Box art for The Box

The Box

drama, horror, sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers

What if someone gave you a box containing a button that, if pushed, would bring you a million dollarsbut simultaneously take the life of someone you don't know?

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Creepy thriller too confusing for kids, awful for adults.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Cameron Diaz thriller from the director of Donnie Darko is based on a macabre premise: that human beings would rather win money than protect a stranger's life. It's too confusing and intense for tweens and young teens, and, in addition to the cloud of violence hovering over the entire movie, there are several disturbing images, including an upsetting disfigurement; two women being killed at close range; people who have eerie, unexpected nosebleeds; a fatal car accident; and gun violence. The swearing is fairly mild (one use of "s--t" is as strong as it gets), the sexuality is limited to the main couple kissing passionately and embracing, and the drinking is mostly social and done by adults. Still, most kids won't want to bother figuring out the movie's dark themes and puzzling plot.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what the movie's experiment says about human nature. Is money more important than a stranger's life?
  • What would have you done given the same choice? Was what happened after the characters "hit the button" predictable?
  • Do movies have to be believable or relatable to be entertaining?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 30
    see all The Box reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: I think that Richard Kelly, from one film to the next, has gone in some very interesting and sometimes puzzling directions.

- A.O. Scott, At the Movies, Monday, November 9, 2009

Rotten: Kelly treats what is essentially a Stanford University psychology experiment with inflated somberness.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rotten: Have you ever actually tried watching paint dry? A sloth walk? Grass grow? You can have all the thrills with none of the chills courtesy of The Box, the painfully sluggish new sci-fi morality play from Donnie Darko creator Richard Kelly.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, November 5, 2009

Audience Reviews

0 star

I'm not really sure what this movie was suppose to accomplish, and I don't think the writer did either. It's not entertaining horror, it's not interesting sci-fi, and the suspense is poorly executed. The only thing the film achieves is making a contrived mess. Things start off promising, but it's all downhill from there. Halfway through, the stupidity is just overwhelming. This film ends up lower than dog excrement. Avoid.

- fb100000040220993, Friday, June 1, 2012

3 stars

27/07/2011 (DVD) Bewildered at first! The bewildered weirdness kicks but and for was very puzzling. Sometimes I felt like "what the heck is going on?" And then I would settle down to see the strange results produced from the unexplainable theories that in the end all made sense! Very "Twilight Zone"-ish and according to what I know, the original story "Button, Button!" was written by "Richard Matherson" who wrote "I Am Legend" and several "Twilight Zone" episodes which explains the psychological wrenching. A well done film adaptation for a short-story! Thinking that this team was able to produce a full length movie out of a short-story article from a "Playboy" magazine from 1970... Impressive.

- EightThirty, Monday, April 30, 2012

2 stars

Weak. It started off okay, but drastically fell off from there.

- fb729949618, Saturday, September 24, 2011