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Cube (1997)

tomatometer

33

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 87,127

My Rating

Movie Info

This low-budget science-fiction drama, winner of a 1997 Toronto Film Festival prize for "Best Canadian First Feature," depicts the plight of a group of people clad in prison-style uniforms and trapped in futuristic cube-like metal cells. Their memories are hazy; no one can recall how they got there. Alderson (Julian Richings) awakens in a cell, seeks an exit, and arrives in an adjacent cube where he's sliced and diced. Former cop Quentin (Maurice Dean-Wint) becomes the group leader, and he's

Apr 15, 2003

Trimark Pictures

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (14) | DVD (21)

Cube was named best Canadian debut feature at Toronto last year, and there's no questioning Natali, clearly a visionary, is an important new talent.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Surprisingly gripping.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If writer-director Vincenzo Natali, storyboard artist for Keanu Reeve's Johnny Mnemonic, were as comfortable with dialogue and dramatizing characters as he is with images, this first feature of his might have worked better.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Director Vincenzo] Natali's handling of mood and pace leave Cube one of the tightest horror-thrillers of the late '90s.

September 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

...an inventive (if inconsistent) bit of sci-fi fun.

January 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

The lack of information, the strange Jack Kirbyesque details on the walls and the absence of any outside world makes the environment of the film timeless and suitably, subtly existential.

May 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

Nem mesmo os diálogos pedestres e as atuações medianas conseguem destruir o interesse gerado por um conceito interessante, ainda que mal desenvolvido.

December 16, 2006
Cinema em Cena

A bizarre, frightening, and clever new low-budget movie with a "Twilight Zone"-ish premise.

June 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Comments (3)
Combustible Celluloid

One of the smartest, most nail-biting thrillers in EON's

April 27, 2003
Moviehole

Cube is a film boxed in by its own intriguing central premise.

April 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

The film's clever gimmick holds up well, despite a cold, clinical tone.

January 11, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

For the six trapped characters in this film their own warps are their worst enemies.

March 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Adding to the narrative tedium are the often laughably amateurish turns by the justly unknown cast.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

For all of the film's technical proficiency, it's a stilted and unsatisfying piece of work.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Startling at times, but just as equally distant at others, Cube seems to have it all backwards: It's a film in search of a one-act play.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Ten minutes into this film and I wanted out too.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

The claustrophobic film is inhabited by six uninteresting individuals who'd have you climbing the walls in 90 minutes, much less an Sartrian eternity, and in fact the movie provides its own evidence of this.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

Vincenzo Natali directs this science fiction thriller with an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, there's little to Cube besides that premise and some creative filmmaking techniques.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter
Cinematter

Heartless. That's the one word that best describes Cube, a brutal and nasty attempt to explore human motivations and emotions at their most basic level.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Comment (1)
Apollo Guide

Cube is one of those rare films that make you itch uncomfortably on the inside.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

With its enigmatic and simple premise, this works best as a series of nerve-stretching suspense sequences as the characters try to get past the killing traps.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Cube

Low budget? Check. Cast of unknowns? Check. The same set used over and over? Check. And yet not a bad sci-fi metaphor of modern society as a hope-killing, inescapable trap as the proverbial group of stereotypes meet inside a deadly Rubik's Cube and try to escape. Give it a coupla minutes to warm up ... and it's not too bad at all.
March 8, 2014
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Vincenzo Natali is the master of surrealist science fiction cinema. Cube was his first ever film but also the one which demonstrated the strongest that he can flesh out true horror simply by manipulating something's appearance. This micro budget thriller held the high watermark until the release of his true masterpiece, Splice. But Cube was a movie that was always really hard to follow, and it's been ripped off many times since it came out. The range of short concept, visually enigmatic horror flicks that it has undoubtedly inspired include the cynical yet ridiculously popular Saw franchise. That said unlike the film's that followed it the death sequences are gruesome and hugely innovative. Although the acting is at times slight, the overall performances flesh out a phenomenal sense of pure panic without resorting to kicking and screaming. The tension of the film cranks up every single minute as plot twists of varying predictabilities further intrigue us into the small world that has been built for us. Not a lot is said about what the titular cube setting is and the unknown motives that are behind it's existence. We are simply dropped right into the action, of which there is impressively very little, and everything we learn about the story is through the eyes of the victims of the horrors that are yet to come. At one key psychological tension between two characters explores how humans take action without asking any questions and how we lack the confidence to inquire the consequences, and how everything we do is to our own benefit. A metaphor of the movie, and 5 minutes of sharp satirical dialogue that is as intelligent as Natali's method of conceptual filmmaking. I thought it was masterfully executed, beautifully lit and effectively atmospheric. A small indie horror gem of the 90's, which to this very day is still unforgivably unheard of.
February 7, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

This might be a pretty low budget sci-fi horror film, but, all things considered, it's surprisingly pretty good, and a great example of using a small budget to maximum effect by getting as creative as possible despite limitations.

The plot is really Kafkaesque and follows a group of people trapped in a series of interlocking cubical chambers, some of which are booby trapped. None of them recall exactly how they got there, or why, but all they know is that they only have so much time to figure out a way to escape (if possible) unless they want to be trapped in there forever.

In a fun little nod, all the characters are named after various prisons, and their personality traits are related to some aspect of the prison they are named after. Cool. I also really liked that this film is a nice blend of math, psychology, philosophy, and bits of sci-fi and horror. For a low-budget B indie, they sure swung for the fences, and thankfully it mostly pays off.

Yes, the acting isn't that great, but the scenario is cool, the execution is pretty decent, and the art direction and set design are well done. I also really love how there's a lot of mystery to things, and it's not all completely spelled out in the end.

All in all, a decent and worthwhile watch. Give it a shot.
June 28, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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