!!The movie:
* AcceptableTargets: A majority of the film's villains include racists, homophobes, corrupt executives and politicians and cannibalistic savages.
* AwardSnub: It was completely ignored by the Academy. Many thought it should have at least been nominated for Make-Up, given how all the actors are transformed, or Editing for the way they cut back and forth between different stories. The score was also highly acclaimed, some even going so far to say ''Atlas'' had the best soundtrack of the year.
* CompleteMonster: [[ProfessionalKiller Bill Smoke]] from the ''Luisa Rey'' story is a [[PsychoForHire psychotic hitman]] who shows little regret for anything he does. Hired by [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Lloyd Hooks]] to kill anyone who knows about his company’s nuclear reactor conspiracy, Smoke sets out to murder anybody who gets in his way. He kills a much older Rufus Sixsmith and makes it look like a suicide, and almost kills an unaware Luisa, backing off when she ends up not discovering him. When a man named Isaac Sachs gives Luisa a copy of the nuclear report Sixsmith tried to give her, Smoke kills Sachs by blowing up the plane he’s in, along with the people inside it, later attempting to murder Luisa by running her car off a bridge. After discovering that Luisa survived the crash, he tries to murder her again, along with her partner, Joe Napier. Before his death, Smoke [[ShootTheDog shoots an innocent Mexican woman’s dog]] and calls her a "[[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain stupid fucking wetback]] " for not telling him where Luisa and Joe are.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: It wold be easy to say all of it, but special mention must be made to the film's final track, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXttp8_xSHQ "Cloud Atlas End Title".]]
* CultClassic: The film appears to be heading this way, judging how it debuted at [[http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cloud-atlas-debuts-at-no-535538 number one]] the week it was released on video and the more positive reactions that come from audiences than critics.
* DirectorDisplacement: Tom Tykwer's involvement doesn't get as much discussion as the Wachowski's.
* SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct: Some people feel that Hugh Grant plays the same character over and over again in some of the movies he's in. There's a very good chance that those same exact folks are also utterly shocked to see him play the cannibal in the post-apocalyptic segment. Even Grant admitted he was having a lot fun playing the roles he did.
* HilariousInHindsight: Timothy talks about Creator/HermanMelville and ''Literature/MobyDick'' in the beginning of his story. Fast-forward to 2015, ''Film/InTheHeartOfTheSea'' stars Creator/BenWhishaw as Herman Melville.
* LGBTFanbase: The relationship between Frobisher and Sixsmith. For example, type in Cloud Atlas on Website/{{tumblr}} and about half of the results will be those two.
* LoveItOrHateIt: The film was polarizing for critics. Some, including Creator/RogerEbert, listed it as one of the best of the year. Other critics savaged it, and it drew accusations of {{yellowface}}.
* {{Narm}}:
** Some of the makeup, especially in the "Neo Seoul" segments. See UncannyValley and SpecialEffectFailure.
** The way people [[FunetikAksent talk]] in Zachry's era. Can also double as NarmCharm.
* NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize: It doesn't take long to figure out that any character in the film HugoWeaving portrays is a Bad Guy, from the father-in-law that has no problem engaging in the slave trade, to the professional assassin, to even a WitchDoctor version of the devil himself. And then there's the BattleaxeNurse.
* OvershadowedByControversy: The film will probably be remembered more for the controversy over the decision to have white actors appear in YellowFace than for its story.
* RewatchBonus: The film is loaded with little touches and {{Foreshadowing}} you'll probably miss on the first go around. On top of that, some viewers found themselves having different opinions after watching it second time. Creator/MarkKermode outright called the film a failure (albeit an honorable one) on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKVfpRLfWOc his first viewing]] but on his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n66GotwXN9I second viewing]], he found a new appreciation for it.
* SlowPacedBeginning: Though the first twenty minutes or so of the film are hard to follow, it becomes easier to comprehend the non-linear stories after you get to know all of the protagonists.
* SpecialEffectFailure: In spite of some very good instances of makeup, the attempts to change the races of several actors runs straight into UncannyValley and is highly distracting. There's some amount of contention between critics whether it was intentional or not.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: Averted for Meronym, as she is mostly dependent on the exact same technology as Sonmi~451's era, some 175 years prior, such as the floating half-silvered video screens and the Mauna Sol broadcast facility. Inverted entirely for Village folk and Kona, who don't have a shred of anything beyond the stone age, aside from a single book, and crossbows.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: Partially, anyway. It's [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] in the film; one of the many protagonists notes that [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall once you stop trying to make sense of things and learn to roll with them]], you can figure out what's going on.
* UncannyValley: Some of the attempts to change the actors' race end up looking extremely creepy.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome:
** Both 'future' segments, but especially Sonmi~451's.
** ''Some'' of the the makeup effects are amazing. While part of the point of re-using actors is for the audience to notice that the same people keep popping up in various incarnations throughout time, the makeup can make it difficult to tell who plays whom at times. Unfortunately, the SpecialEffectFailure of some makeup takes a lot away from the overall achievement.
* TheWoobie: A multitude of them.
** All what Adam wants is to go back home to his wife, but is sadly under attack from a nasty parasite and the DeadlyDoctor who is trying to kill him.
** Rufus Sixsmith. In the 1936 story, not only is he an active participant in a same-sex relationship (no doubt very much taboo at the time) with Frobisher, but he has to deal with his lover somewhat stringing him along at various times. And yet he stays very much loyal to Frobisher up through the point where [[spoiler: he arrives to visit him, only to find he has just committed suicide]]. Then in the 1973 story, still very much haunted by his old love, he provides Luisa Rey with an expose on the corruption at the nuclear power plant where he works. He then promptly is [[spoiler: assassinated by a hit man hired by the plant.]]
** Timothy Cavendish get abused by gangsters, his older brother and a sadistic nursing home but because his tale is PlayedForLaughs, he falls between this and a ButtMonkey.
** Sonmi~451 was birthed right from the get go to be a simple servant and nothing more. She witnesses multiple deaths of friends, is on the receiving end of sexual abuse during her previous life at Papa Song's, is imprisoned and interrogated by the Government and by the end, [[spoiler:gets executed for her troubles]]. However, due to her perseverance through her tale, she evolves from this to an IronWoobie.
** Zachry is constantly haunted by the death of his brother-in-law, his visions of Old Georgie and the ruthless Kona Tribe. And when he [[spoiler:sees the devastation of his tribe at the hands of the Kona, especially Rose]], all he can do is fall to his knees and weep.
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!The Book:

* GeniusBonus: The name of the music piece Robert Frobisher creates is called the ''Cloud Atlas Sextet.'' A sextet, according to TheOtherWiki is "a formation containing exactly six members. It is commonly associated with vocal or musical instrument groups, but can be applied to any situation where six similar or related objects are considered a single unit." The novel is told through the PointOfView of six different people.
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