Focus Features | Release Date: June 13, 2014
6.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 100 Ratings
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Positive:
46
Mixed:
40
Negative:
14
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8
horcrux2007Sep 27, 2014
"The Signal" definitely is not for everyone. It's a movie that really isn't *about* anything. It has a premise, but there's really not much of an organize plot. Think "Eraserhead", for example. The acting, for the most part, is top-notch."The Signal" definitely is not for everyone. It's a movie that really isn't *about* anything. It has a premise, but there's really not much of an organize plot. Think "Eraserhead", for example. The acting, for the most part, is top-notch. Brenton Thwaites, hot off the set of "Oculus", gives a very compelling performance, and Laurence Fishburne puts on his best Morpheus impression to unsettling results. The film starts out as a road-trip movie until it's turned upside-down into a sort of jail-break type movie. The first half of the film is very mysterious and intriguing while the second half is more intense. The special effects and cinematography look amazing; you wouldn't tell that its budget is a meager 4 million dollars. Some ideas become as lost as our main characters at points, however, and the ending isn't as mind-blowing as the film let on. If you're used to big-budget action-packed sci-fi films, stay far away from this film. However, if you enjoy slow-burners with interesting ideas, don't miss this one. Expand
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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0
TheBitiqueNov 24, 2014
After watching this I had a new least favorite movie. This movie is one of those that is so confusing it makes you get a brain tumor that lies dormant for 30 years until you discover it too late. This brain tumor will kill the person andAfter watching this I had a new least favorite movie. This movie is one of those that is so confusing it makes you get a brain tumor that lies dormant for 30 years until you discover it too late. This brain tumor will kill the person and leave behind mourning family and friends. In the end you figure out what has been going on, but it's just not an ending that brings any closure at all. The ending in my opinion is just a cheap way of ending the movie to close plot holes but carelessly open new ones. This movie is worst than holding a cat that was just fed pure caffeine up to a black chalk board while poking it with a needle. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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3
Brent_MarchantJun 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 needAn 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 of 9 users found this helpful54
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1
omonriseJul 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.
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3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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8
hapycampr2002Dec 26, 2014
What do I say about this movie that will make any sense at all? I've read a review that it is easy to correctly guess the ending before actually coming to it, but I did not find that to be the case. Perhaps it's because I didn't want toWhat do I say about this movie that will make any sense at all? I've read a review that it is easy to correctly guess the ending before actually coming to it, but I did not find that to be the case. Perhaps it's because I didn't want to look to closely for fear that it would ruin my enjoyment of the film. Despite myself, I was entertained watching it. It's pace is a bit methodical, deliberate...I'm trying not to use the word "slow." I can respond to a slow movies if there is enough to keep me interested, and there was enough to seduce me. I feel like, upon retrospection, the director was toying with how far he could take this movie out of the realm of reality or possibility and still hold the audience. He held me to the end. Hallelujah. But he didn't hold my attention on the strength of the "plot" or narrative. He took me there on the shoulders of good acting, (spotty) suspense. and beautiful cinematography. I'd have to be selective to whom I would recommend this movie. To those who don't need things blowing up or women and children in jeopardy every 5 minutes, or those who feel that Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Robert Pattinson are not actually ACTING, I would recommend it. Postscript: I actually have liked quite a few of the movies that 2 out of the aforementioned "actors" have starred in. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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1
gvnnmthmsOct 12, 2014
the storyline was a tad boring.the dryness of the character played by lawrence fishburn(btw i love this guys work). i hated this movie.it sucked sci-fi balls. font buy dont buy dont watch. this movie took so long to get to the point,not onlythe storyline was a tad boring.the dryness of the character played by lawrence fishburn(btw i love this guys work). i hated this movie.it sucked sci-fi balls. font buy dont buy dont watch. this movie took so long to get to the point,not only was the story extremely cryptic. but it didnt explain why they where taken,why they wher given alien technology,how did they end up on a ship, and who the **** where the people in the supposed area 51?. who ever created this film deserves a acorn shoved up their "you know what". **** this movie Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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3
ozymandias79Nov 28, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Good movies don't need a point but bad movies without a point are f****** pointless. Morpheus...ahhh...I mean Laurence Fishburne plays a face attached to some wires in a movie that is supposed to have a shock ending but was so completely nonsensical that it almost makes you laugh. It gets a 2 for Olivia Cooke and a 1 for almost passable special effects. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
AnonJJun 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 inRidiculous 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.
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3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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3
GinaKJun 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 wasThis 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
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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7
analogkid280Jun 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 inSomewhat 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
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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10
Patrick94Jan 26, 2015
I don't understand the negativity towards this movie. Maybe people are just too dumb to appreciate it? Maybe they think William Eubank had 200 million dollars at his disposal and thought he could have done more with it? (BTW he only had 4I don't understand the negativity towards this movie. Maybe people are just too dumb to appreciate it? Maybe they think William Eubank had 200 million dollars at his disposal and thought he could have done more with it? (BTW he only had 4 million. Yes, he made this amazing film with just 4 million dollars, while people like Marc Webb and Shane Black are shoving piles of crap down our throats that took them 200 million to make). So bravo to you William Eubank, you are a true artist, and I appreciate your work. Hopefully we can see a sequel to this in the near future. Expand
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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8
Benzilla08Mar 28, 2015
Surprisingly a decent movie. The pace was rather slow, but I didn't really notice. The whole movie was shrouded in mystery and kept you guessing what was going on. Aliens? Government? Secret project? Just watch it, you won't be disappointed.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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7
HaithamBJul 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 theThe 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
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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7
BrianMcCriticSep 24, 2014
The Signal is a sci-fi film that while slow in some parts kept my attention throughout and was a solid surprise. The acting is all well done and the big reveals pretty much worked for me. B
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
RaygirlSep 25, 2014
The final concept of this movie seemed totally ripped off from Dark City (which is a MUCH better movie I might add). The first and second halves of the movie felt totally different, the first being like a mediocre horror film ("college kidsThe final concept of this movie seemed totally ripped off from Dark City (which is a MUCH better movie I might add). The first and second halves of the movie felt totally different, the first being like a mediocre horror film ("college kids on a roadtrip") and the second part being more of a what is going on here (similar to Cube). Being a Sci Fi fan, I obviously enjoyed the second half much more (after suffering through the slow and cheesy first half) but even so, this movie wasn't all that great. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
SolerionMar 6, 2015
Le scénario est pas mauvais, les acteurs assez bien, mais il manque de l'action, des scènes qui bougent bien car au bout d'1 h de film on se fait un peu chier et on sleeping devant le film, dommage good idea but more more actions ! GoodLe scénario est pas mauvais, les acteurs assez bien, mais il manque de l'action, des scènes qui bougent bien car au bout d'1 h de film on se fait un peu chier et on sleeping devant le film, dommage good idea but more more actions ! Good story lines but boring Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
NShep53Apr 12, 2015
A totally underrated film and destined to be a sci-fi classic. If you aren't into slow moving movies however, then this movie isn't for you. Be if you like to think while watching a movie, and like mysteries, then it is a must watch.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
BikerjamesDec 14, 2015
First, I enjoyed the performances. After the kids wake up mysteriously in some kind of hospital environment, it has a nice creepiness where you're trying to figure out what's going on. Unfortunately, due to Fishburne's weird personality IFirst, I enjoyed the performances. After the kids wake up mysteriously in some kind of hospital environment, it has a nice creepiness where you're trying to figure out what's going on. Unfortunately, due to Fishburne's weird personality I guessed what was going on too soon, and the ending shocked me because it was completely stolen from one of my all time favorite movies (Dark City), which is a far superior film. Not a horrible film, but unoriginal. I recommend you rent Dark City and watch it instead. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
James1vs4Dec 27, 2015
I'm not familiar with all the characters in the film so I almost turned it off. I did recognize Fishburne so I let it play on. You will be glad you did. Very good ending, please don't make a sequel you will ruin it; 7/10.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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0
voidersJun 18, 2016
Horrible movie. The sctipt is awlful and pointless. Bad from beginning to the end. First of all, IP doesn't show where prople are with precision of meters. It's a offense to us. Second, has bad sountrack all the time. And to finish,Horrible movie. The sctipt is awlful and pointless. Bad from beginning to the end. First of all, IP doesn't show where prople are with precision of meters. It's a offense to us. Second, has bad sountrack all the time. And to finish, horrible end, horrible actors, alot of drama with no point. The "punch" at the end and all drama of the boy running make me laugh. One of the worst movie that I ever seen. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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2
DickPainJul 4, 2016
Pretty rubbish. Akira/Truman Show/Matrix. Silly story, Fishbourne playing another Morpheus-like character. Everything that happens is meaningless until the final 30 second twist at the end, which doesn't redeem the movie,
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
JoellemmAug 24, 2016
I like a film that barely has plot. It leaves a film shrouded in mystery, and avoids the typical clichés I am sick of rolling my eyes at. Also, it feels different from the modern, big-budget sci-fi movies that keep being rolled out, which allI like a film that barely has plot. It leaves a film shrouded in mystery, and avoids the typical clichés I am sick of rolling my eyes at. Also, it feels different from the modern, big-budget sci-fi movies that keep being rolled out, which all seem as generic, and unimaginative, as the last. The film is almost agonisingly slow-paced. However, so was The Martian; at least this film gives you some revelations to look forward to (ps. I hated The Martian). A few plot points seemed ignored, a few scenes were noticeably over-the-top relative to the rest of the film, and the final third could of been done better. Nevertheless, its interesting throughout, well directed, and provides something different in the increasingly bland sci-fi genre. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
S1r-R34lMar 9, 2017
This is a pretty sound and decent science fiction movie. I thought that the beginning was a little slow and the music depressing, saying that they were friends on a road trip. Though after twenty minutes of character building you couldThis is a pretty sound and decent science fiction movie. I thought that the beginning was a little slow and the music depressing, saying that they were friends on a road trip. Though after twenty minutes of character building you could relate and empathise with the lead roles, could have been done with a bit more oompf though. The rest of the film is solid and Fishburne does an excellent portrayal of a man who lets absolutely nothing crack his calm and cool exterior. If you Like Sci-Fi then this is worth a watch. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
JLuis_001Sep 7, 2017
Interesting to some extent, but not so far as inventive as it may had ambitioned, I applaud the attempt, because at least I did not get bored, and in movies of this kind that try to hide their elements most audiences tend to feel pressured toInteresting to some extent, but not so far as inventive as it may had ambitioned, I applaud the attempt, because at least I did not get bored, and in movies of this kind that try to hide their elements most audiences tend to feel pressured to think, which is not something that many appreciate but here the less you know, the more you will be intrigued by the story and its not entirely predictable with its twists and turns.
But unfortunately good part of the fun and some of the best visual surprises are compromised in order to make it more accessible for people who do not like to inquire too much.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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4
Tss5078Jul 23, 2018
By it's very nature, science fiction is going to be unusual, confusing, and sometimes just plain weird. When it's done correctly, that can be a very good thing, but when it's not done the right way, audiences are left confused and annoyed. InBy it's very nature, science fiction is going to be unusual, confusing, and sometimes just plain weird. When it's done correctly, that can be a very good thing, but when it's not done the right way, audiences are left confused and annoyed. In 2014's The Signal, three friends are on a road trip, headed back to school for another semester of higher education. To their disbelief, a hacker who had been bothering them for months is still at it and is making things personal. Nic, Haley, and Jonah have some tricks of their own and ultimately track down the hackers address. To no ones surprise, it's on their way to school and they decide to pay them a visit. What should have been a fun moment, turned into something more sinister, when a deadly scream leads to darkness, and Nic (Brenton Thwaits) winds up in a quarantined hospital with no memory of what happened that night. I enjoyed the premise of this movie and as far as story goes, the idea wasn't all that terrible, what was terrible was the way in which it was presented. This buddy road trip film ends up in a hospital, where the friends are held for way too long. The hospital scenes are just strange, unexplained, and kill the movies momentum. Towards the end there are some better scenes, hinting that the film may be building up to an epic conclusion, but it's just more of the same, as things take an even stranger turn, and an anti-climatic one at that. As for the stars of the film, Laurence Fishburn gives yet another flat robotic performance. Morpheus was the perfect character for this guy, but he never seemed to be able to leave him behind, and now plays this same role in every film. On the other side, Brenton Thwaites, somewhat known for his breakout performance in The Giver, made this film for me. He was enigmatic, on target, and just fun to watch. I said it in my review of the Giver and I'll say it agin, this kid is going places. The Signal had all the ingredients for a great science fiction film, but when the cake was done it didn't taste so good. Most of the acting was flat, the story went off in too many different directions, and it was frequently anti-climatic. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
JiricekisbestAug 31, 2019
Interesting ending and atmosphere of the film, but that's the only thing I liked about the film. Even if the movie about an hour and a half, you still will say when it will end. It doesn't mean the movie is bad, but it doesn't belong amongInteresting ending and atmosphere of the film, but that's the only thing I liked about the film. Even if the movie about an hour and a half, you still will say when it will end. It doesn't mean the movie is bad, but it doesn't belong among the elite either. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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