Churlie Rurlph’s review published on Letterboxd:
So about two thirds of the way in to The Master I thought of a super pretentious but nonetheless apt way to describe my feelings on the movie, and that would be that it's the best movie I've ever hated.
I should clarify, I've been psyched about seeing The Master for about a year now, and I could probably dig up an old blog post with it being near the top of my list of films to see this year. So yeah, in saying that, it was kind of a massive huge disappointment.
I'm sure there's a fantastic movie in there, and that's kind of what disappointed me so much. It isn't even a bad movie, it's a great one, but I hated it. I didn't understand the motivations of any of the characters, the story seemed to jump from one theme and one plot to another, which meant that it eventually just blended in to a big slurry of "things happening" rather than an actual film. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour-Hoffman were awesome, but it's kind of cheating to use that as a plus, as they'd be awesome in literally anything.
The movie felt like it was about four hours long. I was hoping for the end from about the halfway point. It was beautifully shot. Every individual scene looked incredible, but the sum of it's parts was just not good at all.