6.3/10
24,041
91 user 65 critic

The Discovery (2017)

TV-MA | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 31 March 2017 (USA)
Trailer
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.

Director:

Charlie McDowell
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3,567 ( 56)

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

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Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Descoberta See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jason Segel claims that while filming, he would "watch a lot of movies of Robert Redford when he was my age" in his free time for inspiration. He says Three Days of the Condor (1975) was one of the most influential films on his acting for this role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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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Soundtracks

Off World Will
Written by Jesse Plemons
Performed by Jesse Plemons
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User Reviews

Teases With An Interesting Idea But Fails To Fill A Convincing Plot Around It
11 April 2017 | by CinemaClownSee all my reviews

The idea behind the premise of The Discovery is an interesting one but its implementation isn't as refined as expected and only works in bits n pieces. It's a thoughtful feature that experiments with existential elements and poses some intriguing questions but it neither presents it in a convincing manner nor remains thoroughly gripping.

Set in the near-future, the story of The Discovery takes place in a world where suicide rate is at an all-time high after a scientist's breakthrough research proved the existence of an afterlife. The plot follows his son who is skeptical of his father's discovery and a mysterious young woman he meets on a ferry who wants to find out more about the afterlife.

Co-written & directed by Charlie McDowell, the film opens with a prologue that skilfully sets up the future the rest of the plot unfolds in. For a while, it appears as if the director is taking more time to properly establish the characters & explore the metaphysical elements but the longer it continues to ponder over the same stuff, the more tedious it becomes.

The script is where the problem lies, for the brilliant hypothesis that the writers came up with isn't meticulously explored as if they couldn't figure out what to do with it, plus none of the characters inhabiting its future-setting are compelling enough. The plot wrapped around its theory begins on a promising note but by the time it ends, it finds itself in a familiar territory.

The cold colour palette, overcast ambiance & muted textures evoke a grim, hopeless future which fits the story requirements. Pacing is an issue as the movie plods through its 102 minutes runtime before concluding with a rushed ending. Rooney Mara, Robert Redford & Jesse Plemons play their part well but Jason Segel is severely miscast, and his chemistry with Mara is absolutely flat.

On an overall scale, The Discovery is one of those sci-fi flicks that teases with a fascinating idea but is unable to fill a compact & captivating narrative structure around it. Deficient in storytelling department and further marred by its cluelessness & lack of vision, it is a dull & sterile mess that had the opportunity to offer a sensory & stimulating experience but what it ultimately delivers is a cinematic ride that's as frustrating as it is hollow.


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