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Director Richard Kelly has crafted yet another evocative, spectacular, maddening film guaranteed to provoke passionate love-it or hate-it responses. Though far more straightforward than his previous cult favorites,Donnie DarkoorSouthland Tales,The Boxis crammed just as full of stunning visuals and ambiguous metaphysics. Norma and Arthur Lewis (Cameron Diaz ofCharlie's Angelsand James Marsden ofX-Men) find a plainly wrapped package on their doorstep one day. Inside is a strange box with a large, red button--and if they press that button, explains a courtly but alarming-looking gentleman (Frank Langella,Frost/Nixon), they will receive a million dollars… and someone they don't know will die. This is but the starting point for an increasingly creepy tale, featuring eye-popping wallpaper, spontaneous nosebleeds, allusions to Jean-Paul Sartre, overly attentive library patrons, boxes of water, warehouses full of light, and a bell-ringing Santa Claus standing in the middle of a road. Some of it makes sense, some of it doesn't, but the person who's going to love this movie won't care.The Box's true power lies in the slow accumulation of dizzying hypnotic images and a tangible sense of unease and anticipation. Kelly aspires to capture the beauty and terror of existence on film; even if he doesn't succeed--and every viewer will have to decide that for himself or herself--his sheer ambition is remarkable.--Bret Fetzer
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CastJames Marsden, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, Cameron Diaz, Holmes Osborne
DirectorRichard Kelly
Genre:  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date:  November 6, 2009
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Screen WriterRichard Kelly
DVD Release Date:  February 23, 2010
Runtime:  115 minutes
Studio:  Warner Bros. Pictures
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More The Box (2009 film) reviews
review by . March 01, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    A movie as perplexing as "The Box" is a rare find, especially when it's a very mainstream picture. But then again, it isn't easy to imagine that Richard Kelly, whose breakthrough feature was the illusive and fascinating "Donnie Darko", is capable of making a mainstream movie for Hollywood. But if he ever did, this would be it. Now, I know that it isn't easy to enjoy or even appreciate a movie like this on first glance - heck, I didn't even like it upon my initial …
review by . May 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Wednesday, November 4 was the premiere of The Box in NYC. I had seen many trailers for the film and had made up my mind that this would be one that I would spend the money to see in theaters. The story looked interesting and the trailer planted a question so deep into my mind that I felt I needed to find out the answer. However, after seeing the film I now have even more questions than answers and it feels exhilarating.      I left work last night around 5:30pm to be sure that …
review by . August 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   I remember watching the Twilight Zone as a kid in the 80s. I was pretty young and don’t remember that much about it, but I do remember the button episode. I think that is the one episode that every kid remembers. It was so creepy, and the ominous ending made you sure that you would never fall for that trick, and you would never press the button.      When The Box came up on Cinemax, I recognized the story immediately. Where the Twilight Zone version ends in …
review by . February 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What makes the premise of this intriguing film so satisfying is its simplicity. A middle class couple facing financial difficulties is presented with a choice: push a button and they will be given a million dollars in cash ... and, someone they don't know will die. The problem is that the filmmakers develop an overly elaborate and inexplicably bizarre back story packed with visually intriguing ideas that never really go anywhere in order to account for why they were given the choice in the first …
The Box
The Box
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