A Hidden Life

The first half of Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life stacks up with some of the best work the legendary filmmaker has ever done—right up there with Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, and Tree of Life. The second half, though, feels a lot more like... uh, what's the term for Malick's more recent movies, like Knight of Cups, and that one about music, and that one with Ben Affleck? Nü-Malick? Let's go with nü-Malick. Nü-Malick movies aren't bad—even at their worst, they're generally better than many arthouse efforts, and there's never a shortage of the director's striking soundscapes and achingly beautiful visuals—but compared to Malick's best stuff, they rarely compare. (To be fair: Not many movies can.) Which is what makes A Hidden Life so frustrating: For a good chunk, it is that good, and then for another chunk, it's not. And it'd be a lot easier to justify the second half's nü-ness if A Hidden Life wasn't three hours long.

by Erik Henriksen
Showtimes & Tickets


Terrence Malick
August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon