Two months after premiering at the New York Film Festival, Ang Lee's anticipated adaptation of "Life of Pi" is out in theaters. Much like the journalists in attendance at the film's debut screening, critics around the country are mostly smitten with Lee's film, which adapts Yann Martel's best-selling novel using groundbreaking 3D and CGI.
"Everything looks beautiful in 'Life of Pi,'" writes Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwartzman in her B+-grade review. "The dangerous animals look beautiful. The terrible storms look beautiful. The crashing ocean waves, the twinkling stars, the wondrous carnivorous island on which the hero at one point lands -- pure gorgeousness, shimmering with all the wow that superlative 3-D technology has to offer."
"Ang Lee’s 'Life of Pi' is the best-looking film I’ve seen this year, and possibly so far this century," echoed Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. "It's so hypnotically beautiful that people will be using it to calibrate their new TV monitors."
Lee's film tells the story of Pi, a young boy who survives a shipwreck and winds up stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. (Yes, the tiger is CGI, as star Suraj Sharma told HuffPost Entertainment, but its digital rendering is based on four real-life tigers that were on set.)
"What astonishes me is how much I love the use of 3-D in 'Life of Pi,'" wrote Roger Ebert. "I've never seen the medium better employed, not even in 'Avatar,' and although I continue to have doubts about it in general, Lee never uses it for surprises or sensations, but only to deepen the film's sense of places and events."
Of course, not all critics were infatuated with Lee's film.
"The movie invites you to believe in all kinds of marvelous things, but it also may cause you to doubt what you see with your own eyes — or even to wonder if, in the end, you have seen anything at all," warned A.O. Scott in The New York Times.
For more "Life of Pi" reviews, head over to Rotten Tomatoes.