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Source Code

A sci-fi thriller directed by Duncan Jones and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

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The Source Code Delivers

  • Apr 1, 2011
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Following upon his breakout success with the film Moon director Duncan Jones has returned with Source Code and has proven that he is not a one-hit wonder but also a talent on the rise.

The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens who, after waking up on a train, finds himself disoriented and unable to identify his travel companion, the attractive Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan), who sits across from him eagerly discussing things they appear to have spoken about previously.

Taking a quick survey of his surroundings, Colter finds out that he is on a train heading to Chicago and that he cannot explain how he ended up where he currently is. Colter is not given much time to ponder his situation as the train is suddenly rocked by a massive explosion and he finds himself engulfed in a wall of flame. Shortly thereafter Colter awakens and finds himself upside down and strapped into what appears to be a cockpit of some sort.

A voice soon fills the cockpit, followed by the face of the woman he can’t identify on a video monitor. Unable to ascertain what is going on, a frantic Colter only recalls that he was a helicopter pilot on mission in Afghanistan. The mystery woman (Vera Farmiga) tells him that he is now part of a top-secret project that is attempting to unravel the mystery behind the bombing of the train.

Before he can ask too many questions, Colter once again finds himself back on the train with Christina and the same sequence of events occur before the train is engulfed by devastating fireball. When he once again awakens in his cockpit, Colter learns that the project he’s involved with can send him back in time 8 minutes into the body of someone on the train. He will be sent back time and time again to relive those final 8 min. in an effort to determine who is responsible for the bombing.

Despite his protests, Colter relives the events each time looking for new clues and each time ending up engulfed in the fireball and awakening in his cockpit. Eventually after numerous trips to the past Colter becomes obsessed with not only getting to the bottom of the mystery but with saving Christina to whom he is becoming attached through their numerous 8 minute interactions. Colter is also desperate to determine his exact situation as he has no memory of how he ended up in the program and finds himself not only trying to solve the mystery of the bombing, save Christina, but also fill in the gaps in his memory.

What follows is a fast-paced, character-driven adventure film that relies on the interaction’s between the two leads rather than special effects to carry the film. Gyllenhaal and Monaghan have good chemistry with each other and the film has some nice twists and turns that will keep the audience engrossed even if the concepts of time travel and temporal mechanics escape them.

Jones keeps the film moving at a brisk pace and it does not drag or overstay its welcome. Like Moon, Jones has based the film around a leading man who is facing isolation and questioning his mental state. With what could’ve been a dumbed-down action film, Jones has exceeded expectations and produced a smart and innovative action thriller with a touch of science fiction and romance thrown in, a winning combination that makes for a very enjoyable film.

Four stars out of five

The Source Code Delivers

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April 01, 2011
Yay! I was so dubious of this film and would hate to see my Jake go down the popcorn movie route only to waste his talents. Thanks for the awesome review!
April 01, 2011
well alright! this has gotten such negative reviews, but I think I'll still check it out. Vera Farmiga always motivates me to see a film....LOL! thanks for sharing!
April 01, 2011
Its over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes so reviews have been solid.
April 01, 2011
thanks, bad reviews here, yours is the first positive. By the way, I need to message you about a 'spotlight'....
April 01, 2011
No problem, I have some time right now.
More Source Code reviews
review by . April 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Alternate Realities Diverge And Multiply in The Source....
“Moon” was an underappreciated sci-fi drama that never exactly made that much profit in the box-office. I really did enjoy the movie “Moon” which is why I was willing to take a chance with director Duncan Jones' latest attempt at a action/sci-fi thriller called “Source Code”. When I saw the trailers, it hit me as sort of a "Quantum Leap" and “Next” colliding with “Groundhog Day” and the cult movie “Retroactive”. …
review by . April 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Source Code is a suspenseful, surprisingly intelligent, occasionally touching, movie that’s far better than I’d expected it to be. With tight pacing, great editing, good acting and fine directing by Duncan Jones, best known for Moon, it’s a very good sci-fi action film released outside the usual summertime area for such movies. The film tells the tale of a man (Jake Gyllenhall), who wakes up on a train. He has no idea why he’s there or who the woman across …
review by . August 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Source Code" is an engaging thriller, a touching human love-story, and an intelligent science-fiction flick all rolled up into one 90-minute film. That's a lot of ambition, and if you know the concept of the film, you'll know exactly how much this film carries with it. I suppose you either like it - and many will - or you don't. I didn't find it to be masterful, but for what it is; I was appreciative of it. Here's a thriller that is truly thrilling, and a …
review by . March 31, 2011
Problems at the Source
THE SOURCE CODE   Written by Ben Ripley   Directed by Duncan Jones   Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Mognahan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright       Colter Stevens: It’s the same train but it’s different.       The dreamy Jake Gyllenhaal is doing a little dreaming of his own, his head resting against the glass as he rides a commuter train into Chicago, one seemingly random morning. This is the onset of …
review by . May 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
You wake up on a Chicago Commuter train. You are disoriented you feel out of place in this situation as if this is some kind of surreal hyper-realistic, vivid dream. It feels so real so lifelike you start to look around to try to get your bearings when you hear a beautiful woman's voice calling you but she is calling you by a name that you are not familiar with, she is calling you Sean. But your name is not Sean   you have no idea who she is or what is going  you try …
review by . April 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an american soldier who wakes up in the body of a man he does not know. On a train to who knows where, his last memory is of him flying a helicopter in Afghanistan. He looks in the mirror and sees a different man, and after only 8 minutes in the train it explodes. Stevens then wakes up in some form of a pod, and is informed by a woman named Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) that he is the main part of a mission to find the bomb, and bomber that is in the Chicago …
review by . April 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         My natural impulse is to resist films about time travel and/or parallel universes, mostly because they operate under rules of logic so confusing, it would take nothing less than an advanced degree in quantum physics to understand them. Duncan Jones’ Source Code is like that; although it successfully draws you in and keeps you engaged, it’s founded on a scientific premise that actually makes less sense the more you think about it. Explanations …
review by . March 31, 2011
'Source Code' 'Two Jews On Film Aren't On The Same Track With This SciFi Thriller (Video)
'Source Code' directed by Duncan Jones stars Jake Gyllenhaal as decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens who wakes with a jolt to find himself on a commuter train heading into Chicago.       Although the other passengers all seem to know him, including a woman, Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan, seated across from him, Colter has absolutely no idea where he is or how he got there.  The last thing he remembers is flying a helicopter in Afghanistan.     …
review by . July 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Source Code' Reboots the Sci-Fi Action Thriller Franchise
'Source Code' does what 'Vantage Point' tried, but failed, to do. It makes us look at a public scene where some imminent violence or calamity is about to take place, and then backs up to show us the same scene again with a different point-of-view. As has been stated time and time again, Source Code's method may be preposterous science fiction--like anime' adventure 'Paprika,' but its thrust is decidedly more closely aligned to 'Groundhog Day'.   …
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Sometimes it feels like original ideas are against the rules in Hollywood; most of the movies that get made, even the good ones, are rehashes of the same old ideas. This year's Best Picture winner, for instance, was a film about an unorthodox therapist who is able to help our protagonist when other therapists have failed.  Someone recently pointed out to me, it's the same basic plot as "Good Will Hunting;" I mentioned that "Mary Poppins" is cut from the same cloth …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


When decorated airman Captain Colter Stevens (Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he's ever known, he learns he's part of a government experiment called the "Source Code", a program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last 8 minutes of his life.

With a second much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack, but he eventually falls in love with one of the passengers.

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Director: Duncan Jones
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: April 1, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Ben Ripley
Studio: Summit Entertainment
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