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

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Must-see if you are a fan of matrix

Author: Hunky Stud
29 May 2001

I thought that Matrix might be a copy of this movie. However, to my surprise, both movies were made in 1999. Those two movies have similar concepts.

An audience has to be actively thinking in order to understand the logic and intelligence of this movie. The writer and screenwriter must have spent some time to make up a story that flows so smoothly. Of course, there is one obvious mistake. In order to make computers that are so sophisticated, I do not think that there could be only two workers working in the lab.

It does not have all those high tech movement as in the Matrix, however, it is absolutely a smart movie. The common audience might not even understand.

I am glad that I have seen this movie. I have never heard about this movie until I accidently found it at a local library. Too bad, it did not make a big hit in the main stream. Otherwise, we can expect a sequel II.

It is definitely a must see!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the best movies I have ever seen.

Author: George League ( from Raleigh, North Carolina
20 March 2001

This movie has it all. Riveting plot, sharp editing, fantastic soundtrack, good acting, and special effects that are so good that you don't realize that they are special effects (the recreation of 1937 Los Angeles). There have been comparisons to The Matrix...The Matrix was all special effects and little else. This movie grabs your heart and soul and takes it for a very thought-provoking ride. It is NOT a rip-off of the Matrix, since it is based on a novel written many years ago, and was in production long before the Matrix was released. Absolutely one of my all time favorites.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An exciting movie and it makes you think.

Author: Pete-104 ( from Redmond, WA
16 October 1999

This is a great movie. It has vitual action, like the Matrix, great acting and f/x, and makes you think at the end, like Contact. It is kind of like the Matrix, but not a ripoff. While it has similar elements, it's not about action or a quest like Neo's; it's mostly story-focussed, which is less common in movies these days. It also had exciting parts, but not just mindless action. If you like movies with interesting stories and twists plus action and suspense, rent this movie, but make sure the ending isn't given away.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A twist here...a twist there

Author: Mike Morris from Muskegon, MI
29 May 1999

On the whole a very good movie. The mechanical part...the photography, both in the "real world" and in the synthetic world are done in graphic splendor. I especially loved the 30s scenescape. The actors were well cast. The story itself, especially the idea of a synthetic world, is good. The only drawback to the whole movie was that like a whodunnit that wasn't scripted perfectly, I pretty much knew what was gonna happen at the end long before we got there. Still was fun watching them get to that point. I sincerely recommend this movie to all. Won't compete to the new Star Wars release...but on it's own will do well.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Going for a drive may never be the same again.

Author: onetoten from Canada
3 December 2009

This was one of those sci-fi thrillers that I never heard about until it was on cable. When this film started I had no idea where it was going. There were no cartoon heroes or car chases but a cleverly plotted narrative that keeps your mind and imagination at work.

Some film fall apart when a romantic coupling doesn't work. Craig Bierko and Grethen Mol had the justifiable chemistry needed to move the story. It gets tiring to see the same actors in romantic parts. I didn't feel the story pushing me to believe anything in this film because the plot itself worked.

All the actors in this film were first-rate. The set decorations were stunning and the special effects didn't detract from the plot. If you see this film listed in your area's media I highly recommend it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Hamlet within Hamlet

Author: gil-bedard from Winnipeg, Canada
23 November 2002

Life is demanding, unless you're independently wealthy, or retired, or living on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific. Most of us gotta make a buck. So, if you're a movie critic with deadlines to meet, time is a precious commodity. Therefore, it seems to me that professional movie critics probably don't spend as much time reviewing some movies as they should. Most movies are easily understood & enjoyed during one sitting. I'm thinking here of comedies, romance movies, action movies, etc. However, certain movies--mostly of the science-fiction genre--require slow digestion. Mental incubation is necessary to appreciate these movies. "The Thirteenth Floor" is one such movie. As I scroll down the rottentomatoes reviews, it is evident to me that most critics probably didn't spend enough time watching it. One critic crows: "This is a film about deeply confused people that seems likely to put viewers in a state of deep confusion for most of its running time." Another opins: "As compelling as a knock-knock joke." Yeesh. It makes me wonder if these pundits actually watched the bloody thing. One gets the impression that while watching it, they had their thumbs poised over the fast-forward button. (Those damned deadlines, you know.) In any event, keep in mind the Irish playwright Brendan Behan's wry observation: "Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves."

Now, I'm not a simple-minded guy, I hope. But I found that I appreciated this movie more after having watched it a second, and then a third time. I agree that at first blush, it is superficially confusing. (Geez, if you want a no-brainer, watch an Abbott & Costello movie.) This movie is for a thinking man... WHOOPS!! Er, make that a "thinking person". In fact, I consider it one of the best sci-fi movies I've ever seen. It is very stylish, well-acted & well-written. Much time & effort obviously went into recreating certain parts of 1937 California. The only serious problem I had with it was the loud, mechanical-sounding whirring noises & excessive laser lighting generated by the computer equipment. This was very implausible, 'though it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the movie.

Before watching this movie, I'd never heard of Craig Bierko. But I thought that as the protagonist, he was excellent. He seemed aloof at times, but I didn't think that this was a problem. And maybe this is what his role required of him. Armin Mueller-Stahl's acting career spans almost half a century, with over one hundred movies to his credit, according to IMDb. He is the consummate actor. Very dependable & a fine choice for the role of computer genius & mentor to Bierko's character. His heavy German accent seemed all the more appropriate. Gretchen Mol was also very credible, and she wasn't hard to look at, either. I thought the ever mercurial Vincent D'Onofrio was convincing (no pun intended) as a computer geek-cum-antagonist. It's hard to believe that he was the guy who played the psycho in "The Cell"! I mean, the guy is so adaptable.

I shall resist the temptation to describe the movie's structure, because I think it is often better to watch a movie with little or no foreknowledge of the plot details. For instance, I bought "The Thirteenth Floor" on a whim because I liked the DVD box cover & because the price was right. I suggest that if you are an aficionado of the sci-fi genre, just buy it, then watch it, and THEN check it out on the net. I will say that, to the unwashed, the plot of this movie is far-fetched in the extreme. However, some computer science theorists suggest that in the future, what is depicted in this movie would be possible. We are already developing quantum, quasi-biological computers, so who knows? Thank God I'll be dead before they arrive.

So, there you have this critic's opinions. If you like a good, stylish sci-fi movie, rent it. Or buy it. (I found it in a used CD/DVD store.) But WATCH it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Wait a minute... it's not crap. What's going on?

Author: Leigh Loveday from UK
17 August 2000

I have to admit that after seeing the trailer for this film months ago, failing to notice any impact it might have had on the US box office then watching it stagger hopelessly straight onto the video shelves here in the UK, I ended up renting it in the hope that it might at least be bad enough to raise a laugh. But - shock horror - it's not. In fact it's a smart little film that deserves far better treatment than it's had so far.

It might not be exactly what you expect right from the word go, but that's not necessarily a bad thing: it's just that the film takes its time when it comes to introducing the sci-fi elements, so it's easy to feel cheated at first as basically the only people likely to see this film are genre fans. But things pick up quickly after the dull first half-hour of exposition and sketchy character introduction. There are enough twists and turns during the next hour to keep on redoubling your interest, and the cast holds up well: Craig Bierko (previously known to me only as Lister from the mercifully short-lived US Red Dwarf remake - poor bloke) is a surprisingly strong leading man, dealing as well as the rest of the cast (good old Vincent D'Onofrio in particular) with those multiple roles. The only real problem with the cast is that it's not even B-list. If the filmmakers had only had the budget to take on some better-known faces for the lead roles, this could have gone down a storm. Sad but true.

Yes, the storyline has been done before, but so has every other sci-fi storyline these days, and this one's easily different and polished enough to warrant a look - just prepare to be kept on your toes, as it's not the mindless crash-bang action cheese laser death cyborg kickboxing spectacular you might have been expecting.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A disappointment. Nice touch on early L.A.

Author: meadow-3 from Pacific Coast, America
8 January 2000

If you like cyber films, or time travel pieces, this one falls short.

Story line is inconsistent and lead actor isn't credible.

I saw "Thirteenth" at the theatre. Before "The Matrix".

So I was ripe for a fresh experience. And walked out unsatisfied.

The cinematography, however, is excellent. Traveling into old Los Angeles was enjoyable. I wish I'd spent more time there.

I can't put my finger on what didn't work. It's been months since I saw this film, and I'm not in a hurry to see it on video.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Ultimate Movie Review! - - @tss5078

Author: Tss5078 from United States
14 January 2013

The Thirteenth Floor was Columbia Pictures answer to the Matrix and is based on the award winning 1964 Sci-Fi novel, Simulacron 3 by Daniel Galouye. I have known about this movie for a long time, but was always hesitant to see it, because when something like this appears in theaters 6 months after a groundbreaking film like the Matrix, you fully expect it to be a complete rip off. I was sitting at home flipping through the channels and saw the Matrix on, but I didn't wanna see it for the millionth time and decided to see if the Thirteenth Floor was streaming and sure it enough it was, and what a terrific story it turned out to be! In the year 2000, scientists have found a way to transfer a persons consciousness into a fully interactive computer program which has the potential to replace video games. The creator however has discovered a major problem with the system and is found dead. The second in charge of the project soon learns the answer to this brutal murder appears in the simulator, which is a replica of 1937. The story is absolutely ingenious and I loved how the film jumps between present day and the 1930s, it was like watching two stories at once that you knew would eventually come together. Craig Bierko stars in what turns out to be one of his few leading roles and he's just terrific. I remember him as the bad guy in the Long Kiss Goodnight and I thought he was great then, and he's great now. To make the cast even stronger, they take the intense Bierko and pair him with Law & Order's Vincent D'Onofrio, who is quite possibly the most intense actor in Hollywood. To top the whole thing off, this movie has a huge twist in the end, a twist that will make a lot of people wonder about the true nature of their own reality. The Thirteenth Floor is a fresh story with an amazing cast that will make you think, movies like this don't come along as often as they should!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Far better than Matrix

Author: IgBar from Russia
7 January 2012

I think that The thirteenth floor is far superior to Matrix. Actually, I almost walked away from the first of Wachowski's "masterpiece", so hollow and childish and CGI-ridden it seemed. The thirteenth floor has superb acting, great locations and touching music (especially in the scene when the "end of the world" is discovered by Doug). There is great chemistry between the main characters, and the dialogue is very believable and authentic all along. It is surprising that there are no plot holes in a relatively complex story. This movie is for adults, not for post-puberty greenhorns (that's Matrix' audience). No offense, it's just an opinion of a grown, experienced person.

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