I can’t adequately describe the story of Knight of Cups, the 2015 Terrence Malick feature starring Christian Bale, so allow me to simply copy the synopsis from IMDb:

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.


If there’s a difference between the marketing and the actual movie, it’s that the trailer promised there might be something like a coherent story presented in the story. Instead it’s the same old Malick filmmaking ticks, including having Bale deliver almost no on-screen dialogue, reacting to those around him silently as he provides vague voice over that sometimes is barely applicable to what’s happening.

That being said, I did mention that it was necessary to grade this on a Malick-shaped curve and so it can’t be held too much to account. If you went into this expecting anything other than another entry in his contemplative series after Tree of Life and To the Wonder, you likely weren’t paying attention.