It fascinates in the moment. It's getting from one moment to the next that is tricky. Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made.
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun Times
Its too-muchness is also the source of its power; I was absolutely never bored, and felt surprised when the movie ended. It's an amazing, baffling, thrilling and (for many, it would appear) irritating experience, and for my money the most beautiful and distinctive big-screen vision of the year.
—Andrew O'Hehir Salon.com
This remarkable adaptation of the supposedly "unfilmable" novel by David Mitchell achieves near-perfection on virtually all levels.
—Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle
Cloud Atlas is certainly out to be a ''visionary'' mindbender, but the film's secret is that it's a nimbly entertaining and light-on-its-feet Hollywood contraption, with the actors cast in multiple roles as if playing a game of dress-up.
—Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly
Taken as little more than six disconnected shorts featuring the same group of players in different roles, Cloud Atlas works. It's entertaining and the manner in which it has been edited reduces one's tendency to lose patience with the less engaging stories.
—James Berardinelli Reel Views