THE MASTER (2012) movie review


I’ll admit it. I walked out.


It’s foul and endless. Pointless with a few poignant moments of beauty swallowed in so much sadness. It’s just the sort of film that makes me mad come Oscar season.


It will no doubt get nods galore. It may even win a few:


– for the director who dares shoot an entire film in 70 mm…


– for the actors who dare play believable cult leaders, boozers, and the women who love them.

I suddenly feel like the brave one though. I dared escape the dark theater when the screen looked too much like the ladies room of the YMCA on family swim day or when I heard enough language to take me back a trillion years to my time on the school bus. Those were the days …that I’d like to avoid reliving.




Brave retreat. Thai food. And home. The Master will not get my vote.


Add yours →

  1. Wow. Very interesting.I thought the trailer looked amazing to this film, but so I thought the same when I watched ‘A Dangerous Method’ trailer, and nearly walked out of the theatre myself. I guess I won’t enjoy ‘The Master’ that much.

  2. Is it that bad? I was looking forward to this

  3. To be honest, this film had the same effect on me as Tree of Life. I appreciated almost everything about both films, and totally got something out of the films, but they both feel like moves made for the director and no one else. The movie will undoubtedly receive awards (hopefully for Joaquin Phoenix, since his acting is incredible) but there’s another film that just came out that’s both thought-provoking and entertaining (Looper).

  4. I am curious as to what made the film so terrible. Was it that it was overly “arsty” and in turn pretentious? I know there are many films that are praised by the academy and other groups but at the core, many people have the opposite position (like yourself) and hate them. So what was it? or was it simply you were just bored while watching it, I would love to know 😀

    • It was not simply boredom, because I love a good “artsy” film and usually don’t mind slower pacing. I think I am always hoping for redemption or at least change of some kind. I want characters to learn something. These characters despaired and fell quickly into revolving doors of their own pitfalls. That made the film drag on like I was waiting for it to hit any sort of climax, when instead the story seemed to fall short. I think most critics agree on that point. This I could have handled if it were not coupled with too much uncomfortable crudeness in nudity, language, and fearful outbursts. That discomfort made it unbearable to sit through. If you see it, will you tell me your thoughts?

      • I definitely see what you mean, and have seen films that have had that problem. It is a way of breaking away a bit from the traditional “hero based story” almost all stories/movies are, but then it leaves the viewer with the idea “well, what was the fuckin point”? haha. If I do see it, I’ll follow up with you. I know I will eventually because I’m sure the academy board is going to love it :-/

  5. Catching up on your blog today… I am not much of a movie-goer these days, but I remain a huge splatter fan. This post is exactly why I am a fan. I have much respect for you setting boundaries on what you will allow to roam in your mindscape. Your thoughts are a precious space. Keep writing, dear friend. -Gwen.

  6. I still believe you should stay and view… or not write at all. But an interesting response none the less. Films should divide and challenge. Hurray for PTA…

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