The Zero Theorem (2014)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Fans of director Terry Gilliam's trademark visual aesthetic will find everything they've bargained for, but for the unconverted, The Zero Theorem may prove too muddled to enjoy.


Movie Info

Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)'s madcap science fiction epic The Zero Theorem stars two- time Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, an eccentric and reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst. Living in isolation in a burnt-out church, Qohen is obsessively working on a mysterious project personally delegated to him by Management (Matt Damon) aimed at discovering the meaning of life - or the complete lack of one - once and for all. … More

Rating: R (for language and some sexuality/nudity)
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Pat Rushin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 20, 2015
Box Office: $0.3M
Runtime:
Amplify Releasing - Official Site

Cast


as Qohen Leth

as Bainsley

as Dr. Shrink-Rom

as Doctor

as Management

as Street Commercial

as Street Commercial

as Street Commercial

as Street Commercial

as Mancom Computerized ...

as Slim Clone

as Chubs Clone

as Pizza Girl
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Critic Reviews for The Zero Theorem

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (24)

Say this for Terry Gilliam: Even when he repeats himself, he's unique.

Full Review… | October 9, 2014
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Gives one the sense that the ex-Monty Python-ite thinks he's at a filmmaker version of the Last Chance Saloon, manufacturing and recycling as fast as he can.

Full Review… | September 25, 2014
Newsday
Top Critic

It's bursting with Gilliam's trademark manic energy, but the focus and execution are so soft that that energy ends up derailing the film instead of invigorating it.

Full Review… | September 25, 2014
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

The culture's caught up to Gilliam. Everybody's doing Orwell now. But Gilliam's appropriation feels both aptly skeptical and unfashionably utopian.

Full Review… | September 24, 2014
Grantland
Top Critic

There is something so generous and so full-hearted in this profusion that to complain seems churlish, but "The Zero Theorem" has a bothersome ratio of misses to hits.

Full Review… | September 22, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

This "Theorem" is all sizzle, zero steak.

Full Review… | September 19, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Zero Theorem

A solipsistic computer scientist is tasked to prove that humans' work amounts to nothing.
Terry Gilliam's art department is on full display, but his skill as a story-teller isn't. The scene design pops, and Gilliam's frenetic future is both frighteningly possible and a visual feast. He moves the camera deftly but often, which seems contradictory.
The story, however, is weird. Qohen's job looks like a video game with obscure math equations, and it only gains significance in the third act, and even then, the narrative has already been distracted by a ham-handed love plot that defies credibility (why is she apologizing and believing in the relationship when the previous scene involved his over-zealous advances?). It's all very pretty and confusing, which are the best two adjectives for Gilliam's work as a whole.
Overall, some fun art direction doesn't save this weak story.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

The production design is impressive, as well as the use of tilt shots and wide angle lenses to distort what we see, but still this is a silly and frustrating film whose interesting ideas get reduced in the same way that science is portrayed as a video game of fitting blocks.

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The Zero Theorem has no objective to entertain with a coherent story. It's a vague rumination of a concept. The lack of specifics makes the disastrous beginning extremely hard to sit through. My consistent thought during the first half: What in the name of Egon Pearson is this movie about?! There are creative features of the society that do captivate. Robin Williams briefly appears on a billboard that promotes "The Church of Batman the Redeemer". Party-goers dance to music on their own cell phones instead of what's playing at the party. Terry Gilliam's world building is impressive. But look past those amusing gags and we're left with an inkling of an idea unable to support a compelling narrative. It recalls his brilliant Brazil in style but not in substance. The Zero Theorem is a thoroughly uninvolving exercise in abstract thought, and it's not even a very interesting one at that.

fastfilmreviews.com

hobster1
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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