Director: Duncan Jones
Synopsis: Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhall) a helicopter pilot in the Afghanistan War, awakes on a train. He soon finds out that he is part of a simulation of a train that exploded earlier in the day outside of Chicago. His job is to find the bomber on the train so that further disaster can be averted. He relives the situation in 8 minute increments over and over until he can locate the bomber.
Review: I was excited to see this movie because of its pedigree — Duncan Jones also directed the low budget hard sci-fi film Moon. The premise for the movie is pretty cool. There are obvious references to Groundhog Day in that Captain Stevens must relive the same moments over and over in 8 minute increments. There are definitely some twist and turns along the way and some great examples of the director not giving you all of the information, which cause for some great reveals. Overall, however, I feel that the movie falls a little flat. It fails to use the 8-minute repeated structure in a useful way. We don’t necessarily see Captain Stevens using the information that he learns along the way to find the killer — much like a mystery, but rather each time he tries a new approach and one eventually works. Also it feels as though the climax comes a little too early and easily — leaving the denoument a little too drawn out and limp.