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Cloud Atlas Movie Quotes

Updated June 8, 2017 362 votes 62 voters 21.8k views8 items

"Cloud Atlas" movie quotes weave their way through six unique yet connected stories about how lives are all linked in the past, present and future. The science-fiction drama film was adapted from the award-winning novel of the same name written by David Mitchell. "Cloud Atlas" received overwhelming praise after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival prior to its October 26, 2012, release.

In "Cloud Atlas," viewers are introduced to six different stories, each of which impact the next. It starts with Adam Ewing, a notary during the California Gold Rush who writes a journal as he journeys in the bowels of a ship on a voyage to San Francisco. That journal, or at least part of it, ends up in the hands of struggling English musician Robert Frobisher nearly a century later. Robert is drawn in by Adam's story so much so that in his letters to friend Rufus Sixsmith, Robert mentions this fascinating yet incomplete story. Later, in the 1970s, journalist Luisa Rey discovers Robert's letters and like Robert is drawn in to the previous storyline.

These connections continue as three additional stories are introduced each carrying small details as well as large themes from one to the next with the theory that our souls stay with us through different lives and are shaped by each interaction, each event we witness. The stellar ensemble cast of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant each portray multiple characters in the film to bring those connections and theories to life.

"Cloud Atlas" on the surface can be a bit intense with the intertwining storylines and dozens of characters. For something a bit lighter, instead check out "Alex Cross," "Smashed," "Sinister," "Seven Psychopaths," "Argo," "Here Comes the Boom," "The Paperboy," "Taken 2," "Frankenweenie," "Butter," "Won't Back Down," and "Looper."
  • 1

    Potential Directions

    Video: YouTube
    Dr. Henry Goose: "Our lives and our choices, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction. Yesterday my life was headed in one direction. Today, it is headed in another. Fear, belief, love, phenomena that determined the course of our lives. These forces begin long before we are born and continue long after we perish. Yesterday, I believe I would have never have done what I did today. I feel like something important has happened to me. Is this possible?" 

    Dr. Henry Goose gives a cryptic yet highly accurate overview of the theory behind the film in that life is about the sum of each moment, each interaction, that culminates into who we are and what we do. According to him, these forces go beyond our lifetime and are carried by our souls from life to life.
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  • 2

    Our Lives Are Not Our Own

    Video: YouTube
    Madame Horrox: "Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future." 

    The idea that we are the product of our environment and those in it is presented elaborating on the theory that each of our interactions shapes us and impacts our future in this lifetime or the next.
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  • 3

    Cloud Atlas Sextet

    Video: YouTube
    Timothy Cavendish: "That's it, the music from my dream."
    Robert Frobisher: "I call it the Cloud Atlas Sextet. There are whole movements imagining us meeting again and again in different lives, different ages." 
    Timothy Cavendish: "I heard it in my dream. I was in a nightmarish cafe and the waitresses, they all had the same face." 

    As recognized by an older Timothy Cavendish, the Cloud Atlas Sextet is one of those subconscious items that characters in the film carry with them in their souls, though not necessarily in their minds.
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  • 4

    I Know I Know It

    Video: YouTube
    Luisa Rey: "This is the Cloud Atlas Sextet?
    Record Shop Clerk: "I doubt there's more than a handful of copies in all of North America."
    Luisa Rey: "But I know it. I know I know it." 

    Just as others have recognized the song, Luisa Rey has the innate belief that she too knows this song but cannot place exactly how or from where she knows it.
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