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The Thirteenth Floor
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Thirteenth Floor More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An intelligent sci-fi story brilliantly told

Author: perkypops from United Kingdom
3 May 2011

Like Dark City before it, The Thirteenth Floor uses dark textures to maximise the effects of the disturbing issues it addresses. A superbly written script sucks us into the ideas the story is exploring before shaking loose another layer of stuff to think about. As Dark City moved the buildings and furniture around, The Thirteenth Floor moves the characters around different times - is anyone real or are we being treated to someone's imagination? The acting is top class throughout, the screenplay deftly executed, and the cinematography brilliantly evocative of what we are supposed to feel. There is very little to find fault with. What does surprise me is that this film has not received a greater following.

Well worthy of 9/10.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Potentially good, instead just okay.

Author: hypnopaedia (
25 June 2001

Pretty interesting movie in general, but with some flaws. While watching, I was continuously being reminded of other movies (which is a bad thing). I know that The Thirteenth Floor didn't rip off these other movies, but it did stumble into its share of cliches. When Armin Mueler-Stahl is walking in and everyone greets him even though he doesn't know them; reminded me of The Graduate with Benjamin at the hotel. The scene when the cop pulls over Ashton and finds the body in the trunk reminded me of just about every movie. And the idea that their world was artificially created and their is an end point signifying a fake world, definitely reminded me of Dark City. Finally, the dumb chase scene near the end where the elevator door is closing and Bierko just barely gets his hand in to prevent it. Bullets fly and it's a shame.

There was one really cool thing that I noticed. The same song that the band is playing in a '30s scene is again played by a live band in a '90s scene when Bierko and Mol are dancing. Very nice special effects too. The acting was good, with the main characters sometimes acting in three different roles. For a great movie with Bierko in it, see Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas; Bierko is simply hilarious in the scenes that he appears.

The ideas that the movie presented were very interesting. I wish the writer and director would have followed the philosophical implications instead of what they did. It should have showed the hopelessness and despair that the characters of the artificial world would now be going through, for example; the cop (who throws in his share of dumb lines), instead of the lovely and uplifting final scene. It would have made for a much more powerful ending. So, good; but could have been better. Worth your time though.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A 1999 like of "I N C E P T I O N"!

Author: RainbowCastel from Switzerland
31 October 2010

Well, well. What a surprise I got here watching this 11 years old movie!

After watching the Inception, searching about reviews on it on the net and more good Sci-Fi movies, I noticed the name of this movie.

I can tell you that I was amazingly surprised of the quality, act, story, ambiance and the final twist of this movie. Although there are not much CGI compared to these days movies, it keeps the viewer hooked to the story and characters.

For me it is in the same category as Dark City, The Matrix and now the Inception.

Very underrated. A great solid, multi layer and feel good Sci-Fi movie. One of those at the end you start looking around thinking, What If ...!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

They say déja vu is a sign of love at first sight, well this sure was a déja vu, but love it wasn't.

Author: stamper from The Netherlands
27 August 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well this is not only an original thriller but a pretty good one too. Although it sure makes a little bell ring in my head (SPOILER AHEAD<>WARNING MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD), for the way the film goes reminded me a lot of eXistenZ. However these two films are not the same. Whereas the twist is saved for the ending in eXistenZ in The Thirteenth Floor you are told in the film a long time before the film ends, plus you can figure it out before if you really search for something and if you keep your attention, which I didn't (END OF SPOILER<>START READING AGAIN). Furthermore there really isn't that much to say, the effects were good as was the acting and the plot. The only thing that I really didn't like that much in this film was, that it sometimes was too predictable and I think it's a pity, because it kind of made the film a bit worse than it actually was, because it was an entertaining and exciting movie. This film was just the way a thriller is intended and meant to be.

7 out of 10

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The movie that it could've been...

Author: lplohmann from Brazil
3 June 2012

Don't be misguided by the reviews saying this movie sides with ones like Blade Runner or Matrix. While I must admit it clearly had the potential to do so, in the end, well, it just isn't so.

The plot of this film is very interesting. I wonder the book in which it's inspired must be very good. The characterization of the Los Angeles of 1930 is great. But the movie itself is very badly directed and most of the actors are just equally bad. Thi first half of the movie is very rushed what makes the characters seem pretty unreasonable and superficial.

So the in the end the result is just an ordinary movie. It's a little enjoyable, but far from memorable. I give it 5/10 for the studio having wasted such a good history.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

An Underrated Gem!

Author: Danii Disaster from United Kingdom
2 May 2013

Almost every review compares this movie to either "The Matrix" or "The Dark City" -- mostly unfavorably.

I don't know about anyone, but I thought this was better than "The Matrix", which was too polished and ritzy for my liking.

I've always had trouble understanding the hype surrounding "The Matrix". It's a fine movie, but it's also extremely overrated. And all the movies, with a similar premise, that were produced after it, are now destined to live in its shadow. Not fair.

I won't even mention "The Dark City", because, to me, it was *utter* crap. I hated it.

"The Thirteenth Floor" is a griping, atmospheric, well-acted movie with a decent plot. It doesn't have the "hi-tech" feel of "The Matrix", but that is what I like about it.

I'd gladly watch it again, and recommend it to anyone, who likes a decent sci-fi story.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
21 October 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein.

Most movies are at least superficially about real people. `Matrix' (`Truman' and many others) put real people in artificial worlds. `Bladerunner' (and lessor films like `AI') put artificial people in the real world. Now finally we have artificial people in artificial worlds, unknowingly as in `Bladerunner.' A clever beginning, but not enough.

The production values are not the problem, nor is the level of acting -- so many successful scifi picts have uninspired acting that it is nearly a prerequisite. The problem is that the film is too safe. It decides to impress on an intellectual level, which is noble but dangerous.

Safety: everything is understandable, even predictable. The ending is safe: there IS a reality and creators after all folks. The mechanics are safe: controllable (at least in this story) computers.

The notion could have really done a fine number by using a more sophisticated notion of computers (the story seems set in the 60s so far as technology) and by tying the notion of virtual reality for entertainment to film and then the very film WE are watching. Like `My Dinner With Andre.' Like `Draughtsman's Contract.' Even `Sweet and Lowdown' which also had Gretchen.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Must Watch

Author: firefly900 from dublin
11 October 2011

Other reviewers will explain this movie, but i just wanted to say that it was a pleasant surprise to watch, it was a book that referenced this film that brought me here, otherwise i perhaps would of passed it by because i never heard of it, its a shame that it is so Underrated but it really is a great film. The acting was quite good as well and it was interesting to note Vincent D'Onofrios performance as another pleasant surprise, this is the actor that played private pile in Full Metal Jacket, i had never seen him in another role after that movie and so it was good to see him and his fine acting again. Not forgetting Craig Bierko the lead actor was also very good.

Do watch this, you will be happy with the result.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Anyway, the acting, story, cinematography, etc, all great!

Author: me-0-821422
13 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I vaguely remember watching this movie when it first came out. I thought it was lame, and it seemed a bit phony. Now here I am 12 years later, and I just watched it again. I really liked it a lot. Who could truly understand this movie in 1999? These days I spend my time playing GTA4 and JustCause2 for many more hours than I like to admit. I wonder what games will be like 12 years from now? When my real life gets boring, it's easy to relate it too a big video game, that has grown tiring. It all just feels a bit fake or surreal. This movie does a great job of making a person question their own reality. Maybe we are all just pre programmed. Could we all just be some experiment, monitored by those of higher enlightenment outside our understanding? Maybe when you die, you just wake up to into a much grander design!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good noir virtual reality thriller film

Author: KineticSeoul from United States
21 September 2010

Although this film wasn't a big hit, nor did it have any top actors or actresses. It still was interesting and entertaining from beginning to end with it's well developed plot. There is some philosophical aspects to the film as well if you pay attention, which I thought went well with the whole scenario. The film isn't very complex nor does it try to be, but it still gets the job done and although the twist and turns are simple, it's still not that predictable. It's thought provoking and works sort of like a detective movie, where the protagonist and even the audience is trying to find out what it going on and has enough substance to go with it. The protagonist is basically trying to solve a murder while he is the number one suspect. There was also plenty of ways to lengthen this movie while being fast paced with more character development and more philosophical with some detail of some of the aspects of the stuff that goes on, which I wouldn't have mind, cause I wanted to see more after the credit started rolling. A lot of films in the future is going to be influenced by this film like "The Matrix" has. Good movie about virtual reality and it's layers.


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