An epic mosaic of many interrelated characters in search of happiness, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum A wonderful mess.
Andrew Sarris What this film may have needed to get on its feet is some honest-to-goodness violence.
Derek Adams One of the most enthralling and exhilarating American movies in ages.
Jeff Millar All the work is top-notch.
David Edelstein You could spend three hours snickering at Anderson's 'What the World Needs Now Is Aimee Mann' metaphysic. But his vision cuts deeper than a lot of folky bathos.
J. Hoberman Nearly as impressive as Anderson's rapport with his actors is his use of parallel action to juggle their performances.
Ernest Hardy What leaves you breathless, though, is the knockout acting by the cast.
Peter Rainer I wish I could join in the chorus of praise...
Paul Tatara Sprawling mess of a film.
Michael Wilmington The more you think about Magnolia -- the dry wit, the bravura staging, the intricate design, the wondrous performances -- the better and more unusual the film seems.
Steve Murray Unlike the flashy but hollow Boogie Nights or the studied tough-guy attitude of Hard Eight, Magnolia grounds its stylistic pyrotechnics with genuine emotion.
Kevin Maynard Standout performances include those given by Waters, Reilly, and especially Tom Cruise, ferociously alive after sleepwalking through that Kubrick movie.
Charles Taylor Anderson was better off dealing with what goes into the mouths of babes than what comes out of them.
David Ansen Magnolia towers over most Hollywood films this year.
Philip Wuntch A rich and imaginative musical score.
Desson Thomson Anderson considers himself an actor's director, but he's something far less romantic: a star-struck enabler.
Charlie McCollum A fascinating film from a director of great skill and even greater promise.
Steven Rosen Magnolia knows that life's randomness can also produce hope, humor and love. And it shows that in ways that more calculated feelgood movies can't fathom.
Jami Bernard Too lengthy and jangled to properly serve Anderson's purpose.
Emanuel Levy A remarkably inventive and audacious film.