The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is a 2011 American epic experimental coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick. Its main cast includes Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Jessica Chastain, and Tye Sheridan in his debut feature film role. The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth.


Around the 1960s, Mrs. and Mr. O'Brien are informed of the death of their 19-year-old son, R.L., throwing the family into turmoil. In 2010, eldest son Jack is adrift in his modern life in Dallas, Texas as an architect, disillusioned by his life full of disappointments. Meanwhile, voiceovers from Mrs. O'Brien ask God why R.L. had to die. Then, visuals depict the birth of the universe, followed by the creation of Earth and the beginning of life. At one point, a dinosaur chooses not to kill another dinosaur that is injured and lying on the side of a river bed. Finally, an asteroid strikes the Earth.