Silent J’s review published on Letterboxd:
Holy shit...I mean....damn...Where has this film been all my life and why did it take me 5 years to finally watch it?
Not only has this film constantly been praised as the best film of 2007 and one of the best of the last decade, but as one of the greatest films ever made. Some go as far as to say it's THE greatest film ever made. Obviously my expectations were pretty high. Like I did with Citizen Kane, I looked this film in the face and said "Alright greatest film of all time, give me your best shot!" Needless to say, this really delivered. After seeing this, I'm positive that Paul Thomas Anderson just might be the best director working today.
Anderson has always impressed me as a director ever since I saw Boogie Nights and his skill just improved with each film. His storytelling methods improved with each film. All of that skill he learned over the years culminated in him doing a masterful job with this film. He creates his story with such complexity that just blew me away. There are so many moments that left me thinking "Oh my God...", shocked, with goosebumps, heartbroken, amazed, and simply speechless. I can't remember a time any film has left me truly speechless. I can't wait to explore and analyze the symbolism I know Anderson has left in this film with many rewatches. The dialogue kept me captivated and on the edge of my seat. The set pieces are of cinematic brilliance. Terrific music score. The cinematography is fantastic. Anderson has truly crafted a phenomenal film.
Rarely do I ever call a film phenomenal. That largely has to do with Daniel Day-Lewis. I mean...what a performance. He is just incredible. I can't remember a performance that effected me so much. Something that feels so real. No word can describe his performance other than magnificent. Words don't do justice to such an unbelievably outstanding performance. There's a reason such a performance has reached such instant iconic status so quickly. It must be seen to be believed. It's just a hell of a performance. I've always been a fan of Paul Dano ever since I saw him in The Girl Next Door. He always impressed me in some way ever since. He even impressed me in Cowboys & Aliens. I realize now that until you've seen his terrific performance in this film, then you ain't seen nothing yet from the man. If Day-Lewis was'nt so good, Dano could have easily stolen the show. He's just that good. You get other really great performances, but those two stand out the most and are a huge reason why this film is so phenomenal. It takes a fantastic director to make a great film, but it takes a fantastic actor to make it watchable and sometimes even a masterpiece.
I'm not sure if it the greatest film ever made as people praise it as, but it comes very close. Everything about it is so phenomenal. If you have'nt seen this already, watch it soon. Like, right now. It is simply a masterpiece.