Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 118 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: What if someone gave you a box containing a button that, if pushed, would bring you a million dollars...but simultaneously take the life of someone you don't know? Would you do it? And what would be the consequences? The year is 1976. Norma Lewis is a teacher at a private high school and her husband, Arthur, is an engineer working at NASA. They are, by all accounts, an average couple living a normal life in the suburbs with their young son...until a mysterious man with a horribly disfigured face appears on their doorstep and presents Norma with a life-altering proposition: the box. With only 24 hours to make their choice, Norma and Arthur face an impossible moral dilemma. What they don't realize is that no matter what they decide, terrifying consequences will have already been set in motion. They soon discover that the ramifications of this decision are beyond their control and extend far beyond their own fortune and fate. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 6 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    Movie Marmite. Many will be perplexed. Donnie Darko fans should lap it up.
  2. 75
    The Box is the work of a visionary flirting with commercialism after having so grandly flouted it with “Southland Tales.’’ He doesn’t give in completely. Several trips to the megaplex might be required for The Box to make complete sense.
  3. 70
    For his third feature, Richard Kelly delivers neither a triumph (like his first, Donnie Darko) nor a travesty (like his second, Southland Tales) but a sure-handed genre piece that manages to wrap up before its plot mushrooms completely out of control.
  4. Reviewed by: John Swansburg
    The Box plays like "The Pardoner's Tale" as retold by the conspiracy theorist haunting your neighborhood Radio Shack.
  5. An artistic fiasco that cuts across genre lines and all logic to become, perhaps, an instant midnight movie.
  6. The pacing throughout is languid. Your eye becomes fixated on the hideous 70s wallpaper behind them. If only the story's interstellar narrative developments had the intensity of that wallpaper. Rod Serling might've gotten a great hour out of it (the story, that is, not the wallpaper). It simply is not two hours' worth, no matter how many quantum leaps into the unknown Kelly takes.
  7. The Box is its own kind of awful, a disconnected mess that never finds its reason for being.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 52
  2. Negative: 13 out of 52
  1. Jul 22, 2011
    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. 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
  2. ToddH
    Nov 11, 2009
    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
  3. RP
    Nov 11, 2009
    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. Expand
  4. CaityB
    Nov 10, 2009
    This movie takes a cheeky idea very seriously. If you were offered a million dollars, how far would you go? In this economy? I'd go for double or nothing. Expand
  5. Nov 16, 2013
    The Box pushes your buttons.
    An extremely average execution of what possibly could have been a really exiting film. The premise is clever,
    and the acting is fine. The direction could use some serious help as the movie has a hard time getting going. It feels like the characters are almost in limbo until finally everything happens very quickly. I would have liked to see Christopher Nolan or M. Night take a crack at this movie. The storytelling is simply poor. Expand
  6. JimF
    Nov 10, 2009
    Richard Kelly takes a perfectly comprehensible, and enjoyable, "Twilight Zone" episode (from a Richard Matheson story) and extends it into an incomprehensible, sleep-inducing feasture film that isn't just oblique but distasteful. I was in the minority in not liking "Donnie Darko", but it was well-made and intelligent enough to make me hope that "The Box" might be a pleasant surprise. It wasn't, the main mystery being how Kelly got major studio backing for this far-out project. Expand
  7. BobS.
    Nov 6, 2009
    Worst movie ever seen. Made no sense and would not reccomend anyone to see this movie. HORRIBLE.

See all 52 User Reviews