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Knight of Cups

Coming Soon

A reviewer’s job is to watch a movie and report back whether they liked it or not, as well as note the good points and the bad parts, and whether they would recommend it in as concise a way as possible, so here goes:
Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups is like being trapped in a perfume commercial for two hours. The wind is blowing, people stare longingly into the middle distance, and everyone is speaking in nonsensical phraseology not unlike recovering from a closed-head injury.
Pretension – by Malick. It smells like trying too hard.
I had to look up what this movie was about on my phone while I watched the credits roll, and after the multi-paragraph dissertations on Malick’s genius and innovation, I still couldn’t connect with what I just saw, because literally nothing happens. Knight of Cups is described as a “sensual dream” about a successful screenwriter (?) who struggles with what’s important in life (being rich and Christian Bale, I guess), yet the journey to discovery may be more exciting and life-affirming than the revelation.
Except it wasn’t. It really wasn’t.
Christian Bale’s character may have a name but you don’t care because it’s not like he’s never not in frame. He is Guy In A Field, Guy On A Beach, Guy With Lots of Women He’s Not Talking To, and ultimately, Guy We Wish Would Walk In Front Of A Bus.
Then at least, something would be happening.
He interacts with people, by which I mean they walk together, stare at each other, internally monologue, and generally bore the rest of us with their “deepness.” I was most engaged when a Sno-Cap fell out of my hand and I frantically hunted for it in my seat so it wouldn’t melt.
Says Bale in some production noted about this movie I found: “In Rick I find there is a sense of emptiness (that would be the lack of plot), a sense that he needs somethings (a script, perhaps), yet he doesn’t know what the hell that thing is (I’m pretty sure it’s a script), which an awful lot of people can relate to right now (the four of us in the theater are sure you could have used a script, and maybe some dialogue).
So chances are, I’m not the right audience for a Terrence Malick film. If you’re reading this and you like experimental experiences where people walk into sunsets, frolic on beaches and generally talk around each other, you’ve been waiting for this film your whole life.
Me? I left with a Sno-Cap stick to my butt.

Knight of Cups is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.


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