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Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Qohen (Christoph Waltz), an eccentric and reclusive computer genius living in isolation, obsessively works on a mysterious project personally delegated to him by Management (Matt Damon) aimed at discovering the meaning of life – or the complete lack of one—once and for all. IncreasinglyQohen (Christoph Waltz), an eccentric and reclusive computer genius living in isolation, obsessively works on a mysterious project personally delegated to him by Management (Matt Damon) aimed at discovering the meaning of life – or the complete lack of one—once and for all. Increasingly disturbed by visits from people he doesn’t fully trust, including the flirtatious Bainsley (Mélanie Thierry), his unpredictable supervisor Job (David Thewlis), and would-be digital therapist Dr. Shrink-Rom (Tilda Swinton), it’s only when he experiences the power of love and desire that he’s able to understand his own reason for being. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 28
  2. Negative: 5 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Philip Kemp
    Mar 10, 2014
    80
    The future as candy-coloured paranoid nightmare: not quite Gilliam’s best, but still the most satisfying movie he’s made for years.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary Corliss
    Sep 16, 2013
    70
    The Zero Theorem is a spectacle that demands to be cherished — as long as the society Gilliam portrays is a satire, not a prophesy.
  3. 63
    Like “Brazil” and “Twelve Monkeys,” it’s about human connections in a technologically warped world rendered lonely and unlivable by the lack of those connections.
  4. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Sep 16, 2013
    60
    It’s anarchic, sometimes amusing, intermittently tedious, with ideas about digital alienation and the corruption of technology that too often feel blunt and tired.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Sep 16, 2014
    50
    Too bad the story tucked around all that production design is such a futuristic drag.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 19, 2014
    40
    As a collective thing, though, those moments add up to a messy, all-over-the-map movie that toys with big, existential thoughts, but it doesn't have a coherent enough story with which to drive them home.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    Sep 18, 2014
    25
    Zero is more of an intellectual exercise in which you’re never given all the variables to solve the problem — and then you find your calculator was on acid the whole time anyway.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 13, 2014
    8
    This movie is a huge allusion on our modern society and our place in it. At first The Zero Theorem seems like a bright and quirky mess, butThis movie is a huge allusion on our modern society and our place in it. At first The Zero Theorem seems like a bright and quirky mess, but later you can just start seeing yourself in Christoph Waltz's characters: you do not get why should you go to the office to work, you feel like your life has no meaning, you have lost contatc with other people and along with that you just forget that you still have a life to live and enjoy. I can't understand why the score is so low. Expand
  2. Oct 12, 2014
    8
    'Why would you want to prove all is for nothing?' This quote from the movie pretty much sums it up. Don't read any reviews, including this'Why would you want to prove all is for nothing?' This quote from the movie pretty much sums it up. Don't read any reviews, including this one, and since you are now reading it, you have failed to fullfil the imperative. So in the same way, when you watch the film to find what is the meaning of life, the fact that you are watching a Gilliam film makes it so you will not find any, since Gilliam will always kindle warm fuzzies in your heart at first but leave a void in your guts after. Expand
  3. Nov 7, 2014
    8
    This is Gilliam unleashed, and it is quite the visual spectacle, however at times it lacks a certain cohesiveness amongst the chaos, puttingThis is Gilliam unleashed, and it is quite the visual spectacle, however at times it lacks a certain cohesiveness amongst the chaos, putting it below his best works like Brazil and 12 Monkeys, but it is still a massively enjoyable film with a superb central performance from Christoph Waltz. Expand
  4. Sep 25, 2014
    7
    The main criticism of The Zero Theorem seems to be that it lacks a plot, or that the plot is poorly developed. This complaint justThe main criticism of The Zero Theorem seems to be that it lacks a plot, or that the plot is poorly developed. This complaint just demonstrates that movie viewers want a canned, straightforward, easily explained plot, and they shut down if they don't get one. The thing is, this movie does have a plot, it's just loosely structured and never fully explained. With this film, Mr. Gilliam wants to challenge the viewer and make him or her guess what's really happening. I for one love to be challenged by movies that leave the story open to interpretation. The Zero Theorem is not Mr. Gilliam's best work. However, like the director's other movies, this movie is ingenious and really fun to watch. Mr. Gilliam is still a cinematic master so go out and see The Zero Theorem! Expand
  5. Oct 24, 2014
    7
    Quirky and philosophical, The Zero Theorem follows in the idiom of many of Mr. Gilliam's previous films. There is an intense discomfort withQuirky and philosophical, The Zero Theorem follows in the idiom of many of Mr. Gilliam's previous films. There is an intense discomfort with technology and the alienation of modern life where the search for meaning reveals only more profound layers of ambiguity. This is a harrowing examination of the paradoxes of love, faith in the face of the inexorable chaos of human life. You'll dig The Zero Theorem if you are at peace with living in doubt. If you need to feel reassured that everything will ultimately comfortably resolved, you will need to look for it somewhere else Expand