Life Itself (2018) Poster


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It will make you smile while you are crying
franceskamehmeti22 September 2018
Unpredictable, emotional, well- written dialogue, heart felt performances. When I read the bad reviews I was in shock. How can anybody not love this movie ? It touches on the essence of relationships, from the happy moments to the tragic moments. Please ignore the bad reviews and give this movie a chance. It deserves it.
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Ignore the critics and the soulless...
ari_nelson25 December 2018
...because I'm glad I did!!! For some baffling reason this has low IMDB rating...I almost didn't watch because of this and boy I would've missed out on yet another brilliant Dan Fogelman story. Crazy, stupid love happens to be a go-to movie of mine and This Is Us is one of my favorite tv shows. So my husband and I gave Life Itself a whirl hoping for something similar in style. I'm pretty sure my heart exploded with the best possible way. I LOVE movies that make me emotionally vulnerable (like opening montage scene of UP!) and this movie nabbed at every emotion humanly possible in 90 minutes. My combat veteran husband (who keeps his emotions on reserve, mind you) said, and I quote, "Next to A Star Is Born, this is the best movie I've seen all year." On top of that, the acting is superb. Grab some tissues and enjoy.
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shailee-7143229 December 2018
I went out of my way today to review a movie. Something I have never done before in my life, but I felt I had to. I saw a review after watching the movie that made me upset. A reviewer said it was sad people called this movie entertainment when they didn't even watch the first five minutes of the movie. I was upset by this because I experienced this movie in a completely different way. This movie does an amazing job of portraying how life is terrible and wonderful and unexpected all at once. It shows how so many lives marked with tragedy can lead to something beautiful. I'm sad for anyone who is too small minded to understand and appreciate what this movie is trying to do. Amazing cast, great director, beautiful camera work and a captivating story. I loved this movie.
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Watch it first... then read why I gave this a 10
gemleighc4 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is my first film review. I never write reviews because I don't really agree with the ones I read. This movie had bad reviews but I knew in my gut I wouldn't agree with them, and I was right! As I sit in my house in silence, straight after watching Life Itself, I think about my own life. I'm 35 years old and married to my true love who I met only 6 years ago. A few years before that I would pass this house regularly, not knowing the family that lived inside whilst I was in a toxic relationship that would turn into an even more toxic marriage. 7 years ago, on this very day, I left that marrige not knowing that I would end up in that house, loving the man that owned it and the children that eventually would become like my own. Coincidences happen, even bizzare ones like the one that ends this movie. Life Itself is a BRILLIANT movie. It moved me to tears. It made me laugh. It entertained me. It broke my heart. It left me with questions. It gave me answers to questions I'd not even asked. Just like life itself.
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Screw you cynics
rileyrobinson-8740729 September 2018

I have incredibly mixed feelings on this movie.

On one hand, ya, I see why it has a less the 15% score on rotten tomatoes. No spoilers, but there's a major plot point near the end that you really need to suspend belief in reality to believe, within a movie that is so incredibly grounded in its graphic portrayal of reality, both mundane and intense. Additionally, it's pretty sappy, and essentially a 2 hour version of This is Us.

On the other hand, I've been buying up all available stock in Oscar Isaac ever since Inside Llewin Davis, and in Olivia Cooke ever since Thoroughbreds, and this movie only cements them as my first round picks if there were ever a fantasy football style league for actors. And also this: this movie did to me what really all movies are aiming to do. It gripped me intensely for two hours, it made me feel deeply, and here I am 6 hours later, still thinking about it. So really what else matters. Sometimes I get caught up in making sure my opinion of a movie lives up to what I think a movie should critically be without looking at what the movie actually is. I refuse to do that with this movie. I liked it and the people in it. Screw the rest. 9/10
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The critics are wrong!
gwunmac29 September 2018
I fell in love with this movie. The characters, the stories, the landscapes were enthralling. I'm not sure what the critics who panned this movie were watching but it wasn't what I watched unfold on the screen. Big thumbs up from me!
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Much more than what you'd expect
eseptember3 October 2019
At the time when I watched this, the rating was 6.6. I hope it gets higher after people discover more of Dan Fogelman thanks to This Is Us, because this rating is just not fair.

I do not agree with the reviews that say this movie is "This Is Us in 2 hours." Though I do love the show, this movie is something else in itself, and it deserves to be recognized for it.

What it tackles is 'life itself' with all its ups and downs, and believe me, I'm no mushy romance lover. It's far from being sappy, it's so on point, subtle and down-to-earth that I have difficulty defining it as just another romantic movie or a typical drama. There were parts that I literally cried out in awe, covered my eyes in fear, or sat on the edge of my seat like it's one of those almost-frustrating thriller movies that slap you in the face at every turn. Of course it has its bittersweet moments, but I think this movie deserves a chance--and a higher rating--even from the harshest critics and cynics.
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2-hour 'This Is Us'
madisonharwell19 September 2018
I was hesitant to invest the time in this film after reading critic reviews but I can absolutely say they were truly too harsh with Life Itself. No surprise but it's very reminiscent of 'This Is Us' and instead of an episodic narrative it's condensed to a two hour multi-chaptered film. While it did feel closer to three hours at points, there's a clear disconnect between the current reviews and the actual film performance. It was very emotional and most of the movie I had a lump in my throat. The way it's structured it's almost like three movies in one but the way it all comes together was so fascinating to watch as an audience member. My vote is you give it a shot, it's a really creative story.
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pantickatarina3 October 2018
I was apprehensive going to the movies because the movie is neither popular nor well-reviewed. What a surprise! I both laughed and cried in my seat. It has a beautifully written script, the story is original, emotional and immersing. Yes, it is messy at times, but so is life. I loved how it all tied together in the end. I felt that there are many many sentences from that movie that will soon be legendary.
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A Great Dramatic Epic
oobrimah26 December 2018
This movie is a great dramatic epic because the dialogue is great. The 'Book Thief' is a great dramatic epic because of it's excellent character development, essence of a literary novel or movie. 'Life Itself' does not engage in character development, yet you feel endeared to the characters because they somehow are defined by their dialogue. Never seen a movie soften an adverse event as much as this movie does, with outcome you focus on the good that could come out of the adverse event. Don't know why they threw in that 'goddamn' at end of the movie, but I overlooked it and gave it a 10 anyways.
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Best movie of the 23 we saw at TIFF
mamlukman21 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
We just returned from the Toronto Inter. Film Festival. We saw 23 movies, and my wife and I agree this was the best we saw.

Ignore the critics. They say things like "It's just like X," or "He borrowed this from Y," or "It's too unrealistic." Nonsense. Who cares?

If you are looking for an engrossing story, this is it. The four-segment format is great, because it keeps you wondering "What has this segment got to do with what the previous segment was about?" And you quickly find out. But you never know where it's going--the end is unpredictable, but thoroughly possible.

Granted, there are those who have never run into a coincidence in their lives. I feel sorry for those people. I know in my own life I have been surrounded by coincidences: at a recent conference I idly began chatting to a guy in front of me. We had shared the same thesis advisor! When I lived in Saudi Arabia, who moved in next door? A junior h.s. classmate of my wife's--he had moved away in junior high and she had not heard anything about him until 25 years later he popped up 10,000 miles away as her next door neighbor. Every time we go to Europe we bump into people we know. Coincidences--even extremely improbable ones--are part of life. If you accept this, this is the movie for you.

Great performances by a variety of actors. And the end....everyone in the theater was sniffling, and it wasn't because they had colds. It touched each and every one of us, and in the end, isn't that what a movie should do? I think so.
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C'mon Guys
kryzhan21 September 2018
Beautifully put together film, superb acting, editing. The low reviews are shocking but yet again not. People. Didn't read the book, if there is a book. Don't need to do a mental comparison or have some expectation. Went in blank sheet and wife and daughter came out hugging after all three of us had our moments of reflection and tears during and after the film. You need to savor this film. Of course you'll figure out what you think is going to happen and that's okay. That's life. Life has its patterns and surprise moments that do indeed happen. It could happen and it does happen. Enjoy the film if you are an emotional person, a deeper person. C'est la vie... Just let go and enjoy the film.
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Wow! What a Surprise!
oneill242426 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Saw the previews when it came out and I had absolutely zero interest in seeing it because I thought it was a typical Hallmark lovestruck type movie (yuk)... WRONG! Don't listen to the cold-hearted critics because they're WRONG! I loved the performances, the writing, the locations. I love movies that keep you guessing and go back and forth to cause a little confusion, and then, BAM, it all comes together! I didn't see many of the twists coming and the last moments of Rodrigo with his mother took my breath away. Her words mean so much to me because we are going through that same thing in my own family. See this movie. Take it for what it is and be prepared to feel. We all need to do that once in a while, don't we?
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Best Movie Ever
janix712 January 2019
Beautiful love story and how life itself comes full circle .. very well done. BRAVO
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maggiedelcamp2 January 2019
I agree the first 10 minutes I was SUPER close to jumping ship, but I would have really missed out! A beautiful exepected story of life, trials and family. The hope and history that brings us where we are today.

The acting and writing were some of the best I have every seen.
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You Either Get It Or You Don't
ccarr-8928419 September 2018
No super heroes, no car chases, no revenge , no wild cgi effects, no apocalypse, and no lurking undead. Just superb layered storytelling, fine acting, and a message about the dilemma and the magnificent potential of human beings (if we choose it). If that's not a message that interests you, or you have some pre-set bias around the way Fogleman famously evokes emotional themes, then do everyone a favor and don't show up. If, on the other hand, you do not fear your vulnerabilities and can stretch yourself to some artistic license that doesn't involve space ships or old men who bounce off pavement (I'm looking at you Tom, Liam, and Bruce), then I dare say you could really like this movie. I was lucky to get tickets to an early screening and I look forward to watching the IMDB number on this film go up and up.
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Life Itself is about Life.
yada21212 January 2019
Tragedy may knock you down. But you get back up again because all the little parts of all those who came before you are inside of you, urging you to keep going. I have always wondered how people survive the tragedies in their lives. Families with lots of love do it all the time. Even best friends too. Now, I understand how the love and the memories can transcend the tragedies. Take us beyond the tragedies. And why we all must never dishonor those who have touched our hearts by forgetting about them. Because life is never forever. But it's best parts can be passed on to those you love and shared with those who loved you until the day they died. This is the power of this movie.
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dewww-7177414 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
While I was screaming, no, no, no, I loved this movie. While I was smiling, I loved this movie. When I had tears of joy, I really loved this movie.
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Just Watch
snskennedy13 December 2018
Just watch the movie without expectations and you'll find an amazing story. I laughed, I cried, I loved it...
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Are we that desensitized as a society? WTF?
Jmccullaugh523 September 2018
This movie was hands down one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Would highly recommend. I have to think the only people giving this movie a score lower than a seven, are desensitized and are probably embarrassed that they cried at a movie, would be my guess. It was amazing. The only reason you wouldn't enjoy and appreciate this movie and its message, is if you literally do not have a soul.
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Not a romantic comedy.
singerc-8217626 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
There is quite a bit to like in this movie, but there are a couple of things that really bothered me. The acting is really good. I loved watching these couples fall in love and their relationships grow. I loved the flashback and narrator devices that were used to tell the stories.

I was very fond of both the male characters in the first part of the movie. But then both of the men make extremely devastating selfish choices to abandon their children. Even if I sympathized with their reasons, I could not forgive their actions. The women in these two couple really shine. They are the real heroes.

I can't really recommend this for anyone who is sensitive or depressed. It is not an uplifting movie. This is not a romantic comedy - more like a romantic tragedy with an ending that tries to gloss it all over.
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cross-contient ripple effect
ferguson-621 September 2018
Greetings again from the darkness. The theory is that heavy dramas find it challenging to attract an audience during times when real life and newscasts are filled with daily downers. One need only tune in to the local news to see that we are in just such a "downer" period right now, and it would be difficult to argue that this latest from writer/director Dan Fogelman ("This is Us") is anything but the weightiest of heavy dramas - with an emphasis on the preciousness of time and life.

It's highly likely that this film will fall into the love it or hate it category. It's a sure bet that many critics will bash it as pretentious and overly melodramatic. It will be labeled a manipulative tear-jerker with outlandish coincidences. I won't debate the merits of that criticism, and instead will remind all that creative fictional storytelling can often seem fantastical and improbable, but that doesn't mean it can't also be entertaining, thought-provoking, and carry a worthwhile message.

Because of the overlapping and intertwining stories, characters and timelines, filmmaker Fogelman breaks the film into 5 chapters. This should allow most viewers to keep track. Chapter 1 is entitled "The Hero" and features Samuel L Jackson as the unreliable narrator - a recurring theme throughout. It's also in this chapter that we meet Will and Abby. Will (Oscar Isaac) is an emotionally unstable man who has been in a mental institute for the 6 months since his wife Abby (Olivia Wilde) left him. He is despondent and attending required sessions with a therapist played by Annette Bening, and we get cutesy flashbacks to the Will and Abby courtship. See, Abby and Will are the kind of couple who see themselves as Tarantino characters, argue about the merits of Bob Dylan (poet or Chewbacca noises?), and come up with the worst dog name in cinematic history.

Chapter 2 is where we meet Dylan Dempster, daughter of Will and Abby, and granddaughter of Mandy Patinkin and Jean Smart. She is named after the poet songwriter, not the Star Wars character. There is a cool effect that evolves Dylan's face from a child surrounded by death and tragedy to a just-turned-21 year old played by Olivia Cooke (THOROUGHBREDS), who also happens to front an atrocious punk rock band and flashes quite the temper. Chapter 3 shifts from New York City to Carmona, Spain where we are introduced to "The Gonzalez Family" of Javier (an outstanding Sergio Peris-Mencheta), his wife Isabel (another excellent performance from Laia Costa, VICTORIA), and Javier's boss Saccione (Antonio Banderas). Javier works Saccione's olive orchard, as he and Isabel start a family. Chapter 4 focuses on their son Rodrigo (Alex Monner) as he grows into a talented young man while his beloved mother suffers with a debilitating disease. Finally, in Chapter 5 we meet Elena Dempsey-Gonzalez (Lorenza Izzo) and the story comes full circle ... or all the dots are connected. Even the identity of the narrator who took Samuel L Jackson's place after Chapter 1 is revealed.

Filmmaker Fogelman seems to be better suited as a writer (CRAZY STUPID LOVE) than as a director (DANNY COLLINS), and his script here is extraordinary in its ambition. While there may be some developments that seem contrived, there are also some terrific moments throughout. We see a cross-continent ripple effect that makes this the CRASH of family dramas (the 2004 movie, not the one from 1996). Who is a hero and who is a villain is one of the key elements here, but Fogelman seems intent on making the point that traumatic events and tragedy shape who we are as people. The message is that our ability to bounce back - to "stand up" after being knocked down, is really what defines the human experience. For those who keep an open mind, the emotional jolts provided here will likely resonate.
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A Cure for All the Junk Out There
Harry-2224 December 2018
The negative reviewers reminded me of the John Cheever story, The Worm in the Apple. It seemed that each of them was trying to "one-down" the last, suggesting that it was the worst thing since Miracle Whip. Yes, there is a lot of tragedy portrayed, but then again that's life, itself. Well acted, well written, and well directed, forget everything you've read and give it a chance. I didn't feel manipulated, I didn't shed a tear, but I didn't mind being bathed in melancholia for two hours while the pieces of the story came together.
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The critics are delirious.
tiffer01183 January 2019
Best movie I have seen in a long time. I watched a couple days ago and it still has me thinking about it. Excellent!
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Beautiful Movie
sitaliane15 September 2019
Life Itself is a movie that touches your heart and many emotions of life. Love the story and now one of my favorites.
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