Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sometimes, it only takes a moment from a deeply moving and personal experience to jolt you out of a fugue state you were so certain you would never wake from. It can take a burst of inspiration and light the flame of passion inside you once more to continue with what you live for the most. Writing is my biggest passion, and the block I experienced last week had me certain that it would take me an eternity to overcome. But, the longer I kept away from writing, the more I felt in pain. It was as though I had forced myself to stop drinking water every day, despite there being an entire well of influence directly in my grasp. The truth is, no matter how bad I can feel some days; writing is the one experience in life that I treasure most, no matter what I write about. It can be about a film, a television series, or just a general musing on life in part. But the more I kept away from writing, the worse of an idea I thought it was.
Now, I won't say that staying away from writing for a week was an entirely bad idea. It certainly helped me feel a little more refreshed in the mind, and it helped me explore a little about myself that I never thought of examining before. I'm still in the middle of Infinite Jest (which is a fascinating experience so far), but even David Foster Wallace's words fill me up inside with a drive to keep ahead in what fuels my passion.
Knight of Cups is that experience for me. It's a defining work of art that examines the futility of a life without true meaning. If The Tree of Life is Malick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, then Knight of Cups is his Eyes Wide Shut. It's a sobering and wandering metaphysical character study, filling me with a better sense of purpose. It helped an identity crisis I thought I had been experiencing fade away, as the more I write even now on the things I love (or hate), the more sure I am of the future. Knight of Cups shows a man so far taken out of the world he was raised in, lost in the dreamlike yet decadent celebrity lifestyle. It shows a man searching for true purpose in a life devoid of it. Knight of Cups is my definitive answer to the deep quandary I had found myself in. Thank you, Terrence Malick, for your greatest of gifts to the world. You have helped me in ways I could never begin to describe.