The Grade Book: “Life of Pi”

Life of Pi

Plot: An Indian man tells a writer of a time when he was stuck at sea for 227 days with only a tiger for company.

Director: Ang Lee.

Writer: David Magee (based on the novel by Yann Martel).

Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, and Adil Hussain.

Genres: Adventure, Drama.

Running Time: 2 hours and 7 minutes.

MPAA Rating: PG.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Life of Pi has some flaws in its screenplay, but the film is still a triumph of film-making due to Ang Lee’s remarkable direction, Suraj Sharma’s fantastic lead performance, and the various technical aspects. The visuals and use of 3D are some of the best in cinematic history.



  • Ryan Fecskovics:

Grade: B+

Arguably the best visuals I have ever witnessed in a film. And Ang Lee’s direction felt effortless. The acting was like the acting in Hugo; it was fine for the film. I recommend this film to anyone who wants to be entertained. But the script was a tad dull, which killed the momentum of the film, just ever so slightly. Otherwise this is a great film to watch. See it in 3D!

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: A

So moved by this amazing movie about spiritual searching and survival. And when I thought I knew everything about this story, I was surprised by the ending. Special animal effects were so awesome and I could never tell what was real or fake. One of the most beautiful films ever made and one of the best of 2012!

  • John Maffeo:

Grade: A-

What seems to be a very simple premise concerning a “coming of age” boy and a tiger, is definitely that. The plot of this film is simple, but not in a negative light. It’s interesting enough to compliment the real anchor, which is the visual effects, along with the 3D. Life of Pi features some of the best visuals since James Cameron’s Avatar and audiences of all ages will be mesmerized. This is a film that must be experienced in a theater! A great film that has heart and teaches a lesson too!

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: B

Visual stunning and an amazing story make this one of Ang Lee’s best films to date. While the film focuses a tad too heavily on religion for my liking, I can’t help but admit that the interesting story along with the jaw-dropping CGI and 3D special effects made this a visual cinematic treat. I won’t say that I loved the film but it’s definitely one that I am glad I saw because it was something that is unique, visual stunning, and tells a remarkable tale.

  • Kevin Morrison:

Grade: A+

This was one of the best book to movie adaptations I have ever seen. It represented the book perfectly. All the effects looked wonderful and were used to tell a beautiful story with a brilliant metaphor. While not everyone will be on board, many will be surprised. Pi Patel is a riveting character with a emotional journey and the film surrounds itself with a interesting conflict and awesome resolution/ending. The best film of the year for me, but might not be for everyone else!

  • Alex Perez:

Grade: A-

Anyone who says that Life of Pi isn’t an extraordinary movie-going experience has lost a bit of respect from me. Despite the film being kinda slow in some points, Life of Pi is a beautiful movie, not just in the visuals, but also in storytelling and character development.

  • Austin Putnam:

Grade: B+

A visually stunning movie that has special effects that are up to (or maybe even pass) Avatar‘s special effects and 3D. A great conflict/relationship between Pi and the Tiger keeps you interested throughout the film. Many shots in this movie will put you in awe — specifically a shot showing the ship underwater. Great film.

  • Daniel Rester:

Grade: A

Life of Pi is a masterful achievement in film-making, displaying some of the most mesmerizing visuals ever committed to the screen and making fantastic use of 3D (making it a must-see on the big screen). Ang Lee beautifully directs the film, too, giving his usual touches of humanity and grace. Suraj Sharma’s lead performance, the music, the art direction, and the cinematography all add to the movie’s impact. The storytelling is also fine (with touching themes), though it leans on the obvious sometimes — and some of the script’s dialogue is banal. That is really my only complaint with Pi, though, making it a near-masterpiece.

  • Brandt Sohn (Film Recall Sohn):

Grade: A+

It has been quite some time that a movie has truly blown me away on multiple levels. Life of Pi is a reminder of the power of cinema. A beautiful film with the best visuals I have seen since Avatar, but where Avatar was lacking, Life of Pi succeeds. The visuals are not the only component of this breathtaking film. The story is an emotional ride with a great message. The score is haunting and wonderfully composed to each scene and emotion that Pi is feeling. A riveting journey that everyone must embark on this season, and what a perfect time for this film to be released. My favorite film of the year. Life of Pi further pushes the boundaries of visuals while having a touching a story and fantastic acting from Suraj Sharma.

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