The Box 2009

The Box

Critics Consensus

Imaginative but often preposterous, The Box features some thrills but largely feels too piecemeal.

44%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 155

24%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 359,102

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Movie Info

A suburban couple, Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur (James Marsden), face a moral dilemma when they receive a gift that bears irrevocable consequences. With the press of a button, their simple wooden box will bestow $1 million; however, a stranger somewhere else will die, at the same time. The box will be theirs for only 24 hours, and as time ticks away, Norma and Arthur confront the depth of their humanity as they consider their choices.

Cast & Crew

Cameron Diaz
Norma Lewis
James Marsden
Arthur Lewis
Frank Langella
Arlington Steward
James Rebhorn
Norm Cahill
Sam Oz Stone
Walter Lewis
Celia Weston
Lana Burns
Deborah Rush
Clymene Steward
Lisa K. Wyatt
Rhonda Martin
Richard Kelly
Screenwriter
Dan Lin
Producer
Sue Baden-Powell
Executive Producer
Terry Dougas
Executive Producer
Ted Field
Executive Producer
Ted Hamm
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for The Box

Critic Reviews for The Box

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (68) | Rotten (87)

  • Quote not available.

    November 24, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 2/5
  • Kelly treats what is essentially a Stanford University psychology experiment with inflated somberness.

    September 24, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Laremy Legel

    Film.com
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    December 4, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The clueless and overreaching ambition which has started to characterise [Richard Kelly's] cinematic failures comes into play again.

    December 4, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Box

  • Nov 17, 2019
    Richard Kelly has been an interesting filmmaker who has sadly vanished after this film. Critically Kelly has struggled since Donnie Darko and it's a shame. He has unique storytelling style and The Box failures to wrap up the film is an example of what can go wrong with his films. Was it clashing with producers? Who knows, but something was clearly missing here. Diaz feels like a miscast and the incorrect choice for the lead, she obviously helped with the financing of this film. The film is trippy enough to warrant a viewing, there is an almost dream like style to the filmmaking. This film deserved more attention from the filmmakers, it clearly needed added depth. The large budget pushed this into the mainstream market and that is why the film underdelivered. I hope Kelly returns, but he needs to stick to the indie market. 15/11/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    Normally when a film has many bad reviews I get interested since the film is likely very good or very bad. Surprisingly, The Box is only an average film. It is not reminiscent of Donnie Darko since it is not at all stylized. The Box watches like a Twilight Zone episode made into a two hour movie. If you enjoy generally creepy / weird shows and are OK with them not delivering an explanation (e.g. Lost) then you will probably enjoy The Box.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2014
    The Box is a nebulous psychological thriller from writer/director Richard Kelly. Based on a Richard Matheson short story, a young couple is presented with an offer to receive $1 million if they push a button, but as a result someone will die. Starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, and Frank Langella, the casting is pretty good. But the script is a convoluted mess. It teases out some fascinating mysteries, but they devolve into inexplicable nonsense. Still, Kelly is able to create an atmospheric mood and builds the suspense incredibly well. Yet ultimately, The Box is a poorly executed film that loses its sense of mystery by getting caught up in minutia.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 09, 2012
    The Box is not meant to scare you at all, but its meant to creep you out with its good atmosphere and fine performances from its three leads, but the plot could confuse you and it might bore you because of the lack of scares. But once again, this is not a horror movie, its a suspense/thriller movie! I found it not great, but good, and the ending is tragic and very creepy.
    Angel G Super Reviewer

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