The New World

The New World

(2006)

Filmmaker Terrence Malick tells the tale of Irish explorer John Smith (Will Farrell), his romance with fabled American hottie Pocahontas (newcomer Kilcher), and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers, 17th century. 

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61% of critics recommend.
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  • BBC

    Captain John Smith's romance with Native American hottie Pocahontas is usually seen as a great American myth, but the story is based on fact. For director Terrence Malick, The New World offers a chance to explore his familiar theme of man versus nature. Colin Farrell's brooding conquistador gets steamy in the bullrushes with Q'Orianka Kilcher's Pocahontas, while his fellow settlers wage war with the locals for land. As ever with Malick, beautiful imagery and moribund pacing go hand in hand... Full Review

  • Terrence Malick's "The New World" strips away all the fancy and lore from the story of Pocahontas and her tribe and the English settlers at Jamestown, and imagines how new and strange these people must have seemed to one another. If the Indians stared in disbelief at the English ships, the English were no less awed by the somber beauty of the new land and its people. They called the Indians "the naturals," little understanding how well the term applied... Full Review

  • Where there were some 21 years between Terrence Malick's second (Days Of Heaven) and third (The Thin Red Line) films, there has been only a breezy seven years between the third and this one. But Malickites who may have feared that he rushed off any old tripe in such a short space of time can rest assured - his reinviration of the Pocahontas myth is the director working near the peak of his powers. Far too daring to trouble the Academy, far too niche to worry about opening weekends, The New World finds poetry in emotion (and vice versa) and once again reminds us that movies are far too rich to be the domain of the storytellers only... Full Review

  • Terrence Malick's "The New World" is a visual tone poem orchestrated around the themes of innocence, discovery and loss. The inspiration is the historical legend of the "Indian princess" Pocahontas and English soldier of fortune John Smith. Malick has tried to base much of his vision on the historical record, delving into the writings of explorers and colonialists in early Virginia to create voice-over monologues by Smith and others. But this is resolutely a film of the imagination. As with all films in Malick's slim body of work, its imagery, haunting sounds and pastoral mood trump narrative... Full Review

  • The skies surrounding Jamestown in "The New World" are almost invariably flat and colorless, a condition that unfortunately also describes the storytelling and dramatis personae in Terrence Malick's new picture. While the tale of first contact between Englishmen and the "naturals," as the Brits felicitously refer to the Native Americans, might seem to play to the strengths of the meticulous and unhurried director, Malick's exalted visuals and isolated metaphysical epiphanies are ill-supported by a muddled, lurching narrative, resulting in a sprawling, unfocused account of an epochal historical moment. The support of Malick loyalists notwithstanding, New Line will have trouble generating more than a modest commercial response... Full Review