Trying to review 'Cloud Atlas' an hour after you've seen it is like trying to recite the Bible from memory after you've read it for the first time. I'll definitely be able to cover the big points, but the fine details are going to get lost: there's no way to take it all in on just one viewing.
Whatever its missteps, directors Tom Tykwer, and Andy and Lana Wachowski have crafted a staggeringly ambitious piece of cinema -- or really six pieces of cinema, strung together and interwoven and speaking to one another in all kinds of ways. Sitting here a short while after I saw it for the first time, I can't really say I fully understand a lot of the "why" -- why this character is so important to the fate of humanity, or why that character needs to activate that particular device -- but the "what" is always so compelling, I was happy to be puzzled. I still am.