The Box (2009) Poster

The Box (2009)

  • Rate: 5.7/10 total 40,002 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Release Date: 6 November 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 115 min
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The Box (2009)


The Box 2009tt0362478.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Box (2009)
  • Rate: 5.7/10 total 40,002 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Release Date: 6 November 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 115 min
  • Filming Location: Boston Public Library – 700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Budget: $16,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $15,045,676(USA)(3 January 2010)
  • Director: Richard Kelly
  • Stars: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella
  • Original Music By: Win Butler  Régine Chassagne  Owen Pallett   
  • Soundtrack: Can't You See
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Box | Button | 24 Hours | Key | Consequence

Writing Credits By:

  • Richard Kelly (screenplay)
  • Richard Matheson (short story "Button, Button")

Known Trivia

  • Veteran character actor, Basil Hoffman, was also in the original version of this story when “Button, Button” aired on The Twilight Zone: Profile in Silver/Button, Button.
  • This marks the first feature-length film scored by members of the Canadian band Arcade Fire (Win Butler, RĂ©gine Chassagne and Owen Pallett)
  • This marks the first PG-13 film to be directed by Richard Kelly.
  • Charlie Clouser’s score from Saw was used for the trailer.
  • On the commentary of Tony Scott’s Domino, Richard Kelly outright dismissed shooting a 1970s period piece with a digital camera. But after seeing David Fincher’s Zodiac, Kelly’s position quickly changed and he was quoted saying, “It can be done.”
  • The number “13” is referenced at least four times. The first time is at the beginning of the movie, with the shot of the Lewis’ bedroom clock, which shows 5:44 a.m., the digits of which amount to “13”. The second reference is Mr. Steward’s car, the license plate number of which is “XH34-568”. The letters “X” and “H” are the 24th and 8th numbers of the alphabet, respectively. Twenty-four plus eight equals 32. Thirty-two plus the other numbers on the license plate (3, 4, 5, 6, and 8) totals 58; 5 plus 8 totals to “13”. The third reference is the time of death of the woman who was shot in the chest, whose husband works at Langley, or at least the time the “neighbor’s heard the shot,” which is 4:45 p.m.( 4+4=8, 8+5=13). Finally, the fourth reference is the Lewis’ home address, the numbers of which are “7321”; 7 plus 3 plus 1 plus 2 totals “13”.
  • The main characters, Norma Lews and Arthur Lewis, are based on director Richard Kelly’s parents. His mother also suffered a crippled foot after a X-Ray mishap; his father worked for NASA and co-designed the camera used on the Viking Mars Landers (as in the movie).
  • While Norma is watching TV, you see a native American man weeping in sadness. This is in reference to an anti-littering commercial from the 1970s.
  • This film was not screened for critics.
  • At one point, Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) tells her son’s friends that she is only 35 years old. Although Diaz was 37 when the film was released, she was indeed 35 in reality at the time of filming, in 2007.

Goofs: Anachronisms: 911 emergency services weren't available in Fairfax County until 1981.

Plot: A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don't know. Full summary »  »

Story: Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. However, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world, someone they don't know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.Written by Warner Bros. Pictures  


Synopsis: The film begins with a CIA internal memo being typed across the screen. It states that a man named Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) has recovered from severe burn wounds and is delivering units related to the Mars project.

The film then opens up in 1976 with Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) cuddling in bed and awaking at 5:45 am as the doorbell rings. Norma goes downstairs and looks through the peephole, seeing a black car drive off. Upon opening the door, she sees a package on her doorstep. Inside, she and her husband find a wooden box with a button protected by a glass dome, locked with a key, and a note, reading Mr. Steward will come at 5:00 pm. Norma and Arthur then enjoy a nice breakfast with their son, Walter (Sam Oz Stone).

Arthur goes to work at NASA, where he works in optics, and helped in designing the camera on the Viking Mars probe. He finds he has been rejected from the astronaut program due to the fact that he failed the psychological exam.

Norma goes to her job as a teacher at an elite private school teaching literature, where they are discussing Sartre’s vision of Hell. One of her students remarks on her limp, after which she shows her class her disfigured right foot, missing four toes. After class Norma is informed by her boss that she will no longer be getting a discount for tuition and won’t be able to pay for school for her son. Later that day Norma returns home and Arlington Steward appears at their door. Half of his face is missing. Norma looks at the clock and realizes it is 5:00 pm.

Arlington says that if she or her husband pushes the button, someone in the world that they do not know will die, and they will receive one million dollars. Arlington hands Norma a $100 bill from the brief case of money, and says she gets to keep it if the button is pushed or not. Arlington leaves and tells her she has 24 hours. Arthur returns and Norma tells him what has happened.

After much discussion about whether or not they should press the button, and some tinkering with the box (Arthur finds nothing inside it), Norma suddenly jerks forward and hits it. The button rises slightly.

Arlington returns and presents Norma and Arthur with the million, without asking whether they pressed the button or not. He informs that they will not know who will receive the offer next, and implies that Arthur, Norma, or their son will be the ones to die. Arthur storms after Arlington and attempts to return the million, but Arlington drives off. Arthur gets his license plate number.

A 911 call is shown, where someone has been shot. The police enter the house and find a woman shot through the heart, and a little girl locked in the bathroom upstairs.

Arthur and Norma then attend a wedding rehearsal dinner, where Arthur is instructed to select a present from a table (secret Santa). A waiter (who happens to be the student of Norma’s who prompted her to reveal her disfigurement), holds up two fingers to Arthur. Arthur then sees a box much like the one left on their doorstep, with the button in it. This time, there a photograph of Arlington inside.

Norma’s sister tells Arthur that the student Arthur saw was the one who made fun of his wife’s foot. Arthur meets and asks Norma’s dad (who is a police officer) to run the license plate number of Arlington’s car. Norma receives a phone call (she is informed by a waiter whose nose begins to bleed as he’s leading her to the phone). It is Arlington, who scolds her for allowing her husband to make contact with the police (Arlington somehow knows Arthur has spoken to Norma’s father). Arthur angrily approaches the student from Norma’s class and yells at him for making fun of Norma. He then storms out of the party, with Norma following him. As they start their car, they see "No Exit" (the title of the Sartre play they went to see earlier) written into the frost on their windshield.

When they get home, Arthur takes their babysitter, Dana, home. Dana had earlier gone down into the basement with their son Walter, to see Arthur’s Mars collection. She notices the picture of everyone who worked on the development of the camera. As they are driving, Dana acts strangely, asking Arthur strange questions such as "Whats pushing your buttons?" and comments like "Look into the light." Her nose begins to bleed and she passes out. Arthur attempts to wake her up and finds her driver’s license, which shows her name is not Dana, but Sara, and she is from Boston. He reaches the motel, where "Dana" has been staying and she wakes up with a start. She tells Arthur it’s not safe for him there, and to look in the mirror because that’s the only place with the answer. She then hurries away. In the motel, every door she passes opens and a startled looking person stares her down. She reaches her room, where she has a large map and pictures of Arthur, Norma, and Walter.

At home Arthur looks at the large picture in the basement, and sees that Arlington (prior to his injury) is in the photo.

At a supermarket, Norma is approached by a panicked woman who tells her to look up a certain call number in the library, and not to trust her husband, before passing out with a bloody nose. Arthur finds out that Arlington’s license plate is registered to the NSA. He asks Norma’s father if he can go with him to see the house where the shooting mentioned earlier took place. Once there, he finds pictures of Arlington and a picture of a Human Resources book, and a library call number. Arthur learns that the woman was shot at 4:45 PM, the same time Norma pushed the button.

Norma and Arthur both visit the library, separately. Norma avoids Arthur, as instructed by the woman in the supermarket. Norma find a film reel, which shows Arlington prior to his disfigurement. Arthur is followed by a crowd of startled looking people. He finds himself in a large hall filled with more scared looking people. He approaches a woman he learns is Arlington’s wife, and she tells him to follow her. He is presented with three "gateways," made of hovering water. Two lead to eternal damnation, one to salvation. Remembering the student who held up two fingers, Arthur picks gate two. He enters the water and finds himself whirling through whiteness.

Norma is also led by two hollow looking women to Arlington. He asks her how she felt when she saw his disfigurement, and she says she felt love, because of her foot. She says that she felt bad for herself because of her foot, and seeing someone with a face disfigurement made her realize she would never feel sorry for herself ever again. Many years ago, her brother had dropped a barbell on her foot and when she went to the doctor he put it in an X-ray machine and forgot about her, destroying the tissue in four of her toes. Arlington informs Norma that he was struck by lightning, and can now communicate with "those who control the lightning." Norma begins to cry and Arlington takes her hand.

Norma is suddenly lying on her bed, with Arthur suspended above her in the same hovering water he stepped into earlier. Norma moves away just before Arthur falls out of the water. The water falls too, going all the way down their stairs. When cleaning up, Walter demands to know what is going on. Norma and Arthur do not answer him.

More drama occurs and eventually, at the wedding of Norma’s sister, their son Walter is kidnapped. Arthur is taken away by a gun-toting former employee of NASA. He is the same man who shot his wife, as earlier seen in the 911 call. He reveals to Arthur that he had to choose between his wife or his daughter. He asks if it was him or Norma that pushed the button and he replies that his wife also pushed the button. He shows Arthur the book seen earlier in the picture, and the water portals or "triptychs." The book is some sort of manual. They are then stopped by a man in a Santa Claus uniform, ringing a bell. As the two men are trying to figure out what is going on, they are hit by a large truck.

We then see Arthur emerge from a NASA warehouse, which has been surrounded by military. He is taken away and told by his NASA friend that everything that happens next will have great ramifications. Arthur and Norma return home and see Arlington in their kitchen. He informs them they face two final options. Their son, Walter, is now deaf and blind. They can either live on with their million dollars, and their disabled son, or Arthur can shoot Norma through the heart, at which point Walter’s sight and hearing will be restored and the million will be placed in a high interest bank account for Walter to be held in trust until his eighteenth birthday.

We learned earlier in a warehouse full of startled people, when Arlington’s minion questioned him, that Arlington’s employers are testing the human race to see if they are worth keeping.

Arlington leaves, telling Norma and Arthur on his way out that their son is in the bathroom, locked upstairs. The two of them run upstairs and try to get him out, but cannot because he can’t hear them pounding on the door. They decide that they must make a choice, and Norma leads Arthur downstairs.

Another couple is sitting at a table with a box unit, staring at it with content, wondering whether they should push it. Walter and Norma are crying and hugging each other, and say goodbye.

Walter shoots Norma, and the police arrive. He runs upstairs and sees his son is back to normal. It is implied that this process will go on and on.

Arlington arrives at the other couple’s house and hands them the million.

Arthur’s NASA friend informs him he and his son will be taken care of, as Arthur is escorted away by men in uniforms, who put him into a black car before driving off. Arthur’s son looks down at Arthur leaving in that black car. Arlington then comes out of the house of other couple to whom he had given the $1 million, and the film ends.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Sue Baden-Powell known as executive producer
  • Terry Dougas known as executive producer
  • Ted Field known as executive producer
  • Ted Hamm known as executive producer
  • Richard Kelly known as producer
  • Paris Kasidokostas Latsis known as executive producer
  • Dan Lin known as producer
  • Kelly McKittrick known as producer
  • Sean McKittrick known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Cameron Diaz known as Norma Lewis
  • James Marsden known as Arthur Lewis
  • Frank Langella known as Arlington Steward
  • James Rebhorn known as Norm Cahill
  • Holmes Osborne known as Dick Burns
  • Sam Oz Stone known as Walter Lewis
  • Gillian Jacobs known as Dana
  • Celia Weston known as Lana Burns
  • Deborah Rush known as Clymene Steward
  • Lisa K. Wyatt known as Rhonda Martin
  • Mark S. Cartier known as Martin Teague (as Mark Cartier)
  • Kevin Robertson known as Wendel Matheson
  • Michele Durrett known as Rebecca Matheson
  • Ian Kahn known as Vick Brenner
  • John Magaro known as Charles
  • Ryan Woodle known as Jeffrey Carnes
  • Basil Hoffman known as Don Poates
  • Robert Harvey known as NASA Executive #1
  • Gentry Lee known as Chief Engineer
  • Andrew Levitas known as Black Op
  • Gabriel Field known as Waiter
  • Frank Ridley known as Detective Starrs
  • Daniel Stewart Sherman known as Police Officer #1
  • Matthew C. Flynn known as Police Officer #2
  • Patrick Canty known as Police Officer #3 (as Patrick Eugene Canty)
  • Sam Blumenfeld known as Timothy
  • Kevin DeCoste known as Malcolm
  • Mary Klug known as Female Neighbor
  • Allyssa Maurice known as Suzanne Weller
  • Michael Zegen known as Garcin
  • Rachael Hunt known as Inez
  • Cheryl McMahon known as Female 911 Operator
  • Evelina Oboza known as Deborah Burns
  • Bill Buell known as Dr. Earl Stupe
  • Paul Marini known as Santa Claus
  • Donald Warnock known as Doctor Y (as Don Warnock)
  • W. Kirk Avery known as Doctor Z
  • Don Hewitt known as Employee #1
  • Floyd Richardson known as Employee #2
  • David R. McDonough known as Employee #3 (as Dave McDonough)
  • Rick L'Heureux known as Chase Employee #1
  • Nicholas Cairis known as Chase Employee #2 (as Nick Cairis)
  • Robert Denton known as Chase Employee #3
  • Paul Locke known as Chase Employee #4
  • Winstead Barnes known as Nasa Executive (uncredited)
  • Gregory James Berney known as Drama Class Kid (uncredited)
  • Jodie Brunelle known as 911 Operator (uncredited)
  • Danny Carney known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • William Conrad known as Himself (voice) (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • John Currie known as Nosey Neighbor's Grandson (uncredited)
  • John E. Daniel known as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Keith Fluker known as Military Officer (uncredited)
  • Steve Flynn known as Guest at Wedding Reception (uncredited)
  • John Franchi known as Lurker (uncredited)
  • Jay Gates known as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Patrick Mel Hayes known as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
  • Mark Hetherington known as Homeless Library Patron / Zombie (uncredited)
  • Steven Howitt known as NASA Scientist (uncredited)
  • Jenna Lamia known as Diane Carnes (uncredited)
  • Tina Mann known as Nasa Scientist (uncredited)
  • CJ McBath known as Photographer #2 (uncredited)
  • Alex Milne known as Child at Bus Stop (uncredited)
  • Jason Mulcahy known as Edgy & Hip Family Guest (uncredited)
  • Roxanne Nichols known as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
  • Ed O'Keefe known as Norma's Abductor (uncredited)
  • Richard Pacheco known as Joel Reidy (uncredited)
  • Greg Paul known as NASA Engineer (uncredited)
  • Drew Rose known as Groomsman (uncredited)
  • Coley Speaks known as Employee (uncredited)
  • Vyvian B. Stevens known as Brainwashed Follower (uncredited)
  • David Struffolino known as NASA Rocket Scientist (uncredited)
  • Marc Vos known as Banquet Waiter (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Marleen Alter known as makeup artist
  • Coni Andress known as hair stylist
  • Jerry DeCarlo known as hair department head
  • Paula Dion known as hair stylist
  • Anna Fleiner known as assistant makeup department head
  • Robin Fredriksz known as makeup artist: Cameron Diaz
  • Louis Lazzara known as makeup department head
  • Craig Lyman known as makeup artist
  • Jennifer McCollom known as makeup artist
  • Sandra S. Orsolyak known as additional makeup artist
  • Nichole Pleau known as makeup artist
  • Sara Seidman known as assistant makeup artist (as Sara Seidman Vance)
  • Lona Vigi known as hair stylist
  • Jason Willis known as makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Bobby Anderson known as picture car coordinator
  • Joseph Barillaro known as charge scenic artist
  • Joe Barry known as set dresser
  • Jamie Bishop known as co-leadman
  • Richard Blankenship known as construction coordinator
  • David Henry Buck known as gang boss
  • Brian Buckley known as set dressing foreman
  • Rachel Burgio known as art department staff assistant (as Etienne Marchione)
  • Jason Case known as set dressing gang boss (as Jason Pontes)
  • Christina Chandler known as set dresser
  • Danica Chipman known as set buyer
  • Roger Danchik known as set dressing foreman
  • Cosmas A. Demetriou known as set designer
  • Noah Dubreuil known as on-set dresser
  • Andrew Garcia-Price known as storyboard artist (as Drew Garcia-Price)
  • Steve George known as gang boss/set dresser: Virginia (as Steven H. George)
  • Zack Gorman known as set dresser
  • Jane Gulick known as property master
  • Mary Hopkins known as scenic foreman
  • J.M. Hunter known as art department coordinator
  • Eric Jerman known as key greensman
  • Dan Joy known as stand-by scenic
  • Lance Littlefield known as scenic artist
  • Dave Major known as set dresser
  • Etienne Martine known as set dresser (as Etienne Marchione)
  • Brian McKenzie known as set dresser
  • Beth Morris known as props: Virginia
  • Lisa Nagid known as property assistant
  • Katrina Parsons known as set dresser
  • Jeremy M. Pereira known as scenic artist
  • John Pungitore known as set dresser
  • David Rotondo known as construction coordinator
  • John Ryder known as set dresser
  • Richard Salinas known as scenic charge: VA
  • Shauna Sanchez known as set dresser
  • Robert Schleinig known as leadman
  • Michelle Sherwood known as assistant property master
  • Nathan Smith known as scenic laborer
  • Tom Sola known as construction foreman
  • Katie Tower known as graphic designer
  • Peter Wilcox known as gang boss
  • Peiyi Wong known as art department staff assistant
  • Joshua Barnatt known as greensperson (uncredited)
  • John D. Bert known as assistant props (uncredited)
  • Aimee Butterfield known as props (uncredited)
  • Jessica Case known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Andréa Ciraldo known as greens (uncredited)
  • Joe Gagnepain known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Keith S. Jackson known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Rick Reeder known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Peter Rippe known as carpenter (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Warner Bros. Pictures (presents)
  • Radar Pictures (in association with)
  • Media Rights Capital (in association with)
  • Darko Entertainment
  • Lin Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Casting VA  casting
  • Eisner & Frank  production legal
  • Entertainment Clearances  rights and clearances
  • Gallagher Entertainment  insurance (uncredited)
  • Gradient Effects  visual effects
  • Henry Jaderlund Casting  casting
  • High Output  grip and lighting equipment
  • Illumination Dynamics  lighting equipment
  • K Don Marketing Group  signs & decals
  • LaserPacific  digital intermediate (as Laser Pacific)
  • Lightnin' Production Rentals  honeywagon, star trailers hair & make-up trailers, wardrobe trailers
  • MS-Pro/  post-production (music services)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)  technical help (produced in co-operation with)
  • Pacific Title  titles
  • Paramount Transportation Services  transportation services
  • Rockbottom Rentals  cell phone rentals
  • Rockbottom Rentals  junxion box rentals
  • Rockbottom Rentals  walkie rentals
  • Runway  post-production
  • Soundtrack  adr facility
  • St Kitts' Orchestra  orchestra
  • Transportation Resources  transportation equipment
  • Wildfire Studios  adr recording facility
  • Wildfire Studios  post-production sound services (as Wildfire Post Production)
  • Wildfire Studios  sound post-production
  • Wildfire Studios  sound re-recording


  • Alfa Films (2010) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2010) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Eureka (2009) (South Korea) (theatrical)
  • Future Film (2010) (Finland) (theatrical) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2010) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Icon Film Distribution (2009) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Icon Film Distribution (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Noble Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Odeon (2010) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Showgate (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Viva International Pictures (2010) (Philippines) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2009) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Deltamac Entertainment (2009) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Deltamac Entertainment (2010) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Film1 (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Imagem Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Noble Entertainment (2010) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Noble Entertainment (2010) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Prorom Media-Trade (2009) (Romania) (all media)
  • Transeuropa Video Entertainment (TVE) (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Turner Network Television (TNT) (2011) (USA) (TV)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Wild Bunch Distribution (2009) (France) (all media)
  • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2010) (Portugal) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • EFX Magic in Motion (visual effects) (as EFX Magic)
  • Gradient Effects (visual effects)
  • Pixel Liberation Front (visual effects)
  • Quantum Creation FX (prosthetics)

Visual Effects by:

  • Ian T. Barbella known as visual effects coordinator: Gradient Effects (as Ian Barbella)
  • Patrick J. Barry known as visual effects editor
  • Mannix Bennett known as matte painter: Pixel Liberation Front
  • Jonathan Bird known as render coordinator: Gradient Effects
  • Francis L. Camacho known as matchmove artist: Gradient Effects (as Francis Camacho)
  • Ray Chang known as digital compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Chris Christman known as CGI supervisor
  • David Cole known as supervising digital colourist
  • Shane Cook known as compositor
  • Sean Coonce known as digital compositor: Gradient FX
  • Donnie Creighton known as digital intermediate producer
  • Sean Cushing known as visual effects executive producer: Pixel Liberation Front
  • Peter 'Beak' Cvijanovic known as compositing supervisor: Gradient FX
  • Raffael Dickreuter known as digital artist
  • Megan Dolman known as digital artist: Gradient Effects
  • Megan Dolman known as matchmove artist: Gradient Effects
  • Jay Frankenberger known as compositor
  • Philip Fraschetti known as digital compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Mike Gajga known as animation cleanup artist: Gradient Effects
  • Brad Gayo known as compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Brian Genna known as matchmover: Gradient FX
  • Joanna N. Goslicka known as matchmove artist: Gradient Effects (as Joanna Goslicka)
  • Joanna N. Goslicka known as tracking artist
  • Eddie Gutierrez known as compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Ryan Helsley known as digital intermediate producer
  • Dylan Highsmith known as visual effects editor
  • Kevin Hoppe known as matchmove supervisor: Gradient Effects
  • Ben Howard known as visual effects production assistant
  • Josiah Holmes Howison known as digital compositor
  • Josiah Holmes Howison known as lighting supervisor
  • Jan Huybrechs known as 3D scanning: Eyetronics
  • Christopher Ide known as post production assistant
  • Sadie D. Johnson known as digital intermediate assistant producer
  • Michael Kennen known as lead compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Thomas Kernan known as digital modeler
  • Nineli Khanian known as digital compositor
  • Ji Young 'Gina' Kim known as lighter: Gradient Effects (as Gina Kim)
  • Mark Kolpack known as visual effects producer
  • Hima Kumar known as visual effects executive producer: EFX Magic
  • Gary Laurie known as matchmove technical director: GradientFX
  • Satheesh Manimaran known as CG artist: EFX Magic
  • Alex Marin known as lighting artist: Gradient Effects
  • Damian McDonnell known as digital colourist
  • Mahito Mizobuchi known as cg modeler
  • Emmi Nakagawa known as texture artist
  • Anita Naufal known as lighter
  • Anita Naufal known as lighting artist: Gradient Effects (as Anita Edwards)
  • Pouyan Navid known as animation cleanup artist: Gradient Effects (as Pouyan Navidpoor)
  • Pouyan Navid known as digital effects artist
  • Andrea Paolino known as character technical director: Gradient Effects
  • Andrea Paolino known as rigger
  • Andrea Paolino known as visual effects artist
  • Andrey Pavlovskiy known as matchmove artist: Gradient Effects
  • James Polk known as character pipeline supervisor: Gradient Effects (as James D. Polk)
  • Tanissa Potrovitza known as visual effects producer
  • Krishna Prasad known as visual effects senior line producer: EFX Magic
  • Raphael Protti known as look development lead
  • Raphael Protti known as texture artist: Gradient Effects
  • Karthik Ramasamy known as visual effects artist
  • Karthic Ramesh known as visual effects artist
  • Anita Razzano known as compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Ryan Reeb known as digital artist
  • Ryan Reeb known as lighting artist: Gradient Effects
  • Eric S. Rosenthal known as simulation lead: Gradient Effects (as Eric Rosenthal)
  • Rick Sander known as cg supervisor: Gradient Effects
  • Rene Segura known as digital artist: Gradient FX
  • Rene Segura known as matchmove artist: Gradient Effects
  • Kent Seki known as visual effects supervisor: Pixel Liberation Front
  • Olcun Tan known as digital effects supervisor
  • Thomas Tannenberger known as visual effects supervisor
  • Rodrigo Teixeira known as consultant technical director: Pixel Liberation Front
  • Cameron Thomas known as compositor: Gradient FX
  • Sherman Toy known as visual effects associate producer: Gradient Effects
  • Guerdon Trueblood known as compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Andres Vitale known as compositing supervisor: Pixel Liberation Front
  • Diana Marie Wells known as compositor (as Diana M. Wells)
  • Shane Christopher Wicklund known as digital compositor: Gradient Effects
  • Jason Wilson known as visual effects artist
  • Bob Froehlig known as lead systems engineer: Gradient Effects (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Sweden 17 September 2009 (Lund Fantastisk Film Festival)
  • Australia 29 October 2009
  • Finland 31 October 2009 (Night Visions Film Festival)
  • Belgium 4 November 2009
  • France 4 November 2009
  • Canada 6 November 2009
  • Spain 6 November 2009
  • Sweden 6 November 2009
  • USA 6 November 2009
  • Malaysia 12 November 2009
  • Slovenia 12 November 2009
  • Russia 19 November 2009
  • Ukraine 19 November 2009
  • Estonia 20 November 2009
  • Romania 20 November 2009
  • Iceland 27 November 2009
  • Lebanon 3 December 2009
  • Ireland 4 December 2009
  • UK 4 December 2009
  • Bulgaria 11 December 2009
  • Denmark 11 December 2009
  • Mexico 11 December 2009
  • Croatia 17 December 2009
  • Kazakhstan 24 December 2009
  • Kuwait 31 December 2009
  • Egypt 13 January 2010
  • Israel 14 January 2010
  • Finland 15 January 2010
  • Hungary 21 January 2010
  • Singapore 28 January 2010
  • Czech Republic 4 February 2010
  • Netherlands 4 February 2010
  • Germany 18 February 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Greece 4 March 2010
  • Peru 4 March 2010
  • Philippines 10 March 2010
  • Poland 19 March 2010
  • Brazil 26 March 2010
  • Turkey 26 March 2010
  • Argentina 14 April 2010 (Buenos Aires) (premiere)
  • Argentina 15 April 2010
  • Japan 8 May 2010
  • Italy 21 July 2010
  • Portugal 26 August 2010

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

The Box (2009) Related Movie

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .


  1. jackcalvert from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    Set in 1976 for no apparent reason other than to keep the set dressersbusy, 'The Box' was directed by Richard Kelly ('Donnie Darko'), andstars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as Norma and Arthur Lewis, a youngcouple who are supposedly struggling financially even though they bothhave successful careers–she as a high school teacher, he as an opticalspecialist at NASA's Langley, Virginia, Research Center. They have onechild, Walter (Sam Oz Stone).

    One day the Lewises find a parcel on their doorstep, containing a blackbox with a big red button. There is a note from a 'Mr. Steward'indicating that he will return at 5:00 PM to explain about the box.

    The mysterious Arlington Steward, played by Frank Langella, shows up atthe appointed time, nattily attired in an elegant Savile Row suit. Heis polite but businesslike, however his most noticeable feature is hisface, half of which appears to have been blown off and improperlyattended to. Langella is the only thing worth watching in the movie,however he is unfortunately upstaged by his own makeup, which resemblesthat of Harvey 'Two Face' Dent (Aaron Eckhart) from Christopher Nolan's'The Dark Knight.' It's like the elephant in the room: one can try toignore it, but it's more than a little distracting.

    Steward explains that he will return in 24 hours to collect the button.If, during that time, they decide to unlock and push the button, hewill give them $1 million cash. The only catch–and it's a big one–isthat somewhere a stranger will die. It might be across town, it mightbe on another continent, however Steward assures them the victim willbe someone unknown to them. As a show of good faith, he leaves themwith a crisp $100 bill, theirs to keep whether they push the button ornot.

    Arthur and Norma are skeptical, believing the whole thing to be a scamor an elaborate hoax, however it isn't long before they begin to wonderwhat would happen if they did push the button? Would they really get amillion dollars? Would somebody really die? Weary of the speculation,Norma slaps the button. Nothing happens. However, their initial reliefgives way to alarm when Steward shows up the next day with a briefcasefull of cash. They decide to call the whole thing off, however Stewardtells them it's too late. "You've already pushed the button," heexplains. As Steward's limo pulls away, Arthur notes the licensenumber, which he later discovers is registered to the NSA (NationalSecurity Agency).

    At this point the film begins to veer deeply into unfollowableterritory as the secondary characters start springing nosebleeds andflashing peace signs. Meanwhile, the town becomes invaded by pudgy,slack-jawed geeks in bad shirts who start following Arthur around likean advance scouting party for a race of zombie alien nerds. Arthureventually becomes trapped by the menacing bookworms in the library(?), where Steward's spinsterish wife shows up–whom we haven't seentill now–and informs Arthur that in order to get out of the library hemust step into one of three vertical columns of cheesy-looking digitalwater effects. 'What happens if I choose the wrong one?', Arthur asks,seeming far less baffled than he ought to be under the circumstances,and certainly far less baffled than the audience is by this time.'Eternal damnation,' the spinster says ominously.

    Arthur steps into the middle column of digital liquid effects, andafter a brief absence suddenly appears, still in his water cocoon,hovering over Norma's bed. When she wakes up and sees him, the waterbubble bursts and Arthur tumbles onto the bed in a shower of waterwhich, oddly enough, continues to drip from the overhead water pipesjust out of camera range while a sodden Marsden and Diaz flop around onthe bed.

    It's confusing, I know.

    We eventually learn that Steward was once the public relations officerfor the NSA, until he was struck by a lightning bolt that destroyedpart of his face. He was pronounced dead, but later came back to life,having been transformed into a sort of superman who now serves 'theones who make the lightning,' and whose powers have enabled him to takeover the CIA, the NSA, and NASA all by himself.

    And what is the point of all this nattering rubbish? Apparently,Steward's mission is to subject humans to a kind of biblical charactertest (e.g., the 'Binding of Isaac'), to determine whether humanity isworth saving. If enough people pass the button test by refusing to pushit, Steward's god-like overlords will spare the race. Unfortunately,those people who do push the button, such as Norma and Arthur, must bepunished for their moral spinelessness, to which end they are subjectedto a series of dreary 'Lady or the Tiger' ordeals that play out likeone of those 'Saw movies,' except without the entertaining gore or thebenefit of a coherent plot.

    'The Box' represents the sort of pointless mental masturbation thatfreshman philosophy students like to blather on about after a fewbeers. Richard Kelly's tedious exercise in existentialist pettifoggeryeventually collapses under the weight of its own incomprehensibility;the tortured melange of insupportable ideas eventually congeals, aswith the mixing together of too many colors, into a meandering gray gooof a film as insipid as one of those narcotizing in-flight movies theplot of which suffers no more or less from having been interrupted by aleisurely nap.

    There is a point in 'The Box' where Arthur, who is a technically-mindedguy, becomes curious about how the button works. Opening up the unit,he is disappointed to find nothing inside.

    Having seen The Box, I know exactly how he feels.

  2. NewKlear_Phil from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    I'm not gonna lie. To say that this movie is confusing is like sayingthe sun is hot but not really. And if you've seen cult director RichardKelly's previous films, "Donnie Darko" and "Southland Tales," you knowthat's gotta mean something. When I went to see this movie, there wereabout 50 people in the theater. Before an hour into the film, abouthalf of the audience had already walked out. By the end, there wereonly 15 people left wondering what in the hell did they just see. I forone could only comprehend roughly 40% of what I saw on- screen, andeven then it can only be called interpretation. So why did I give thismovie a generous seven stars? Because for one, we get some spectacularperformances (Marsden's great and Langella returns as a familiar creepycharacter), and most importantly two, because it's entirely originaland Richard Kelly, undoubtedly one of the bravest directors alive, useshis creative vision to tell a story that dares to be different. Quitefrankly, it's the ONLY way – only through Kelly's unique style couldthis story be told the way it's intended.

    In the end, if you're not willing to spend some serious thought into anintelligent movie (and even then it may all amount to nothing), stayFAR away from this one. But if you want to watch a deep, rich, complexand thought-provoking piece on spirituality, existentialism, and thepredictability of human nature, go see this. Be prepared for lengthydiscussions with your partner however.

    *Note: If by chance you've read this review, taken my recommendation,have actually seen the movie and STILL believe you've wasted 2 hours ofyour life, I'd be happy to share my views on the whole meaning and plotof the film. See, that's why I liked it so much – it promotesdiscussion! As hard as it is though, I'll try summing it up byparaphrasing a rather depressing quote by Langella's character, whoexplains the significance of the simple box to an employee: "Your houseis a box which you live in. The car that you drove to work is a box, onwheels. When you return home from work you sit in front of a box withmoving images. You watch until the mind and soul rots and the box thatis your body deteriorates, when finally you are placed into theultimate box… to rest under the soil and earth."

  3. Darrell from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    I know that so many reviews on IMDb are extreme, with reviewers eitherpraising a film to the hilt or inarticulately tearing it to pieces. Ifind neither of these kind of reviews helpful, and so I do not givethis film the awful review I am about to, lightly. The film isart-house science-fiction of the worst kind dressed up as a Hollywoodblockbuster. The trailers draw you in by showing you what appears to bea cohesive plot, but is actually just a tiny part of a wilfullybaffling series of events which are never properly resolved. I likefilms which challenge the viewer and I do not need to be spoon-fed aplot, and so my complaint against this film is not that it is toohighbrow. No – the film is just terrible. As the credits roll you willfeel genuine anger at having wasted your time on Cameron Diaz's woodenacting and a faltering plot-line. Avoid.

  4. Biggest_Loser from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    In 1976 a mother named Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) lives with her sonWalter and her husband Arthur (James Marsden). One night a box isplaced on the doorstep of their home and the following morning they cutopen the box to reveal a button device that must be opened with a key.By the late afternoon, a man with terrible scarring on his face comesto their door and presents Norma with an offer. This man is ArlingtonSteward (Frank Langella) and he announces that if they push the buttonsomeone in the world that the family does not know will die and theywill receive a million dollars in cash. If they don't press it, nothingwill happen and the offer will move on to someone else. Norma andArthur are not allowed to tell anyone including their son about thisdeal. The incentive for the family to push the button is heightened bytheir financial difficulties. Arthur, who is currently working forNASA, fails to be accepted into a new job he applies for and Norma, whois a teacher, learns that her faculty funding is being cut.

    One's enjoyment for this bizarre sci-fi thriller, based on the shortstory "Button Button" by Richard Matheson, will be determined by howfar they are willing to take this ludicrous premise. The opening of thefilm is particularly problematic in grounding itself in a sense ofrealism with the household. Richard Kelly's previous film Donnie Darkocleverly used the condition of schizophrenia to justify its excursioninto paranormal activity and parallel universes. Without the dream-likestate of that far superior film, The Box and the very thought of adevice that can kill anyone in the world, is entirely implausible. ThatNorma would also accept someone into her house that has almost the samescarring as Two-Face from The Dark Knight and believe this offer, seemsequally contrived.

    If this sounds unlikely so far, what follows is even more absurd,involving a conspiracy about someone who was struck by lightning, thepossibility of alien life or some other Godly being influencing thesesituations. Scenes involving gateways opening up in public libraries,random nose bleeds and mindless drones stalking the Lewis family,become almost unintentionally comical in their absurdity. To a point,the film could be called intriguing purely to see where it is going.Kelly is occasionally clever in his ability to hold our attentionthrough many of the films contrivances. In one scene Norma is teachinga class and then is asked by a strange boy about her foot. He tauntsher about it as she is missing four of her toes. Later, at a rehearsaldinner for a wedding that Norma and Arthur are attending, this samestudent appears as a waiter and seems to be stalking them. Yet theeventual justification for these all of these oddities is wrapped up ina highly contrived sci-fi revelation that many will find implausibleand difficult to swallow.

    What is most disappointing about the film is that once the button ispressed surprisingly early on, many of the moral implications that wereinitially promised are diminished for much of pictures duration. Theending, which won't be spoilt here, resurfaces these moral questionsagain in the hope of echoing that of a Greek tragedy. While theresemblances can be seen, by this point, given the unlikelihood of somuch of the film and the uneven performances, there is little reason tocare. Cameron Diaz's Southern accent might be unnecessary but it issurprisingly Langella who is the most disappointing in the film, with avery unsubtly written role, as the mysterious scarred man, who seems tobe hiding a military base that would make Dr. Evil proud. It really isjust a shadow of his towering performance in Frost/Nixon. There is nota lot for many of the other actors in the film to do; in particularboth Norma and Arthur could not be regarded as characters butmouthpieces for Kelly's pastiche of ideas. Underdeveloped and briefconversations, such as where Norma sympathises with Arlington overtheir deformities and also when Norma and Arthur question whether theyreally know each other in case the button kills either of them,highlights this.

    Since 2001, Richard Kelly has failed to make a film that has lived upto the quality and the imagination of Donnie Darko. Though this filmmight be intriguing for a little while, it is too absurd andimplausible to be fully enjoyed and it would certainly not warrantmultiple viewings given the film's rather illogical revelations.Science fiction fans might be able to appreciate it somewhat more anddraw their own conclusions, but what Kelly is really trying to saybeneath the surface remains cryptic. The Box is one film this year thatshould have been shelved.

  5. Trevor from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    Forget about Donnie Darko. I open with this because it seems that agood portion of the reviews I have read on The Box amount to the simplebut weak argument that it doesn't hold a candle to Darko. It isn't thatI disagree with that necessarily, I just feel that this movie is adifferent animal altogether and deserves its own analysis. There arepoints of comparison to be sure, but they are peripheral concerns whenyou consider that the key to the heart of each movie is different. InDarko, the driving force of the narrative is existential. In The Box,the driving force of the narrative stems from a moral dilemma. Believeme when I say that I understand the inclination to compare aninnovative filmmakers'movies by looking for trends and patterns, butfor me it is more important to approach each new film as a selfcontained entity first, and then broaden my gaze afterwards.

    The Box is one of those films you get mixed feelings about because itseems to be in some sort of identity crisis. It isn't always sure whatit wants to be. The twists are numerous, but easy to follow if not topredict. James Marsden and Cameron Diaz play a relatively believablepair of newlyweds who are in financial straits. A Box containing a"button unit" arrives on their doorstep and they are informed by ahorribly burned man that if pushed the button will cause the death ofone person whom they don't know, and they will receive one milliondollars. One of the things The Box achieves is to conjure up thisinvisible fear that somewhere out there our actions have moralconsequences. Before the button is pushed it has an eerie and seductivequality, alluring yet sinister. Once it has been pushed, events are setin motion that make the two leads question their own morality anddeeply regret their fateful decision.

    The notion that the Box is an experiment is interesting because for meit provides the movie with a paradox. If there are external beingsdeveloping an "altruism coefficient" based on data gathered by couplespushing and not pushing the button, then as the conspiracy unravels, wenotice that ultimately it is a forced altruism: Be selfless or thespecies will be wiped out. I suppose the couples don't know theconsequences of their actions when they are faced with making thedecision, but they have no reason to suspect that The Box can doanything, so why would they choose altruistically? Is altruism devaluedby the fact that we only care about it when presented with a problem inour own lives?

    The psychological hurdles in this movie are everywhere. Push the buttonor don't, it's likely someone is messing with you. Take the money ordon't, no one gives anything away for free. Search for the truth, theanswers you find slowly reveal your demise.

    I propose that The Box is an ironic work because it offers the falsechoice of free will while revealing that we are trapped in manymetaphorical boxes. You can only choose to be free at the expense ofanother's life, is that freedom? No, it is only another box becausethen you become trapped in the consequences of your own morality. Thereis no escape for us because we live on earth and that is another Box.This is precisely why the external beings in the film are ultimatelyantagonists. They demand we conform to moral standards which rob us ofour freedom. We made it to Mars, and we were burned for it and turnedinto slaves in a sick game.

    The references to Jean Paul Sartre illustrate this point rather well."You can only enter the final chamber free, or not free." Sure, but nomatter the form in which we enter the chamber, it is a chambernonetheless.

    Trevor Nemeth

  6. sjbadboi from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    Be warned, the next time you see "Richard Kelly" involved in anyproduction, run away. Fast.

    Kelly proved to the world after his last movie, "Southland Tales", thathe is one pretentious director. It was indulgent and convoluted. In"The Box", not much has changed.

    I can picture what his pitch to Warner Bros must have been, and I betthe executives at the studio ate it right up: a full-feature film basedon one of Richard "Twilight Zone" Matheson's old short stories.

    Big mistake! Do not read any further unless you want this movieCOMPLETELY spoiled for you:

    Norma (Cameron Diaz) pushes the button.

    Turns out that Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) has an Alien usinghis body as a vessel to conduct "experiments" in which the fate ofmankind rests. His face is scarred because he was struck by Alienlightening, which killed him, but then brought him back to life to doall of this red button testing. Obviously since Norma pushes thebutton, knowing full well that someone may die, she must suffer theconsequences for failing to consider someone else's life instead of herown. In the end she and her husband (James Marsden) choose to killNorma instead of having their son grow up deaf and blind.

    Kelly dances around his film's "message", trying to make the audiencefigure out what the moral of the story is. Obviously, any person with abrain is saying at the beginning, "What if I was the person who dies?".Richard Kelly doesn't even let his character's have this normal, HUMANconversation. In fact, they avoid it all together. They appear to bothbe educated, working at a prestigious school and also for NASA, so whywouldn't they both have a better ability to LOOK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX???

    If he had the main characters actually have this conversation, theentire movie could have ended right there! Instead, we have to watchweddings go on forever, NASA and the NSA be complacent to ArlingtonStewart taking over these government programs, teleportation to showMarsden life beyond our world so it will be "easier" to kill his wife,and drone's controlled by Steward which can be anywhere and nowhere, atany time.

    The most painful part of this movie is the pacing. Nothing reallyhappens. Its a muddled mish-mash of ideas that are laughable.

    It is insufferable how this film is being marketed. The commercialsmake it look like "Saw" and even use the music from those films to sellit. In reality what you get is a slow, dull, laughable (yes, half thetheater was laughing at the acting and visual effects), and messy filmwhich is neither imaginative, interesting, nor cohesive. At one point,Cameron Diaz and her son are abducted and then suddenly, she is back inthe NSA's big black car with her husband on the way home. Where did shego? Why did they take her? Do we really care? Not anymore you won't.

    By the end you really won't care what happens to any of the characters.You will be rooting for all of them to die so the film will just end.Go see anything else that's playing. Don't waste your time, or money.

  7. manicman84 from Poland
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    Richard Kelly's latest supernatural thriller "The Box" is creepy,strange and overall sinister, yet not very coherent or focused. One'sopinion on the movie depends on whether one accepts its peculiarconcept or not. I must say that I was initially enthralled by themovie's strange old-fashioned tone resembling sci-fi movies from the1970s Kelly pays homage to. The movie handles its mystery rather wellwith Frank Langella's uniquely scary performance being the obvioushighlight. Given that, the movie falters at the end when its otherwiseintriguing concept gets bogged down by the series of ridiculous eventsthat feel as if they were taken from a different movie. While The Boxtends to approach the wrong territory and is rather unfocused, onecan't help but acknowledge Kelly's ability to attract the viewer'sattention. His obsessions may not be shared by very many people, but hemanifests them in a richly textured manner. That's just enough to enjoythis movie despite its shortcomings. 6.5/10 (B-)

  8. jcdugger from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    Before you dismiss my post as "not getting it", let me say…I'm one ofthe biggest Richard Kelly and "The Twilight Zone" fans out there.Donnie Darko is one my all-time favorites and I even thought SouthlandTales had it's moments. I'm a HUGE sci-fi fan. I was very excited tosee "The Box", couldn't wait for it to come out.

    Having said that…"The Box" is terrible. Behind "Drag Me To Hell",this was the worst movie I've seen in 2009. And it just simply WILL NOTend! Whenever you think you've reached the end, another change in theplot and you're off to more torture. I was actually groaning in thetheater by the end of the film…I could hardly take it anymore.

    The biggest problem with "The Box", no matter how you slice it or tryto justify it, is that it simply makes little sense. Trust me, I "gotit", I understood what was going on. But that doesn't mean it makes alot of sense looking back on it. Take the basics for example. The maincouple…Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, playing Norma and ArthurLewis. Diaz loses her finances at her job, then bemoans that they are"living paycheck to paycheck". Well, sell that f-ing Porsche yourhusband is driving then!!! They live in a beautiful 2-story house in anice subdivision. Marsden is working what seems to be a high-paid jobat NASA and Diaz is an accomplished teacher. And, yes, Marsden drivesan overly expensive car. But they are somehow living paycheck topaycheck?!? No need to press the button, just cut down your high-pricedlifestyle a bit! The movie would have worked better if they showed thecouple jobless and in serious debt. Instead, they are seeminglydesperate for money…all the while living what I would call aluxurious lifestyle. Like I said…you can understand what's going on,yet it still makes little sense! That's a rare combination.

    There was an awful scene in a library that I feel will go down as oneof the worst segments in movie history (terribly acted too by the way).It was idiotic, illogical and out of place. I can't even begin to fullydescribe it actually, so I will move onto a subplot that involvesnose-bleeds and body possession by aliens. (Yes, I'm being seriousunfortunately). A kid is in Diaz's class with a wicked and smile on hisface (a sinister smile that seemingly goes by completely unnoticed byeveryone in authority at the school). He starts asking Diaz personalquestions, literally embarrassing her in front of her class. Nopunishment is given to the kid whatsoever…he didn't even get asked tostay after class for a talk! Then Diaz is at a party…and the same kidis one of the hired help…ironed shirt, apron and all! I don't knowmany alien-possessed kids (who appear to be in Junior High) that alsomoonlight as a bus-boy at parties sponsored by teachers and schoolofficials…but we found one here! (See what I mean…you canunderstand it completely, but it still makes no sense…a rare combo!)Like many things in the movie, the kid comes and goes…no realexplanation about him, no ending to his character. Moving on… A ladythen approaches Diaz in a grocery store, telling her that experimentsare being ran secretly and her family is one of the test subjects.Well…hmmm…if aliens possess the powers where they can take over abody remotely…and the aliens don't want to help Diaz…then who wastaking over this lady's body and giving Diaz advice?! Again…The ladywas trying to help Diaz…and the aliens weren't interested in helpingDiaz…so who the hell was controlling her body?! Never explained.Never talked about again. No nothing!! It goes on and on and on likethis for, what seemed to me like, 2 weeks. It would not end! I wonderif this movie underwent a massive re-shoot at some point. It was poorlyedited. Diaz's accent was there one minute, gone the next. Sub-plotsbegan but never ended. The numerous push-backs of the release dateobviously shows the problems the producers had with the finishedproduct. It's truly a train-wreck.

    Pass on this one…there's no redeeming value in it whatsoever. 3 outof 10, just because I like Diaz and sci-fi! But it probably deserves a1 out of 10.

    Thanks for reading!


  9. work1113 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    Ha ha. – oh no – what to say about this film? Yes – green eggs and hammakes more sense than this movie. Where does one start? A lot of thegood stuff has already been said – so I won't divulge into the sameterritory. I believe you already have the movie summary – so I won'tparaphrase the movie.

    First – let's start the with good.

    1). If you like psychological thrillers that make you think (as I do)the first 29 minutes of this film will be for you – this is one ofthose films that illustrates the question that you always talked abouton long car drives when you were kids like (what if you had to choseone family member live, another to die, or, what if you had to die bydrowning or fire) This movie is a great concept – bottom line.

    2) The wardrobe group did a fine job with bringing us back to the 70's.Realistically though, how difficult is that to accomplish? …..Okay,that's about all for the good. Let's talk about the bad.

    1). This movie feels like a 2 hour "Twilight Zone" episode. This couldeasily be 90 minutes. That might have made the movie tolerable.

    2). Do you remember in the movie "From Dusk til Dawn?". The moviestarted out interesting, then halfway through the movie it just took adegrading turn? Yep – same thing here. I would venture to say that thewriters started with a concept, then had no idea what to do with it.I've gotten deeper thought provocation out of Transformers 2.

    3). Yes – we get the dilemma in the film. We understand thephilosophical undertones and Utilitarian approach – but the storyjumped around way too much, didn't elaborate on the current story arc,and took a(forgive me)completely insulting direction.

    4). The ending didn't make sense. Not at all. None.

    This movie would make a great term paper in college philosophy 101. Ifyou're board out of your mind, in bed sick, or have ever enjoyed beinghit in the face with a pie, and can view this free on-line – by allmeans, go for it.

    If you need to pay anything to view this movie, don't waste your time -you're better off watching old Howie Mandel stand-up on You Tube. Youwill get more philosophical stimulation reorganizing your sock drawer.

  10. imdb-com-489 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 4:38 am

    I'd honestly give this movie a solid 7.5, but I clicked 10 to try tooffset the 5 pages of imbecilic, unjustified 1-star reviews. This is aninteresting story, all of the acting is good to very good (even Ms.Diaz, who is totally out of her usual grinning-bimbo role here, yetplays it well.) The sets are perfect and the cinematography isconsistently appropriately creepy. It's a fine morality play and thereis *no* reason to explain the origin of the god/supernaturalbeing/alien/whatever that's "running the show," so I'm glad the moviedoesn't try. It's really irrelevant to the story, which is relativelylong but quite compelling and summed up quite satisfyingly in theending.

    Before you decide this movie is terrible (or really, anything under a~7.5) read some of the dozens of 1-star "hated it" reviews that arerife with misspellings, lack of punctuation and capitalization, andjuvenile criticisms. Maybe the trailer was misleading or something — Ididn't see it — but some of these reviewers were apparently expectingTerminator 4 or Saw 5 (one reviewer actually compared this movie toSaw! How utterly inappropriate and unrelated!)

    Seriously, most of these reviews read like you-tube comments –according to these "critics" this movie is too confusing yet toopredictable, not enough action yet there's too much going on, too smartyet too dumb, explains too much yet leaves too much unexplained… oh– and it's apparently a "waist (sic) of time." Do consider the qualityand source of the reviews before taking them to heart. I'm afraid these1-star kids failed to understand the phrase "altruism coefficient" andwere therefore utterly incapable of understanding the movie's premise(despite adamantly claiming that they "get it" right before explaininghow confusing it was!) If you know what those two words mean you willhave no trouble understanding (and enjoying) this movie.

    I really wish there were a reviewer reputation system here so I couldbe sure to ignore the rating of everyone who gave this movie 1 starforever.

    See it for yourself and enjoy the fine presentation of an interestingcouple taking an interesting moral "test" and facing the consequences.It's a good time, in my opinion.

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