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Source Code

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

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4 stars: Change the past to save the future

  • May 2, 2011

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 to inquire about the circumstances of your apparent arrival on this mysterious strange when suddenly the train is engulfed in a blaze of fire. You see flashes of images before you; you wake up in a chamber again disoriented. You hear a woman's voice talking to you the voice is that  of Capt. Colleen Goodwin(Vera Farmiga), she tells you that  you are taking part in secret Government experiment know only as  "Source Code" that let's a person  travel back into a person's mind in the last eight minutes of their life. Now it is up to you to prevent a massive terrorist attack on Chicago now it is up to you to find a bomber and save millions and the catch is you only have eight minutes to do so. Now the clock is  ticking and time is running out before the next attack  you have no clues, no hints and have no idea what you are looking for so how do you stop a terrorist in the past when he couldn't be stopped? The only way to save the future is to change the past, good luck.

Duncan Jones' "Source Code" comes at a time during this early year where the quality of films coming out are well... less than average, "Source Code" is a revelation of a film a Science-Fiction action thriller with enough human elements and mind-bending thrillers to  please even the most advent of action fans. What is most fascinating is how this film uses a rather standard action/adventure premise of a bomb on a train a renegade terrorist  threatening to cause mass genocide and turns it on its head with mind bogglingly twist  and thought provoking questions on life, love and how your actions can change the course of your future. "Source Code" is a brilliantly made and well paced action/sci-fi whodunit  that deftly  blends 70's style paranoiac thriller elements with modern day  CGI laden filmmaking and thanks to  an intelligently written and concise script by Ben Ripley "Source Code" is one of the years most fascinating films an engaging,  perplexing thriller that starts at fast and proceeds to speed up from there taking its audience down a strange and twisted rabbit hole that dares to challenge its audience with its cerebral story of  science, love and life.  "Source Code" transcends fascinating becoming something more than just a statement on science and love   it becomes a powerful humanitarian statement about human life is something that is expendable to service the means of a higher power. If you had the power to change, an event in the past that could save the lives of hundreds of people, would you use that chance to right a wrong another human being made would you do what ever it took to make it right. "Source Code" is a powerfully evocative film with heavy prophetic themes layered with themes of existentialism and the coherence of time that asks the beguiling question. Can you really alter the flow of events after they have already been set in stone and even if you could would it matter.


"Source Code" is by far the best film of the year. This is an ingenious mix of classic Sci-Fi storytelling and intense character drama deftly blended with the A typical special effects now associated with the Science-Fiction genre however, this film is anything but typical movie fare. "Source Code"  is what Science-Fiction use to be before special effects, big budget action sequences, scantily clad women, illogical plots and stale dialogue took over this is(to me anyways) what  Sci-Fi is all about, what Sci-Fi should be about. It should not be about big explosions or hot women (save that for the increasingly dull   “Fast and the Furious" franchise) it should be about the characters, about the story the human story that this great genre can bring to light. "Source Code" is a welcomed return to style for moviegoers who have been aching for a good Sci-Fi/action romp that assaults the senses and boggles the mind. "Source Code" is the best film of the year so far a brilliantly executed Sci-Fi whodunit that breaks the mold of modern Science Fiction by finding the human story amidst the action and the special effects. 

Gyllenhaal has become one of modern Hollywood's most reliable and talented young actors sure like any actor he's had his bad days("Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time") and good days( "October Sky",   "Brokeback Mountain", "Donnie Darko", "Good Girl"). Duncan Jones' "Source Code" adds another success(or good day as I like to call it) to a rather impressive line of work from the young Mr. Gyllenhaal, In  "Source Code" Gyllenhaal delivers one of his most emotional, charming and gripping performances as a solider trapped in a rather perplexing  existential crisis. He is forced to participate in a special Military program to find the identity of a mad bomber who is responsible for the destruction of a Chicago Commuter train. Gyllenhaal is equally sensitive and charming as a man stuck in the plot of   “Groundhog Day” gone rampant; he plays Capt. Colter Stevens as a dedicated serviceman who will do anything for his men, his country and a good woman. He gives real human depth to a character that in a less talented actors hands would boil down to nothing more than an A typical average Joe hero trapped in a case of dire peril. This is one of the best performances of hid career and it triumphantly proves that he is not just another pretty face but also one of Hollywood's best leading men. The rest of the cast including Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffery Wright all turn in strong supporting performances in one of the best and most challenging films of this New Year.

"Source Code" is one of the most inventive and engaging films, I have seen so far this year. An intelligent, thought provoking look on human existentialism how sometimes one man, one person can make a difference in a person's life and change the outlook on a dire situation when hope seems dim. This film finds the human story and depth of character amidst the action and intrigue to help create one of the first great films of this New Year and a true testament of what we as humans can do when we have something we truly believe and love to fight for the things that we hold most dear.  


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May 02, 2011
Sounds really good, excellent write up.
May 02, 2011
It is an excellent film and thank you.
May 02, 2011
ah-hah!! I was waiting on you to review this movie!! I had a feeling you were going to like it. Great commentary on its existential themes! Man, you have a way of attracting a viewer through your opening paragraphs. How have you been, Lopez?
May 02, 2011
Thank you very much. And I didn't just like this movie I loved this movie, It was such a relief to see a Science Fiction film with ideas and intelligence seeing as films like "Transformers" brought it to an all time low. Isn't it weird that this is the second film to come out this year that deals with Human Existentialism? I just find that funny. And I'm doing good thanks for asking, you?
May 02, 2011
I know. Transformers have a third one coming. I liked this movie but the mumbo-jumbo on the theories were a little too flimsy. I do love existentialism a LOT. Entertaining film nonetheless! I am fine, save for my allergies.
May 02, 2011
I actually found the theories expressed in this film believable despite the fact at sometimes it sounded completely preposterous and I am less than thrilled about a third(and hopefully, God willing) final film in the series and I'm also big on existentialism myself I have been for sometime now. And I'm sorry to hear about your allergies I hope you feel better.
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 01, 2011
The Source Code Delivers
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 …
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 . 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 …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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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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