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Inspired storytelling
FlickJunkie-212 May 2002
K-Pax is a very intriguing film. Is Prot (Kevin Spacey) really an alien, or is he a mentally deranged human who just thinks he is an alien? That is the question that Dr. Powell (Jeff Bridges) must answer before the self proclaimed deadline that Prot sets for his departure from Earth.

As the film unfolds and more evidence is uncovered, both theories grow in credibility. His ability to map from memory the area of the galaxy where his home planet is located indicates a knowledge that no human could possibly possess. Yet the hypnosis sessions lead us to a real person with a very real and traumatic life, filled with devastating events that could have caused such a personality aberration. The ending seems to give the answer, but is just ambiguous enough to make you wonder if you really know. Normally, I don't like lady or tiger endings, but this one is tantalizing. I have my own theory that fits all the clues, but I don't know that my theory is any more correct than anyone else's.

Director Iain Softley (`Wings of the Dove') spins the tale delicately, with great skill. This is a rare example of the director staying in the shadows and inducing outstanding acting performances out of talented actors to let the story dominate. This is not to say that the directing is technically inferior, because it is excellent. However, Softley remains unobtrusive, delivering great power through the use of subtlety, a pleasant change from today's vanguard directors who visually grab and shake the viewer as if to scream, `Look how brilliant I am!'

Kevin Spacey once again delivers a marvelous performance as Prot. This is a part that is extraordinarily demanding, requiring Spacey to render the cool and logical Prot one minute, and then switch gears to conjure his tormented alter ego under hypnosis the next. Spacey is so believable as both alien and human, it makes the viewer's task that much more difficult. Jeff Bridges is also terrific as the relentless psychologist who becomes obsessed with learning the truth about Prot.

This is inspired storytelling for the thoughtful viewer. I rated it a 9/10. If you must have closure at the end of a film, this movie will be very frustrating. However, if you like a fascinating mystery that keeps you thinking long after the credits, you won't be disappointed.
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A Charming, Hidden Gem Of A Movie
shoeless-113 April 2002
It never ceases to amaze me how movies like this get made.

No car crashes, no explosions, no pyrotechnical performances with people screaming at each other or themes/bravura megalomaniacal rants that self-consciously have "Please nominate me for an Oscar" whispering in the Academy's ear.

No, instead we're given a quiet, enormously fascinating, compassionate, well-intentioned film that sits back and realizes that above beautiful cinematography (Which it has in spades), before performances which nail you to your seat (Which it carries in abundance), the most important thing of all is story. And K-Pax despite all "common sense" in Hollywood, throws out every safe-bet to get a movie produced and gives us just that. Wonderful story. Marvelous story.

I don't need to talk about that. Everyone from the science fiction fans (Who appreciated the depth and seriousness of the subject matter) to the warm n' fuzzy brigade (Who "Get the message" of the movie) have done their part to praise the various facets of a film that refuses to be categorized and is simply a very, very good story.

And perhaps because of that, because no one knows precisely what it is, just that's it's wonderful--Not unlike Prot himself--the people who came to this picture and created it have made a film that doesn't slant itself one way or the other but does a wonderful job of juggling seemingly disparate elements--the science, the drama, the message,the psychological aspects--and approach the movie fresh-eyed and innocent. The cinematography is, at times, simply beautiful and inspiring. And Iain Softley obviously had an enormous respect for the material because when it came time to tell the stories and let it speak through the actors, he pulled back, kept it simple and left the audience to witness to incredible performances by Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey to leave viewers with the same feeling; the acting is beautiful and inspiring.

Kevin Spacey's "Prot" is a wonderfully understated character with the gentle, knowing presence of an outsider who understands. It is his very calmness and seeming omnipotence that make his emotional outbursts, when they come, that much more intense and painful for audiences. He brings to the story the delicate sense of ironic humanity that comes from someone who may not actually lay claim to being human.

Jeff Bridges provides the warm, tired, cynical but still hopeful center of the film that provides reality to Spacey's quiet otherworldliness. Jeff Bridges is the much needed Everyman of this movie who is like so many of us out there; intelligent, wanting to do the right thing, essentially a good person at heart who is perhaps little lost and a LOT tired of the shackling nature of every day life in a first world nation. He asks the hard questions, he clings to his perceived reality. But he also wants to help. And all he's looking for is an excuse, some kind of spark to ignite his hope.

I suspect that K-Pax is going to occupy the same space in most people's hearts as that of a good book. I can't see it raking in buzillions of dollars, despite the fact that far, FAR less worthy films do that every summer. Instead, it will carry along, fondly or even maniacally supported by lovers of the film by word of mouth, quietly finding a new audience and making change where ever it goes. It's a gentle, engaging, quiet film that punches viewers between the eyes not through editing, action or shouting, but through that most basic and often forgotten art of cinema, finding a strong story and just letting it tell itself.
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One of the most underrated films of the past decade
Vampenguin11 March 2006
Due to a very misleading advertising campaign, I saw this film in theatres at the relatively young age of 10. The trailers on TV portrayed the film as a comedy, and I bugged my parents until they took me. After seeing the movie, I was blown away. I had no idea what to think. Totally different than anything I had seen before, leaving far to many questions for such a young mind. Needless to say, I loved it. This morning was the first time I'd watched in in probably 2-3 years, and I still think it's one of the greatest films made in the last decade. Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges are both in top form, as a mysterious man who may or may not be from another planet, and the psychiatrist that develops a bond with him while trying to decipher his mystery. The supporting cast are near perfect as well, each resident of the mental institution is incredibly convincing in their own way. The open ending was handled very well, giving lots of evidence to support whatever you believe happened in the end. How this movie failed to receive at least a nomination in that year's Oscars is beyond me. If you haven't seen this film, run to Wal-Mart RIGHT NOW. The DVD is usually in the bargain bin, pick it up!

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Emotionally Involving Drama
jhclues31 October 2001
Life is comprised of infinite possibilities; some known, others a mystery and destined to remain so. And what of the vast unknown, the realms beyond which knowledge has no established boundaries or parameters? Who is to say what exists or what is possible? Valid questions, all of which are raised and explored in the story of a particular individual's personal journey, a strange and dramatic odyssey that defies facts and logic, in `K-PAX,' directed by Iain Softley, and starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. In the wake of an incident in New York's Central Station, a man named Prot (Spacey) is transported to a psychiatric hospital in Manhattan, where he is delivered into the care of Dr. Mark Powell (Bridges), who attempts to uncover the truth about his patient, who claims to be from the distant planet K-PAX. It quickly becomes a challenge for Dr. Powell, as Prot, with his calm, direct, forthcoming manner and a propensity for produce (he eats bananas peels and all, and Red Delicious Apples are his favorites) is quite convincing. But it's Powell's job, as well as his nature, to be skeptical. Prot's claims, however, remain intact and stand up even under the most intense probing and the watchful eye of Dr. Powell, who finds himself in something of a quandary-- Prot even tells him the exact date and time that he will depart for K-PAX, a scheduled return trip that allows Powell but a short time to sort it all out. And Powell just can't seem to get his mind around the idea that he is dealing with a real alien being; and it's something he is going to have to resolve quickly, if he is ever going to know the truth. And he has to know. The truth, after all, is the only thing that is going to set him free in his own mind.

Softley has created and delivered a sensitive, thought-provoking film that challenges the viewer by sustaining the mystery surrounding Prot while forcing you to reflect upon your own concepts of what is, in fact, possible. And as you never know for sure about Prot until the denouement, you are able to identify with Powell, seeing the situation from his point of view and trying to solve the riddle right along with him. Softley creates an atmosphere of wonder and a real sense of being confronted with something that is truly unique as the story unfolds and you begin to realize that Prot just may be what he says he is. And in the context of the reality to which the film is disposed, it's an engrossing matter to try to wrap your mind around. How do you react when all of the evidence is contrary to the physical limitations we've set for ourselves? While at the heart of the film there is a resounding depth of humanity that is evident, not only in Prot, but in Dr. Powell, as well. All of which makes for an extremely engaging and gripping drama.

As we've come to expect, Kevin Spacey gives a brilliant performance as Prot, presenting his character from the inside out, emotionally deep and physically convincing at the same time. This is a unique individual, and Spacey brings him to life with care and the ability to share those moments that are particularly revealing, which adds to the believability of the character and the credibility of the story itself. For this film to work, it is essential that we believe who and what Prot is; we do, and it does. Spacey simply pulls it off magnificently. It's a memorable performance, from which evolves a character that will stay with you for a long, long time.

Jeff Bridges, meanwhile, emerges on equal footing with Spacey, adeptly making a very real person of Dr. Powell. It's a fairly straightforward role, and the challenge for Bridges was to take this very normal and ordinary character and make him unique in his own right, which, opposite the character of Prot was no small task. And, again, for this film to work it was necessary for Bridges to rise to the occasion. And, with exceptional skill and being the consummate professional that he is, he succeeds without question. Bridges infuses Powell with an underlying complexity, and is so giving in his performance, that it makes the interaction between Powell and Prot vibrant, and at times intense. It's a demonstration of two of the finest actors in the business doing what they do best, creating a dynamic that is alive and inspiring. It's a great job by Bridges, who never attempts to steal the spotlight from Prot, which serves to raise the level of the film to an even higher notch.

The supporting cast includes Mary McCormack (Rachel), Alfre Woodard (Dr. Villers), Ajay Naidu (Dr. Naidiu), Vincent Laresca (Navarro), Kimberly Scott (Joyce), Conchata Ferrell (Betty) and Saul Williams (Ernie). An entertaining, emotionally involving film, `K-PAX' is a dissertation on possibilities, as well as an examination of the ever evolving complexities of the human condition. It's a film that demands an open mind and rewards those who are able to approach it on it's own terms and embrace it. In the end, it makes you realize just how real K-PAX is; and it makes you appreciate Prot's journey, and just how much we all share and have in common with those around us, human or alien. And it may just make you reflect upon your own journey-- where you've been and where you're going. And that's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.
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dav7nine18 December 2004
This film IS brilliant...... without a doubt. Watched it a while ago after constant pestering from family members who are right into their sci-fi films (which I am not), and thought it was quite good. But after recently watching a few documentaries on outer-space etc we watched it again... and it IS good.

Kevin Spacey is without doubt one of the greatest actors ever and I really like Jeff Bridges (Big Lewbowski, Blown Away, Arlington Road). The film revolves around a patient in a nursing home who claims he is from another planet. Yeah right, you think... but what if his story is so believable that even his psychiatrist begins to wonder if he is telling the truth.

That is how the story evolves with Bridges going through all kinds of emotions dealing with Prot (as he is known), his own psychiatric colleagues, his wife and family, his brother-in-law and his cosmologist astronomer work colleagues (who after getting some data from Prot, pretty much admit that he might be telling the truth!) A great film... that get's you wondering.....

8/10 Dave
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Heart Warming and Funny
tv_pikachu26 October 2001
K-PAX is exactly what a heart warming film should be. The story is about a mysterious mental patient Prot, played by Kevin Spacey, and his unbelieving psychiatrist Dr. Powel, played by Jeff Bridges. The two have a very friendly bond, and as their relationship grows Dr. Powel can't help but wonder whether or not there is more to his mysterious patient, who insists he is from another planet called K-PAX. This film is very funny, and Kevin Spacey pulls of well placed one liners as if it was his second nature. K-PAX is a smart film, and I wasn't expecting it to go where it did. In the end, I found myself thinking about the small things in life, and the wonder and magic of the every day life we so often take for granted. I left the theater with a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and for families and couples on a date, K-PAX is a splendid film, that will not disappoint. I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in something more than the monotonous releases of glossy, action packed, gore fests.
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Quite an amazing movie
Travis_Bickle0112 August 2005
Personally, I think Kevin Spacey is one of the greatest actors of his generation, maybe the greatest. This in combination with another amazing actor named Jeff Bridges, it can't be bad. And that's exactly what this movie is! "K-PAX" is one of the most pleasant surprises of the latest years. To start with has the movie a brilliantly written story. It's part of what makes the movie so great. The other aspect that contributes to the greatness of the movie is the acting. The combination Spacey-Bridges really works.

This was already the second time I saw the movie and I'm sure it won't be the last time. "K-PAX" has everything. There are moments which are extremely funny, parts that remind of a true thriller and others which reminds of high-class drama. I think this movie deserves a much higher rating and a lot more awards. Great movie!

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Brain working
Hattori Hanzo15 May 2006
Usually I do not like movies with/about aliens but K-PAX is different. The actors are great in the movie - especially Kevin Spacey played his character breathtaking! The movie never fall to a lower level - the suspense is always in the movie and you absolutely wanna know how it ends, what's about Prot... You have to think a lot after the movie over the movie because there are a few open questions... Is Robert Porter Prot or is Prot only using Robert Porters body as a means of transportation. How can he see uv-light and how can he know that much about astrology. But everybody can make his own end and can decide in what he wanna believe. Very good movie with an excellent Kevin Spacey!
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very sweet
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a fan of Jeff Bridges so I snapped this up on DVD without having seen it previously. I instantly became a fan of Kevin Spacey, also.

The general plot of "alien in human body" has, in my experience, been done to death, but I liked the approach taken in K-PAX, which struck me as quite different and much more sensitive than most. Bridges makes an excellent doctor (you *want* to tell him what's on your mind) and Spacey's expressions and gestures are perfect in the role.

The interaction between Prot and the entirely human characters in the clinic is delightful, particularly the subtle manipulation of their behaviour.

The ending is bittersweet - I like Prot's choice, but the final scenes (with Bridges) made me teary.
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Perhaps the most underrated movie I have ever seen
Rizzyay5 November 2014
It never ceases to amaze me how people's minds work.

First, you have a brilliant actor - Kevin Spacey - pulling off perhaps the best acting performance of his career as Prot. He claims to be an alien, gets locked in mental institute (understandably), and knows all sorts of things he shouldn't know about astrophysics.

So is he an alien or isn't he? The psychiatrist, played by Bridges, tries to find out, but the question is ultimately left for the viewer to decide. That is what I love about the movie: it doesn't preach. It doesn't demand us to believe in Prot. But at the same time, the movie does raise some questions. Do we really know how the universe works? What if - that is the question this movie wants to - and manages to - raise.

Then you have the ending, which isn't Hollywood-like, it only slightly touches the usual clichés about family and stuff, yet it is hart-warming and beautiful in its own silly way. I won't go deep into it so I won't spoil it for anyone, but please watch closely throughout the movie, and be prepared to use your brains a bit at the end.

The movie also plays a lot with audiovisual stuff. Beams of light are shown throughout the movie accompanied with beautiful piano music, perhaps because Prot allegedly arrived on our planet with a beam of light. This play with light makes the movie a subtly beautiful experience.

Altogether, this is an incredible work of art.

So you have all this - and what do the critics say? Most of them simply call it cr*p, and if they bother to explain why they think this way, they mumble something about this movie belonging neither to the scifi genre nor to the psychological drama genre (like the critic of the Guardian magazine). Well, get this to your heads: A GOOD STORY DOESN'T HAVE TO HAVE A CLEARLY DETERMINED GENRE.

I repeat, in case the professional critics didn't quite understand what I said.


...Ahh, what's the use. The critics ain't gonna understand it, no matter how much I yell. Luckily, there are always people who are open to a good story. This review is dedicated to those people.
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No words...
Cassiano Kahlow26 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best movies ever, the idea of a double interpretation involves we all.

Would be Prot a schizophrenic or an E.T? (No doubt in my opinion, but let's keep the question open...). Kevin Spacey, the big screen monster, plays Prot as it should be done. Let's not forget Jeff Bridges and his great psychiatric.

Lastly, a masterpiece that speakes for itself. Can keep our eyes wide open from the beginning to the credits and our minds thinking even when the movie is over. If you still didn't watch it, go right now! And again, again...
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KPAX & Eastern Mores
jfparrish8 November 2005
In KPAX Softley brushes on the subtleties of Eastern Religious Mores from the small archetypes embedded all over the film to the actual purpose of Prot. Spacey (Prot) assumes a predominantly didactic role throughout the entire film - it is as if the statements he makes embody general truths about a culture of peace which is strongly promulgated in Buddhism and Hinduism. It can be said that Prot is the eye of the storm - the world is in disarray and is 'bright' and the false veil of reality is what everyone else sees, but Prot sees truth - he sees the minute - and appreciates it and at some points fears it as he transcends his social construction of reality and becomes more humanly.

The film is particularly detailed, therefore I would recommend that you watch it at least twice to see how Softley interjects nuances. Listen carefully to the narratives at the beginning and end as they truly touch on concepts not commonly presented in western philosophies.

9 of out 10 rating - Superb - with nominal room for improvement.
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A very good movie, but not original
efrontera21 August 2002
When I started to see this movie, other movie comes to my mind...

In 1986, Eliseo Subiela (Argentina) made a movie called "Hombre Mirando al Sudeste" (Man Facing Southeast / Man Looking Southeast).

The same story, characters, ....

The writer/director of K-PAX knows about that movie ? Let me think....

YES, I'm sure they know it.

Please, take a look to "Hombre Mirando al Sudeste", and after make your own conclusions.
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One of the better and more intelligent films to come out in the past two or three years.
TxMike26 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
When any of us sit down to watch a film we need to make one of two choices - are we going to believe the premise is possible, or are we going to believe it is impossible? In TOY STORY and SHREK, will we believe that toys and animals can talk? In BACK TO THE FUTURE, will we believe time-travel is possible? In THE MATRIX, will be believe one can travel between reality and virtual reality? In SUPERMAN, STARMAN, and E.T., will we believe that a being from another planet can visit us and interact with us? The answer is perhaps obvious, "yes" if we are to become immersed in the story and enjoy the film.

This film, "K-PAX" is just like that. If one sits down to it and buys into the premise, that it is possible for Prot to be from a far-away planet called K-PAX, then it is a totally absorbing film. One of the best I have seen in a long time. Ultimately this film isn't about aliens or space travel, it is about the human condition, and about finding out what is really important to us. The character, Prot, is a catalyst in this story and it doesn't matter in the end whether he really is from K-Pax.

some possible SPOILERS - On my second viewing of K-PAX, tonight, I took careful note of everything that was said and presented. When you do so there should be no residual doubt that Prot, in this story, really is a K-PAXian. An alien who is completely harmless, and who is more like a guardian angel than anything else. One who can travel anywhere he wants on a beam of light, taking one and only one person with him. Through most of the story he takes the catatonic Porter with him. At 5:51AM on July 27th, 2001, he returns to K-PAX, leaves Porter behind in the care of the good doctor, and takes one of the patients with him.
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Man who rode beam of light
tomimt8 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Prot (Kevin Spacey) is taken in mental hospital, when he tells people, he's from planet K-PAX. Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) takes interest from him, because Prot is very coherent with his story and he seems to know things, which are even beyond the knowledge of astronomers. So begins the quest of truth to find out is Prot really who he says he is, an alien from planet K-PAX, or is he just a man, who happens to know much. On the side Prot seems to be of assistance to many mentally ill patients in the hospital.

Kevin Spacey does another excellent role as Prot, creating a picture of complex person who could be anything he says he is. He, in many ways, holds the whole movie together with his overall charisma. Jeff Bridges does excellent job as Dr. Powell, who learns a lot from his patient, turning from tired man, who tries to avoid encountering his problematic relationship with his own son, to a man, who finally takes the responsibility from himself and of people around him.

Story of the movie is wonderfully told, form the view of Dr. Powell: it's all about his encountering of this mysterious man and how he tries to prove, that he's not an alien. But things just keep rolling, and soon the line between fiction and fact are tied into a knot hard to open.

Movie let's the viewer to make his own decision about Prot, there are things left open in both ways, which all could be a diversion or a simple as a fact to prove Prot is an alien.

A wonderful film.
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Getting It Right
Jon Ochiai30 October 2001
Iain Softley's "K-PAX" starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges is a very special movie. Softley's humanity tale taught by an "alien" or not, finds solid material in Charles Leavitt's screenplay based on the novel by Gene Brewer. Under his direction, Softley generates from what could have been an entirely star-powered vehicle by Spacey and Bridges into a touching and inspiring experience.

Spacey plays Prot, who "arrives" at a New York train station. During an incident Prot proclaims that he is from another planet, and consequently committed to a local mental institution. He is assigned under the care of psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Powell (Bridges) who is intrigued by Prot's conviction or delusion that he is from the planet K-PAX, a thousand light years away. Mark's interest in his patient highlights he is a workaholic. This has alienated his second wife, Rachel, and Mark also has a son in college from his first wife that he has not spoken to in years. Is Prot really from K-PAX? The movie takes an interesting turn when Prot gives Mark's brother-in-law Dr. Steve Becker (a good Brian Howe) and his world class astrophysics colleagues a lesson on his "home" world-- or is this to be believed?

"K-PAX" asks the interesting questions. Marks asks Prot about laws on his planet. Prot says "All beings know right and wrong." That ends up being an endearing theme of "K-PAX". It about getting life to work. There is a great partnership between Spacey and Bridges. Spacey's Prot is definitely the more showy of the two roles, though one depends on the other much like Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in "Rain Man." Jeff Bridges is acknowledged. His Mark Powell is genuinely dealing with his life which isn't working, and coaching his patient who is also contributing to him. Bridges brings such a level of compassion, conviction, and intelligence to his role. Kevin Spacey is awesome. He gives Prot the questionable inhuman edge-- aloof, intelligent, though connected to people. His Prot is self aware of the perceptions, and is loyal to Bridges's Mark. Spacey does an amazing balancing act-- so effortlessly. Is he human? Spacey keeps us guessing. along the way, Spacey may get another Oscar. The strong supporting cast is lead by Mary McCormack as Mark's nearly estranged wife, and Alfre Woodard as Mark's boss. In the end "K-PAX" is a movie about getting it right, and it also does so itself.
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Very good remake of the argentinean film "Man looking south-east"!!!
oscar_rio3 July 2002
I was surprised that at the end of the film at least the message "Inspired in the movie Hombre mirando al Sudeste" was not shown...the film is almost a remake!!!!

It's a good version, but the fact that they never mention it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.
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Beautiful & intricate film of excellent performances
Robert Klaric16 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was truly surprised when I first saw this movie directed by Iain Softley; it differs in so much ways from the usual Hollywood mass-production. The plot itself is simple - Kevin Spacey plays a mental patient Prot who claims to be from the planet K-pax who arrived to Earth by a beam of light, while Dr. Powell played by Jeff Bridges tries to help him to solve his delusions... First of all, I must admit the cast is perfectly chosen: Kevin Spacey is really brilliant in portraying the intriguing character of Prot, always walking in the fine line of convincing us that it is real and then making us wonder whether he is delusional or not... Some of the gem scenes include the one where Prot innocently eats the whole banana (even the peal) while in session with Dr. Powell; or the observatory scene where he confidently shows his knowledge of the K-Pax system to the astonished astronomers... Jeff Bridges on the other hand is the subtle, rational side of this movie, and he delivers it perfectly. There is a whole other cast of excellent actors (like Saul Williams' convincing performance as Ernie) who make this film truly work.

K-pax has it all, elements of comedy; Sci-Fi, even psychological thriller (concerning the Prot's identity) but most importantly it can be categorized as a heartwarming drama. The main premise of the movie is quite intricate, but the director never lets it get loose, he always keeps it believable and yet two-ways interpretable. The camera and photography have almost a crucial part here, continuing the main idea of light travel, there is much focus on light-shadow play, lightning settings - one of the memorable scenes is where Dr. Powell holds a crystal figure in his office which refracts light in a beautiful way while all the time he suspects can the idea be true?

Subtle and slow paced, intriguing and pleasurable, K-pax is truly a gem to watch, one of the kind movie that may not be for all tastes, but those who see it - might fall in love with it.
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rodrival19 May 2003
Did anyobody notice that K-pak is actually a re-make of an Argentinian Film called "Hombre mirando al Sudeste" (Man looking southeast) from 1986, directed by Eliseo Subiela?

Maybe not well sub-titled, it's worth watching it!
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Lame copy of Argentinian film
laurakis7421 October 2010
I had a lot expectations about this movie but when i started watching it, it was soon evident to me that the storyline was lifted from a famous Argentinian movie of the 80s called "Hombre mirando al sudeste". And when i say lifted, i mean its almost a copy but no reference to the original is found anywhere nor any info about the script or rights being purchased by American producers/director. It is a pity, because i like Kevin Spacey. But watching so obviously a copy made me feel uncomfortable and ended up hating it. You cant beat (or steal) a classic. Plus, this movie seems to lack some of the deep and uncomfortable questions that the original creates in the viewer; the story is sort of "bleached". So, if you are thinking about watching this movie, go and watch the original version instead. If you have already watched it, go and watch the original too, you won't regret it.
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A movie that moved me!
serafinogm5 October 2015
I must have been in an emotional state when I saw this movie for the first time as I found myself crying throughout! I quite enjoyed the interplay between the Jeff Bridges character and the Kevin Spacey character but they were just as good apart. The impact upon seeing the sprinkler in the back of the ruin of a house laying in the long untended yard near the ruined swing set was an emotional jolt that I'll never forget and every sorrowful drama in my life came to the fore like a fountain that to this day resonates deep in my soul. It was a powerful movie, beautifully acted and directed and I encourage all to see it (unless of course you're more inclined to zombies, and horror films) but I assure even those types that the horror suggested by this movie is far more powerful, far more compelling!
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Alien? Or delusional human?
jkbonner110 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
By sheer chance I stumbled on this movie searching movies starring Kevin Spacey, who is a terrific actor. I also found the storyline intriguing so I rented the DVD. I'm glad I did. I give this movie 9/10. Why? Because it's a very good movie. It's not a typical Hollywood blow-'em-up/shoot-'em-up. It doesn't rely on CGI or even special effects to puff it up. What makes it a good movie then? It has an intriguing idea and a good script to go on. It has very good actors and good direction. But most of all it is a compelling story of a very strange man who may, or may not, be an alien.

A man (Kevin Spacey) appears, seemingly out of nowhere, in Grand Central Station in New York City. A woman is robbed by two hoodlums and this man tries to help her off the floor. In the scuffle the police arrive. At first they think the man robbed the woman, but a witness steps forward to clear him. But he gives the police such strange answers to their questions that soon he finds himself in the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan where he's assigned to resident psychiatrist Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges). Dr. Powell determines the man's name is Prot (inexplicably pronounced to rhyme with note―why not just spell it Prote?) and he claims to come from the planet K-Pax, which lies about 1,000 light-years away in the Constellation Lyra. Powell of course thinks Prot's delusional and prescribes medication for him but mysteriously it has no effect on him. Dr. Powell claims Prot is the most convincing delusional he's ever handled. But through several hypnotic sessions he sees emerge a more human side to Prot. Soon Prot is making a significant positive effect on the other patients. He tells them he's returning to K-Pax on July 27 (2001), a planet he's described to them as an idyllic and peaceful place, and tells each one he will take one of them back with him. Soon all the patients are vying with each other to compose an essay why he, or she, should accompany Prot to K-Pax.

At a lawn party he's hosted, Dr. Powell talks about Prot to an astrophysicist friend and tells him of Prot's claim to come from a distant solar system. The man is intrigued. Dr. Powell asks him for some questions with which he can query Prot to test his claim. Prot comes through in flying colors. Based on his answers he's invited to be interviewed by a group of astrophysicists and astronomers. He blows them over with his intricate knowledge about the solar system and its two suns from which he claims to come. Does Prot really come from K-Pax? Or is he a savant who has the capability to rapidly master the intricate knowledge of a field that only specialists would know?

At another lawn party Dr. Powell hosts, Prot attends. An incident with a water sprinkler system causes Prot to lose it. Dr. Powell sees in this Prot's human side showing through and become convinces Prot is from planet Earth like everyone else. Through a little sleuthing, he traces Prot to a small town in New Mexico where he identifies him as Robert Porter, a man who had worked in the local stockyard as the man who stunned cattle before they were slaughtered. Porter lived a quiet isolated life with his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Rebecca. One day a drifter stopped by and raped and then murdered Sarah and murdered Rebecca. Porter discovered the drifter and killed him in a fit of rage. Then according to the official record he died by drowning in the local river although his body was never found. The date all this happened was July 27 1996. Suddenly Dr. Powell sees the significance of Prot telling everyone he's returning to K-Pax on July 27 2001. Dr. Powell is now convinced something very serious is going to occur on the fifth anniversary of the deaths of Prot/Porter's wife and children. The date comes. Prot/Porter turns catatonic. One patient, a young woman who never spoke to anyone, is found missing. The movie ends with Dr. Powell pushing a catatonic Prot/Porter in a wheel chair implying to him he knows what happened to the missing young woman. Prot/Porter has a cockeyed grin on his face. Is he Porter? Or Prot's human shell (Robert Porter's body) after Prot's departed with the young woman to K-Pax? Well, who knows? Normally, I don't care for ambiguous endings but this one worked OK.

It was interesting to see a young Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad) playing a cameo role as Dr. Powell's estranged son.

NOTE: The Constellation Lyra's major stars are about 1,000 light-years away. Dr. Powell remarks this is quite far away. But in terms of the Milky Way galaxy, whose diameter is 100,000 light-years, a 1,000 light-years away is not really far in galactic terms. Any star found within 1,000 light-years radius of our sun would be considered a member of our stellar neighborhood.

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Interesting movie
adineag3 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Kevin Spacey has a very good performance in this movie, as he always does.

At the beginning, the story is quite interesting, and the level of knowledge about the K-Pax planet and universe that Prot possess almost made me believe that he actually came from that planet. I still don't get how did he know how to draw that solar system.

The movie becomes very dramatic as we discover Prot's true identity and his horrible past, and the tension is starting to increase as he announces that he is going to return to his home planet.

In conclusion, i think K-Pax is a good movie and is worth watching.
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It is not a cereal, but a planet
robert-temple-11 May 2013
This is a truly brilliant film, and an inspired story from the novel by Gene Brewer. Brewer subsequently wrote three sequel novels and is finishing the fourth and last sequel as I write this. (The sequels have not yet been filmed.) I had to see this film a second time just to make sure I really admired it as much as I thought I did, but my conclusions were that I admired it even more the second time around. One reason why the film works so well is that the casting of the central character, who calls himself Prot, is so perfect. No one could have done this as well as Kevin Spacey, and I doubt that he has ever done anything better in his career. Spacey combines the most ordinary looks with the quirkiest and most compelling personality. No one can chomp a whole banana, skin and all, like he does here, and retain that bland look on his face, resembling 'Mr. Nobody'. Even Mr. Bean could not pull that off. As stories go, they don't come much stranger than this. One day Prot appears in Grand Central Station, emerging from a dazzling beam of light. (And by the way, I have the original Brassai print, for those who know who Brassai was.) He claims he has arrived on a beam of light from the planet K-PAX in the constellation of Lyra, where his planet has two suns which rise simultaneously only once in 200 years. He is able to draw the complex orbit for some astrophysicists, and astounds them. But he is taken away to a lunatic asylum, as any extraterrestrial would of course have been in those innocent days before the Patriot Act, whereas today he would automatically go to Guantanamo Bay and be given a free orange suit. Jeff Bridges plays the puzzled psychiatrist ('I believe he chose me', Bridges says of Prot) who tries to work out who and what Prot is, and finds it very hard going indeed. Tests reveal that Prot can see ultra-violet light, but this is not followed up in the film. Is Prot therefore a bumble bee? Is he a spaceman? He claims to travel at five or six times the speed of light, and speaks of tachyons. (Tachyons have nothing to do with tactility, so it is OK to let your kids see this picture.) Or is Prot a human named Robert Porter, with 'Prot' being some kind of contraction of 'Porter' perhaps? In any case, he knew Robert Porter, or maybe he is Robert Porter, or maybe he is not really Robert Porter now but was then, or oh what the hell. Prot says that at 5:51 AM on July 27th he will return to K-PAX, as he has booked his entry time for then. He says there are no faster-than-light visitants coming and going at our planet, but that they are so common at K-PAX they would bump into each other if reservations are not made in advance. Sure enough, something bizarre happens at that moment. But what exactly it is which has happened is not really clear. The film uses hypnosis a great deal in the story, as Bridges wants to regress Prot and try and get the answers as to who he really is. (He suggests that small lead weights will make his eyelids heavy. I expect they would, too!) He suspects that Prot is really a dual-personality. For clarification on these issues it is wise to consult the book OPEN TO SUGGESTION, and also Ernest Hilgard's DIVIDED CONSCIOUSNESS. But can one be a dual-personality and still be an extraterrestrial? Now, there is a question which has not yet occurred to astro-biologists. Or does coming from a binary star system make one a binary personality? Do Prot and Porter rise and set at different times? And what has all this got to do with Sirius B? (That's a joke.) This is a roller coaster of a mystery which exists in more than three dimensions (and you can forget Minkowskian space-time too, because that's inadequate to explain anything, even if you have not 'misread your Einstein', to quote a line from the film; four dimensions simply aren't enough, and even Kaluza and Klein cannot save you.) This film should appeal to anybody who likes sci fi, to anybody who does not like sci fi, to anyone interested in extraterrestrial life, to anyone not interested in extraterrestrial life, to astro-biologists, to eggheads, to bigots (extraterrestrials must not get an amnesty and be allowed to vote!), to sceptics, to believers, indeed because the story is so very mysterious, to just about anybody with a brain, and I believe there are still a few of those left. The only weak spot in the story is the 'embittered wife' motif. Bridges has an embittered wife who is always getting at him. Admittedly, that is better than the usual embittered ex-wife who haunts all modern American movies, but it is the embittered part of it that bothers me. Are there any American wives and ex-wives who are not embittered? The film would have escaped all accusations of formula if the formulaic embittered wife had not been thrust into the story to annoy us. Surely there must be a few wives somewhere who welcome their husbands home in the evening, exhausted from work and needing some comfort, who do not immediately attack and blame and castigate them? What I am saying is: is there such a thing today as a contented American wife? And if so, may we see her soon in a film, please? But putting that objection aside, this film is major mind-teaser, and long live mind-teasers! If we only had more films like this we might even remember how to think again. And just imagine what would happen to our world if we all turned our brains on instead of continuing to sleep-walk through our lives.
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Top Class Story Telling
Zro Byt24 April 2013
First of all Kevin spacey - Jeff bridges duo is wow. Kevin spacey deserves a Oscar for this role play in particular.

Story is new and the screenplay holds it strong. The dialogues are great with wit and satire in the beginning. The story travels interesting and ends up quite smart. Special credits to the scene at space research centre.

Few viewers may think the story ends unclear, but i would like to say that this is appropriate than any of the possible clear ending. Is he a kpaxian or not , let it be unanswered. This movie has science, emotional drama, love, humor and brilliance. Don't fail to watch it.
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