170 user 265 critic

Knight of Cups (2015)

R | | Drama, Romance | 4 March 2016 (USA)
2:16 | Trailer
A writer indulging in all that Los Angeles and Las Vegas has to offer undertakes a search for love and self via a series of adventures with six different women.


Terrence Malick


Terrence Malick
3,001 ( 475)
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Rick
Cate Blanchett ... Nancy
Natalie Portman ... Elizabeth
Brian Dennehy ... Joseph
Antonio Banderas ... Tonio
Freida Pinto ... Helen
Wes Bentley ... Barry
Isabel Lucas ... Isabel
Teresa Palmer ... Karen
Imogen Poots ... Della
Peter Matthiessen Peter Matthiessen ... Christopher
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Fr. Zeitlinger
Cherry Jones ... Ruth
Patrick Whitesell ... Agent #1
Rick Hess Rick Hess ... Agent #2


Rick is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles, California. While he's successful in his career, his life feels empty. Haunted by the death of one brother and the dire circumstances of the other, he finds temporary solace in the Hollywood excess that defines his existence. Women provide a distraction to the daily pain he must endure, and every encounter that comes his way brings him closer to finding his place in the world. The film is divided into eight chapters (each named after a tarot card, except for the final chapter Freedom), plus a prologue, each loosely based around the central character's relationship with somebody in his life..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dream-like quest for the meaning of life. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Despite appearing in pretty much every scene, Christian Bale is almost never heard talking on-screen, as most of his lines are spoken as a narrator. He is occasionally seen speaking, but you can not hear his words as background music is playing. Only in a couple of scenes is he actually heard and seen on-screen at the same time. See more »


Jordan: Drinking is bad, but feelings are worse.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"For optimal sound reproduction, the producers of this film recommend that you play it loud." (In the opening credits.) See more »


Features Twin Peaks: Episode #2.1 (1990) See more »


Initiation Psalm One
Composed by Paul Horn
Performed by Paul Horn
Courtesy of Vibrant Music Company
See more »

User Reviews

A lot of Great Style but Little Substance
31 August 2016 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Knight of Cups (2015)

** (out of 4)

Terrance Malick's latest comes as a major disappointment as it centers on a screenwriter (Christian Bale) trying to cope with his life, his brothers suicide and trying to make sense of the various women in his life.

KNIGHT OF CUPS got released to mixed reviews and it ended up crashing at the box office, which is really understandable. I'm not going to say I enjoyed this movie because I really didn't but at the same time I can understand why some might see this and call it one of the best films of the year. As with THE TREE OF LIFE, this film is certainly going to leave viewers with mixed reactions but I found that film to be a masterpiece whereas this one is a blurred mess.

I will start off talking about the one great thing and that's the cinematography. This is certainly one of the greatest looking pictures of the year and Emmanuel Lubezki deserves a lot of credit for what he was able to do. The cinematography is so great that it actually upsets you that there wasn't more to the film. There's no question that the look of the movie is something brilliant and it comes across as a beautiful visual trip. It certainly adds an atmosphere to the movie and there's no question that it's the best thing about the picture.

With that said, everything else is pretty much a mess. The determining factor on your reaction to the movie will be your feelings towards the lead character. He's pretty much walking around in a daze of depression, thought or perhaps both. I never cared about the character or his problems so I got rather bored very early on. The majority of the movie has him banging hot ladies and then walking around feeling sad. Now I'm sure fans of the film will read a lot more into it and say I missed the point and perhaps I did. Or perhaps they're making it seem like there are things in the film that aren't really there.

KNIGHT OF CUPS isn't a film that's going to appeal to very many but even Malick fans are going to be divided with it. You've got a terrific cast include Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Brian Dennehy, Frieda Pinto and Antonio Banderas but none of them are really given a chance to act as they're all sucked up by the visual grace that the director was going for.

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English | German | Spanish | Serbian

Release Date:

4 March 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Knight of Cups See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,551, 6 March 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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