User Score
3.1

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 171 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 171
  2. Negative: 97 out of 171
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  1. Mar 20, 2011
    8
    This movie as not as bad as people make it out to be. I'll admit, there are some vaguely explained moments, unconvincing acting (thank you Cameron Diaz), an ending that leaves you unsatisfied, and some plot points that aren't tied together.
    But for everything that is isn't, it's really good. It's creepy. It's thought provoking, and it achieves that purpose very well. If you're reading
    This movie as not as bad as people make it out to be. I'll admit, there are some vaguely explained moments, unconvincing acting (thank you Cameron Diaz), an ending that leaves you unsatisfied, and some plot points that aren't tied together.
    But for everything that is isn't, it's really good. It's creepy. It's thought provoking, and it achieves that purpose very well. If you're reading this review, you know the plot. If you don't know the plot, don't look it up; I feel like people who went into this movie expecting something came out the most unsatisfied. I bought my copy for around 4 bucks and it was very worth it.

    -If you go into this movie with an open mind, you'll leave more satisfied and intrigued than not.
    -If you enjoyed Donnie Darko, you'll enjoy this.
    -If you're looking for something cheap, creepy, and thrilling, grab this.
    -If you like twists and ambiguity, grab this.

    -If you're looking for a blood and guts horror, look elsewhere.
    -If you enjoyed Saw, you prob won't like this.
    -If you enjoyed From Paris with Love, you prob won't like this.
    -If you like a plot that's easy to follow, you prob won't like this.
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  2. Feb 24, 2013
    8
    Wonderfully weird and imaginative. This is a sci-fi cult classic that fell under the radar, but it is a really great film. I heard a lot of people bash this thing, but this movie is about much more than a box and a button. If you're not a sci-fi fan and not used to this type of film, it might be a bit confusing, but stay with it. I think it's well worth it.
  3. Mar 30, 2012
    7
    The box is overall is a pretty good movie. The problem was it could have been more haunting and the ending was so unclear nobody knew what was happenning. It was a mess but kind of a good mess.
  4. dominicr
    Nov 10, 2009
    8
    I don't understand why everyone hates this so much! It's ambitious, complex and well acted (Frank Langella is great). The Box is like a good Twilight Episode, OK so it's not Solaris or Stalker (or even Donnie Darko) but it's better than a lot of the recent releases. Well worth the time.
  5. Jul 22, 2011
    10
    This film started as a simple morality vehicle, but ended as a deeply religious and human narrative regarding not only morality, but original sin and pulls symbolism from the Garden of Eden to exhibit the fall of man from a very interesting perspective. The acting was more or less unremarkable but the cinematography and audio are sublime. Do not be discouraged by the negative reviews. TheThis film started as a simple morality vehicle, but ended as a deeply religious and human narrative regarding not only morality, but original sin and pulls symbolism from the Garden of Eden to exhibit the fall of man from a very interesting perspective. The acting was more or less unremarkable but the cinematography and audio are sublime. Do not be discouraged by the negative reviews. The only explanation that I can offer for low marks is that the reviewer wasn't expecting to see an actual film, and instead was expecting a cookie cutter sci-fi/horror summer blockbuster that is neither memorable nor engaging. If that's what you're after, enjoy saw 14. If you're looking for a narrative thriller with a little substance, check this one out. Expand
  6. Ray
    Feb 24, 2010
    10
    The film's only a 6 really, but my god, what audaciousness, yet again, to cram so much goings-on into one little picture. Slow? Only if you like boring films going nowhere. It's silly at times, not well acted at other times -- but, also amazingly creative, billiantly shot and, most importantly, obviosuly the dedicated work of a film-making genius who dares to take movies into The film's only a 6 really, but my god, what audaciousness, yet again, to cram so much goings-on into one little picture. Slow? Only if you like boring films going nowhere. It's silly at times, not well acted at other times -- but, also amazingly creative, billiantly shot and, most importantly, obviosuly the dedicated work of a film-making genius who dares to take movies into the sci-fi/horror rhelm...with a straight face and a holy heart. Expand
  7. LarryD
    Nov 14, 2009
    10
    How this is not at least a 60 on metacritic is beyond me. This is a spectacular film: brilliant cinematography, excellent screenwriting, amazing sets, and great acting. Moreover, the library scene is one that will go down as one of the most unique and well executed scene in the history of American film. Much like Southland Tales, critics seem to AFRAID to give Kelly the accolades he How this is not at least a 60 on metacritic is beyond me. This is a spectacular film: brilliant cinematography, excellent screenwriting, amazing sets, and great acting. Moreover, the library scene is one that will go down as one of the most unique and well executed scene in the history of American film. Much like Southland Tales, critics seem to AFRAID to give Kelly the accolades he deserves. For me, as a fan of his work, I think that he is one of the best film makers working in the United States today. What is sad is that our culture is to ignorant to recognize this. The box is a critique of American modernity and perhaps America is still not ready to reflect on the symptoms of sick society. An excellent film that I highly recommend. It's a thinker! Expand
  8. CaitlinA.
    Nov 7, 2009
    8
    I adore Richard Kelly. This movie is a triumph cinematically. The treatment of the period, the way in which he handled the camera, the story is all poetically beautiful. It is a shame that it was his opportunity to achieve commercial success and ultimately due to his overthinking mind will alienate the audience whose support he requires. It is also, by far, his most conceptually clear I adore Richard Kelly. This movie is a triumph cinematically. The treatment of the period, the way in which he handled the camera, the story is all poetically beautiful. It is a shame that it was his opportunity to achieve commercial success and ultimately due to his overthinking mind will alienate the audience whose support he requires. It is also, by far, his most conceptually clear film (in that the references and literary and theoretical allusions are well articulated). Its issues, of course, come from the simple fact that there was initially a longer cut and so important scenes that either establish or explain are lost. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful movie. In fact, saw it last night and am going back this afternoon. Expand
  9. AhmadR.
    Feb 14, 2010
    7
    I guess this movie is one of a few movies released that needs more thought and consideration. However, the idea behind the movie is not unique, the way the scenes develops makes you feel interested to know the end. As it is said in the movie, whatever our choice in life is, there the consequences waiting for us.
  10. ToddH
    Nov 11, 2009
    9
    This is one of the more thoughtful, creative, interesting, albeit bizarre films I have seen in a long time. I'm sorry if there was too much going on for some viewers to follow (i.e. those that went expecting a "movie" instead of a "film"). This is art- from the cinematography to the music to the combination of moral fable, sci-fi, and suburban horror. If I were teaching a film as This is one of the more thoughtful, creative, interesting, albeit bizarre films I have seen in a long time. I'm sorry if there was too much going on for some viewers to follow (i.e. those that went expecting a "movie" instead of a "film"). This is art- from the cinematography to the music to the combination of moral fable, sci-fi, and suburban horror. If I were teaching a film as literature course I would use this as one of the films- and have students draw from Milgram's Shock Experiment & Sartre's No Exit in explicating it. Tons of material for philosophical and sociological discussion/analysis. Loved it! Expand
  11. KatherineY
    Nov 6, 2009
    10
    I am amazed at all the symbolism the critics do not seem to get. Like Kelly's other films, this movie is really a symbolic representation of our deepest questions regarding life, the existence of God and other issues of human existance such as original sin. It is not just a science fiction movie. If you can't see past the button to the apple in eden then you're missing a I am amazed at all the symbolism the critics do not seem to get. Like Kelly's other films, this movie is really a symbolic representation of our deepest questions regarding life, the existence of God and other issues of human existance such as original sin. It is not just a science fiction movie. If you can't see past the button to the apple in eden then you're missing a huge part of the film. Intelligent, surreal and thought provoking as always, I am already waiting for Kelly's next film. Expand
  12. ChadS.
    Nov 7, 2009
    7
    "In the Cut", Jane Campion's poorly received feminist thriller is remembered, if at all, for Meg Ryan's surprising nude scenes, more so than the manner in which Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse", a novel taught by Ryan's English professor character, leaps off the page and encroaches its way into her everyday life. "In the Cut" climaxes with Franny being driven by "In the Cut", Jane Campion's poorly received feminist thriller is remembered, if at all, for Meg Ryan's surprising nude scenes, more so than the manner in which Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse", a novel taught by Ryan's English professor character, leaps off the page and encroaches its way into her everyday life. "In the Cut" climaxes with Franny being driven by her assailant, literally, to the lighthouse, where attempted murder will eventuate itself. "The Box" borrows liberally from the Australian auteur's narrative highwire act, as Norma(Cameron Diaz), a college instructor, like Franny, teaches a work of literature(Jean-Paul Satre's 1944 play "No Exit"), that insinuates itself into a literal metaphor at the apex of a life or death situation. Whereas the Campion film was a deconstruction of the thriller, a feminization of the male narrative, "The Box" merely aims to be smarter than your average sci-fi film. And it is, sort of. At times, the filmmaker seemingly paraphrases Arthur C. Clarke's quote about technology being indistinguishable from magic, in which the "Donnie Darko" helmer's storytelling wavers between cerebral and cerebrally crazy, and cerebrally crazy and outright loony. But maybe it's not his fault, maybe it's the story itself(adapted from a Richard Matheson short), whose aliens conduct tests much more ambitious than your standard full body probe. "The Box" finally loses its shape when Arthur(James Marsden) and Norma go to the library; that's where generic major studio filmmaking bites the dust. Depending on who you are, that's either a good or bad thing. It's flawed like how Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" was flawed; both films bear the mark of a personal voice, which sometimes say the craziest things. Expand
  13. HunterL
    Apr 11, 2010
    8
    A bizarre thriller that leaves you guessing throughout the film, and still even after the credits have rolled.
  14. NoahF.
    Apr 25, 2010
    8
    This is really funny for me and making Richard Kelly crap his pants.... because all you people out there thought this movie sucked but you also hate when there is too much action in a movie but these are the kind of movies that the King Pins at universal studios say that the reason is for making lame movies like Iron Man and Terminator...pure action....well you get what you asked This is really funny for me and making Richard Kelly crap his pants.... because all you people out there thought this movie sucked but you also hate when there is too much action in a movie but these are the kind of movies that the King Pins at universal studios say that the reason is for making lame movies like Iron Man and Terminator...pure action....well you get what you asked for...look for a summer filled with tons of crappy action movies...because you could pay attention to a great but slow movie. Expand
  15. MattT
    Nov 10, 2009
    8
    As absurd as this movie is, Richard Kelly continues to make a movie that keeps you thinking. As in all of his movies, you never know, and that bothers people. People want closer in a movie. But this movie will not provide that, and that does not bother me. I enjoyed this film, thought about the premise and idea of the movie, and still found it worth while to see.
  16. JamesH.
    Nov 25, 2009
    7
    This was a better movie than I thought it would be. It succeeded at its goal which was to make an extended entertaining twilight zone episode. Rod Serling would be proud. Props to Frank Langella who is fast becoming one of my favorite actors.
  17. Mr.D.
    Nov 6, 2009
    10
    Beautiful Horror Movie... Great actor's performance and perfect suspense !!
  18. MattS.
    Nov 6, 2009
    7
    It was the most confusing movie I have ever seen, but I still liked it. Similar to how Donnie Darko was confusing yet intriguing. I still don't fully understand it after thinking about it for awhile now.
  19. RP
    Nov 11, 2009
    8
    An excellent, thought-provoking movie but there's a catch - it's not for everyone. In fact if you have no interest in existential philosophy, it will probably just give you a headache. Be prepared to think outside The Box.
  20. Dec 26, 2010
    7
    The box is a good/bad movie its plot is really weird and acting really sucks at times but its one of those movies that when startt watching it you have to see it to the end
  21. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    I have no idea how a movie of this quality rank could get the hilarious 47 out of 100 points. This is literally a masterpiece, one of the best movies made recently.
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 6 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    50
    Kelly's trademark mix of sci-fi, surrealism and suburbia occasionally entertains.
  2. An artistic fiasco that cuts across genre lines and all logic to become, perhaps, an instant midnight movie.
  3. 75
    The Box is a mess, but it's a curiously haunting, intriguing, brain-tickling mess, and it delivers that "Donnie Darko" feeling in truckloads. Or should that be rocketloads?