To The Wonder AgainTO THE WONDER

“This is a Terrence Malick film set in supermarkets, fast-food joints and gas stations. These characters are lost spiritually and culturally. It is about the struggle to long for transcendence while simultaneously debating whether to get a Coca-Cola or a milkshake.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

“The real challenge of the film lies in untangling its meaning from its poetic structure. To put it another way: your mileage may vary. It’s the kind of picture that refuses to hold its viewers’ hands, but it is one of Malick’s most purely cinematic.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“The relationship that brings Kurylenko and Affleck together? Hard to describe. She dances and he likes that. He’s American and she’s not. I think taking her to Oklahoma really fuels the drama.” – David Reidel, Santa Fe Reporter

“The story isn’t related so much as allowed to evaporate. Malick has taken his narrative minimalism too far here, creating gorgeous images but neglecting his role as storyteller. As a result, TO THE WONDER is wispy, tenuous and insubstantial.” – Kilian Melloy, Kal’s Movie Blog



“The film is brimming with breathtaking cinematography, quotes from Thoreau, and, well, odd scenes on a pig farm. Think Terrence Malick with an even bigger affinity for symbolism. It has that same devotion to incredible scenery and visceral emotion.” – Monica Castillo, The Artery

“I have no doubt many viewers will get hung up on a literal level. But if UPSTREAM COLOR manages to burrow its way into your brain, you won’t be likely to expel it anytime soon.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

It’s obtuse on purpose, but that doesn’t make it good—or bad. But whether you find it good or bad will likely depend on your prevailing mood, your sense of equanimity and whether you like pigs. And worms.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter



“Instantly enters the pantheon of great baseball movies. A history lesson about America and about how, no matter how painful it might be, in the end we struggle to do the right thing.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“Can we go back to the 1990s and rally behind Spike Lee’s attempt to craft a more truthful rendition of Robinson’s life? What we’re left with is saccharine, cheesy fakery that doesn’t do enough to honor Robinson and his legacy.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“At times, the dialogue is sappy and the music heavy-handed. The volume seems to increase when you’re supposed to feel inspired. But this is one of those sports stories that just makes you feel good.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“The rest is pretty dull. And in a revelation that will surprise no one, Harrison Ford, as Branch Rickey, is terrible. Rickey is supposed to be a character, not a caricature.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter

“It can’t seem to muster up enough invention to justify it’s existence, other than to give next year’s crop of overworked and underpaid schoolteachers one more contemporary movie to throw in the VCR during Black History Month.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist



“Redford directs, giving the film a high level of gloss. What it lacks is any sense of drive. There’s an essential energy missing. You almost care about this long-dormant hippie-era version of the culture wars… almost.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

“Long, lumbering and unabashedly earnest, it’s the kind of talky, politically-minded adult thriller that went out of fashion decades ago, except nobody told Redford. It feels like a relic from another time, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“Instead of dealing with something interesting, like, say, radicalism and politics and leftist causes and some of the violence that resulted, the movie is a sort-of weepie about fathers and daughters.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter




“A muddled movie that tries to distract the audience from its fundamental silliness with switchback twists and turns. Even Danny Boyle’s masterful skills cannot shape this garish material into something harmonious and unified.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

“TRANCE exists to take its audience on a ride, but it’s a ride you won’t care about and probably won’t remember taking. It presents a story not worth telling by a director who’s capable of telling great stories.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter



“Apologies to all in attendance, but the ludicrousness eventually peaked at such inane heights that I doubled over with laughter, gasping for air.” – Sean Burns, The Improper Bostonian



“Ed Koch was a consummate ham and a bit of scoundrel. Neil Barsky’s documentary tries to pay tribute to both. 
It gets the first part right.
” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

To paraphrase a line from MONEYBALL, he’s the kind of guy who enters a room and his dick has already been there for two minutes.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter



To The Wonder

Last September, Ben Affleck sat down with BOFCA members Sean Burns, Jake Mulligan and Greg Vellante to talk about ARGO. If you know us at all, you’ve probably already guessed that the conversation eventually shifted around toward Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER, which had just premiered to wildly polarized reactions at the Venice Film Festival, and at the time did not yet have an American distributor.

The legendary Malick’s hotly debated sixth feature finally hits theatres and VOD this week, so we thought it might be fun to revisit what could be the longest answer ever given during a roundtable interview to a single question. (And this is after some heavy-duty editing!)

Q: How does working with someone like Terrence Malick change the way you look at filmmaking?

A: Terry is an incredible guy. I really like him. He’s a really sweet guy. I don’t know why he doesn’t do interviews, he would come off great. He’s so likeable and thoughtful. Maybe it’s just cooler to be the enigmatic guy than it is to be the guy people are trying to get around to talk to Brad Pitt.

To The Wonder 2This movie that we just did together, I don’t know if any of you have seen it yet. I guess it hasn’t screened. It’s very experimental. It’s out there. You gotta want some Malick with your Malick. It’s a little bit like TREE OF LIFE, without the dialogue.

But it’s great. I just want people to really be ready. Some of the promotional art looks very conventional. Me and Rachel McAdams, looks like the sequel to THE VOW or something. It’s not that at all. It’s an impressionist movie, sort of a tone poem. It’s about this one woman that my character is kind of obsessed with, and so the camera is sort of obsessed with her. She talks in French and wanders around, and then you have Javier Bardem as a priest.

There were great performances that aren’t in the movie now. Rachel Weisz was in it, Barry Pepper did great stuff. Terry paints with his actors. Usually you show up and do your job and it’s this fixed job. With Terry you realize, he wants blue from you and red from her and green from him, and then he paints it all later. So it takes awhile, like what do you mean blue? Just blue?

To The Wonder 4Then later on you watch it. And this is kind of intense, kind of amazing. He has this theory from Chekov about relationships where one is near and one is far. I always thought it was a literary first-person device rather than a filmmaking device, but basically what it came down to was the whole movie is an over-the-shoulder shot over me and onto this woman, following her and watching her, and periodically I come into the frame and kiss her and stuff.

We didn’t have a script. We didn’t know what it was. You don’t know where you fit into this. He said this is a movie experimenting in silence, and we’d have these voice-overs occasionally but they really wouldn’t be about what we’re seeing. So I was terrified and thought, what do I do? And it was about learning to let go. You know what I mean? For better or for worse, you throw out everything you know and just jump off the thing and see what happens.

There are things I love about the movie, and there are things I still don’t understand. But I’m glad somebody’s out there making their own movies. When I make a movie I’m thinking, is the audience going to like this? Will they understand that? How will it play in Middle America? All these insecurities, I don’t think any of that shit ever crosses Terry’s mind. He just makes his own movie and you’re on for the ride.

To The Wonder 3

TO THE WONDER opens at the Kendall Square Cinema on April 12th, when it will also be available via iTunes and Video On Demand.