The New World (2005)
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it wasn't a movie, it was an experience
The first hour of the extended edition is some of the most beautiful meditative film making I've ever seen. It's just such a shame they overbear this point in the last hour and make it too much of a romantic drama, it feels far too flabby. That said, the first act is a masterclass in how to get tenderness and beauty out of your environment and actors, I've never seen anything quite like it.
With a style that is quite easily identifiable it is a wonder that few have tried to imitate it. Perhaps this is done out of respect for the great master as poor imitations will scare him back into hiding.
Watching the extended, nearly three hour cut on the big screen is sublime. Malick's films have a meditative quality that completely ensnare the viewer in the worlds depicted. So rich and luscious like the idyllic paradise of the naturals that John Smith is so reluctant to leave, this film (and all other Malick works) are perfect marriages of sight and sound whose offspring are ideas that can be treasured long after the light stops flickering before your eyes.
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In 10 official lists
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This movie ranks #9 in A.V. Club - The best films of the '00s
This movie ranks #39 in BBC's 100 greatest films of the 21st Century
This movie ranks #57 in Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films
This movie ranks #92 in FilmTotaal top 100
This movie ranks #94 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #146 in Cahiers du cinéma - Yearly top 10s
This movie ranks #149 in FOK! top 250
This movie ranks #156 in The New Cult Canon
This movie ranks #743 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #966 in The Criterion Collection