* AwardSnub: Its Best Picture and Best Director nominations were a pleasant surprise, but the lack of a Best Supporting Actor nomination for BradPitt is a bit of a shame. The lack of nomination for Best Visual Effects was even more incomprehensible.
** The overdue Emmanuel Lubezki had practically swept the awards season for his gorgeous cinematography, yet lost the Oscar in an upset to Robert Richardson for ''Hugo''.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: You want operatic classical music. WE'VE GOT OPERATIC CLASSICAL MUSIC!!
* CriticalDissonance: Egads. Despite winning the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and being one of the most well received films of that year by critics (and going far beyond that, with some even calling it ''one of the best films of the decade''), it also earned a significant backlash from mainstream audiences. For example, the WebSite/RottenTomatoes score on the audience's side is barely at 60% while critics is at a very healthy 84%. General consensus on the negative side of the spectrum seems to be that the film is pretentious and deliberately incomprehensible, attempting to lend gravity on a cosmic scale to earthly subjects that many consider almost inherently boring.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Mrs. Obrien, in a role that helped propel the actress Jessica Chastain (along with other performances in a very prolific 2011) from relative unknown to indie film royalty.
* HypeBacklash: As noted in CriticalDissonance, some felt that the hype the film gained wasn't all that deserving.
* MemeticMutation: "You are ALLOWED to live here!"
* TearJerker: Terrence Malick is usually known for emotionally distant films, making it all the more surprising that this is the closest he's gone to outright tear-jerker mode.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: A common response from those who disliked the film. Expect the word "pretentious" to get thrown around. A lot.
* SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Awesome doesn't even come close to describing it. Douglas Trumbull, VFX artist from ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' was dragged out of retirement because Malick didn't like what modern CGI artists were doing (or more accurately: modern CGI[[note]] although the Nature and Astral Realms were realized through this method via Creator/PrimeFocus and Creator/DoubleNegativeVFX respectively[[/note]]). Even Creator/BradJones, who spent over a half hour bashing the film, thought the visuals were flawless.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: The ending. See TrippyFinaleSyndrome for more details.