Master Movie Reviews

Master

Master

Release Date: Oct 12, 2012

Genre: Drama

Rating: (R)

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  • 4
    This movie has everything: great actors, an amazing director, everything. Philip Seamor Hoffman is one of my favorite actors and the list of a-list stars goes on. This movie is about the lives of people after World War 2. One of them builds a faith-based organization, which starts to catch on. The movie is really about 2 people though, the lost one and his shephard. One of them leads the other into realization. Paul Thomas Anderson, director, does a great job of not judging his characters but rather taking an objective point of view. A very emotional tale, I definitely would recommend this movie.
  • 1
    My wife and I went to see this loser. What a crock and a waste of 2 1/2 hours of our lives. We both agreed--we would have been better off putting the money into our gas tank. This is artsy fartsy crap run wild.
  • 5
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman does it again! After his Oscar-winning turn as Truman Capote, he is back with a truly astonishing performance in The Master, really turning on all the cylinders to show how a know-nothing lowlife can aggrandize himself in his own eyes and the eyes of others in search of greatness. Joaquin Phoenix is also super awesome in his part, channeling the ghost of Marlon Brando in yet another method acted role that really leaved you marveling at his talent. He may be insane (or pretending to be insane) but he sure can act. Amy Adams is also great in a role that doesn't require her to be sweet or musical for once. She is fiery and bold and she helps her husband recruit followers wherever she can. This is a difficult movie to watch in a way because it's so extreme, and I'm not sure that I got the whole thing. But I will definitely be seeing it again, it's uber fascinating.
  • 2
    I wanted to like this movie more (I really, really tried) but I couldn't in the end because it's a movie that really isn't about anything. A lot of people think it's about Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, but the truth is you could apply it to any organized belief system. You could even apply it to Oprah or Steve Jobs, both of whom inspire millions of followers with their way of life and creeds. The problem with the movie is that it goes from very specific to very vague without much of an explanation. The movie never really gets into the psyche of Freddie's character so we don't really know what makes him do the things he does. After all, a lot of people were haunted by the World Wars but not all of them become drug addicts or join a cult religion. So why does Freddie? And why does Lancaster even want to create a group that worships him? We don't get to see much of his mind at work either. The acting is great, but the explanations are not. Misses the boat by a mile.
  • 5
    Loved this movie and LOVED all the performances, especially Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the founder of a cult like group that believes whatever he tells them because he thinks he is a superior being with superior knowledge. Joaquin Phoenix also plays his part like a pro, making the whole ordeal of his lost soul the story of all the men and women whose lives were destroyed by WWII. His character Freddie is lost in more ways than can be counted, though he seems to think all his problems can be solved with using as many drugs as possible while also drinking himself under the table. When that doesn't work, he turns to a man that tells him everything is okay in his life, he just needs to stop thinking about it and open himself up to who he is. Of course, he says this to dupe all of his followers, which is why he is what he is. A conman like him is only as powerful as his followers allow him to be...chilling!
  • 5
    Admittedly, I wandered into this movie because I heard it was inspired by the life tsory of L Ron Hubbard, the charismatic founder of Scientology, and after all the recent brouhaha over Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (and even John Travolta, lol) I have become a bit obsessed with Scientology. This movie really shows how such cult religions are born and the kinds of people that they attract to their congregations. Joaquin Phoenix was AMAZING and he deserves every award he can get his hands on for this movie. Really, he just totally disappears into the character. He hasn't been this great since he played Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is also superb in his role, and I'm guessing he will get tons of accolades for playing the part of the cult leader so well. He's part conman and part god, it's a chilling performance! I also loved Amy Adams who plays his wife. She is always superb, no matter what kind of movie she's in or if she's acting opposite Meryl Streep or Miss Piggy. A real class act!
  • 3
    This was a good movie in the classic sense (it has Oscar written all over it) but the story disturbed me because it shows a man who goes through some really extreme behaviors without suffering any real physical consequences and that was a bad message I thought. I wish my kids who saw the film would understand that there are real life consequences to serious drug use. He basically uses every kind of drug on the planet and he drinks himself to a near death which is why he ends up falling for the cult in the first place. I am sure a lot of people will be upset by the movie if they are scientologists but that's kind of beside the point (besides they are creepy if even half of what is said about them is true). Anyone who watches the movie will probably say that the movie is full of great performances (it is ) but it doesn't have the kind of morality a movie like this needs. It needs to show some real consequences.
  • 5
    “Good science allows room for more than one opinion. Otherwise what you have is only the will of one man. It’s a cult.” It’s this line that’s uttered about a quarter of the way through the stunning new film The Master which lets you know that we are, in fact, in Oscar territory. Academy voters love biopics (or wannabe biopics) inspired by real life characters and events that both thrill and chill us, and nothing seems as chilling these days as the Church of Scientology. With daily news reports emerging that the world’s most famous Scientologist Tom Cruise actually “auditioned” young actresses to be his wife before honing in on Katie Holmes for what we can only imagine was a “bizarre” (and that’s putting it mildly) marital experience, the recent admission by director Paul Thomas Anderson that the main cult leader character in The Master played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman is modeled on L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology and dianetics), is something that has more relevance to the modern world than most may want to believe. The movie asks, in its fringe moments, when and why pseudo-philosophical and religious movements are born: are cults of personality like those of the Scientologists and the Moonies purely one man’s desire to be aggrandized above his gullible followers? Or can the same elements be traced to mainstream faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and even Taoism? Even being a “fan” of Oprah’s invites or demands elements of worship. Think about it.

    The movie starts to answer this question with the character of Freddie (Joaquine Phoenix) who is battered and bruised by WWII but who emerges with only the desire to party hard and inhale illegal substances at every corner. He has no purpose other than to literally have no purpose. It’s a strange way to exist, but one that seems not entirely stultifying. When he happens upon the charming and manipulative Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman) and his wife Peggy (Amy Adams), he becomes fast friends with both as they promise him that it’s okay not to be everyone’s idea of a “good man”. He need not apologize for who and what he is because there is nothing more glorious than living on one’s own terms . . . except, of course, living on Dodd’s terms because he can offer salvation and enlightenment of which no other living man knows. A relationship develops that goes from close friendship to master and servant and then ultimately divine being and base slave. The movie, not satisfied with simply observing, makes judgments on both the characters of Dodd and Freddie, saying that the weakest among us are often the most predatory, while the most self-assured are but a mirror’s distance from the shattering of their own reality. Which are you? Which would rather be?

    There is much to think about in the movie, especially during its thrilling first half, and not enough can be said of its performances. Both Phoneix and Hoffman are transcendent in their roles. No matter what you may think of Phoenix as a human being, his ability to inhabit a broken man is unparalleled in modern cinema. Adams also does justice to her part by showing that Peggy is much more than a willing dupe of her powerful husband. She can be just as shrewd and manipulative as Dodd can, only she is the master of his servants, if not of herself. A lot of foolish comparisons will be made between The Master and Anderson’s last film, the masterful There Will Be Blood, but such comparisons are odious. Both movies are about lost and ambitious men trying to find homes in eras and towns that reject them wholeheartedly. But where one demands his pound of flesh, the other offers up his entire craven soul. In the end, you may not know who is the master and who is the slave.

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