Silent J’s review published on Letterboxd:
With Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film The Master approaching slowly but surely, I decided to watch all of PTA's films to get me even more amped up. I continue by rewatching his third film, Magnolia, which I used to hate. For some reason, I really like it now. Weird.
Don't ask me why I hated this the first time I saw it. I don't even know any more. Maybe I thought it was too boring or stupid or self-important or overlong or I don't know. I just know that as soon as the first 15 minutes rolled around, I was saying to myself "I'm confused, what did I hate about this again?" Paul Thomas Anderson really is a genuis filmmaker. My favorite director working today. He does such an amazing job with this film and I don't get why I'm just noticing it now. He creates such a unique and interesting world. Albeit, it is a bit longer than it needs to be, but it's not boring. The story and characters feel so well defined. PTA does an excellent job directing with some masterful shots. Story-wise he does an excellent job presenting themes of relationships and family and fear of commitment. The complexity within each story made for an even more compelling watch. The acting is excellent, especially from a scene stealing Tom Cruise who makes a wonderful scumbag. Coming from anyone else, the character would have sounded like some macho asshole I would hate. From Tom Cruise, he sounds like an ok guy believe it or not. The soundtrack is wonderful. Just another damn great film from a pretty damn great director. There is very little wrong I found with this film and this was truly excellent.
All in all, I like this a lot more than I did a few years back though I think this is PTA's worst film or at least my least favorite of his. Still, if this fantastic film is his worst, that just proves how much of an excellent director he is.