The Box (2009) Movie Review

The Box (2009) Poster

The Box (2009)

2009 | PG-13 | Thriller, Drama, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Fantasy
115 minutes / 1h 55min

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The Box Plot Synopsis:

Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. However, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world, someone they don't know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

The Box (2009) Review

The Box (2009) is an 115-minute American drama mystery fantasy movie that is based on a Richard Matheson short story Button, Button (1970) which was also made into an episode for the 1980s, The Twilight Zone. Director and screenplay writer Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko (2001), Domino (2005), Southland Tales (2006)) did a good job executing this psychological thriller film. The box shows us human nature and how they make choices, and there are consequences for every action leading me to say if a person is willing to accept one million dollars if it means taking someone else’s life. I enjoyed this film because of its originality and freshness.

The Box revolves around Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz - There’s Something About Mary (1998), Shrek (2001), Being John Malkovich (1999), Gangs of New York (2002)) and her husband Arthur in Virginia 1976. Norma and James (James Marsden - X-Men (2000), X-Men 2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Superman Returns (2006)) also have a child and have a pretty good life considering all of the circumstances they have overcome. They received a mysterious box from an even more mysterious disfigured man, Arlington Steward, who offers them one million dollars if they press the button that is covered by a glass case.

Arlington became disfigured from being struck by lightning while he was working for NASA and was taken to a burn location unit where he had time to make his box. Arlington (Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon (2008), The Ninth Gate (1999), Superman Returns (2006), Robot & Frank (2012)) told them that they will be rewarded one million dollars for pushing the button which will kill a family member of theirs. The couple has 24 hours to make a decision whether they will do it or not and if they do not, then the box will be given to someone else with the same conditions.

The movie progresses to give us more information about Arthur, who is a researcher at Langley and is working on the Mars expedition. Arthur was denied from becoming an astronaut after applying because he failed a psychological test. Norma is missing several toes resulting from a medical fault in her childhood and is now an English teacher. Her child goes to the same school she taught at but was sadly informed that the school will no longer offer employee discounts for their child’s tuition. There is a huge element of this film that I am refraining myself from mentioning, but I will leave you with this - it reminds me of The X-Files.

The Box did what it was supposed to do, and that is it kept me entertained and intrigued throughout the movie. The characters were well developed, and the sets were done nicely. The special effects could have been done up a notch more as well as the surprise costume. The movie is confusing so it is intended for viewers who is willing to pay serious attention to the film because it is something you have to delve into. The actors gave us spectacular performances who managed to play their creepy character extremely well. The film contains spirituality, complex thought-provoking topics, the predictability of human nature and existentialism.

  • The Box Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 5
  • Overall Score: 4.94
  • IMDB: 5.6
  • MetaCritic: 4.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 4.4

About The Box 2009

Title: The Box
Year: 2009
Runtime: 115 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Fantasy
Score: 2.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 2.47/5 stars from 83,462 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 83,462
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The Box Cast Starring: James Marsden, Robert Harvey, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, John Franchi, Lisa K. Wyatt, Keith Fluker, Richard Pacheco, Gillian Jacobs, David Struffolino, Franz Strassmann, Don Hewitt, Basil Hoffman, Jay Gates, Jenna Lamia, John Magaro, Benjamin Crocker, Steven Howitt, Floyd Richardson, Gentry Lee, Celia Weston, Jamie Christopher White, Holmes Osborne, Cameron Diaz, Danny Carney, Kevin DeCoste, Mark Hetherington, Michael Zegen, Alex Milne, Deborah Rush
The Box Writers: Richard Kelly, Richard Matheson
The Box Director: Richard Kelly
Box Office: $114,882,598
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Language: English
Country: USA