Mixed reviews for Cloud Atlas

Critics divided on new Wachowski-directed epic, after its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival

The hotly-anticipated new film from the Wachowskis, 'Cloud Atlas', has arrived to mixed reviews.

It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and was bolstered by appearances from its stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry on the red carpet.

Watch the trailer for 'Cloud Atlas'

But while the hugely ambitious project has been met with widespread respect from the critical and filmmaking community, the content has critics split.

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The Guardian gave it two stars out of five, suggesting that those who have not read the 500-page David Mitchell novel it is based on will leave cinemas 'baffled'.

“At 163 minutes Cloud Atlas carries all the marks of a giant folly,” said Henry Barnes. “Yet it's hard to wholly condemn the directors' ambition - this is fast-paced and cleverly assembled, with the best of the performances shining through the prosthetics (Hugh Grant makes great play of the clutch of villains he's dealt).

“The Twyker/Wachowski collective offer everything here. Chances are there's something in the hodgepodge for you.”

Cloud Atlas... mixed reviews from critics (Copyright: Warner Bros)

The Hollywood Reporter added that it is 'a film that aims for the clouds but is often weighed down by its own lofty intentions'.

“Not quite soaring into the heavens, but not exactly crash-landing either, 'Cloud Atlas' is an impressively mounted, emotionally stilted adaptation,” said reviewer Jordan Mintzer, while Jordan Hoffman of Film.com said: “'Cloud Atlas' is like the entire 'Matrix' trilogy in micro. It starts out absolutely brilliantly, then segues into a pretentious slog.”

There have been positive reviews, however, with HitFix critic Drew McWeeny calling it 'one of my very favourite films this year'.

'Cloud Atlas', which was co-directed by the Wachowskis and 'Run Lola Run' helmsman Tom Tykwer, cost a reported $100 million (£62 million) to make, and as it was funded mostly by private investment, makes it one of the most expensive independent movies of all time.

It's due out in the UK on March 22, 2013.