The Box 2009

Critics score:
45 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

A.O. Scott, At the Movies: I think that Richard Kelly, from one film to the next, has gone in some very interesting and sometimes puzzling directions. Read more

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: "The Box" looks like a fairly nifty package of premise and paranoia until Kelly unpacks it, and a lot of both the fun and fear go out of the film as you feel it stumble towards the finish line and realize it's stuffed with recycled goods. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Sincere and sinister and inevitably ambitious. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Kelly has talent, but for his next movie, he might try coming down to earth and forgetting about the people who control the lightning. Read more

Laremy Legel, Is it an odd film? Certainly. Will it creep you out more than it engages you? Probably. Should we be rewarding folks who are willing to step out of bounds and make us think? Definitely. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Have you ever actually tried watching paint dry? A sloth walk? Grass grow? You can have all the thrills with none of the chills courtesy of The Box, the painfully sluggish new sci-fi morality play from Donnie Darko creator Richard Kelly. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The critical consensus is still out on Kelly, and The Box will do nothing to settle the ongoing argument regarding his ability to coalesce his wild conceits into digestible narratives. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: What button, on whose box, did Kelly push to get the money to make this awful, preposterous thriller? Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Kelly, as he did in Donnie Darko, avoids obvious scare techniques. Instead, he makes the bizarre, the surreal, and the frightening emerge from normal reality. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's not slick, standard sci-fi, sure -- and that's a good thing. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Some directors, it must be said, only have one really good movie in them. We're starting to worry that Richard Kelly may be among this select group. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: After a slightly promising start, this great-looking but ultimately deeply confusing and unscary sci-fi/horror opus turns into a quite boring rehash of M. Night Shyamalan's post-Signs films. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: If you make a preposterous movie that isn't boring, I count that as some kind of a triumph. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Instead of sweeping you along, The Box just sits there like something unclaimed at lost and found. Damaged goods. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Kelly tries to gather so many ideas under this movie's umbrella: He has strong ideas about the necessity of compassion in everyday life. He wonders what awaits us after death. But he can't flesh out all of these ideas properly, or even haphazardly. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Read more

David Jenkins, Time Out: While it's true that the film's sci-fi antics are far from watertight in the logic department, there's enough eccentricity and ambition at play to charm and bemuse in equal measure. Read more

Jordan Mintzer, Variety: The pic reveals the hazards of taking Twilight Zone material too far and too seriously. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Kelly treats what is essentially a Stanford University psychology experiment with inflated somberness. Read more