The Box

The Box

Richard Kelly (2008)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Richard Matheson's short story Button, Button, already a 1980s Twilight Zone TV episode, is just the jumping off point for Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly's convoluted chiller. When a mysterious stranger (Frank Langella) turns up on their doorstep with a strange proposition, married couple Cameron Diaz and James Marsden must grapple with a moral dilemma. The film's simple premise - if you could get rich by pushing a button causing a total stranger's death, would you? - is suitably eerie, but Kelly confuses matters with oddball tangents and Byzantine plot twists, while Diaz and Marsden are horribly stilted. The film soon collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, bringing surrealism, spirituality, existentialism and even otherworldly interference into the mix. This cosmic joke isn't as bad as Kelly's previous picture, Southland Tales, but it's still a total mess, even if it is a stylish looking one.


A couple are given a mysterious wooden box with a button on it and told that if they press it, they will be given a million dollars but that someone somewhere in the world will die. After pressing the button, they fear they may be the next victim when the box is passed on, and try to find out how and why this is happening. Sci-fi thriller, with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.

Cast & Crew

Norma Lewis Cameron Diaz
Arthur Lewis James Marsden
Arlington Steward Frank Langella
Norm Cahill James Rebhorn
Dick Burns Holmes Osborne
Walter Lewis Sam Oz Stone
Dana Gillian Jacobs
Lana Burns Celia Weston
Rhonda Martin Lisa K Wyatt
Director Richard Kelly
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: IconAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 4 Dec 2009