Cloud Atlas' takes viewers on delirious historical mapquest

Cloudy with a chance of spectacular action scenes, weird make-up choices and dizzying chronological time-shifts.


They don’t make movies like Cloud Atlas any more, but the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer apparently didn’t get the email. Or the telegram. Or maybe the message in a bottle — whichever mode of communications best serves the history-hopping film.

The creators of the Matrix trilogy and the director of Run Lola Run deliver chronologically scrambled historical epic/science fiction drama that spans centuries, features heavily made-up movie stars in multiple roles, lasts for nearly three hours and has a box office-unfriendly R rating. A dizzyingly ambitious art film that manages to be both structurally convoluted and emotionally simplistic, Cloud Atlas proves as compelling for its failed choices as for its stylistic bravado.