A passable film, but no revelatory experience of true cinematic bliss as some seem to imply. Most of my biggest issues with this film are personal. I find it slow, and it's photography, while gorgeous, is a bit sanitary for my taste. Daniel Day-Lewis's performance is too over-the-top for me, and his quirks too calculated. I find Johnny Greenwood's score intrusive, and the story is nothing fresh. Paul Dano is great.
The one in which PTA's usual hyperempathetic passion plays are refracted through a lens, darkly: in which Lewis channels the insane spirit of capitalism run amok: in which religious hypocrisy scrapes wits against, and loses to, pure pointless greed: in which Dano holds his own despite Lewis' grotesquely charismatic turn...
A brilliantly made film. The immersion is full and the details are immense. Thanks to Day-Lewis' peerless performance we see into the soul of Daniel Plainview. However, while we see what motivates him, we do not see why this is so. The time jump is a little awkward as well. Superb soundtrack.
At first it seems a veracious film about the history of oil drilling and how it seemed to make fortune seekers and villages prosper. Soon this utopia starts showing some more sinister side, and slowly the greed takes its toll on people, turning them into monsters. Very accessible and nicely filmed movie, recommended to many.
Infantile dreck, hopelessly yearning for the title of "The Great American Film." Anderson has some talent, no question, but little integrity; he paints in such broad strokes, reducing everyone - and everything - to one-note caricatures: the mustache-twirling capitalist, the charlatan preacher, the guileless townspeople. Hopelessly overrated.
With many overlapping themes of American greed and ambition, the parallels to Orson Welles' Citizen Kane become undeniable. Since its release (and writing of this review), There Will Be Blood has overwhelmingly been assessed by others as the finest film of the 21st century so far.
What bothers me here is the prevalence of THEMES (as it is usual with PTA, always in capital letters): ENVY, CAPITALISM, GREED. It transforms this otherwise powerful film (some of the scenes are really astonishing) in a too heavy-handed account of moods that are not provocative by any measure, and rather common-sensical.