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Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER (2012)"I believe in the church of Paul Thomas Anderson. Hollywood films give you zilch to believe in, tying up their narratives with a tidy bow so you won't leave confused and angry. Anderson refuses to do the thinking for you. His films mess with your head until you take them in and take them on. No wonder Anderson infuriates lazy audiences. What a roll call: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood.

The Master, the sixth film from the 42-year-old writer-director, affirms his position as the foremost filmmaking talent of his generation. Anderson is a rock star, the artist who knows no limits. Fierce and ferociously funny, The Master is a great movie, the best of the year so far, and a new American classic. No way is it the kind of cinematic medicine you choke down like broccoli. Written, directed, acted, shot, edited and scored with a bracing vibrancy that restores your faith in film as an art form, The Master is nirvana for movie lovers. Anderson mixes sounds and images into a dark, dazzling music that is all his own.

As the fictional story of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman, never finer), a 1950s cult leader who mentors disturbed World War II Navy vet Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix in the performance of his career), The Master doesn't flinch at taking on the business of religion. Scientology? You be the judge. The names have been changed to ward off fanatical unrest. No matter. It's the human element that bleeds onscreen. Acting doesn't get better or go deeper than the performances delivered by Hoffman and Phoenix."

Read the rest of Peter Travers' review in Rolling Stone here:

Watch the trailer here:

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