Voyage of Time

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Voyage of Time
Voyage of time poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTerrence Malick
Produced by
Written byTerrence Malick
Narrated by
Music by
CinematographyPaul Atkins
Edited by
  • Rehman Ali
  • Keith Fraase
Distributed by
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • September 7, 2016 (2016-09-07) (Venice)
  • October 7, 2016 (2016-10-07) (IMAX)
Running time
  • 40 minutes (IMAX)
  • 90 minutes (35 mm)
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million

Voyage of Time is a 2016 American IMAX documentary film written and directed by Terrence Malick. The film is said to be an examination of the birth and death of the known universe.[1] Malick had been working on the film for over forty years and it has been described by Malick himself as "one of my greatest dreams".[2][3]

Voyage of Time was released in two versions: a forty-minute IMAX version with narration by Brad Pitt, and a 35-millimetre feature-length edition (also known as Voyage of Time: Life's Journey) narrated by Cate Blanchett.[4] The feature-length edition was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.[5] The IMAX version of the film was released on October 7, 2016, by IMAX Corporation and Broad Green Pictures.[6][7]

Both versions of Voyage of Time were met with favorable responses from critics.


Voyage of Time is a celebration of the universe, displaying the whole of time, from its start to its final collapse. This film examines all that occurred to prepare the world that stands before us now: science and spirit, birth and death, the grand cosmos and the minute life systems of our planet.[8]




The origins of Voyage of Time stem back to the late 1970s when Malick began developing a project for Paramount, titled Q, that explored the origins of life on earth.[10] Production began with Paramount Pictures backing the film with $1 million.[10] Malick ended up walking away from the project, though elements and footage from Q were later utilized for The Tree of Life (2011), and Voyage of Time.[10] Brad Pitt was confirmed to narrate the film in 2009, while Cate Blanchett joined in 2014.[11][12] Emma Thompson also joined in 2011 and recorded narration, but she was ultimately cut from the finished production.[13]


Filming for Voyage of Time has been undertaken all over the world. At the Cannes Film Festival market screening of Voyage of Time in 2014, Malick and his producers showed footage shot in locations such as Southwestern U.S, Hawaii, Iceland, Monterey, Chile, Palau, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere.[14]


Dan Glass (The Matrix trilogy) is said to be the special effects supervisor on the film, with Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner) as his consultant.[8][15]


In July 2013, the film was the subject of a lawsuit, after backers of the film, Seven Seas, sued Sycamore Pictures, claiming that "Malick did little or no work on what is supposed to be a trio of projects", and that Malick was only allowed to work on other projects if it didn't interfere with the documentary, despite beginning work on The Tree of Life, To the Wonder, Knight of Cups and Song to Song during the production stage of Voyage of Time.[16][17][18][19] Seven Seas further claimed that “Sycamore [Pictures] has blown through nearly $6 million over the last six years on this project with nothing to show for it... Our contract specified that funds were to be used exclusively for Voyage of Time but we believe some were redirected to other films Malick was producing during that period, in flagrant disregard for our agreement.”[16] In September 2013, Malick's lawyer commented on the matter stating: "The claims of Seven Seas are without merit. The film was on budget, on schedule, and all funds were used appropriately." They have now followed up with their own filing, which alleges that Seven Seas "concocted the story told in its Complaint" as it "either ran out of, or never had, the funds necessary to meet its financing obligations".[20] In February 2014, a deal was made to pay the film back in nine months.[21]


In February 2015, Broad Green Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film.[22] The feature-length-version of the film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.[5] It will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.[23] The film was released on IMAX on October 7, 2016.[24][25]


The IMAX version of the film currently holds a 77/100 on Metacritic[26] and an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.[27] In The New York Times, A. O. Scott called it a "fusion of digital imagery and photographic imagination that seems at once utterly natural and completely impossible."[28]

The feature-length version holds a 68/100 on Metacritic, based on 10 reviews.[29] Rotten Tomatoes also reports a 67% approval rating, based on 24 reviews.[30]


  1. ^ Malick, Terrence (January 1, 2000), Voyage of Time, retrieved February 10, 2016
  2. ^ "Terrence Malick's 'Voyage Of Time' Will Push The Boundaries Of Documentary Form | Tribeca". Tribeca. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (February 26, 2014). "Terrence Malick reaches settlement over unfinished film Voyage of Time". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  4. ^ Child, Ben (February 4, 2015). "Terrence Malick finally embarks on Voyage of Time – twice". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Venice Film Festival 2016". Deadline Hollywood. July 28, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Nordine, Michael (May 1, 2016). "Terrence Malick's 'Voyage of Time' Coming to IMAX Theaters in October After 30+ Year Production". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "IMAX Corporation Reports First-Quarter 2016 Financial Results Highlights". IMAX Corporation. April 21, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "VOYAGE OF TIME". Wild Bunch. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Voyage of Time: Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett Will Narrate Two Versions". Collider. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c Jagernauth, Kevin. "'Voyage Of Time' On Voyage Of Trouble As Investors Sue Terrence Malick". The Playlist. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Fischer, Russ (August 8, 2009). "Brad Pitt Will Narrate Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time Doc". SlashFilm. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  12. ^ Han, Angie (May 15, 2014). "Cate Blanchett Will Also Narrate Terrence Malick's 'Voyage of Time'". SlashFilm. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (August 17, 2011). "Emma Thompson Signs On As Another Narrator For Terrence Malick's 'Voyage Of Time' Documentary". Indiewire. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  14. ^ Paul Atkins, Malick's 2nd unit DP on THE TREE OF LIFE, TO THE WONDER and KNIGHT OF CUPS, served as Director of Photography. Mack, Andrew. "Terrence Malick Sued By Investors For Not Going On His VOYAGE OF TIME". TwitchFilm. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "The Lowdown on Terrence Malick's Three New Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (July 21, 2013). "UPDATE: Terrence Malick's Sycamore Pictures Sued By 'Voyage Of Time' Docu Backer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "Seven Seas Complaint" (PDF). Deadline Hollywood. July 21, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  18. ^ Jaugernauth, Kevin (July 21, 2013). "'Voyage Of Time' On Voyage Of Trouble As Investors Sue Terrence Malick". Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  19. ^ Gardner, Eriq (July 21, 2013). "Terrence Malick Movie Investors Sue to Get Money Back". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  20. ^ Pulver, Andrew (September 24, 2013). "Terrence Malick hits back over Voyage of Time legal action". Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  21. ^ Gardner, Eriq (February 25, 2014). "Terrence Malick Has Nine Months to Pay His Movie Investors (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  22. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (February 3, 2015). "IMAX, Broad Green Sign On As Distribs Of Terrence Malick's 'Voyage Of Time'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  23. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 16, 2016). "Toronto Fest Rounds Dance Card: Terry George's 'The Promise,' Liev Schreiber In 'The Bleeder,' Terrence Malick Docu Among Pics". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  24. ^ Foutch, Haleigh (May 1, 2016). "Terrence Malick's 'Voyage of Time' Will Finally Arrive in IMAX Theaters This Fall". Collider. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  25. ^ Billington, Alex (May 1, 2016). "Malick's IMAX Film 'Voyage of Time' Officially Set to Open This October". First Showing. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  26. ^ "Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience". Metacritic. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  27. ^ "Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  28. ^ Scott, A.O. "Review: 'Voyage of Time,' the Cosmology of Terrence Malick (the Short Version)". New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  29. ^ "Voyage of Time: Life's Journey Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  30. ^ "Voyage of Time: Life's Journey". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 7, 2018.

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