe
Columbia Pictures

Across the Universe reviews
Critic Score
Metascore: 56 Metascore out of 100
User Score  
7.5 out of 10
based on 29 reviews
Read critic reviews
How did we calculate this?
based on 92 votes
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MPAA RATING: PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language

Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Eddie Izzard, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio, and Bono

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)

GENRE(S): Drama  |  Musical  |  Romance  
WRITTEN BY: Julie Taymor (story)
Dick Clement (& story)
Ian La Frenais (& story)
DIRECTED BY: Julie Taymor  
RELEASE DATE: Theatrical: September 14, 2007 
RUNNING TIME: 131 minutes, Color 

What The Critics Said

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...

Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert
Here is a bold, beautiful, visually enchanting musical where we walk INTO the theater humming the songs.
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The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Rick Groen
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.
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Seattle Post-Intelligencer William Arnold
The film is a strange, nostalgic, suitably outrageous ode to a very real revolution in consciousness.
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The New York Times Stephen Holden
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.
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Empire Ian Nathan
A load of kids singing Beatles tunes? You better believe it.
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San Francisco Chronicle Peter Hartlaub
While the songs are recycled, Across the Universe stands out just by existing.
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Miami Herald Rene Rodriguez
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.
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Portland Oregonian Shawn Levy
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?
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Chicago Tribune Jessica Reaves
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.
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Variety Justin Chang
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.
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The Onion (A.V. Club) Tasha Robinson
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.
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Christian Science Monitor Peter Rainer
Taymor's flower-powery phantasmagoria is ambitious but ultimately tiresome.
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Philadelphia Inquirer Steven Rea
A bizarre counterculture jukebox musical.
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Rolling Stone Peter Travers
To call it trippy would be an understatement. Your head might explode. Just don't accuse Taymor of playing it safe.
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TV Guide Maitland McDonagh
And yes, that is Salma Hayek in the chorus line of sexily sinister nurses, perhaps repaying Taymor for lending her dramatic credibility with "Frida."
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New York Daily News Jack Mathews
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.
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New York Post Kyle Smith
An interesting failure, not a fascinating one.
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USA Today Claudia Puig
While style trumps substance, something in the way this '60s tribute moves attracts us.
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Baltimore Sun Michael Sragow
Disarming, discombobulating and disappointing.
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Film Threat Mark Bell
The film does not know what it is, tonally changing within and between structural acts.
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Village Voice Ella Taylor
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.
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ReelViews James Berardinelli
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.
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The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber
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.
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Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman
Goofy, pompous, annoyingly boomer-myopic Fab Four musical.
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Washington Post Ann Hornaday
A yawn and most unforgivably features some appalling arrangements of the Beatles' best-loved songs.
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Boston Globe Ty Burr
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.
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Chicago Reader J.R. Jones
If a bullet hadn't killed John Lennon, this Beatles-scored musical might have.
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Premiere Glenn Kenny
Director Julie Taymor's gargantuan all-Beatles-songs musical is that rarest of animals, the perfect disaster that fulfills expectations by defying them.
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Austin Chronicle Marjorie Baumgarten
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.
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What Our Users Said

Vote Now!The average user rating for this movie is 7.5 (out of 10) based on 92 User Votes
Note: User votes are NOT included in the Metascore calculation.

James C gave it a2:
Abortive is the key word here. The movie introduces a bunch of archetypal characters, which are quickly ushered out after some awkward attempts at relevance. After a bit, we're left with the two main characters and a boring, unconvincing, love story that's strictly by-the-numbers. Even the music, surprisingly, is mediocre.

Jayel SSSSS gave it a10:
A movie that entertained, informed, and made you think! A great combination in this day and age.

Franty 1977 gave it a1:
Julie Taymor woke up one day and thought to herself: "Why don't I take a load of beatles songs and turn it into a crappy high-school musical-like Disney movie"? And here it is: terribly acted, poorly written and with the worst singing voices that movie fans heard in the past 10 years. the reason i'm not giving it a zero is the bad teeth joke. that was funny, but almost nobody noticed.

Rhonda P. gave it a10:
I loved this film! Artsy, Musical, Deliciously Beautiful. I think the naysayers are taking it way too seriously. I'm 52 and was thoughly delighted the whole time. Going back to see it again before it goes off the big screen.

Hazza B. gave it a1:
I will review only the first 20 minutes, as this is all I could bear before I slunk down my seat and crawled out of the movie theater in sheer embarrassment. It is a musical, and an awful one at that. Wielding it's cutesy cleaver, and butchering Beatles classics as it went. The dialogue and characterisation was wooden, and the portrayal of the 60's drew on the most simplistic cliches. Why don't you just take the entire back catalogue of the World's greatest band, and let the preliminary contestants of Amercian Idol massacre insteadl? At least this kind of sacrilege will by vaguely funny.

Larry B. gave it a4:
Really plastic.

Kayte M. gave it a3:
This looks like, and has about as much depth as, a (bad) film-school music-video. It lacks depth and heart, and tries so hard to fit Beatles lyrics in as dialogue that everything comes across as stilted and painful. Bono's cameo is almost unbearably dreadful. The three rating is given only because hey, it's the Beatles, and it does have its (very occasional) moments of being actually quite visuall arresting, and Jim Sturgess is, quite surprisingly, a pleasure to watch. Otherwise, to be avoided/to be run away from.

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