Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
The best thing about Source Code is that it represents what science fiction films should be. This isn’t a brain dead blow ’em up with ray guns, but a clever thought experiment woven into an action movie.
The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a solider in a secret government experiment that allows him to repeatedly relive the last eight minutes in the life of a victim of a terrorist attack in the hopes of discovering the man responsible and preventing a subsequent bombing. It’s kind of like a sci-fi/thriller variation on Groundhog Day with the hero trying to save a city rather than lighten up.
Duncan Jones directs, and while it feels like a step down intellectually from his excellent 2009 debut Moon, he does get to strut his stuff as an action director. Jones nimbly balances the thrills and heady concepts for the most part, but the script wraps up in a rather pat and sentimental manner that feels somewhat cheap. Still, despite stumbling across the finish line, Source Code is easily one of the most intriguing films to emerge from Hollywood this year. Gripping popcorn entertainment that also gently tickles the brain comes along far too rarely.