BlogFilm ReviewsOn Movies & Media

The Tree of Life (2011)

The Tree of Life has quickly become one of the most talked-about movies ever made. And although it isn’t my favorite of Terrence Malick’s films—that distinction belongs to The New World—I’ve been invited to discuss this movie on more occasions than any other movie… so often, in fact, that I’m eager to take a break from the chatter and the movie, let it go for a while, and return to it with fresh eyes someday in the distant future.

But here is a record of a variety of conversations and commentaries…

Let’s begin with a link to a Kindlings Muse podcast of my discussion of The Tree of Life with Dr. Chris Chaney of Seattle Pacific University and show host Jennie Spohr:

In addition, I’ve written several commentaries on The Tree of Life. 

First, I referred to it in a post at the blog Good Letters about the “handmade” quality of its amazing special effects.

Then, I published a two-part, first-impression reviews at Good Letters.

After that, I saw the film seven more times. And during that time, I grew to love the film’s strengths even more, and my quibbles with it became even smaller.

So you can read some of my more recent responses to, or defenses of, the film here:

A response to the “scandal” of Sean Penn’s critical remarks about the film:

A celebration of the release of the blu-ray:


I highly recommend this reflection by Vic Sizemore: “Tree of Light.”

And these:

And here are some more thought-provoking reviews:

Previous post

Job-hunting? Want to work for IMAGE?

Next post

The Tree of Life: My First Impressions

Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of five published books: the moviegoing memoir Through a Screen Darkly (Regal, 2007), and a fantasy tetrology called The Auralia Thread (Random House, 2007-11). He has two passions: writing (fiction and essays on film) and teaching (creative writing, film studies, art & apologetics). He has 15 years of experience speaking around the U.S. and abroad at universities, conferences, and churches. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker and TIME, and he has been a reviewer and/or columnist for many publications including Christianity Today, Image, Paste, and Books & Culture. He's finishing MFA studies at Seattle Pacific University. Want Overstreet to speak, lead a film seminar, or teach creative writing? Inquire at