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Source Code

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

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A very well-crafted, superbly acted, and surprisingly human action-thriller.

  • Aug 17, 2011
*** 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 story that intrigues as much as it does indulge. It was made for a wide audience, and this is good, because it deserves to be seen. It achieves many things, and I guess it's my idea to tell you what some of those things are.

Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) awakens to find himself on a train, speaking to a woman he does not know. This woman is Christina (Michelle Monaghan); and she is not the sort of "femme fatale" that you would expect her to be. She seems to know Stevens; but who is she to him?

What is happening? Why does Christina refer to Stevens as Sean? Before these questions can be properly answered, the train that both characters are riding explodes. Stevens awakens yet again. This time he is in a capsule, attached to a system, and facing a fellow soldier (Vera Farmiga). She is able to tell him just what's going on.

Stevens is part of an experiment, and the capsule is known as "The Source Code". The person in the "source code" is used to travel back-in-time, and in this case, Stevens travels to stop the explosion, which he is told is the result of a terrorist attack. And this explosion, while small compared to the ones that are sure to follow if this one successfully carries through, is considered a warning. Innocent people will die, no doubt, but if Stevens can find the bomb, deactivate it, and find the one who is to trigger it; he can, perhaps, save the future of the city that he lives in. This is good.

The sequences in which Stevens travels back to the scene of the incident are fascinating. It's also fascinating how director Duncan Jones, whose first feature was "Moon", is able to make each sequence entertaining. Yes, we've seen the scenario; but we are certain that the experience is new each time.

And the film keeps doing this exercise, or what feels like an exercise, for about most of its run-time. I'm not complaining. I was hooked. This was a captivating film that had captivating material, some human elements to add some spice to its already interesting story, and it was (probably) more than it needed to be. Those who go in will not go out disappointed, and it's not every day that you get a modern thriller this solid. It's not perfect, and for various reasons, but some people might love it just for what it is; and that's perfectly fine. I know some people who loved "Moon". I don't recall loving it, but I did like it quite a bit; and is introduced Duncan Jones as a filmmaker to look out for. This is his second feature and hopefully he keeps making films; because this one is a lot of fun.

I am surprised that the studio didn't choose to wait and release this one during the summer. It would have been perfect. Instead, it came before; and I have no problem with that. It just seems like the sort of film that one would enjoy and admire most of all on a hot summer day. I'm not saying that it's mindless enough for you to WANT the heat during your viewing, but it's a popcorn flick; and luckily one that doesn't cheat. It is well-acted, with Gyllenhaal getting back into action as a radical actor, and most things work well here. I say take it as it is and try to be sympathetic. Sometimes, it's a nice piece of absurdist cinema; but critics need to suspend their disbelief. That's what everyone should do. If they go through with that, they'll find themselves a smiling movie-goer.

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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 . 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 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'.   …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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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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