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The Discovery (2017)

TV-MA | | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi | 31 March 2017 (USA)
1:44 | Trailer
Two years after the afterlife is scientifically proven, a man attempts to help a young woman break away from her dark past.


Charlie McDowell
4,639 ( 132)





Credited cast:
Robert Redford ... Thomas
Mary Steenburgen ... Interviewer
Brian McCarthy ... Sound Recordist
Jason Segel ... Will
Rooney Mara ... Isla
Jesse Plemons ... Toby
Ron Canada ... Cooper
Riley Keough ... Lacey
Connor Ratliff ... Coroner
M.J. Karmi ... Janice (as MJ Karmi)
Kimleigh Smith ... Hospital Receptionist
Willie C. Carpenter ... Hospital Janitor (as Willie Carpenter)
Wendy Makkena ... Mom
Adam Khaykin ... Oliver (as Adam Morrison Khaykin)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lindsay Schnebly Lindsay Schnebly ... Newscaster


Writer-director Charlie McDowell returns to Sundance this year with a thriller about a scientist (played by Robert Redford) who uncovers scientific proof that there is indeed an afterlife. His son is portrayed by Jason Segel, who's not too sure about his father's "discovery", and Rooney Mara plays a mystery woman who has her own reasons for wanting to find out more about the afterlife. Written by Barry Brown, Park City, UT

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

31 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Descoberta See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nicholas Hoult was cast but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with the movie The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018). He was replaced by Jason Segel. See more »


Will rules out the possibility of the image retrieved from a corpse being a memory of the deceased person, on the grounds that it does not match the events that took place in real life. Science has discovered, however, that memory is in fact not an accurate record of what one perceives but rather a distorted and malleable one, and Will, being a neurologist, must have been aware of this. See more »


[first lines]
Interviewer: Dr. Harber, before we're live, I just wanted to say thank you for choosing me.
Thomas: [warming up his voice] Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Interviewer: The rich history you have with other journalists...
Thomas: I chose you precisely because we don't have a history. Now, don't fuck it up.
Producer: Fifteen seconds...
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Sonata for Piano No.17 in B Major KV 570 - Allegro
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Arranged by Jim Long
Performed by Hugo Steurer
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation & Point Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

Who needs Jesus when we have Redford to show us Death has no sting?
28 March 2017 | by aldiborontiSee all my reviews

Two years after a scientist finds solid proof of the existence of an afterlife and after a subsequent drastic increase in the worldwide rate of suicides two people meet on an otherwise empty ferry heading to a small seaside town. They are Will (Jason Segel) and Isla (Rooney Maria). Will turns out to be the son of the aforementioned scientist, played by Robert Redford. The latter has retired to an isolated house since his discovery which is staffed by people who attempted suicide and failed. There he works on attempting to record by means of some electronic gizmo wired to his head what happens in the moments after death by flat-lining.

Subsequent events unfold in a somewhat predictable fashion but don't make the mistake of thinking this is an sf or horror movie because that's not really what it is although it does incorporate elements of each. What it is at heart in fact is a rather syrupy love story.In fact the film-makers may have shot themselves in the foot here as its intended audience may be put off by the sf/horror scenes while the horror crowd will see the tag 'love story' and decide this is too schmaltzy for them. And they'd be right.

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