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Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  30 August 2013 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 19,486 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 122 user | 255 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.



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3 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathy Carruth ...
Orchid Mother
Meredith Burke ...
Orchid Daughter
Andreon Watson ...
Ashton Miramontes ...
Myles McGee ...
MRI Tech
Woman in Club
HR Manager


Kris is attacked one night, and hypnotized, using a grub with hypnotic properties, administered by a thief. She follows the thief's instructions to give him everything, even taking out loans. After the worms are extracted, she wakes up to find her life ruined. She's lost her job, her finances are destroyed. Years later, she meets Jeff whom she may have a lot in common with. Written by SnoopyStyle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

30 August 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cores do Destino  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,649 (USA) (5 April 2013)


$415,067 (USA) (17 May 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film that Kris is editing at the beginning of the movie is A Topiary, the film that Shane Carruth had begun production on before deciding to film Upstream Color instead. See more »


When the Sampler is incapacitating a pig with his instrument, the knot is thrown towards the pig's face and stretched. In the next frame, the wire knot is around the pig's body between its front & hind legs. See more »


Thief: There are two approaching armies: hunger and fatigue, but a great wall keeps them at bay. The wall extends to the sky and will stay up until I say otherwise.
See more »

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User Reviews

An exercise in thematic appreciation
1 March 2013 | by (California) – See all my reviews

UPSTREAM COLOR is already baffling the hell out of the world and will especially draw disapproval on IMDb.

The plot is not delivered in a way that is traditionally comprehensible, only to those paying close attention to the themes that unite it all. If you're already rolling your eyes THIS MOVIE IS NOT FOR YOU.

If however you have experienced or would like to experience films where you have to dedicate your ability to assess and determine the underlying idea that is linking a series of enigmatic actions and subtle scenes, UPSTREAM COLOR will intrigue and probably charm you. It very much plays to the TREE OF LIFE crowd.

For me, it's undoubtedly a massive artistic accomplishment. Hugely evocative and if you unearth those ideas, the ability to have human connection, abuse, hope and language among them, you'll have no problem following along and the ending will be very satisfying.

If you want to say "you're not supposed to understand it, just feel it" that's fine. I think that if you stop and ask yourself what idea is driving moments, you can follow along just fine. The story is in the themes. Details are abstract to drive home this point.

I took off two stars because I found the serious tone and sombre score to be so focused and constant, the atmospherics became a little more monotonous than I think was intended. The briefest of levity here and there might have offset the heaviness.

If you're still reading, check it out.

141 of 208 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Some characters and dialogue please? fatpie42
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