The Philosophers

2013, Drama/Action, 1h 47m

15 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

A philosophy teacher (James D'Arcy) tells his students that they must choose 10 people from among their group to take shelter during a nuclear holocaust and reboot the human race.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Philosophers

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (5)

  • John Huddles's sci-fi thriller unintentionally succeeds in replicating the exact experience of playing "would you rather?" with a friend in a pub, as in it starts out with vague philosophical questions but ends up being utterly ridiculous.

    May 20, 2021 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Both smugly clever and at times distastefully clueless.

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • An unusually creative and ambitious film of ideas that offers so much more than its forgettable title and sensationalized publicity may imply.

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The film, which confusingly replays its complicated scenario in multiple variations and flashbacks, gets too bogged down in the elaborateness of its conceit. Not helping matters are the routine soap opera melodramatics...

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A shaggy dog story but an intriguing and frequently beautiful one.

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Refreshingly, Dark wants to cryptically convey an honest conversation about the fate of mankind's fragile existence. Despite some questionable unevenness, a contemplative SF thriller that dares to assume its thinking cap in surrealistic experimental mode

    November 11, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • John Huddles's sci-fi thriller unintentionally succeeds in replicating the exact experience of playing "would you rather?" with a friend in a pub, as in it starts out with vague philosophical questions but ends up being utterly ridiculous.

    May 20, 2021 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Both smugly clever and at times distastefully clueless.

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • An unusually creative and ambitious film of ideas that offers so much more than its forgettable title and sensationalized publicity may imply.

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The film, which confusingly replays its complicated scenario in multiple variations and flashbacks, gets too bogged down in the elaborateness of its conceit. Not helping matters are the routine soap opera melodramatics...

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Refreshingly, Dark wants to cryptically convey an honest conversation about the fate of mankind's fragile existence. Despite some questionable unevenness, a contemplative SF thriller that dares to assume its thinking cap in surrealistic experimental mode

    November 11, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A heavy-handed and manipulative work of philosophical fiction featuring strong performances, but a troubled narrative.

    March 15, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Philosophers

  • Aug 08, 2015
    Really good. A Netflix gem, and worth watching. This is obviously a very dark film, so I can't recommend it to everyone, especially with the super dark ending, which kind of sucks. But overall, this is a really entertaining, and thought-provoking film.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 25, 2014
    Intriguing and artsy -- a group of students imagines various scenarios of global disasters and selecting what people would survive. A thought-provoking inquiry into human nature, society and the valuation of human lives. The acting is adequate (with several Harry Potter alumni) and nice sets, even if limited. The film is not particularly cinematic -- one imagines that the story could as easily been told as a stage play. Nevertheless, the experience is worthwhile.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2014
    My copy of the movie After The Dark had a title The Philosophers and I was a little bit confused at the beginning if they gave me the right movie. This science fiction psychological thriller written and directed by John Huddles is his third feature film and stars Sophie Lowe, Rhys Wakefield, Bonnie Wright, James D'Arcy, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma, Cinta Laura and Katie Findlay. The story of Mr. Zimit (James D'Arcy), a philosophy teacher at an international school in Jakarta, who has been challenging his class of twenty with thought exercises to prepare them for their futures out in the world was unrealistic and boring. On the last day of school, he holds a final exercise in which he posits an oncoming atomic apocalypse. There is a bunker ready to shelter them for a year, but it only has supplies for ten people. Zimit asks his students to decide who of them should be allowed into the shelter. The top student in the class, Petra (Sophie Lowe), initially refuses to participate, but Zimit threatens to lower her academic score if she doesn't... This is a movie which has a great cinematography, and not bad directing... while the screenplay was like a futile exercise of someone who is desperately trying to be smart, but the result is completely opposite. The movie has a very strong start, but as started progressing the clear weaknesses become so obvious that the audience sometimes starts laughing, genuinely! Of course, because those laughs were not intended, the seriousness of the movie suffers immensely... especially when the dose of surprise becomes non-existent towards the second part. If you want to see a movie with solid acting and directing, excellent photography and camera work, and a story with more holes that Swiss cheese, give it a go!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2014
    A philosophy class of British students in Jakarta ponders a thought experiment: its the end of the world: who stays, who goes, who survives. It makes for an interesting premise, interestingly played out. Typical of the Brits, understatement is the calling card and used to good effect. When there is violence its a bit shocking for that. There are no standout players, no real starring parts, and so an ensemble work and competently done. In the end an different sci-fi answer to the ton of dystopian future scenarios floating about, one that leaves hope on the table, and I can't fault that at all.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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