6.1/10
41,145
144 user 248 critic

The Zero Theorem (2013)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.

Director:

Terry Gilliam

Writers:

Pat Rushin (screenplay), Terry Gilliam (additional dialogue)
Reviews
Popularity
4,120 ( 706)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Tideland (2005)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Because of the actions of her irresponsible parents, a young girl is left alone on a decrepit country estate and survives inside her fantastic imagination.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Tilly, Jodelle Ferland
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger
Brazil (1985)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Time Bandits (1981)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Will and Jake Grimm are traveling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires true courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Monica Bellucci
Jabberwocky (1977)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young peasant, with no interest in adventure or fortune, is mistaken as the kingdom's only hope when a horrible monster threatens the countryside.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett, John Le Mesurier
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christoph Waltz ... Qohen Leth
Gwendoline Christie ... Woman in a Street Commercial
Rupert Friend ... Man in Street Commercial
Ray Cooper Ray Cooper ... Man in Street Commercial
Lily Cole ... Woman in Street Commercial
David Thewlis ... Joby
Sanjeev Bhaskar ... Doctor
Peter Stormare ... Doctor
Ben Whishaw ... Doctor
Mélanie Thierry ... Bainsley
Matt Damon ... Management
Lucas Hedges ... Bob
Margarita Doyle Margarita Doyle ... Mancom Computerised Lips
Tilda Swinton ... Dr. Shrink-Rom
Emil Hostina ... Slim Clone
Edit

Storyline

A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing is everything.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Romania | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Teorema Zero See more »

Filming Locations:

Bucharest, Romania See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$79,967 (United Kingdom), 14 March 2014, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,803, 19 September 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$219,438, 3 October 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (surveillance footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "futuristic" little cars that make crossing the street difficult for Qohen Leth (near the beginning of the movie) are called "Twizy", made by Renault, and were released in 2011. The Renault Twizy is a completely electric car. See more »

Goofs

When Qohen is sitting at his computer naked, he is wearing flesh colored underwear. See more »

Quotes

Bainsley: You're staring at me. You think my dress is incredibly ugly? Well, it's my daddy's fault. He used to buy me these incredibly ugly clothes to keep the boys away. It didn't work... only made me want to get naked. And that's no way to keep the boys away.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of the great Richard D. Zanuck who kept the ball rolling. See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The best Gilliam film so far
20 March 2014 | by hudini669See all my reviews

First of all, I must state that I've been following Terry Gilliam since the 1990s and that I have seen all of his films in retrospect. Most of them I liked instantly, some required multiple viewings to completely grasp but some were quite disappointing though. In my humble opinion, ever since 'The Fisher King' every new Gilliam film was either better or at least on par with the previous (with the exception of 'The Brothers Grimm' which was a dud). Having said all of that, I feel as if I still just wasn't prepared for 'The Zero Theorem'.

I usually don't make decisions about films to watch based on reviews (especially when it's a film by an author I admire), but I've read some very negative reviews on this one. What most of them had in common was that 'The Zero Theorem' was a shallow copy of 'Brazil' and/or 'Blade Runner'. Honestly, after seeing the film I think such superficial remarks are as fair as calling 'Saving Private Ryan' "a shallow copy of 'The Dirty Dozen'".

Although set in the future, 'The Zero Theorem' is a subtle but harsh critique of modern society much like the two aforementioned films it supposedly "copies", but it covers a completely different main subject. While 'Brazil' was a satire focused on a struggle between a small man and the bureaucracy, 'The Zero Theorem' touches much wider ground and asks some more important questions: Who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose? What's great about 'The Zero Theorem' is that it refrains from answering and lets the viewers find the answers themselves, and as such it not only succeeds to convey the message that life is too short to waste on waiting for some divine call but also touches on the very meaning of our existence more than any film I have ever seen.

On the technical side, the film is beautifully crafted, astonishingly decorated, marvelously acted and masterfully directed. This is a work of a great author in his prime and had it been made earlier in Gilliam's career it would have no doubt been remembered as his defining masterpiece. Almost thirty years after 'Brazil' it draws inevitable comparisons and is unfortunately labeled as lesser by people who obviously and sadly miss its complete point.

It is hard to judge 'The Zero Theorem' just as a film, because it is so much more than just a moving picture. Seeing it only for entertainment will most certainly leave the viewer dissatisfied. Watching it as an art form but also a philosophic treatise, it becomes some sort of a Nietzschean abyss staring back at you: it is deeper than imaginable but a fully cathartic experience as such.

A full and perfect 10 out of 10.


105 of 154 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 144 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed