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Two of the decade's favorites among the pretentious artsy crowd, of which I too am a part so it's all cool. In both films one is tempted to search beyond the surface-meaning, but one should do so only after fully absorbing and experiencing the emotion of their stories, and then using those reliable feelings as a starting point. Of the two, I find The Master to be denser and, consequently, the much harder film to critique, for it's the kind of enigma that leaves you puzzled despite everything seeming simple and straightforward at first glance. The Tree of Life doesn't get down to the heavy, abstract stuff until the second half, and until then you get to enjoy some very memorable moments of family bonding. Overall, The Tree of Life has richer filmmaking.