I Origins 2014

Critics score:
53 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Kyle Smith, New York Post: "I Origins" has a pleasing way of working expansive ideas into a suspenseful, twisting story line, even if it occasionally has to wrench the story around tight turns. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Sets up a dialectic between reason and faith and argues it insistently, with eye-rolling earnestness. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: The very idea of a dishy man of science being bowled over by the mysteries of the soul is quite irresistible, and Pitt and Marling really sell the plot's implausible twists. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: The film amounts to a lousy sort of magic show, schematically pulling strings to prove its own points. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: I Origins is an exercise in supreme obviousness, beginning (but not ending) with its double entendre of a title. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: How much you enjoy "I Origins" may well depend on whether you think lines like "Maybe the eye really is a window to the soul" are cliched. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Despite the post-doctoral double-talk in "I Origins," the movie's faith remains in the mysteries of the cosmos, and it all starts to feel a little wet. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Mike Cahill's movies are categorized as science fiction, but the scientific elements in them are subsidiary to his characters and, more importantly, his metaphysical concerns. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Writer-director Mike Cahill, who can be a bit too fancy with the camera, delivers a lot of deep-dish philosophizing with a minimum of cant. Read more

Sean Fitz-Gerald, Denver Post: With a slew of seemingly random clues unraveling in the pursuit of scientific mystery, Origins becomes gut-punching marvel. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Cahill spends the entire film bringing a sense of wonder to the desperately rational Ian, and if the film takes on a glow toward the end, that glow feels well-earned. Read more

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: As the movie travels from New York to Idaho to India, nimbly slinging itself over gaps in likelihood and logic, it works its own sort of magic. Read more

James Rocchi, Film.com: Lighter and looser than Another Earth, but the script still strains. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: A bold, original and exceptionally fine second feature from former Sundance award-winner Mike Cahill. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: There are occasional flashes of the exceptional, but the film's dodgy story can't sustain them. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: I Origins challenges too little and ties up things too neatly for it to register as anything more than well-made, well-intentioned hogwash. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Makes a too obvious attempt to repeat [Cahill's] previous effort, wanting to be spooky and ending up soggy. Read more

Mark Jenkins, NPR: If the film's plot is loonier than a mainstream movie would dare, the essential trajectory is one of Hollywood's favorites: from skepticism to faith. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: "I Origins" ... earns its creepy stripes in a memorable way, making us feel uneasy about what the characters are doing. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: It may blow your mind, but only if you're not in the habit of using it. Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer: Cahill is one of the most talented filmmakers to emerge in the last decade. His sophomore feature may disappoint, but it's clear he has much more to say. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Big ideas can sometimes lead to great motion pictures or, as in the case of I Origins, colossal misfires. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: "I Origins" slows down the longer it goes on, and the last half hour drifts into vagueness. The climax is dramatically inert and depends on the soundtrack to convince us that it's actually happening. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The film doesn't rush to solve the mystery of whether Ian the skeptic is discovering a new realm of spiritual activity or merely grasping at coincidence and magical thinking. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "I Origins" has the genetic markers of a formulaic supernatural thriller, and it's marred by some muddy metaphysics and fuzzy science, but the beauty is in the details. Read more

Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times: This is a beautifully crafted story that takes us on quite the journey of exploration and discovery. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Although the film and the actors keep on looking good, this solemn, soppy, fantasy has nothing to say about science or faith. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: The cinematography by Markus Forderer is dreamy and memorable, even if the science in I Origins feels a tad half baked, even to the unschooled. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Persuasive sci-fi tech talk, soulful romance and an earnest stab at metaphysics combine in director Mike Cahill's polished second feature. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Captivating, suspenseful and thought-provoking. Read more

Calum Marsh, Village Voice: Even in high school, thinking of plots as puzzles is a pretty facile way to think about films, and as such the pleasures of I Origins remain strictly superficial. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: I Origins suggests that Cahill's sympathies are firmly on the side of the sillies. He's a talented storyteller, so it's a loss. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: The film ends with an ambiguous, yet powerful conclusion. It doesn't answer the question it raises, yet the way it's asked keeps it echoing in your head. Read more