Writer: Richard Kelly (Screenplay) Richard Matheson (Short Story ‘Button, Button’)
Starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, Holmes Osborne, Celia Weston
Plot: Norma (Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (Marsden), 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.
Verdict: Thought Provoking Thriller
Story: What looks like it will just test you on whether you would press the button, turns into a conspiracy thriller mixed with alien invasion or testing. This all comes off very clever but also outsmarts itself at times. You really have to see this a couple of times to really understand everything that is going on, but if you go in knowing this is from the Donnie Darko and Southland Tales director you will know it will try to confuse you but also give you the answers. If you are trying to find a smart thriller this is a story that really puts some of the over the top films to shame. (8/10)
Cameron Diaz: Norma the wife in the situation to change her life forever with the money and that would help her have the surgery on her disfigured foot. Good performance from the actress who is most well known for her glamourize roles, turns in to a regular house wife well. (8/10)
James Marsden: Arthur astronaut hopeful who dreams are dashed but with the chance to get some money things start to change. Good performance but at times he looks a bit lost in what the character should be doing. (7/10)
Frank Langella: Arlington the mysterious disfigured man who offers the family a chance to make a million dollars at the push of a button, but is there something out of this world about him. Good performance showing how the power of mystery. (8/10)
Director Review: Richard Kelly – As a big fan of both his other films I found this a perfect fit for his abilities to make you really think about what is happening. (9/10)
Mystery: You will be questioning every action the characters take during the film. (9/10)
Sci-Fi: Looking into the idea that something is trying to check up on us rather than taking over. (9/10)
Thriller: Really keeps you thinking from start to finish. (9/10)
Settings: All very planned settings to add something to each scene and each moment of the story. (9/10)
Special Effects: With few uses of effects rather focusing on mind set the few moments that are used all look very good. (8/10)
Suggestion: I think this really needs to be given a chance, but you will have to give the film your full concentration to enjoy it. (Try It)
Best Part: A simple idea turned into something very smart.
Worst Part: Blink you might miss something.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $33,333,531
Budget: $30 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes
Tagline: You are the experiment.
Trivia:Norma and Arthur are based on Richard Kelly’s real parents
Overall: Smart Thriller