5.6/10
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The Box (2009)

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A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don't know.

Director:

Richard Kelly

Writers:

Richard Kelly (screenplay), Richard Matheson (short story "Button, Button")
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Popularity
2,267 ( 1,200)
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cameron Diaz ... Norma Lewis
James Marsden ... Arthur Lewis
Frank Langella ... Arlington Steward
James Rebhorn ... Norm Cahill
Holmes Osborne ... Dick Burns
Sam Oz Stone Sam Oz Stone ... Walter Lewis
Gillian Jacobs ... Dana
Celia Weston ... Lana Burns
Deborah Rush ... Clymene Steward
Lisa K. Wyatt ... Rhonda Martin
Mark S. Cartier ... Martin Teague (as Mark Cartier)
Kevin Robertson Kevin Robertson ... Wendell Matheson
Michele Durrett Michele Durrett ... Rebecca Matheson
Ian Kahn ... Vick Brenner
John Magaro ... Charles
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Storyline

Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. However, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world, someone they don't know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity. Written by Warner Bros. Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All you have to do is push the button. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Box See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,571,417, 8 November 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$15,045,676, 3 January 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the commentary of Tony Scott's Domino (2005), director Richard Kelly outright dismissed shooting a 1970s period piece with a digital camera. However, after seeing David Fincher's Zodiac (2007), Kelly's position quickly changed, and he was quoted saying, "It can be done." See more »

Goofs

Around 33 minutes into the film when Arthur goes to unplug the Christmas tree he bends down next to a window. Just then a man's head starts to rise from the outside into view of the window. You can only see the top half of his head and it lasts for about a second, so its not part of the film. It's just out of place. See more »

Quotes

Arlington Steward: There are 2 ways to enter the final chamber; free or not free, the choice is ours.
See more »

Connections

References Hellraiser (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Mustang Sally
Written by Mack Rice
Performed by Wilson Pickett
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"To understand 'The Box,' you'll have to think outside of the box."
15 November 2009 | by NewKlear_PhilSee all my reviews

I'm not gonna lie. To say that this movie is confusing is like saying the sun is hot but not really. And if you've seen cult director Richard Kelly's previous films, "Donnie Darko" and "Southland Tales," you know that's gotta mean something. When I went to see this movie, there were about 50 people in the theater. Before an hour into the film, about half of the audience had already walked out. By the end, there were only 15 people left wondering what in the hell did they just see. I for one could only comprehend roughly 40% of what I saw on- screen, and even then it can only be called interpretation. So why did I give this movie a generous seven stars? Because for one, we get some spectacular performances (Marsden's great and Langella returns as a familiar creepy character), and most importantly two, because it's entirely original and Richard Kelly, undoubtedly one of the bravest directors alive, uses his creative vision to tell a story that dares to be different. Quite frankly, it's the ONLY way - only through Kelly's unique style could this story be told the way it's intended.

In the end, if you're not willing to spend some serious thought into an intelligent movie (and even then it may all amount to nothing), stay FAR away from this one. But if you want to watch a deep, rich, complex and thought-provoking piece on spirituality, existentialism, and the predictability of human nature, go see this. Be prepared for lengthy discussions with your partner however.

*Note: If by chance you've read this review, taken my recommendation, have actually seen the movie and STILL believe you've wasted 2 hours of your life, I'd be happy to share my views on the whole meaning and plot of the film. See, that's why I liked it so much - it promotes discussion! As hard as it is though, I'll try summing it up by paraphrasing a rather depressing quote by Langella's character, who explains the significance of the simple box to an employee: "Your house is a box which you live in. The car that you drove to work is a box, on wheels. When you return home from work you sit in front of a box with moving images. You watch until the mind and soul rots and the box that is your body deteriorates, when finally you are placed into the ultimate box... to rest under the soil and earth."


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