I Origins

Critics Consensus

Writer-director Mike Cahill remains an intriguingly ambitious talent, but with the uneven sci-fi drama I Origins, his reach exceeds his grasp.



Total Count: 103


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,409
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Movie Info

I ORIGINS, the second feature film from writer and director Mike Cahill, tells the story of Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory. Also starring Steven Yeun and Archie Panjabi, the film is produced by Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky. (c) Fox Searchlight


Michael Pitt
as Dr. Ian Gray
Archie Panjabi
as Priya Varma
Cara Seymour
as Dr. Simmons
Venida Evans
as Margaret Dairy
William Mapother
as Darryl Mackenzie
as Salomina
John Schiumo
as Dr. Simmons
Rhonda Ayers
as Waitress
Dorien Makhloghi
as 7-Eleven Attendant
Charles W. Gray
as Marriage Clerk
Victor Varnado
as Lab Assistant
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News & Interviews for I Origins

Critic Reviews for I Origins

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (50)

  • Unapologetically soulful stuff, almost provocative in its lack of irony.

    Sep 28, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • One laugh, courtesy of Pitt's intellect-signifying dicky bow; the rest is arrant, po-faced nonsense.

    Sep 25, 2014 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Mike McCahill

    Top Critic
  • A mad-eyed exploration into modern optometry is Mike Cahill's ambitious, if flawed, follow-up to 2011's Another Earth.

    Sep 25, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • While conceptually I Origins is no more absurd than Upstream Colour, it offers a lot less to chew on, depending on its stars to supply what credibility they can.

    Sep 12, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Cahill spends the entire film bringing a sense of wonder to the desperately rational Ian, and if the film takes on a glow toward the end, that glow feels well-earned.

    Aug 8, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Humanistic sci-fi from director Mike Cahill, insofar as it sympathizes with the human longings for both understanding and transcendent mystery.

    Jul 31, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for I Origins

  • Jan 27, 2015
    Very interesting. It's probably true that I would watch Michael Pitt in anything, but this was a really well done movie. It certainly didn't make me believe in afterlife and reincarnation, and I don't think it aims to either, despite people calling it religious propaganda. Everything in it is inconclusive and left to your own interpretation. The ending is a freaky coincidence, and I had no problem with it. As a movie, it worked very well.cast are all outstanding.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2015
    Almost too ambitious for it's own good, "I Origins" pulls off the impossible in creating this belief that human eyes can be produced through Science and that they have a way of regenerating and used by life and death as they are passed on. Most of the film will be scientific mumbo jumbo to viewers who do not have an open mind for stories such as this, but I opened my mind as much as I possibly could, resulting in a perfectly flawed film. I do not believe this has ever happened to me before. I fell in love with this film right from the start, and by the end I was in tears, but most of the events in between, you kind of just have to go with. Each scene in this film sets up the next scene and the scene after that, and so on, but you really have to be intrigued in order to fully appreciate the story at hand. "I Origins" is one of the most flawed films of 2014, because the sole beliefs about the human eyes is what keeps the film moving along, and if you do not buy into it you will have a pretty depressing viewing experience. Although it is extremely flawed by it's premise, it kind of finds the right groove and creates something beautiful. After reading this you may not expect me to say this, but "I Origins" is one of the best films of 2014. Thought-provoking, enlightening, and mysteriously engaging, I loved this film.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2014
    What a wonderful surprise to see Mike Cahill confront science and spirituality with so much competence in this extremely challenging, thought-provoking blend of romance, drama and science fiction sustained by an always gripping mystery and clever dialogue.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2014
    Mike Cahill's follow-up to his hugely impressive 'Another Earth'. I Origins follows Michael Pitt's scientist thoughout his life fascinated with the human eye. It then occurs to him throughout his circumstances and research that its possible the eyes are a window to soul. There's a great degree of intelligence and emotion portrayed throughout the film, the actors performances are solid giving their characters the right amount of dimensions. Brit Marling doesn't claim any writing credit here so this is purely Cahill's concept. The very intriguing aspect is seeing where the film's plot will take us along the lines of mixing sci-fi with a sense of spirituality. I must say its very well put off and definitely recommended whether you're familiar with Cahill or Marling's work or not.
    Luke E Super Reviewer

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