This new film is by no means a standard “extended cut” in the tradition of which we’ve become familiar in trendy box sets of late. It is a “director’s cut” in the sense that the entire edit of this project was overseen by Malick, even featuring a brand new color correction by renowned DP Emmanuel Lubezki. But it feels reductive to refer to this version of the film as anything other than a new piece of work. Yes, it contains hours of the former version’s material, still meditating on much of the same scenarios, characters, and locations, but it feels imbued with a new, more muted palette, and an even closer intimacy with its subject matter, perhaps reflecting a filmmaker with different curiosities than the ones he held a over decade ago when Malick’s vision for the astral voyage was first conceived.
– Dom Nero of Esquire.com