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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
2,939 ( 832)





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

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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
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Had a screening at Jane Pickens Theater on March 20th, 2017. Charlie McDowell and Jason Segel were both in attendance. See more »


When Will saves Isla, she tells him: "You were supposed to be the last person I ever spoke to.". But after they talked while she was hitchhiking, she got a ride, so the last person Isla talked to should be the driver, at least to tell him where she was going to (even is she might be meaning that Will was "the last person she had a significant conversation with"). 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...
See more »


Hey Lacey
Written by Jesse Plemons
Performed by Jesse Plemons
See more »

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User Reviews

The Discovery
3 April 2017 | by ArgemalucoSee all my reviews

I expected The Discovery to be a horror film, but it ended up being an insipid and monotonous pseudo-scientific drama. The premise is undoubtedly fascinating, and it's obvious that co-screenwriters Charlie McDowell (who was also the director) and Justin Lader had many ideas; however, some structural and characterization problems deviated the attention from the main themes, making the film a diffuse and not very satisfactory experience which couldn't make the original concept justice. Nevertheless, The Discovery managed to keep me moderately interested with the experiments from Dr. Harber, whose guilty feelings for the wave of suicides impulse him seek additional answers about the "afterlife". His initial discovery revealed that human conscience (soul, spirit or whatever way you want to call it) travels to "another realm of existence" after the death of the body... but nobody knows what's awaiting us there. And, of course, that attitude Harber has regarding death is questioned by Dr. Stevenson, whose experiences with patients (as well as himself) suggest something less optimistic and more difficult to prove. If the whole film had been focused on the conflict between those points of view, I would have found it much more interesting, even without the need of reach of concrete resolution. Unfortunately, we have all that "humanist" filler which derails the mental experiment of the movie, and makes it an arbitrary "new age" pamphlet which reminded me of Flatliners. Both films explored what happens after physical death, and in both cases, it disappointed me to see such an enigmatic and controversial theme solved with cloying homilies about "rectifying mistakes from the past"... something which is inspiring to a certain point, but not on the mediocre level employed by these movies. Besides, The Discovery wastes too much time on irrelevant characters whose importance on the tale is minimum (at best), inflating the running time of the film and fracturing the integrity of the main drama even more. Anyway, as I previously said, The Discovery still managed to keep me moderately interested despite all my complaints, so I think I can give it a slight recommendation, specially to people interested in "life after death", a volatile combination of science and religion in which neither of them seems to have the last word. I guess we will all know the truth whenever our time comes.

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