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Source Code movie poster

Source Code: Movie Review

Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Duncan Jones

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
Released by: Summit Entertainment

In Short: Time travel, secret government agencies, terrorist plots and an extremely likable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal make “Source Code” a great way to spend two hours. Just don’t try to figure it out later.

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Cracking the “Code”

If watching mind-bending time-travel movies are your idea of a great time, then “Source Code” is definitely worth a look. The conceit of this well-played film is that the geniuses in the U. S. military have come up with a way to send a soldier into the past, by somehow dropping him into another person’s body. But the process only works for eight minutes. He then has those precious moments to affect a change in the time-space continuum, in this instance to stop a terrorist from blowing up a train full of commuters.

Don’t look too closely at how the time-travel part of the plot actually works, or director Duncan Jones will lose you. But if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and just go with it, his “Source Code” is a fascinating look at how a slight change in one’s actions can shift everything dramatically.

Michelle Monaghan and Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright in Source Code

Jake Gyllenhaal is incredibly likable in the leading role, as the soldier who repeatedly finds himself transported for those eight minutes inside the body of another man, a commuter who is riding a train from the Chicago suburbs into the city that a terrorist will blow up. As the man and his charming companion (Michelle Monaghan) experience that ride over and over again, the soldier inside is tasked with trying to stop the bomb from going off.

Up in the Air” Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga co-stars, as the officer who is manipulating the soldier within the code, and gives a credible performance as she struggles with the ethics of the time-travel device; and Jeffrey Wright, as the ruthless inventor of the code, is his usual believable self.

“Source Code” is a fun ride, with plenty of action and romance to keep viewers engaged. But don’t be surprised if once the credits roll and you try to figure out exactly what was going on and how the premise of the code actually is supposed to work, you come up a bit stumped. It doesn’t quite hang together, which obviously didn’t worry the filmmakers and actors at all. Oh well, who needs things to make sense? It’s Hollywood!


Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 04/01/11 CT)

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