Cloud Atlas

(R) ★★☆☆☆

This adaptation of David Mitchell’s spinning top of a novel exists to vex, intrigue and discombobulate unsuspecting audiences six ways to Sunday. It defies description. Six storylines spanning several centuries, from an 1849 Pacific Ocean voyage to the year 2321, provide the narrative webbing. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving and others play many roles apiece. Some of the stories work, but others fall flat. It’s a fascinating look at some very large themes, but it’s a bewildering effort that doesn’t really work.