DIRECTED BY: Terrence Malick
STARRING: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
AVAILABLE FROM The Criterion Collection

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.

The Tree of Life might be a once in a decade type film and because of that, it is more than worthy of its place in the ranks of The Criterion Collection. From the concept to the style of the film, and the actors in it, Tree of Life is what you’d have if 2001: A Space Odyssey had a little more life in it. The movie is a series of visually stunning shots. In between all of that we are jumping back and forth in time as we see the life of a man played by Chris Penn from his current time to his childhood. The movie is a spiritual one at heart. A lot of questions of the universe is asked here from start to finish and we see people at their most religious and we see people when they are driven to the point of questioning all that they believe in and asking a lot of questions that a lot of us find ourselves asking from time to time. So the movie isn’t only high in look and concept, but the story is a deep one that can connect on many different levels.

When the movie is showing the past events (which are most of the film) we have some GREAT acting performances that really stand-out. We have grade A performances from both Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain. You can say we have great acting all-around but those two always seen to rise above things. This is a different type of movie and one we rarely see. If you like fresh ideas and art films that really work and connect on an emotional level, The Tree of Life is that movie. Plus, on this release, you also get the longer Director’s Cut for the first time! So if you have seen this one before, you have a different cut of the film to dive into and enjoy. This is a great release of a great film by a great company.


– BRAND NEW 4K DIGITAL RESTORATION, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– New extended version of the film featuring an additional fifty minutes of footage
– Exploring “The Tree of Life,” a 2011 documentary featuring collaborators and admirers of Malick’s, including filmmakers David Fincher and Christopher Nolan
– New interviews with actor Jessica Chastain and visual-effects supervisor Dan Glass
– Interview from 2011 with composer Alexandre Desplat about the film, and a new interview with music critic Alex Ross about Malick’s approach to music
– Video essay from 2011 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz
– Trailer
– PLUS: An essay by critic Kent Jones and a 2011 piece on the film by critic Roger Ebert
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature