The Box

The Box Image
Metascore
47

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

User Score
2.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 212 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 herWhat 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

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 6 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    80
    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. 50
    Kelly is devoted to telling his stories visually -- except when he's not. And the second half of The Box, unfortunately, underscores everything Kelly, as a filmmaker, wants to be and just can't.
  5. An artistic fiasco that cuts across genre lines and all logic to become, perhaps, an instant midnight movie.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    38
    The characters in The Box are like cardboard cutouts: Some have "foolish victim" labeled on them, and others fall into the category of absurdly creepy villain.
  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: 20 out of 53
  2. Negative: 15 out of 53
  1. 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 originalThis 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
    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 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
    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 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. EnzoP.
    Nov 6, 2009
    5
    The Box starring Cameron Diaz is a scary suspense thriller that almost pulled it off. The Box was a lot better then I thought it was going to The Box starring Cameron Diaz is a scary suspense thriller that almost pulled it off. The Box was a lot better then I thought it was going to be but still not good and don't even get me started about a complicated plot. By the trailer I thought the whole movie was going to be should I press the button or not. Well, if you thought that also you are very wrong. The plot was the only big problem about this film. Everything else was not bad. Surprisingly the acting was good, not award winning acting but you get the point. A very nice looking cast with a very underrated James Marsden. I think they acted good because it was a very easy movie to act in, and Frank Langella had to speak in a low voice and that was really it for him. But I was a bit confused at the start of the movie because when they said they had twenty four hours it seemed a lot longer the one day. They should of made the movie shorter so the plot wouldn't be so complicated. The more the movie went on, the more I got bored of watching this film. The box may of had many little problems but it had many sparks as well. The way Richard Kelly filmed the movie. The camera never just stayed in one spot. He found creative ways to show the viewers each seen. Don't forget all of the nail biter scenes. Like after when the man came, whoops almost gave away the movie. Those nail biter scenes wanted you to say no don't do it. Many times with the nail biter scenes came the freaky scenes their were a few but still made my heart jump a little. Overall The Box is a fun, stupid, funny, depressing ending movie that has all the traits for a friday night movie to see with all of your friends. Expand
  5. Nov 18, 2011
    5
    The Box is a confused and strange film that many focus on confusing the audience and WTF moments instead of anything else. The film got ruinedThe Box is a confused and strange film that many focus on confusing the audience and WTF moments instead of anything else. The film got ruined half way through. Expand
  6. Dan
    Dec 8, 2009
    3
    The only way this film could earn a positive review is if the viewer had never seen a Kubrick movie before. Shot for shot, the film steals The only way this film could earn a positive review is if the viewer had never seen a Kubrick movie before. Shot for shot, the film steals from The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, 2001 and even Dr. Strangelove. The plot is sci-fi nonsense overstuffed with red herrings and padded out with imagery recycled from Donnie Darko. A real snooze. Expand
  7. BobS.
    Nov 6, 2009
    0
    Worst movie ever seen. Made no sense and would not reccomend anyone to see this movie. HORRIBLE.

See all 53 User Reviews

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