These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Cloud Atlas
Acceptable Targets: A majority of the film's villains include racists, homophobes, corrupt executives and politicians and cannibalistic savages.
Award Snub: 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.
Complete Monster: While some of Hugo Weaving's characters range in amorality (from the standard and malicious Jerkass to the slightlysympathetic), Bill Smoke from the Lusia Rey story is the worst of the bunch. Showing zero regret or empathy throughout Lusia's story, Smoke ruthlessly and methodically kills a good amount of the cast in that segment ranging from "suicides" to even blowing up a plane with innocent people on board just to get his target. He also shows himself to be a nasty bigot as well, outright calling an innocent Mexican woman a "fucking wetback" and shoots her dog right in front of her.
Double Standard: People who criticize the Yellow Face aspect of the movie rarely even mention the fact that non-white actors change their race too.
Fridge Brilliance: The Papa Song character, implied to be Ronald McDonald in the book, was changed to resemble a smiling, rotund yellow Buddha-like figure in the film. Becomes brilliance when you realize that (as described in the book) Sonmi is directly compared to the original living Buddha in that she was a real human being who achieved fame for her compassionate humanistic teachings during her relatively brief life, but became deified beyond belief by civilization after her death to the point where her worshipers are largely unaware she was ever a flesh-and-blood human, so she's a satisfying antithesis to the corporation's soulless bastardization of the Buddha's image.
He Really Can Act: 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.
It Gets Better: 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.
LGBT Fanbase: The relationship between Frobisher and Sixsmith. For example, type in Cloud Atlas on tumblr and about half of the results will be those two.
Critical Dissonance: Despite it bombing at the box office and the divided response from critics, audiences are much more forgiving of the film. The film has had a much more favorable reception on sites like IMDB and Metacritic.
Special Effect Failure: In spite of some very good instances of makeup, the attempts to change the races of several actors runs straight into Uncanny Valley and is highly distracting. There's some amount of contention between critics whether it was intentional or not.
Rewatch Bonus: 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. Mark Kermode outright called the film a failure (albeit an honorable one) on his first viewing but on his second viewing, he found a new appreciation for it.
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 Special Effect Failure of some makeup takes a lot away from the overall achievement.
Fridge Horror: After the reveal about Soap, Sonmi later mentions that she's jealous that fabricants are incapable of eating human food. She knows what Soap is and she is physically unable to eat anything else.
Genius Bonus: The name of the music piece Robert Frobisher creates is called the Cloud Atlas Sextet. A sextet, according to The Other Wiki 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 Point of View of six different people.