Master Gardener

audience Reviews

, 55% Audience Score
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Y'all need to put more respect on Paul Schrader's name. I cried. Edgerton & Swindell are really good in this. One of the more underrated films of 2023.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    It started out as a pretty interesting setup but soon you'd start to notice the outdated music score, the editing, some of the actors lack of ability to "connect" to the audience and then what was the story really about? I've seen many of Joel Edgertons movies and enjoys his acting as well as Sigourney Weaver but none of them made it in this movie. The whole movie seams like a wasted opportunity with an interesting background story.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    A lot of bold and very weird narrative choices that don't always work but I respect that Schrader was trying to honestly grapple with serious issues in ways that don't fully conform to the current ideological trappings of most movies.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Edgerton in his element. Pretty faces make this movie better than it is. Do not fully understand the internal drama behind Edgerton's character, so it makes the climax underwhelming as the stakes do not seem high.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    Don't waste your time!! Even Joel Edgerton can't save this boring, soulless mess. The story goes nowhere and you'll never get the hour and half back. Boo!!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    It's a redemption story, beautifully acted in a wonderful setting.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Master Gardner is so heavy, it threatens to collapse under its own weight. But, like other Schrader movies, it compels you to keep watching. Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, and Quintessa Swindell turn in fine performances. The sexual encounter scene between Edgerton and Swindell's characters, although brief, actually made me squirm. Not because it's explicit----it's not----but because of what it symbolized. And, although I wasn't sure what to expect, the film ultimately gets into Taxi Driver territory. At the end of this film, I felt as if I had been emotionally manipulated. But I was willing.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    I can see how the film is flawed. One part gritty present day drama and another part felt like I was watching a 1950 stage play. Most of the problems came from the script. Stilted and unnatural dialog. It sounds like I didn't enjoy it, but actually I did. The performances of the 2 leads, Joel Edgerton and Quintessa Swindell were really strong and 3 dimensional. Joel in particular was a tightly coiled spring. Sigourney Weaver was hamstrung by the unbelievable character she was asked to play and most of the other cast were clichéd cutouts. I was the only person in the Cinema!
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Master Gardener is, in one sense, a beautiful film to watch. It is obvious that Roth is using the garden as a metaphor, so it would be worthwhile to watch the film again to learn more about the metaphorical elements. Joel Edgerton is compelling as Narvel Roth, and his portrayal of the character is nuanced and captures the struggle for the redemption he yearns for and the inner turmoil that accompanies him day and night. The themes explored in Master Gardener are complex—guilt, forgiveness, atonement, and the possibility of second chances. It makes for a satisfying atmosphere of mystery and suspense as the story slowly unravels Narvel's past and what actually happened behind the young woman's arrival at the garden. I was riveted. The ci​nematography is stunning. I'm not really "into" gardening, but even I enjoyed the way the visuals showcased the beauty of the garden and the meticulous care taken in looking after it. It was a superb setting for the movie. The movie did feel slow at times, and the very deliberate pacing may not be for everyone, especially if you prefer a narrative that moves along quickly. And it's important, when watching it, to make sure you stay fully engaged unless you miss something that is frequently communicated with gestures and silences. This does make some of the dialogue slightly cryptic. It would also have been good if some of the supporting characters could have been developed more, with more depth and nuance. Joel Edgerton definitely anchors the story, and Sigourney Weaver and Quintessa Swindell both do well.  Unfortunately, the film leaves some key questions unanswered, which might leave some viewers feeling frustrated. And as the story nears its end, it gets a little predictable and less surprising than the earlier parts of the story. These features of the movie, coupled with the slow pacing and the overall introspective nature of the movie, might not appeal to everyone. I enjoyed Master Gardener, found it intriguing, and appreciated the strong performance of Edgerton and the stunning visuals of the garden. However, if you are not into slow-paced and introspective movies, it may not be for you. I would recommend this movie if you appreciate character-driven dramas, suspenseful mysteries, and stories about redemption.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    The thoughtful and skilled performances make this movie good to see. Although it can seem slow moving at times, in the end I liked time to think and understand the characters. It's an unusual story told with careful precision.