Peter Travers: 'The Master' Is 'The Best Movie I've Seen All Year' - Rolling Stone
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Peter Travers: ‘The Master’ Is ‘The Best Movie I’ve Seen All Year’

High praise for Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master may or may not be based on the Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and the launch of his new religion, but with the alleged source material and big name writer-director, does the film deliver on its high expectations? Empathetically yes. “This, to me, is the best movie I’ve seen all year,” says Travers. “This is a great, great movie.”

Though the movie may attract viewers with its supposed subject matter, the film deals with greater themes, focusing on Joaquin Phoenix’s navy vet Freddy Quell. As he finds guidance from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd, he finds questions as he reaches for answers. “Is it fraud? Is it brainwashing? You decide,” says Travers. “What I’ve decided is, you’re seeing the best looking movie of the year and you’re also seeing the best edited one.”

Step away from The Expendables‘ easy action and move away from crappy horror like The Possession, Travers urges. This is a must see. “This movie is a challenge,” he says. “It’s not about Scientology. It’s about why we’re attracted to and then repelled by things, like God and country and love and money. . . This is a powder keg.”


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