7.1/10
115,771
419 user 492 critic

The Master (2012)

Trailer
1:12 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
Reviews
Popularity
1,403 ( 195)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 76 wins & 179 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Magnolia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Inherent Vice (2014)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson
Boogie Nights (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a young man's adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
Hard Eight (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds
Adaptation. (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
Shame (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man's carefully cultivated private life is disrupted when his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
V.A. Doctor
Mike Howard ...
Rorschach Doctor
Sarah Shoshana David ...
V.A. Nurse
...
V.A. Doctor / Interview
Matt Hering ...
V.A. Patient
Dan Anderson ...
V.A. Patient
...
V.A. Patient
...
V.A. Patient
Patrick Wilder ...
V.A. Patient (as Patrick Biggs)
Ryan Curtis ...
V.A. Patient
Jay Laurence ...
V.A. Patient
Abraxas Adams ...
V.A. Patient
Tina Bruna ...
Portrait Customer
...
Portrait Customer
Edit

Storyline

Returning from Navy service in World War II, Freddie Quell drifts through a series of breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear emotions and he becomes deeply involved with them. Written by Alan Young, edit Hal Issen

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Master  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$736,311 (USA) (16 September 2012)

Gross:

$16,377,274 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After Freddie's moonshine poisons one of the migrant workers at the cabbage farm and Freddie flees on foot, one of the migrant workers shouts "Boricua!" Boricua is not profanity, it is actually a Spanish word meaning a Puerto Rican living in the United States. Joaquin Phoenix was born and spent the first few years of his life living in Puerto Rico before coming to the states, so calling him a boricua is an apt title. See more »

Goofs

When Freddie first goes to Doris' house, there is a motion-activated spotlight on the house next door as he is climbing up the stairs. Motion-detecting lights weren't introduced until 1985. See more »

Quotes

John More: I belong to no club, and if you're unwilling to allow any discussion...
Lancaster Dodd: No, this isn't a discussion, it's a grilling! There's nothing I can do for you, if your mind has been made up. You seem to know the answers to your questions, why do you ask?
John More: I'm sorry you're unwilling to defend your beliefs in any kind of rational...
Lancaster Dodd: If, if you already know the answers to your questions, then why ask PIG FUCK? We are not helpless. And we are on a journey that risks the dark. If you don't mind, a good night...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The DVD special-features menu has a reversed image of Joaquin Phoenix's face. You can tell by the scar above his lip. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great MoVie Mistakes (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Alethia
(uncredited)
Written by Jonny Greenwood
Performed by London Contemporary Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Master of his fate
27 September 2012 | by (Penang, Malaysia / Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" is a puzzling, often bewildering film. Very few films have left me shaken and stirred and still leave me wondering, "What was that all about?" I can't say that I hated the ride. It is, quite simply, a remarkable film from one of America's best filmmakers today. This film is not for everyone, however.

The film's center plot; the one about self-described nuclear physicist, philosopher and professor Lancaster Dodd and his "organization" "The Cause" - as seen from the point of view from a shell-shocked psychotic drunk Freddie Quell. During the course of the film Lancaster and Freddie bond somewhat with Lancaster progressing his latest works.

The main performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman are superb, and should warrant both of them Academy Award Nominations for Best Actor. Both of them. Phoenix is literally on fire here, his quirky mannerisms, twitching lips, unforgiving, unsettling eyes and ferocious anger and voice had me on the edge every time I see him on screen. Hoffman also is more subtle, though we see growing anger and rage whenever he feels that his work is being threatened. He can be classy, charismatic, and when threatened, loses all of that and becomes about as desperate as Freddie. Brilliant work by both actors. Watch the scene where Lancaster gets through to Freddie, or the harrowing scene where both of them are in jail cells. Special mention to Amy Adams who, while not really standing out, gives off a peculiar and somewhat sinister aura whenever she's on the screen.

Anderson's solid screenplay and his concentrated direction bring the goods. There seems to be a pattern about Anderson's last three films including this one. Both "Punch-Drunk Love" and "There Will Be Blood" featured lead characters who are extremely lonely and prone to snap to anger. "The Master" is somewhat a bit of both, where the lonely man can be both psychotic without reason and yet there are scenes which show he is, after all, a man. Some very well written lines ("If you can find peace without looking up to a master, any master...") meshed with some really great cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. that brings nice color tones to the 1950 production design. Complementing all of this is Jonny Greenwood's eerie, dissonant score which makes the movie all the more odd, unsettling, and yet compelling to watch.

Eventually, both men in the movie are the masters of their own fate, and Anderson his own. It may move some and it may turn away others, but this is a fascinating watch nonetheless. "The Master" is one of 2012's very best films.

Overall: 91%


104 of 166 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?