Brian’s Review – “Source Code” (2011)


What’s it About?

An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.

“Source Code”

Directed by Duncan Jones

9 out of 10

By Brian

It would be easy to dismiss “Source Code” as a derivative copycat of “The Matrix” simply because it contains the world within a world concept. If you did that you’d be missing out on one of the truly special science fiction films in recent years. Director Duncan Jones’ first film Moon” was a cult hit that contained an interesting concept but failed when it came to pulling me in. However, his sophomore effort here has no such problems.

Right from the first frame, I was swept up in this world where it’s one part science fiction and the other part a detective story. I wouldn’t dare dream to explain the plot points to you because that would ruin the entire experience. The greatest art here is the sense of discovery that the viewer gets as more answers slowly come to the main protagonist. The lead in this case is played capably but never over the top by Jake Gyllenhaal. He hits just the right balance of emotions without ever overdoing it.

Sci/fi films are always tricky when actors go over the top because it’s a reminder to the audience that what they’re watching has less reality to it. The ending turned out to be much more emotionally satisfying than what I was expecting and was a welcome change from the usual shootouts and explosions that we get from most films of this type. Duncan Jones clearly has tremendous control over this medium and I can’t wait to see what he does next with “Warcraft.”  Don’t miss it!


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    • I’m glad as well. I think this film deserves much more credit than it is given. On the outside it may appear to be a “pop” sci fi flick but with Jones at the helm it is much more and indeed deeper than that.

      I appreciate you stopping in! Glad you liked Brian’s review. Thanks!

  1. Good review Brian. The ending is a bit wacky, but everything else leading up to it is pretty solid and tense. Shame that it’s taken Duncan Jones to come out with a new movie, but hopefully he doesn’t keep us waiting too much.

    • Yeah, his films are a bit spaced out, no? I think Warcraft is still shooting. I guess it’s better he take his time in order to knock out a quality movie, in that regard.

      Glad you liked Brian’s review, Dan. Thanks for checking in. Always appreciated!

  2. Cool review. However, I’m not much of a time travel fan (except for PRIMER, TRIANGLE and TIMECRIMES, as well as the action packed THE TERMINATOR) because of the constant loops in time and paradoxes. Still, a great review from Brian, and I’ll most likely place SOURCE CODE in my queue.

    As for MOON, I wasn’t pulled in either – and I wanted to love it! Though the acting was stellar and the atmosphere amazing, the premise made little sense.


    Why spend so much money and effort on recreating a human station attendant when it’s so much cheaper to rely on computers and robotics for automation? It was non-sensical to me.

    • I LOVED Triangle! Great movie. Is it that two parter series with Bruce Davison and Lou D Phillips?

      As far as Moon, I never looked at it that way. You make a solid point. I totally dug it, though. Like you said it had great atmosphere and Rockwell was amazing. Hard to carry a film like that all by your lonesome.

      I think you’ll like Source Code. Freaky stuff happens in it. I appreciate you checking in, Bill. It’s always great to hear from you! Glad you liked Brian’s review, too. Thanks!

      • Actually, I was thinking of TRIANGLE with Melissa George. It’s a mind-bender – and she’s rock solid.

      • Cool. I’ve heard of that one. But never watched it. I’ll track it down.

        The other Triangle was a time travel / alt timeline flick that aired years ago on SyFy (back when it was SciFi) and was actually quite good compared to the crapola they put out now. If you track it down, check it out.

        Thanks again for stopping by, Bill!

    • I am not actually sure which I like more but I’m leaning towards Moon a bit.

      Glad you liked Brian’s review! Thanks for stopping in! 🙂

    • I love it, too. I may actually watch it today. Glad you liked Brian’s review!

      Thanks for checking in. I appreciate it!

  3. I keep meaning to see this, after being so impressed by Moon. I think you’re review will finally increase this one’s height on my priority list. Excellent review, Brian.

    • Moon was indeed impressive, wasn’t it? I think you’ll enjoy Source Code. It was a lot of fun and had some very cool sci fi moments.

      I’m happy you liked Brian’s review. I appreciate you checking in, like always. Thanks!

  4. Great review, Brian! Such an underrated film. I missed it altogether when it came out at the cinema and caught it on the off chance one night on TV. Definitely hits a more emotional note than its genre counterparts, as you said.

    • It is under-rated and easily overlooked. I was very surprised by how much the film engaged me and kept me interested. Overall a solid and stylish sci fi production.

      Glad you liked Brian’s review, Jim. I appreciate you checking in, man! 🙂

  5. That good eh? Jake is my second favorite mainstream actor! I was not very impressed with his latest film Enemy, yet that does not change the fact. I’ve actually never watched this one, so I think that I may have too. Short, but sweet as pie review!

    • If Jake is one of your faves, then you should really enjoy this movie. It was smart and exciting. A nice sci fi mystery.

      I have heard some great things about Enemy (did you review it?) but I guess it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I have yet to watch it but I heard it was a Lynchian- Cronenberg type of story. Kind of Kafka-esque. Actually, these types of films don’t always please me either but we’ll see.

      Glad you liked Brian’s review. Thanks for stopping in! I appreciate it.

      • Yeah I did. It was not my cup of tea. Or anyone in my theater who responded with nothing but laughs and complaints. The score has gone down a bit on the major sites. The film is genius, but the execution is seriously tedious and dull.

        No problem dude!

    • That is the one reason that kept me glued to the movie and the story. I’m glad that so many people like this film. So well done on so many levels.

      I appreciate you checking in, Paul. Thanks for reading Brian’s review, man!

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