The Reel

Reel Movie Reviews for Real People.

The Box – Movie Review

The Box

Starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella
Directed by Richard Kelly

Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 115 mins
Genre: Mystery/ Drama/ Thriller
2 frames out of 5

Given the state of most people’s financial status today, if someone offered you a million dollars for pushing a button, would you do it? But there’s a catch. If you push the button, someone you have never met will die. Would you still do it?

One early morning in December of 1976, Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) is awoken by someone persistently ringing her doorbell. She gets up to answer the door and at the step is a plain wrapped box and a mysterious back sedan drives away. Puzzled, she takes it into the house and her husband Arthur (James Marsden) and their son inspect the box over coffee and Corn Flakes. They have no idea what the box does but it does include a mysterious message from a Mr. Steward (Frank Langella). He will be calling on their residence at 5 o’clock that evening. They think nothing of this and go about their day.

Later that evening, Norma is home for Mr. Steward’s visit. His appearance is rather ghastly but this doesn’t faze her. He gives her the instructions on the box, slips her a Benjamin and jets out of there leaving Norma dumbfounded. When Arthur gets home she relays the story and he thinks it’s a bunch of hooey. Until the next day when he tests out the money and find out it is real. This is now a real test for their marriage as their financial situation overnight has become more burdensome and the money would be of real assistance. So what do they do? They push the damn button. Is their life really better now that they have the money or will they mourn now that blood is on their hands?

This movie tried to be too many things at once. While the premise of the movie sounds enticing given the current state of affairs for people, it fails on several levels. It tried to have the nostalgic thematic of 1976 while trying out elements of a Hitchcock or Kubrick movie. The storyline jumps around making it confusing and illogical. Scenes that were meant to be serious and pivotal came off humorous and ridiculous. The performances by Langella and Marsden were good, but Diaz needs to stick to the slapstick comedies that audiences love. It seems like in the creative kitchen of filmmaking that they were trying things out that sounded pretty good in theory, but when actually tasted leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Things to watch for: Just try to pay attention to what is going on. The storyline starts off pretty good but then after they push the button, chaos ensues and it’s all downhill from there.

Who should see this movie: Fans of 1970’s films, fans of oddball movies,

See it in the Theater or Rent it on DVD: The only box this movie should be seen in is the Big Red Box of Movie Rentals or your mail box from Netflix. Save this for a movie marathon weekend at home.


November 7, 2009 - Posted by | entertainment news, film reviews, Movie Review, movies, now playing, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I saw this and thought it was very interesting but other than that it just started to go way too out there.

    Comment by cmrok93 | November 19, 2009 | Reply

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