The one area where the film falls flat is the storyline. The storyline occurs over a long period of time as Jude (played by Jim Sturgess) grows up. The film parallels his life with current events of the time period. At times, the metaphors seem to push too hard towards a very heavy anti-war message. I like the message, but it's a bit too heavy a lot of the time. Odd interactions seem out of place along the way as well. At points, I wish that a lot of the film was cut out because it is irrelevant to the storyline. It was really cool that the filmmakers tried to use as many Beatles songs as possible, but sometimes they distract the flow of the film.
Coming out in 2007, Across the Universe used innovative tools to create a visually striking piece of art. Kaleidoscope images cross the screen during Bono's performance of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", portraying the psychedelic style of the late Beatles music. My favorite part of the movie occurs during a scene about the army draft. The scene starts off with a horrifying image of Uncle Sam reaching out of a poster to grab a conscripted soldier. The choreography is grand and the song fits perfectly with the scene, displaying the political messages embedded in a lot of the music by the Beatles.
The Bottom Line: Even with a flat storyline, Across the Universe is a spectacle based around an anti-war message embedded in iconic Beatles songs.