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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 114 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. Jun 28, 2011
    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. Expand
  3. Mar 20, 2011
    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.
  4. Aug 17, 2010
    The Box must be one of the most absurd movies I have seen for the year of 2009. I must admit itâ
  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. Apr 13, 2013
    A movie that manages to bring back some of that suspense most movies lack these days but despite being longer than the average movie, it does not manage to offer any closure and the explanation for events is all over the place with the viewer sometimes left to wonder if he's being toyed with or if he should accept what he sees on the screen for a fact. It goes downhill in the last 40 minutes or so as if though the writers had a sugar rush. Cameron Diaz was just fine, not a big fan of her work but she brought to the screen a convincing housewife. Although I liked the movie, I can't recommend this movie as the ending is simply frustrating. Expand
  7. Dec 5, 2010

    HORRIBLE! NONSENSE...What is the meaning, the plot, the point? What is the movie teaching after all? What was the message of Arlington Stewart, after all? I don't get it! Absurd!

See all 52 User Reviews