Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Duncan Jones|
|Produced by||Mark Gordon
|Written by||Ben Ripley|
|Music by||Chris P. Bacon|
|Editing by||Paul Hirsch|
|Studio||The Mark Gordon Company
|Distributed by||Summit Entertainment|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Source Code is a 2011 American science fiction techno-thriller film directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. The film had its world premiere on March 11, 2011 at South by Southwest (SXSW), and was released by Summit Entertainment on April 1, in North America and Europe.
U.S. Army helicopter pilot Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), last aware of being on a mission in Afghanistan, wakes up on a commuter train to Chicago, at 7:40 am. To the world around him – including his traveling partner Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan) and the bathroom mirror – he appears to be Sean Fentress, a school teacher. As he comes to grips with this revelation, the train car explodes, killing everyone aboard.
Stevens regains consciousness inside a dingy dim cockpit, leaking oil. Communicating through a video screen, Air Force Captain Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) verifies Stevens' identity, and insists he stay "on mission" to find the bomber before another larger "dirty bomb" hits downtown Chicago in six hours. Inside the "Source Code" experimental device designed by scientist Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright), he experiences the last eight minutes of another compatible person's life within an alternative timeline.
Stevens is unwillingly sent back into the Source Code again and again in frustrating, exhausting attempts to learn the bomber's identity. He tries to warn authorities on the train and flee with Christina. But Rutledge insists the alternate timeline is not real.
He has been "with them" for two months since reported killed in action in Afghanistan. The cockpit capsule is in his imagination, his brain's way of making sense of missing environment. "As one soldier to another .. am I dead?" Angry to learn he is on life support, he asks to be disconnected after the mission. Rutledge agrees.
Stevens catches the bomber Derek Frost (Michael Arden), who leaves his wallet behind to fake death, and gets off at the last stop. In one run-through, Frost kills both Stevens and Christina, and flees in a rented white van. Stevens remembers the license number and direction so the authorities can catch the terrorist. But Rutledge reneges, orders Goodwin to wipe Stevens' memory for a future mission. Stevens convinces Goodwin to allow one more try, to save everyone on the train, despite Rutledge's assurances everyone is doomed.
Stevens disarms the bomb, subdues Frost and handcuffs him to a handrail inside the train. He reports the bomber and bomb to authorities, then calls to reoncile with his estranged father under the guise of a fellow soldier. He asks Christina what she would do if she knew that she only had seconds left to live, and starts to kiss her. At the same time, Goodwin lifts the cover to the top half of his comatose mutilated body, and disconnects the life support. Rutledge bangs on the outer door in vain. Surprisingly, Stevens finishes the kiss with Christina. They continue on the train, to walk around downtown Chicago in front of a building he remembers.
Later that morning, the alternative-timeline Captain Goodwin arrives for work at Nellis Air Force Base and hears an earlier message from Stevens-Fentress. While news breaks about the failed bomber on the Chicago train, he explains they have changed history. He asks Goodwin to reassure this timeline Stevens that "everything is gonna be okay."
- Jake Gyllenhaal as Capt. Colter Stevens
- Michelle Monaghan as Christina Warren
- Vera Farmiga as Capt. Colleen Goodwin
- Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Rutledge
- Russell Peters as Max Denoff
- Cas Anvar as Hazmi
- Michael Arden as Derek Frost
- Scott Bakula as Donald Stevens, Colter's father (Voice cameo)
- Frédérick De Grandpré as Sean Fentress (Reflection)
David Hahn, the boy depicted in the 2003 made-for-television documentary The Nuclear Boy Scout, was the inspiration for the antagonist Derek Frost. In an article published by the Writers Guild of America, screenwriter Ben Ripley is described as providing the original pitch to the studios responsible for producing Source Code:
Ripley first came up with the idea for Source Code, in which government operative Colter Stevens repeatedly relives the eight minutes leading up to a terrorist train bombing in hopes of finding the bomber, he had no intention of writing it on spec. Having established himself in Hollywood largely doing "studio rewrites on horror movies," he felt a solid pitch would do the trick. Unfortunately, it didn't. "I sat down with a few producers, and the first couple just looked at me like I was nuts," confesses Ripley. "Ultimately, I had to put it on the page to make my case."
After seeing Moon, Gyllenhaal lobbied for Jones to direct Source Code; Jones liked the fast-paced script; as he later said, "there were all sorts of challenges and puzzles and I kind of like solving puzzles, so it was kind of fun for me to work out how to achieve all these difficult things that were set up in the script."
In the ending scene, Jake Gyllenhaal's and Michelle Monaghan's characters are seen walking through Millennium Park, and make their way to the Cloud Gate. In a 2011 interview, Gyllenhaal discussed how director Duncan Jones felt the structure was a metaphor for the movie's subject matter, and aimed for it to feature at the beginning and end of the movie.
Principal photography began on March 1, 2010 in Montreal, Canada and ended on April 29, 2010. Several scenes were shot in Chicago, Illinois, specifically at Millennium Park and the Main Building at the Illinois Institute of Technology, although the sign showing the name of the latter, in the intersection of 31st Street and S LaSalle Street was edited out. Initially, some filming was scheduled at the Ottawa Train Station in Ottawa, Ontario, but cancelled for lack of an agreement with VIA Rail.
Editing took place in Los Angeles. In July 2010, the film was in the visual effects stage of post-production. Most of the VFX work was handled by Montreal studios, including Modus FX, Rodeo FX, Oblique FX, and Fly Studio. Jones had confirmed that the film's soundtrack would be composed by Clint Mansell, in his second collaboration with the composer. However, it was later announced that Mansell would no longer score the movie's soundtrack due to time constraints, and he was replaced by Chris P. Bacon.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|United States||United States||International||Worldwide||All time United States||All time worldwide|
|Source Code||April 2011||$54,712,227||$92,620,470||$147,332,697||#1095||Unknown||$32,000,000|||
Source Code was released in theaters on April 1, 2011. In the United States and Canada, Source Code was released theatrically in 2,961 conventional theaters. The film grossed $54,712,227 during its run with midnight screenings in 2,961 locations. Overall the film made $147,812,094 and debuted at #2 on its opening weekend.
|Source Code||91% (230 reviews)||74/100 (41 reviews)|
Source Code received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 91% "Certified Fresh" approval rating with an average rating of 7.5/10, based on an aggregation of 231 reviews and offers the consensus; "Finding the human story amidst the action, director Duncan Jones and charming Jake Gyllenhaal craft a smart, satisfying sci-fi thriller." Metacritic has awarded the film an average score 74/100 based on 41 reviews. Critics have compared Source Code with the 1993 film Groundhog Day, or called it a "cross between Groundhog Day and Murder on the Orient Express." Arizona Republic film critic Bill Goodykoontz says comparing Source Code to Groundhog Day is doing a disservice to Source Code's enthralling "mind game."
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "Confounding, exhilarating, challenging – and the best movie I've seen so far in 2011." Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, calling it "an ingenious thriller" where "you forgive the preposterous because it takes you to the perplexing." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called Ben Ripley's script "cleverly constructed" and a film "crisply directed by Duncan Jones", while also praising the "cast with the determination and ability to really sell its story." CNN called Ripley's script "ingenious" and the film "as authoritative an exercise in fractured storytelling as Christopher Nolan's Memento"; Gyllenhaal is "more compelling here than he's been in a long time." IGN gave it a 2.5/5, saying "Gyllenhaal brings sincerity and warmth to his role, but his conviction only helps the movie so far before it ultimately buckles under the weight of its plot mechanics." Lumino Magazine reviewer Matt Kolthof loved the film, giving it a perfect four out of four stars, saying "Altogether the film holds itself strong with powerful performances, a productive storyline, and a suspense that leads to blazing, breakneck action and passionate romance." He also related to such films as Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as it had a '70s sci-fi feel to it, remarking "This movie really rejuvenates old time sci-fi films." 
|2011||Scream Awards||Best Science Fiction Actor||Jake Gyllenhaal||Nominated|
|2011||Bradbury Award||Bradbury Award||Ben Ripley & Duncan Jones||Nominated|
|2012||Hugo Award||Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form||Ben Ripley & Duncan Jones||Nominated|
Source Code was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc simultaneously in the US on July 26, 2011, with the UK release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (as well as a combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc package) on August 15, 2011. In the UK, there was also a DVD released featuring a 3D cover.
Possible television series
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- It is stated that eight minutes is the length of short-term memory, and that one of the blast victims had neural pathways similar enough to Stevens' to allow Source Code to take advantage of a quantum effect reminiscent of a light bulb being switched off, allowing this period to be retroactively accessed for some time after the target person's death as a way of gleaning information critical to the prevention of additional, near-future terrorist attacks. It is believed that these alternative time-lines are not "real" and cease to continue after the eight-minute time limit; they can therefore supposedly be employed only to gain information.
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