84 user 64 critic

The Discovery (2017)

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
2,592 ( 501)





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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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

31 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Descoberta See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


The interview at the beginning is obviously given a blue hue for a lifeless feel and the curtains are open for symbolic reasons. If this had been a real video interview, the drapes would have been closed or the exterior light would be blown out as seen, which creates far too much contrast. The alternative would have been to stop down the shutter and ramp up the lights by 300%, which would have greatly reduced the contrast, creating an easily viewable image. Any good video producer would have known this an adjusted accordingly. 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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Let's All Get Together
Written by Martie Echito
Performed by Martie Echito
Courtesy of Fervor Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Idea, Poorly Executed
30 May 2017 | by arthurc-84980See all my reviews

I watched The Discovery on Netflix the other day. It has an excellent premise and looking at the description the film looks like it should be great. But instead of fulfilling its potential, it misses the mark and ends up being very underwhelming.

The film is set in a world two years after the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proved. Intriguing, right? You could make such a great film with that premise! It's such a shame that this film just doesn't do it well.

It's because of the great idea behind it that I haven't given this film a lower score. Conceptually, it's very interesting. There are some good performances from Robert Redford and Jesse Plemons, and the film has a pretty good twist at the end. Those are the good things.

Visually, it's very dull. There are no vibrant colours. The overall tone of the film is pretty depressing, which is a shame because they could have made it really exciting. It could have been a satirical comedy or a great romance film, but it is neither of those things. It takes itself very seriously, and it's no fun to watch at all. Jason Segel and Rooney Mara aren't great, and the romance between them didn't work at all, I felt. It's a huge missed opportunity, and I hope someday they remake it and improve on the things they got wrong. It really could have been a great film, but unfortunately, they didn't get it right.


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