The Box

The Box

Norma and Arthur Lewis are a suburban couple with a young child who receive an anonymous gift bearing fatal and irrevocable consequences. A simple wooden box, it promises to deliver 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 crosshairs of a startling moral dilemma and face the true nature of their humanity.--©Official Site 1.6 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
The Box

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Horror / Suspense
Director Richard Kelly
Cast James Marsden, Frank Langella, Michael Zegen, Gillian Jacobs, Lisa K. Wyatt, Andrew Levitas, James Rebhorn Cameron Diaz
Studio Icon Distributers UK
Release Date December 2009
Running Time 115 mins
 

Norma and Arthur Lewis are a suburban couple with a young child who receive an anonymous gift bearing fatal and irrevocable consequences. A simple wooden box, it promises to deliver 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 crosshairs of a startling moral dilemma and face the true nature of their humanity.--©Official Site

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Reviews

The Observer

Philip French

For the first half-hour the movie is engagingly mystifying in a David Lynch vein. Subsequently it modulates into a piece of didactic transcendental science-fiction in the manner of The Day the Earth Stood Still and Close Encounters, and Arlington Steward (ie guardian of the cemetery) turns out to be some sort of emissary.

06/12/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

The Box is a tease, and a lot of it is just playing for time; the closer it gets to the real identity and motives of the Langella character, the more you feel had. But Kelly’s obsessions are not entirely like anyone else’s, which is a recommendation of sorts, and he shoots more beautifully than ever, which is another. I won’t give up on him when his films are still this richly textured and high on their own ideas.

03/12/2009

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Time Out

David Jenkins

Shooting for the technology-driven guilt-racking of Michael Haneke’s ‘Hidden’ – but achieving something closer to the hysteria of the ‘Saw’ films – Kelly comes unstuck whenever he strains to say something smart. Points, too, are deducted for mistaking cynicism for satire, as in his 2006 folly, ‘Southland Tales’.

03/12/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Bit by bit, the special effects and the pretensions escalate, the lone stranger is revealed to have an utterly illogical masterplan, and the story spirals a long, long way from the original quandary. What Kelly forgets is that Langella's unruffled gravitas is far more unsettling than an anti-matter swimming pool, a catatonic Santa Claus, and all the other loopy ideas he chucks into the film's increasingly silly second half.

06/12/2009

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

The original story, a little like WW Jacobs's supernatural tale The Monkey's Paw, resolves its intriguing premise with elegant swiftness. But this film just goes interminably on and on, like some pop video to a prog rock track from hell, padding things out to feature length with all sorts of incredible gibberish and extraneous nonsense about the Mars landing and government conspiracies.

04/12/2009

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

"Let me kill myself," sobs Diaz at one point, and you might just sympathise. The single question I wanted to ask was: how many more times will a studio allow Richard Kelly to commit career suicide?

04/12/2009

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The Times

David Hayles

Kelly papers over the storyline’s cracks with pretentious flourishes that would like to be David Lynch, but with the central conceit muddled in feeble conspiracy theory, they come off more like David Icke.

05/12/2009

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

But what could have been a neat thriller soon spirals out of control, and we have a convoluted plot involving aliens, conspiracies and the failure of human morality that is hard to follow and makes little sense.

06/12/2009

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The Times

Wendy Ide

Suffice to say, Kelly delves into his big book of creepy 1970s sci-fi tropes and comes up with a few corkers. Supporting characters start developing chronic nose bleeds; dead-eyed strangers fix the family with sinister, lobotomised stares. In one effective, if unintentionally hilarious sequence, Arthur is pursued through a library by Steward’s baleful drones. But what does it all mean? Even Kelly must realise that the carefully constructed atmosphere doesn’t, ultimately, amount to a hill of beans. Which is presumably why he peppers the film with Sartre references in the hope of accruing intellectual gravity.

04/12/2009

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Writer-director Richard Kelly made Donnie Darko, and this has the same feeling of suburban nightmare. Unfortunately, it degenerates - like its predecessor but much more obviously - into a pretentious shambles that's almost as unwatchable as Kelly's notorious Southland Tales.

03/12/2009

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