Malick, Ranked

Definitely one of the finest director’s of our time, especially regarding cinematography and scope. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Malick; while I’ve always loved his use of the formal aspects of cinema, creating majestic land-pieces out of grandiose images of nature and the like, I have, at times, strongly disliked his narratives, characters, and what motivates them. I often find myself thinking that the plot/story is not grand enough to fit in the poetic world Malick creates.

The only two films where I believe his narratives reach that kind of level is The Thin Red Line and The Tree Of Life. In the others, I felt like the stories were too trivial to belong with the brilliant cinematography, and have felt like that has brought down my love for the films; this includes Badlands, Days of Heaven, and, especially, The New World.

I believe that Malick is best suited for grand and ambitious projects, where the immensity of the landscapes may be matched with immense emotional depth. I just didn’t feel anything for any of the characters in Badlands, Days, or New World.

The Tree Of Life

The Thin Red Line

Days Of Heaven

Badlands

The New World

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About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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