• The Master (2012)

The Master

Release Date: September 14th, 2012

DVD Release Date: February 26th, 2013

R |2 hr 16 min

Plot Summary

Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, boozy drifter struggling with the trauma of World War II and whatever inner demons ruled his life before that. On a fateful night in 1950, Freddie boards a passing boat and meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the charismatic leader of a religious movement called the Cause. Freddie tries hard to adhere to Dodd's weird teachings and forms a close bond with his mentor, even as other members of Dodd's inner circle see him as a threat.

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, Amy Ferguson, Frank Bettag, Leonida A. Bautista

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Ghoulardi Film Company, Joanne Sellar, Annapurna Pictures

Keywords: Fascinating, Tense, Wife, 1950s, Friendship, Temptation, Daughter, Rise

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90
    Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

    Paul Thomas Anderson's remarkable sixth feature addresses, by extension, the all-too-human process of eager seekers falling under the spell of charismatic authority figures, be they gurus, dictators or cult leaders. Or, in the case of this masterly production, a couple of spellbinding actors. show more

  • 100
    Todd McCarthyThe Hollywood Reporter

    Two things stand out: the extraordinary command of cinematic technique, which alone is nearly enough to keep a connoisseur on the edge of his seat the entire time, and the tremendous portrayals by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman of two entirely antithetical men show more

  • 75
    Steven ReaPhiladelphia Inquirer

    Phoenix's performance is one of such wild, intense abandon that it is not to be believed, and this, in fact, was my problem as The Master sailed into its momentum-less second hour. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Original Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2013)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated Supporting Actress
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2013)