Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


THE BOX (2009). Writer/director: Richard Kelly.

Loosely based on Richard Matheson's short story "Button, Button," this film at least has an intriguing premise: a man (Frank Langella) shows up at the home of a young couple (Cameron Diaz; James Marsden) and gives them a small box. If they push the button in the box, he tells them, they will receive one million dollars, but someone -- they don't know who -- will die. The moral dilemma, uncertainty and sheer strangeness of the situation carry the movie ... for a time. But despite some striking images and not bad acting, the picture is more like a bad dream than anything else -- it's impossible to tell if it's supposed to be taken seriously or not. Ultimately it's a waste of a great idea.

Verdict: Not much point in opening this box. **.

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