The Box

Norma and Arthur Lewis (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden), a suburban couple with a young son, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world — someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

8 out of 10

This movie took me by surprise. It is a complex drama/ science fiction/suspense film that studies the complexities of what we value most.

The story takes some strange and unexpected alien turns in the movie, but throughout I found myself engaged in the story. Diaz is believable, displaying a sense of vulnerability as a handicapped teacher. Her husband, Marsden, is a scientist and failed astronaut. The two are unhappy and are looking for escape and change. They just don’t know what the cost will be, aside from the death of a complete stranger.

The story unwraps slowly and with patience, and has the feel of an Alfred Hitchcock film. The ending, as I mentioned, is strange, but not without point. This movie, on the surface, doesn’t seem like it’s as good as it actually was.

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