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"CLOUD ATLAS"
(2012) (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Heavy
Blood/Gross Stuff Extreme
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Heavy
Gun/Weapons Extreme
Imitative Behavior Extreme
Jump Scenes Mild
Music (Scary/Tense) Extreme
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Extreme
Smoking Moderate
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Sci-fi/Comedy: Acts of love, rage, kindness and more ripple through reincarnated souls as well as time from the past through to the present and well into the future.
PLOT:
It's 1849, and young attorney Adam Ewing (JIM STURGESS) has traveled to the South Pacific to conduct business with plantation owner Rev. Horrox (HUGH GRANT). There, he sees how Horrox mistreats his servants, such as Kupaka (KEITH DAVID), as well as slaves, including Autua (DAVID GYASI) who receives quite a whipping for having seen too much of the world and thus not being complacent to live the life of an indentured servant. The latter ends up escaping and stowing away onboard a ship run by Captain Molyneux (JIM BROADBENT) where the slave pleads for Adam to either help or kill him. The attorney chooses the former, but must contend with the ship's physician, Dr. Goose (TOM HANKS), slowly poisoning him. As Adam's eyes are opened about the plight of people of color, that later puts him at odds with his father-in-law, Haskel Moore (HUGO WEAVING), while that man's daughter, Tilda (DOONA BAE), must decide which man is right.

It's 1936 and young composer Robert Frobisher (BEN WHISHAW) has left both England and his lover, Rufus Sixsmith (JAMES D'ARCY), to travel to Scotland where he'll serve as an apprentice to renowned composer Vyvyan Ayrs (JIM BROADBENT). While the latter wants the former to write down melodies the old composer hears in his mind, Robert is writing what he'll hope will be his masterpiece, the Cloud Atlas Sextet. After having a secret fling with Vyvyan's younger wife, Jocasta (HALLE BERRY), Robert then finds himself at growing odds with his mentor. An act of desperation then results in Robert needing the assistance of an inn manager (TOM HANKS), all while the composer contemplates his place in both the world and time.

It's 1973, and Luisa Rey (HALLE BERRY) is a San Francisco based journalist striving to live up to the reporting integrity of her late father. When she meets the elderly Rufus Sixsmith (JAMES D'ARCY), she realizes he's harboring a big secret. Luisa eventually learns that sticking her nose into corporate corruption -- in this case, CEO Lloyd Hooks (HUGH GRANT) planning on allowing a nuclear power plant to fail to further his business gains elsewhere -- has its downsides. While she gets help from plant employee Isaac Sachs (TOM HANKS) and her father's friend from the war, Joe Napier (KEITH DAVID), she must contend with hitman Bill Smoke (HUGO WEAVING) being sent to silence her and her accomplices.

It's 2012, and Timothy Cavendish (JIM BROADBENT) is a small-time English book publisher who hasn't seen much success. That is, until his client, Scottish thug author Dermot Hoggins (TOM HANKS)< throws a literary critic over a balcony to his death. That results in wild book sales, but also Hoggins' associates wanting a huge cut of the action. As a result, Timothy goes to his wealthy brother, Denholme (HUGH GRANT), for help. But due to Timothy having had a past affair with Denholme's wife, the rich man fools Timothy into believing he's going to a safe hotel when in reality he's been signed into a nursing home from where there's no escape due to the likes of the imposing Nurse Noakes (HUGO WEAVING). From that point on, Timothy and others there plot to make their big break.

It's 2144, and Neo Seoul has risen above the mostly flooded ruins of old Seoul. There, various genetically engineered women, including Sonmi-451 (DOONA BAE) and Yoona-939 (XUN ZHOU), are slaves in a totalitarian society where they serve "purebloods" in restaurants such as one run by Seer Rhee (HUGH GRANT) who takes after-hours liberties with the likes of Yoona-939. She's eventually had enough of being treated that way and instills thoughts of independence and freedom in Sonmi-451's mind. That's further heightened by resistance fighter Hae-Joo Chang (JIM STURGESS) -- serving rebellion leader An-Kor Apis (KEITH DAVID) -- who frees the young woman and tries to get her to become the figurehead of an anti-government movement, something government Archivist (JAMES D'ARCY) later questions Sonmi-451 about.

It's 2346 and aged goat herder Zachry (TOM HANKS) is looking back at his life in post-apocalyptic Hawaii, particularly the year 2321 when he hid while marauding invaders led by the Kona Chief (HUGH GRANT) slaughtered some of his fellow villagers. As a result, he's repeatedly tormented by a demon-like inner voice, visually represented by the creepy Old Georgie (HUGO WEAVING), that further shakes his confidence and primitive life existence alongside his sister, Rose (XUN ZHOU), their abbess (SUSAN SARANDON), and other villagers. A less feared visitor arrives in the form of Meronym (HALLE BERRY), a Prescient from a more advanced and technologically equipped civilization. She's in search of a guide to lead her to a lost colony and something there that could save humanity. Zachry is initially hesitant, especially with Old Georgie filling him with lies and fear, but the goat herder eventually agrees, a decision that will end up shaking and forever changing his world.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested in it, especially if they're fans of anyone in the cast or any of the filmmakers (including those who made the "Matrix" movies).
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use.


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