The New World

Director Terrence Malick’s return to the multiplex in 1998 with The Thin Red Line was one of the more remarkable comebacks in the 100-year history of the movie industry. Malick, a Texas native who made two of the most celebrated and influential American dramas of the 1970s, Badlands and Days of Heaven, promptly vanished for a good 20 years before returning with, of all things, a meditation on nature and humanity on the front lines of the Second World War. That his comeback film saw only modest box-office returns but earned seven Oscar nominations is an indicator of the esteem in which Malick is held by his peers.

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