Box art for To The Wonder

To The Wonder

  • Rated R
  • HD and SD formats available

independent, special interest


From director Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line), a stunningly beautiful, romantic film about love and faith. A man (Ben Affleck) is torn between the love of two women. With Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    45%
  • Audience Score
    38%

common sense

ON for kids age 16
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
2 out of 5
Consumerism
1 out of 5

Beautifully filmed romance chooses style over substance.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that experimental director Terrence Malick's To the Wonder is a highly stylized examination of love, focusing on a couple who learn that living and being together is harder than falling for each other. Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko meet in France, her home, then move to Oklahoma, where he lives and works, and try to make a life together. The film has almost no dialog (so strong language isn't an issue); instead, the story is told through short, moving scenes narrated by voiceovers. There are some intense arguments that sometimes move people to destroy household objects, as well as some brief nude sequences (breasts), lots of loving embraces/caresses, and occasional drinking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the way that To the Wonder is presented -- with voiceovers instead of dialog, and short, unconnected scenes. Does this make the story harder to follow? More or less effective?
  • Why do you think the central relationship falls apart? How does this compare to other romantic dramas you've seen on TV and in the movies?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    45%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all To The Wonder reviews
  • Audience

    38%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The enigmatic spell of enchantment it casts is a work of complex artistry, and the sneering reviews say more about the critics, I am afraid, than about the film or its director.

- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fresh: There is no new ground, really, the distinction is in the way Malick covers it with glorious imagery, symphonies of sound, a cacophony of moods.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rotten: A thing of great beauty, but not much more.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, April 25, 2013

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Meditative and reflective, "To The Wonder" is an ethereal glimpse at the emotions of love as perceived by director Terence Malick. Not for everyone and described by one patron as "over two hours of leaves blowing in the wind", Malick's latest is much more down to earth than "The Tree Of Life", but still relies heavily on strong earthly ties like flowers and water. But seeing these images with the subtle scores and delicate nuances brings all brands of emotions from those willing to invest, allowing for one of the most spiritual experiences one can have during a film, the same inflicted by "The Tree Of Life". Like a majority of Malick films, most of the actors could have been anyone. Ben Affleck and Javier Bardem are for the most part just stepping off points for the females around them. Olga Kurylenko captures the heart of the revolving emotions perfectly, presenting an almost childish perspective on the essence of love. Her dancing and spinning captures the lively moments well while her looks of sadness are almost devastating to experience. Also, with how little she is present, Rachel McAdams is also able to reflect some of the same reflections, making it that much harder to see her go. As with most of Malick's body of work, "To The Wonder" is definitely not for everyone but is a much lighter experience than some of his previous films. For me, these films are a form of church, allowing for a deeper look into not just a body of emotions, but into myself as well.

- xas5, Sunday, April 14, 2013

4 stars

I am down with Malik's intentions. I relish the kind of cinema that doesn't make things easy for an audience, and I see that here without a hint of pretentiousness or self-importance. Many won't and that is their choice. But personally, To The Wonder is the very best kind of romanticized cinema; unconventional, audience dividing, and yet hauntingly beautiful at the same time.

- lovedjay, Saturday, April 13, 2013

1 star

Don't let the word "Wonder" throw you off. Full review coming to themoviefreakblog.com on 5/30

- spielberg00, Monday, May 27, 2013