Code 46


Code 46

Critics Consensus

Code 46 crafts an intriguing hypothetical future and populates it with characters who never engage, producing a slick sci-fi package without any humanity to power it.



Total Count: 101


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,628
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Movie Info

In the not-so-distant future, a married man investigates a counterfeiter and ends up the perpetrator of an ethical crime in Code 46, the latest film from prolific British director Michael Winterbottom. Set against the backdrop of a technologically advanced Shanghai, where people are only allowed to travel between countries with official passports called "papelles," the film charts the efforts of Seattle native William (Tim Robbins) to get to the bottom of a contraband-papelle operation within the walls of a high-tech company that manufactures them. There he finds Maria (Samantha Morton), an enigmatic young woman who may or may not be selling the passports on the black market. William has a brief affair with Maria, which, despite his attempts to return home, causes him to become embroiled in an even bigger controversy in Shanghai.


Tim Robbins
as William
Om Puri
as Backland
David Fahm
as Damian Alekan
Shelley King
as William's boss
Togo Igawa
as Driver
Sarah Backhouse
as Weather Girl
Natalie Jackson Mendoza
as Sphinx Receptionist
Lien Nguyin
as Singer in Nightclub
Tuyet Le
as Apartment Security
Nina Wadia
as Hospital Receptionist
Jennifer Lim
as Tester with Couple
Paul Barnes
as Man in Corridor
Nabil Massad
as Sunglasses Man
Kerry Shale
as Clinic Doctor
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Critic Reviews for Code 46

All Critics (101) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (50)

Audience Reviews for Code 46

  • Sep 28, 2015
    Contrary to expectations, I did not find Code 46 to be a dark thriller. Rather, I found it to be rather light when compared with THX1138 or 1984. Overall, the film has a strange vibe to it that is romantic, pensive, mysterious, fatalistic. Unsure what to think of it, though it is certainly a cut above the B-movie I had been expecting. All around Code 46 has solid acting and directing with some interesting concepts.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2012
    Interesting premise and sci-fi world but the characters either lacked chemistry or their story just wasn't very interesting.
    Wildaly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2010
    Beautiful, atmospheric, pitch-perfect, absorbing, astounding, and every other adjective to assign to greatness that one can fathom. It's what would happen if Lost in Translation had been written as a loose adaptation of 1984 and Brave New World. A must see for all students of film. One of the greatest films about dystopia/aspiring utopia as well as a classic romance.
    _kelly . Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2010
    More of a love story that takes place in the future with some cool visuals, even though automobiles have not advanced passed a 2005 Toyota it appears. The underlying themes are thought provoking, but the problem as I see it lies with the two leads. Robbins is stone faced and shows very little emotion, and Morton looks more like a boy with that compact frame and short hair. The dialogue as well is irritating, especially with all characters throwing in a word or two of French or Spanish. Its worth a look for a change of pace from your normal viewing fare.
    alan j Super Reviewer

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