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Source Code

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

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The future of cinema is bright!

  • Apr 12, 2011
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 commuter train. Stevens is now sent back into the world to continue gathering clues with only 8 minutes each time, but now the bomber is threatening to blow up millions of people in downtown Chicago. And along with his friend Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan) he will learn more and more each time he visits this world, and must hurry before it is all too late.

Well, Duncan Jones has done it again! I just recently saw his debut "Moon" for the first time, and loved it. My expectations were not all that high for this film, but I was really hoping that it would be good. It is always exciting for me when a new director comes out with a great film, and this being his second it could be showing us a sign as to how consistent he will be for the rest of his career. Source Code was in no way as good, or even close really, as Moon was. However, it was going to be hard for him to top the near perfect Moon, and Source Code still showed the viewers that Duncan Jones has a serious directing ability. With having both great creativity and a pace that whether slow or quick, he keeps the viewer interested till the end.

Source Code in some ways rivals Nolan's newest film, "Inception". There is no reason to knock Source Code because its lack of creativity, because that is not the case here. Source Code resembles Inception in the way that Inception resembled The Matrix. The stories and plots are not similar, but the whole concept of going in and out of a different worlds throughout the film is the same. All three films share this, though it does not make any of them less creative. They are all different in their own way. But if we are comparing both Source Code and Inception, there honestly is no comparison. My ratings may be close, but Source Code is a borderline 3.5/5. The biggest difference is the lengths of the two films, and since Inception is much longer the story is developed better than it is in Source Code. And that was probably my biggest problem with this film, which is a problem it shares with Jones' other work. From start to finish Source Code is a quickly paced film that keeps the audience drawn in close to the screen. But it is so short and having a bit lacked character developement that by the end we may not care about the characters, and what happens with the story, as we should. But everything was developed enough for the film to work out, which it did, it is just that in films that I love I usually need more developement and length for me to consider it a wonderful peice of art work. But even still, Duncan Jones has crafted an above average film that is smart, and with quick direction it hits home by the climax.

The script would probably be my only other complaint, as it was both good and bad. At times I thought the dialogue was going very well. But at others, especially nearing the end, it felt a little cheese filled. It is not something really worth losing sleep over but, I definitely think screenwriter Ben Ripley could have done a better job on that area of the film. Just in general though Ripley did an excellent job of writing this film. Along with Jones' work all of the scenes were very well written, and very well done. Maybe a few flaws there, but still a great job by the both of them.

Now for the acting. This was a surprise for me, and I mean a big surprise. He may have acting talent, but Jake Gyllenhaal is an actor I just do not like at all. None of his films really interest me, and his acting style just does not seem to fit my taste. But here, what a surprise he was. The emotion he put into this performance was very good. Even some well known, and acclaimed actors can feel dull when there are certain scenes. But Gyllenhaal hits the mark perfectly here. Now I am not saying he will get any kind of Oscar nomination, because I would be absolutely shocked if he did, but still a great performance. Michelle Monaghan was good as well, not worth much praise, but she fit the part well. The other supporting actors did good. Just good acting all around really, and it made the film so much better.

Overall, Source Code is an extremely impressive second film by Duncan Jones. After leaving the theater I was very happy and excited to see what he will come out with next. Let's get this straight though, Source Code is a highly entertaining, quickly paced film that is no where near perfection. But movies are made to entertain, and that is just what this does. Quick direction by Duncan Jones and mostly good writing by Ben Ripley, along with good performances made Source Code the best film I have seen released this year. It may not be amazing, or as good as Moon, but Source Code kept me interested all the way through, and worked out well in the end. Duncan Jones is on my list for new and brilliant directors. Look out for his name in the future, you will see it a lot.



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April 12, 2011
I think we are both in full agreement on this one, even though you rated it a half star higher than I did. I especially liked your lines when you compared Inception to this movie and then Inception to the Matrix. This movie was held aloft by the strength of its direction, the pseudo science groundwork-mumbo jumbo had a lot to be desired but yes, it was entertaining. (speaking of which any thoughts on what exactly was that pseudo universe? I thought it was very flimsy)
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 . May 02, 2011
Well, who knew David Bowie's son would turn into quite the talented young director? I, as of now, have not seen Moon, but I really want to, and seeing this movie has secured my faith in Jones and knowledge that he can deliver great movies. Anyway, I have finally seen Source Code, which was one of my most anticipated movies of the year (besides Scream 4 and a lot of superhero stuff). May I say, I was not disappointed. This is the best film of the year thus far and if nothing more similar comes, …
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 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'.   …
About the reviewer
Matt Stewart ()
Ranked #223
Basically all anyone would need to know about me is I love movies. I watch movies, review them, and I can always enjoy a good, long talk about the art of film making.
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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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