Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi

Twentieth Century Fox

Life of Pi may not be hitting the multiplexes for another two months, but initial reviews are already starting to trickle in.

The highly anticipated film, based on Yann Martel's 2001 novel and helmed by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, is opening the 50th New York Film Festival on Friday.

So what are some folks saying about it?

"That great chameleon among contemporary directors, Ang Lee, achieves an admirable sense of wonder in this tall tale about a shipwrecked teenager stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, a yarn that has been adapted from the compellingly peculiar best-seller with its beguiling preposterousness intact," writes Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter.

"A gently transporting work of all-ages entertainment that melds a harrowing high-seas adventure with a dreamy meditation on the very nature of storytelling," notes Variety's Justin Chang.

"That Ang Lee has managed to turn the limitations of the material into his adaptation's greatest strength makes Life of Pi into a significant achievement for the filmmaker in spite of blatant problems with structure, dialogue and other surface issues," offers Eric Kohn of IndieWire.

"While the film...takes some time revving past a clunky first act, it eventually settles into a visionary sweet spot for well over an hour," states Kristopher Tapley of HitFlix.

"My problem with Life of Pi is simple," remarks David Poland of Movie City News. "It's a piece of high art, tethered to earth in the desire to be accessible and PG safe. It's also an earthly big studio effects show, unable to entertain wildly enough to overcome the simplicity of the story as it rolls out and the unavoidable stench of death that hangs over the tale."

"Thrilled there's so much heart and humanity behind Ang Lee's stunning visual feast," writes's Matt Patches.

Life of Pi opens Nov. 21.

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