The Box A mysterious package and a curious offer. Would you push a button if it meant that somewhere in the world, a stranger died and you received a million dollars? What if you were struggling for money? What if the unknown victim was a criminal? A moral dilemma to get your teeth in to. There was some nice Prisoner-esque conspiracy in the early stages - informants with nose bleeds etc - but from a promising and intriguing opening idea, I was hoping for so much more than we actually got. The film just grinds to a halt having seemingly run out of good ideas. In an effort to jump-start the action, all manner of silliness is thrown in. Garbled stories of lightning strikes, Martian space projects, afterlife and teleportation. Directed by Richard Kelly ( Donnie Darko ), Cameron Dias, James Marsden and Frank Langella limp through the remainder of the film and it all ends as a bit of a mess. So many dead ends and hanging threads. The main premise for this film was taken from a short story by Richard Matheson and that probably worked as a snappy piece of storytelling. Here, lumbered with poor acting, an overblown soundtrack and overstretched by an hour, it doesn't. Start with the seed of a good idea and stretch it and twist it until it breaks. Snap.
4 out of 10
Cert 12A (uk) 2009