Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an eerily isolated area. Suddenly everything goes dark. When one of the students, Nic (Brenton Thwaites), regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 13, 2014
    The Signal is a road movie turned upside down and inside out.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 11, 2014
    Its young director, however, has a considerable flair for surprise and visual gusto, and he even, on a shoestring, delivers sharp-looking special effects.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 18, 2014
    Eubank's fizzy mix of self-conscious, set-piece image-making and small-scale human detail is admirable.
  4. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jun 12, 2014
    Director William Eubank seems more concerned with building to an epic, superpowered ending rather than anything making a lick of sense. In the spirit of the characters and audience, though, it feels right.
  5. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 16, 2014
    You spend a lot of the movie confused, but the great big reveals of its finale don’t feel very shocking at all. Yet it’s not a complete wash and, given the circumstances, that feels like an accomplishment.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Zhuravsky
    May 29, 2014
    [A] lovingly crafted but insubstantial flash, though the mystery at heart sustains a first viewing.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 12, 2014
    The Signal starts off as an alien version of "Blair Witch Project" and then drifts off into cold plotlessness. But for a while, a little while, it seems like it just might be interesting.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 4 out of 6
  1. Jul 23, 2014
    The Signal is an entertaining movie, its exceptional and imposing style of filmmaking makes it almost impossible for the viewer to not enjoy this film. On the other hand, I was disappointed with the thin storyline, but I am pleased with the mystery behind everything in this movie, sometimes these questions are better left unanswered; it makes the film more intriguing, others are a must, both sides are left unanswered with poor character development. However, The Signal has an impressive style to it, a twisted ending and some tension, its not all that bad. Expand
  2. Jun 24, 2014
    Somewhat nonsensical with nothing revealed till the last little bit of the movie. It has some good ideas in it though they are hidden in this art house movie like little gems in a winding trail. Being an old Matrix fan I have a soft spot in me certainly for Fishburne doing his best Morpheus impersonation for a good hour or so of this movie. It is something different that is for sure, and in the middle of summer releases it is pleasant to have something with a different flavor. Expand
  3. Jun 22, 2014
    This film was incredibly boring at times, possibly because the director and screenwriter were narratively challenged and didn’t know how to tell what story (if there was one, which is questionable) they had in mind. On the other hand, I was sometimes arrested by some of the wonderful images in the film. What this director needs to do is sit down and suffer like the rest of us (but multiple times) and figure out with brutal honesty what he did right and what he did wrong. There is obvious talent here, but sometimes this film is so dull that you never want to see another movie (at least by this person and with these actors) for the rest of your life. But I guess this is how people learn? Expand
  4. Jun 14, 2014
    An overly cryptic, snail's-paced sci-fi offering that fails to deliver, even with its biggest disclosures. Truly unfortunate, too, since there was definitely some potential here. However, underdeveloped writing and a directorial sense in need of further maturity keep this release from being all it could have been. Expand
  5. Jul 2, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So you see Morpheus and think "dude, he is not human". You see that ridiculously outdated lab together with the high-tech "legs" and you think "ok, the aliens have them". The movie sacrifices any realism to create some cheap comic book moments (e.g. when the dude slams the ground, wtf, his arms should have been destroyed).

    On a more general note, the pacing utterly sucks, there is no logic whatsoever behind the characters' actions, and neither is there any behind the actions of the antagonists / aliens. The protagonist is cliché hacker genius of the 21st century, his gf is cliché emotionally unstable supporting female character, his illness is presented in such a way that you get the feeling someone just decided to include this "perk" during character creation. There is no emotional struggle apart from "OMG MY GF IS IN COMA Q_Q", the characters don't reflect at all, (for example, you are in a supposedly high-sec facility and you are intelligent enough to draw a comprehensive plan of how it's build etc., but it never occurs to you that it's mightily strange that they didn't include any entropy in their patrolling patterns? COME ON.)

    But be it as it may, plot holes, ignoring physics, shallow characters - you can compensate all that with a good story and good visuals. The movie does deliver on the visuals, but everything that happens in it just has no point. Absolutely none. There is not a single logical reason for ANYTHING in the storyline to happen. You find yourself thinking "ok, so that just happened. cool." ALL THE TIME. It's like the director / producer wrote literally 1 paragraph, then drugged someone to lend them money. And the visuals? sure, they are astoundingly beautiful, but in the end this just makes you sad because so many talented CGI artists / filmmakers are wasting their careers working on such mindless junk when they could be creating inspiring and beautiful movies.
  6. Jun 15, 2014
    Ridiculous movie in all aspects: theme, writing and organization. This pathetic theme of "emotion over rationality" is so cliche and lame that I almost want to vomit whenever I see this kind of gross generalization, especially presented in such a lame way. If people keep being inculcated in this way no wonder why irrationality runs so amok in our daily lives. Come on! What human beings lack is more basic rationality, not ridiculous acts based on primordial instincts, which should long have been phased out during such a long evolutional process. Unfortunate there will always be movies which cater to people's laziness to ration, it just plain sucks.

    On the writing the plot is basically without any sense. How could a "person who lives on rationality and logic" be "living a traditional and secure life" and be "the pride of family"? I can't imagine any person who lives rationality who claims himself to be a conservative, as conservative social norms are rife with irrational nonsense which is out of sync with our reality and against human nature, and which only serves to bring disasters and misfortunes. On this very basis the movie commits a terrible error. Not to mention the behaviors of the figures and the progression of the story are both laughably inexplicable. So this is the "emotion side" the director is trying to tell? Terrible.

    Definitely not recommended.