The Box (PG-13) - 2009 - Runtime: 115 minutes
Starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella
Director: Richard Kelly
I don't care what the critics say, this movie was pretty good. Despite its flaws, I found myself enjoying Richard Kelly's third effort. The movie stars Cameron Diaz (an actress whom nobody likes - at least, when you talk to my customers) and James Marsden who play Norma and Arthur Lewis, a family in the 70s struggling to get by. They find themselves at wit's end when Arthur's attempt to become an astronaut fails. And then along comes Arlington Steward (Frank Langella), who offers them an opportunity. There's a box with a button and if they push the button, they will receive one million dollars (queue Dr. Evil), but someone they don't know will die. Needless to say, they push the button (no, that's not a spoiler alert). And all hell breaks loose. Kind of. Well, not really.
I think that's the main problem. Instead of a big bang of drama and a satisfying ending, the movie ends with a dull whimper. It's a tad disappointing because the set up is too good. I wouldn't say I wasted my time with this one - I appreciate the tone and vibe Kelly was establishing. It was an enjoyable movie despite those hurdles and I totally loved the creepiness Langella brought to his character. There's a lot of weird stuff happening in this movie and some of it doesn't make that much sense (which is partly why I enjoyed it - I like that sense of the unknown). So high expectations shouldn't be had with this one. It's not Kelly's best, but it's just good enough and worth a rental just to see what the hell happens.
Rating: Rent It!