“Cloud Atlas” is awkward and rambling at times, and some of the prosthetic makeup is laughable (sorry Mr. Hanks). It seems to want to answer the mysteries of the universe, and falls short.
Still, even if it falls short of answering the mysteries of life, it’s a visually exciting spectacle and it doesn’t seem as long as it really is. “Cloud Atlas” doesn’t meet its grand expectations, but it’s not a failure.
Rental recommendation: “Babel” didn’t offer the eternity-encompassing scope of “Cloud Atlas,” but its many pieces fit together better.
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Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent
Rated: R (for violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use)
Running time: 172 minutes