7.0/10
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313 user 112 critic

The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

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A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation of 1937 becomes the primary suspect when his colleague and mentor is murdered.

Director:

Josef Rusnak

Writers:

Daniel F. Galouye (book) (as Daniel Galouye), Josef Rusnak (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,860 ( 864)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig Bierko ... Douglas Hall / John Ferguson / David
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Hannon Fuller / Grierson
Gretchen Mol ... Jane Fuller / Natasha Molinaro
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Jason Whitney / Jerry Ashton
Dennis Haysbert ... Detective Larry McBain
Steven Schub ... Detective Zev Bernstein
Jeremy Roberts ... Tom Jones
Rif Hutton ... Joe
Leon Rippy ... Jane's Lawyer
Janet MacLachlan ... Ellen
Brad William Henke ... Cop #1 (as Brad Henke)
Burt Bulos ... Bellhop
Venessia Valentino Venessia Valentino ... Concierge
Howard S. Miller ... Chauffeur
Tia Texada ... Natasha's Roommate
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Storyline

Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He's about to tell the discovery to his colleague, Douglas Hall, but knowing someone is after him, the old man leaves a letter in the computer generated parallel world his company has created (which looks like the 30's with seemingly real people with real emotions). Fuller is murdered in our real world the same night, and his colleague is suspected. Douglas discovers a bloody shirt in his bathroom and he cannot recall what he was doing the night Fuller was murdered. He logs into the system in order to find the letter, but has to confront the unexpected. The truth is harsher than he could ever imagine... Written by Danny Rosenbluth

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Question reality. You can go there even though it doesn't exist.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 13th Floor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,278,452, 30 May 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$15,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The science fiction novel Simulacron-3 was also published under the title Counterfeit World, it was first published in 1964 by Daniel F. Galouye in the United States, and is one of the first literary descriptions of virtual reality. See more »

Goofs

The message left on Douglas Hall's answering machine clearly doesn't match the earlier scene where Fuller records it. See more »

Quotes

Detective McBain: [after repeatedly informing McBain throughout the film that he doesn't smoke, Hall fishes a cigarette out of his pack and lights it while being interrogated] Man, you're picking up bad habits left and right.
Douglas Hall: Must be the stress.
Detective McBain: Then you'll need a carton.
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Crazy Credits

Before the opening credits, this René Descartes quote is seen on screen: "I think, therefore I am". See more »

Connections

References America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Easy Come, Easy Go
Written by Edward Heyman and Johnny Green
Performed by Johnny Crawford and his Dance Orchestra
Featuring Vocalist Meghan Ivey
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User Reviews

intriguing, thoughtful sci-fi thriller
21 February 2000 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

As the last millennium comes to a close and a new one opens, the science fiction genre seems to have latched onto a brand new narrative format - the cyber/techno thriller, wherein characters are free to wander in and out of virtual reality worlds and are even forced to call into question the validity of the world we have hitherto smugly referred to as "reality."

In 1999 alone, this theme has been explored in "The Matrix", "eXistenZ" and "The Thirteenth Floor." Actually, of the three, this is probably the most intriguing, intelligent and involving, successfully combining the elements of a whodunit with a clever sci-fi tale of a group of characters who drift in and out of a simulated version of Los Angeles in 1937. The plot, though complex, is spun out with coherence and ever-increasing clarity as the layers of information are slowly peeled back to reveal the larger picture. The filmmakers manage to create a sense of unbalance in the audience as we and the characters become more and more unclear as to what is reality and what is a simulation. Because the writers never lose their way, the result is a work of considerable mystery and intrigue.

In terms of art direction and cinematography, the film is a total triumph. The Los Angeles of 1937 the moviemakers have visualized on screen actually has a slight studio backlot, artificial feel to it - perfectly befitting just the kind of world a simulator would create. The photography in these sections also utilizes a slightly off color cast, nicely reflecting the tone found in color pictures of that era.

"The Thirteenth Floor" may not be a very "deep" movie, but it is an honorable addition to a newly formed genre that has not yet had time to ossify in its own conventions. Time alone will tell if filmmakers will be able to expand on this theme or whether, as with most genres, it will fall victim to its own inevitable cliches.


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