Source Code (2011)

Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), a helicopter pilot for the army, wakes up disoriented on a passenger train. He doesn’t recognise his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) and jumps when he sees his own reflection as he doesn’t look the way he remembers. Moments later he wakes up again, but now finds himself in a capsule in front of a monitor with a woman telling him what he should do and warps back to the train. Slowly he finds out that there is a bomb on the train and it is his assignment to find it and the person who planted it.

Colter keeps switching between two realities and it becomes clear what is going on. The piece on the train could be compared to something like Groundhog Day, as the same 8 minutes keep repeating itself, but it is Colter that decides what decisions will change the course of those minutes. The puzzle pieces in his search for answers to his questions (what is going on, what is real) fall into place as the movie progresses.

Jake Gyllenhaal is excellent in his role and manages to take the viewer along with him in his confusing journey. Michelle Monaghan doesn’t get a chance to do a lot, but she does have enough chemistry with Gyllenhaal to make her interesting to watch.
Ever since the Shaft remake (starring Samuel L. Jackson) I’ve been a big fan of Jeffrey Wright, who has proved that he’s a versatile actor (his role in Casino Royale was something completely different compared to the one in Shaft). Although his role isn’t very big he manages to convince as a manager who is focussed only on one thing…success.

The movie has been directed by Duncan Jones, who was previously responsible for the superb Moon. Compared to that movie Source Code is more commercial, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t have you scratching your head. I’m sure that after seeing this you will want to discuss what exactly happened and if it all makes sense.

Score: 7

10 thoughts on “Source Code (2011)

  1. Jake Gyllenhaal is hard not to like, and Vera Fermiga is tough and still beautiful. But I expect the ending to be different. Maybe they want to do a sequel.

  2. Hey – found your site from another romp around the lamb universe. I caught your review here. Wow, I have to say I’m at odds with this film. I wanted to like it, I thought Moon was fantastic, especially with Sam Rockwell. Do you know the film Silent Running with Bruce Dern? If not, you should check it out.

    I had high hopes for Source Code, especially since I’ve also been a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal for quite a while from Donnie Darko. But Source Code stopped being interesting for me after the first eight minutes. Unlike Groundhog’s Day, this story loop keeps the characters in the dark far too long for its own good. And the ending seemed thrown together.

    Nice selection of photos for your review, good points about the characters – still not enough for them to do though.

    Oh, and check out Cadillac Records and Syriana if you’re a Jeffrey Wright fan.

    • Thanks for visiting and taking time to read the review.

      No, never heard of Silent Running, but will add it to my long list of movies I’ll still have to see 😉

      Gyllenhaal was indeed very good in Donnie Darko and it’s nice to see he’s been able to stay in movies and play interesting roles.

      I’ve seen Syriana, but struggled to get through it (probably started 3 or 4 times before making it through to the ending). I still got Cadillac records in my stack of DVD’s to watch but have not come around to doing so. Main reason I guess is that Beyonce is in it and I’m not a big fan of her.

  3. I like to think Moon and Source Code are totally different beasts. Certainly I felt more isolated while watching Moon similar to the protagonist in that film. Source Code is more concerned with action and suspense than the quiet moments in the inner resources of your mind.

    That being said I did enjoy Source Code quite a bit more than you do, regardless of its faults.

    • If you had to choose to watch one of them again, which one would it be? Like you said they are totally different, but I do think that Moon is the better film.

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