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Source Code (2011)

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A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete.

Director:

Duncan Jones

Writer:

Ben Ripley
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1,545 ( 46)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Colter Stevens
Michelle Monaghan ... Christina Warren
Vera Farmiga ... Colleen Goodwin
Jeffrey Wright ... Dr. Rutledge
Michael Arden ... Derek Frost
Cas Anvar ... Hazmi
Russell Peters ... Max Denoff
Brent Skagford ... George Troxel
Craig Thomas ... Gold Watch Executive
Gordon Masten ... Conductor
Susan Bain Susan Bain ... Nurse
Paula Jean Hixson ... Coffee Mug Lady
Lincoln Ward Lincoln Ward ... Minister Sudoku
Kyle Gatehouse ... College Student
Albert Kwan ... Soda Can Guy
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Storyline

Army Captain Colter Stevens finds himself working on a special program where his consciousness can be inserted into another human being. The only catch is can only be there for 8 minutes at any given time. That morning, a bomb exploded on a commuter train just outside Chicago. He occupies the body of teacher going to work on that train and is confused as to what he is doing or why he is there as his last memory is of flying his helicopter on a combat mission in Afghanistan. Those in charge of the program explain to him that there is a bomb on the train, and that he must locate it. More importantly, he must identify the bomber as another bombing is expected later that day. He is also told however that he cannot change the past and can only gather information. As he develops a liking for his traveling companion Christina, he sets out to test that theory. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Make every second count


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence including disturbing images, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

8 minutos antes de morir See more »

Filming Locations:

Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,812,094, 3 April 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,712,227

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$147,332,697
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jake Gyllenhaal, Gordon Masten, Joe Cobden, Anne Day-Jones and Matt Holland had all previously appeared in The Day After Tomorrow (2004). Distinctly, Masten played a bus driver in that film and the conductor in this film. See more »

Goofs

Colter Stevens is said to be a member of the 17th Airborne. This unit was permanently deactivated in 1949. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christina Warren: I took your advice. It was good advice, thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Listed as "EDITORIAL ESPRIT DE CORPS Eleanor Rigby" See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Office: Gettysburg (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The One and Only
Written by Nik Kershaw
Performed by Chesney Hawkes
Courtesy of Sargent Poppy Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Two Joneses
1 April 2011 | by colinrgeorgeSee all my reviews

"Source Code" isn't even vaguely plausible. I try not to overthink sci-fi spitballing, but even the most preposterous premises should adhere to an implicit rule set. Based on a screenplay by Ben Ripley, who previously authored two direct-to-DVD "Species" flicks, this lazy follow- up to director Duncan Jones' understated 2009 character study "Moon" is a major disappointment.

Steeped in pseudo-science, "Source Code's" biggest fault is its failure to adequately explain the parameters of the titular alternate reality experiment. Through vague governmental computer wizardry, Army Capt. Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is uploaded into the body of a civilian aboard an ill-fated Chicago-bound commuter train and tasked with locating a rigged explosive and its owner. To complicate matters, he only has eight minutes until impact and it's back to start.

So begins a trial and error rescue mission—not to save the train itself, but to identify the culprit and avert a looming second attack. If you're already confused, don't sweat it—Stevens is too. After every botched attempt, he finds himself back in a dank isolation room harnessed into an enormous machine with a video link to his commanding officers. As he probes them for more information on his mission, he also pries out the requisite exposition about the tech.

Long story short, Source Code isn't time travel. It merely relocates Stevens' consciousness into the lingering memory trail of the recently deceased. Cool, right? The problem is that such a heady concept immediately opens itself to a thousand potential plot holes. For instance, if Stevens is reliving the terminal eight minutes of someone's life, why can he exit the train at random when the body and mind he's sharing has no frame of reference for it? How does he even know what the passengers two cars over look like?

Even if you buy into the flawed logic of "Source Code," the filmmaking just isn't up to snuff. Jones throws subtlety to the wind for this antithetical take on the genre he seemed so passionate for two years ago. He imbues the proceedings with a nondescript glossy veneer and achieves unanimously stilted performances from his cast. Character actor Jeffrey Wright comes away looking especially bad, but Gyllenhaal is also mismanaged in the lead.

It isn't their fault; Jones lacks vision and Ripley lacks talent. The latter in particular seems incapable of executing on even his better ideas interestingly. By his hand, Stevens' lame bomb-sniffing stratagem boils down to blindly badgering suspicious-looking commuters and eventually lucky guesswork. Maybe some will respond to his common sense approach, but I much prefer watching characters more clever than myself weasel their way out of trouble. For all his military training, Captain Stevens might as well have been Joe Average Passenger.

A far cry from the careful construction of Duncan Jones' offbeat debut, "Source Code" is a discouragingly impersonal film shellacked with Hollywood disinfectant. Worse, it's plain bad science fiction. It's a halfhearted amalgam of films like "The Matrix" and "Inception," hold the fresh perspective. Still, I'm not ready to count Jones out. The young director had a hand in fleshing out "Moon," and will hopefully creatively contribute more to future projects. However, as it stands, his first two features couldn't be more at odds. Taken alone, "Source Code" is a misfire; given that it's the sophomore effort of so promising a talent, it's a major missed opportunity.


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