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Parents' Guide to

Knight of Cups

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Wandering, experimental Malick film may challenge even fans.

Movie R 2016 118 minutes
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Terrence Malick is arguably one of the great current filmmakers, but while his first contemporary big-city drama is dreamy and lovely, it may try the patience of even his most ardent admirers. KNIGHT OF CUPS is more experimental, and has even less plot, than Malick's other movies (Days of Heaven, The New World, The Tree of Life, etc.). And despite chapter headings named after Tarot cards, it mostly seems to be two hours of characters endlessly meandering, searching, and wandering around city streets.

The urban setting doesn't seem to fit with Malick's usual themes; the film's meditative flow doesn't fit with the big-city setting. Not to mention that it's difficult to identify with the shallow, Hollywood-centered characters and thus tricky to discern any deeper meanings in the whole. But Malick, with the help of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, finds many, many images of great beauty among the concrete and steel of Los Angeles, and, at times, Knight of Cups is an immersive, poetic experience.

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