92 minutes

For his sophomore feature, British director Duncan Jones returns to the high-concept territory of his acclaimed debut Moon, now within more recognisable Hollywood boundaries but using again a science-fiction concept to explore issues of humanity and identity. Source Code is the codename of a top secret military experiment that sends Afghanistan vet Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) into the body of a teacher aboard a Chicago commuter train that will be blown up in eight minutes, to relive those eight minutes until he can discover who the bomber is. Like Sam Rockwell's character in Moon, Stevens is confined to the innards of a machine for half the film's brisk length, but here there is also an outside world embodied by his increasingly distraught military handler (Vera Farmiga) and the lovely girl (Michelle Monaghan) traveling opposite him on the doomed train.
Adroitly shifting between the laboratory and the alternate realities created by Stevens' looped attempts at solving the mystery, mr. Jones effectively spins a thought-provoking tale that follows sci-fi's time-honoured tradition of smart, satisfying B-movies with something to say, and injects a measure of Hitchcockian whodunit in a tale with a twist difficult to see coming. What it lacks, for all that, is a sense of ambition and drive; you get the feeling mr. Jones isn't so much stretching as playing it safe, but nothing wrong with that when the results are this entertaining.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright.
Directed by Duncan Jones; produced by Mark Gordon, Jordan Wynn, Philippe Rousselet; written by Ben Ripley; music by Chris Bacon; director of photography (Technicolor colour, Deluxe prints), Don Burgess; production designer, Barry Chusid; costume designer, Renée April; film editor, Paul Hirsch; visual effects supervisor, Louis Morin.
A Vendôme Pictures presentation of a Mark Gordon Company production; with the participation of the Government of Canada Film or Video tax credit and of the British Columbia Film Commission. (US distributor and world sales, Summit Entertainment.)
Screened: distributor advance press screening, Zon Lusomundo screening room (Lisbon), April 12th 2011. 


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