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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on February 13, 2013
This is one of those movies that deals more on human psychology and interaction than action, personally i found it was really good, not the best but really fun to watch. The person who directed is the same who directed splice, which wasn't such a horrible movie.
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on June 1, 2005
Much like Vicenzo Natali's later film, "Nothing," "Cube" uses a highly unusual setup and setting to explore the characters who inhabit it. Seven strangers wake up in the titular cube with no knowledge of how they got there and no indication of what, if anything, they're expected to do. As they attempt to solve the apparent puzzle and escape, we learn what drives them and gradually see how the stress of the situation causes their true characters to emerge. In that respect, as a character study, I found "Cube" immensely interesting and even surprising. The character arcs are believable and well thought-out, and the dialogue supports them. I thought the casting was excellent as well -- clearly, that's a "love it or hate it" aspect of this movie, as the other reviews indicate.
The film's weakness, however, is the setup itself -- it's a great idea, but unlike the characters, it's never developed. (Skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to see potential spoilers.) Who "runs" the cube? Why were these people put in it? Where does escaping take them? These are all questions that the characters themselves ask, but they're never answered. We don't even know the time period (for that matter, we don't know if it's even Earth...). It makes it difficult to know how to feel when the closing credits roll.
It's not uncommon to leave questions unanswered to allow the audience to bring their own interpretation to a story, but it's a fine line between doing that and leaving questions unanswered because the filmmakers don't know the answers either (I get the impression that's the case here). Tough call on the rating...but I'm giving "Cube" 4 stars because by virtue of the characters and what we do know of the setting itself, there are a lot of genuinely suspenseful moments and unexpected twists, and I just plain enjoyed the movie. If you're willing to overlook the undeveloped setup, "Cube" is worth your time.
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on May 28, 2004
What a great concept. A handful of people awaken to find themselves trapped inside a bunch of cubical rooms, connected by doors in each of the six faces. They have no idea where they are or how to get out, but since they have no food or water, they need to find out fairly quickly. But some of the rooms contain deadly booby-traps, and nobody knows how to tell which ones they are. Turns out all the rooms form one giant cube; nobody knows exactly why anyone wanted to construct such a complicated, useless, and potentially deadly piece of machinery -- let alone why anybody would deliberately put _people_ in it . . .
This premise would have been at home on the old 'Twilight Zone' series (or even on the original 'Star Trek', with the trapped parties being Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and 'Crewman Green'). And ya don't gotta be Kafka to smell the allegory; at any rate, if _your_ life has never felt like this, you probably won't like the movie.
The execution is very good too. Obviously a film like this requires a small ensemble cast and a script that manages to keep things interesting for an hour and a half even though all the 'action' takes place inside a series of practically identical cubical rooms. It has both. I won't spoil anything here, but there are some genuinely suspenseful moments and there's a lot of excruciating _psychological_ tension. (And not just from claustrophobia.)
I'm knocking off a star just because I just don't think the characters quite gel. They're interesting enough, but they're neither sufficiently complex to keep me fully engaged with them nor sufficiently 'archetypal' to support the allegory. In some respects their characterization occasionally seems inconsistent.
Very cool movie, though, and the slightly weak characterization isn't much of a drawback. It's not at all a 'hopeful' film and the ending won't make you gasp with moral relief; nor will all that many of your questions get answered. But if (like me) you enjoy that sort of movie, you'll especially enjoy this one.
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"Cube" is a cult hit. That basically means that it's good or innovative, but not many people know about it.

Vincenzo Natali (also creator of "Cypher" and "Nothing") made his full-length directorial debut with this film -- a low-budet, innovative sci-thriller that feels like an episode of the "Twilight Zone," as written by Mark Danielewski and Franz Kafka. Yes, it's that surreal -- and that intelligent and well-written.

Seven people have been placed in a cubical room, which is connected to a bizarre maze of thousands more. Among are a cop, a disabled man, an architect, a student, a doctor and a criminal, and all of them have wildly disparate personalities. But they soon learn that behind the countless doors, there are deadly booby-traps.

So of course, their chances of survival don't seem so good. But they soon learn that their placement in the Cube is no accident -- each one has skills that the group needs. To escape, they will have to band together and use their brains. But why are they in the Cube in the first place -- and is the maze even the same as when they started?

Vincenzo Natali's "Cube" is a perfect example of what Hollywood can't seem to grasp -- it doesn't matter how much money is poured into a movie, because it's the concept, brains and skill that make it good or bad. Not the special effects or the big names.

And Natali did a magnificent job with his first full-length movie, infusing what seems to be a straightforward thriller with a taut, claustrophobic atmosphere, and some ominous hints about morality (or the lack of it) and sociology. It also has an unusually intelligent script, with prime numbers and their powers playing a big part, right next to the gruesome deaths. And of course, the solid dialogue. ("You've got a gift." "It's not a gift. It's just a brain.")

At the heart of the creepiness: Natali only reveals the secrets of the Cube as they are revealed to the characters, which adds to the suspense. What is this thing? Why are they in it? We know as much as they do. And we're only going to find out more about it when they do.

It's also a movie that bothers to have real characters. No screaming teens here -- the movie's plot depends on them being very different. Natali and André Bijelic reveal the characters through their action and dialogue -- some are whiny, some are cruel, and some are just annoying. Some of the acting is rather flat, and a few of the arguments ring hollow, but overall it's very like watching real people.

Vincenzo Natali's "Cube" gives a good name to shoestring budgets and eerie plots. Definitely deserving of its cult status -- bizarre, twisted and creepy.
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on October 1, 2012
This is a awesome movie. It's worth the Blu-ray upgrade! The picture is perfect. Order this Blu-ray asap you will be happy you did. They don't sell this blu-ray in the usa so i ordered from Amazon Canada!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 14, 2013
The Cube(released Sept/97)is a wonderful Canadian production,starring Nicole De Boer(Dax in DS9),Maurice Dean Wint as Quentin,Nicky Guadagni as Dr. Helen Holloway,David Hewlett as David Worth,Andrew Miller as Kazan,Wayne Robson as Rennes(One Magic Christmas,as the guy who hijacks the children),and Julian Richings as Alderson.It is a grand study in paranoia,fear of the unknown and human beings reduced to the simplest of equations in so far as their emotional stability goes.It is instinctual and at times raw and unnerving to watch as the group`s numbers dwindle and they spiral ever downwards within themselves.
The film begins as an unknown man is lying on a floor in a square/cubed room.He gets up,takes a few steps then is sliced and diced by a swift moving steel metal sieve.He literally falls to pieces before our eyes.It is certainly a disturbing harbinger of what is to come.The film progresses to introducing us to a group of individuals who eventually all come together,and work on a way of trying to get out of their strange dilemma.They put forth their own personal theories as to the whys of their predicament,ranging from an alien kidnapping to a government run conspiracy.Among the group there is a doctor,an ex con,a cop,a student,an autistic savant and one of the actual creators of part of the structure they now stand in.He apparently worked on the outer shell,and was in communication with others working on the project,but none knew what the ultimate design was nor the others names.
The student utilizes her math skills to get the group going from one safe room to another,as each are numbered and some rooms are booby trapped.Time passes on and the group starts to dwindle and tempers flare and extreme paranoia and fear touches each one in different ways.They eventually learn they are all in a giant cube,with a myriad of other cubes that constantly move.They also figure out that the original cube they started from was the one they should have stayed in in the first place.They get back to that location,and in time the room comes to a halt at a portal that they may escape from,which exudes white light.As the film ends only one person escapes into the light and....freedom?
The films opening is disturbing but it quickly backs away and starts out slowly introducing each character and their idioms.However the claustrophobic fog permeates the entire film and it never dissipates at all,thus pulling you into their world with ease.It is a simple concept yet complicated at the same time,focusing hard on the complex beings that are humans.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include some deleted scenes,commentary and a short interview with Nicole De Boer.
All in all a wonderful film study of humans in a guinea pig environment,with no where to go and only their wits and each other to rely on to escape....but do they?The ending has a neat and bittersweet twist.Highly recommended.4 1/2 stars.
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on August 1, 2002
Imagine you're in a cube shaped room (14x14x14 ft.). There's a door on each side of the room that leads to another, nearly identical to the one you're in now. The only distinguishing features are the colour of the room and seemingly random numbers printed on the doorways..........oh..........and the booby traps. The traps will dice you, incinerate you, hollow out your skull with hydrochloric acid, and lots of other neat stuff (or there may not be a trap at all).
Now imagine you wake up in one of these rooms, with no recollection of how you got there and no idea of why you're there or how to get out.
This is a great low budget ($300,000 Canadian) sci-fi flick. I'm not suprised at all that it did very well internationally (and quite surprised that the Americans didn't seem to take to it).
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on August 6, 2000
No comments on the math behind the film? Well, I liked the film, but they really needed a math advisor. The numeric genius hero is looking the number 645 for 3.5 seconds, and finally concluded 'it is not a prime'. Well of course it is not a prime, the number ending with 5 is divisible by 5. Then she turns her attention to the next number, 372. An even number! Yet, it took her 3 seconds to conclude that it is not a prime.
After that, she needs an autistic 'genius' in order to be able to count the prime factors of a 3-digit integer. Come on, every child could do that.
And yet, she somehow deciphers the coordinates of the rooms by 'decoding' three numbers. Not only the coordinates, but also the trajectory the room follows in time. I played that part of the DVD a couple of times, and her explanation does not make sense. Is there really some math behind these coordinates or is it just empty talk? Please write to me at dejan@ristanovic.com if you can transform those numbers into coordinates.
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on July 24, 2000
Just because filmmakers of the Cube, having a low budget, filmed it in a single room doesn't mean that it is a B sci-fi. To tell the truth I have never seen a plot so original as in Cube. Some may think that it is boring to watch; I have to disagre with anyone who dislikes Cube because it is one intelligent creation that leaves us, attentive viwers, in a deep contemplative mood and with a long lasting impression. Cube is unique bcause it provides insights into human behavior. It is the movie that shows how several strangers deal with a dangerous situation and a position where they need to learn to cooperate in order to survive.
The plot is simple but unusual. A small group of strangers found themselves in a death trap or an extremely elaborate labyrinth of interconnected cubical rooms with lethal traps in some of them. Different rooms that are traps contain from elector-molecular to sound sensors and are equipped with either deadly flame-throwers, razor sharp knives that protrude through walls, acid sprays or something else that can brutally dismember an unsuspecting victim. At first there seems no order and no leads as were to go and how to avoid a trap for our characters, which results in panic and despair. But as time passes they discover that pattern exists and there is a reason why specifically each one of them is here. There happen to be a math genius, engineer, doctor and few other interesting individuals. Together they try to find a way out, and just when it seemed that they understand how the maze is structured there comes a surprise and a disappointment with another dose of despair. The labyrinth is much more complicated than it appears and it will take a huge mental and physical effort to solve it.
Without a doubt Cube is a brilliant film with a unique idea. I want to warn everyone that it is extremely intense and scary at times. I also want to point out that people with decent math background, or someone who likes math, will find it especially enjoying because it will be easier to understand how the puzzling trap was solved, and the exit found.
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on February 15, 2000
I can't understand why all the critics booed this movie. Talk about underrated! Cube is one of those. Despite some drawbacks, this movie was VERY impressive. Just imagine that for almost two hours, the rather creepy setting whereas the action unfolds, does not change once. What you see in the opening scene is what you see till the movie ends. Yet you're superglued to the screen this entire time. Soon you get sort of paranoid as you're forced to stare at the interlocking, totally identical rooms (with difference only in their color schemes) that assemble a giant maze in the form of a cube.
This movie, in brief, is an allegory of life in all its aspects. You're stuck in a cube, you don't know who put you there and why, what your purpose is, or what you're supposed to do next. Is it God who did this to you, or is it all just a coincidence, or huge joke? Every step may be your last. You have to figure things out even though they seem pointless and unsolvable. Your choices decide your fate. Your questions are never answered to the fullest. And all the while, social, racial, gender and other differences clash mercilessly. Sounds like life, doesn't it?
It is a film about the human nature more than anything else. Yes, the characters are stereotypical in some ways, and there are clichés. But I think few people realize that those stereotypes and clichés are broken completely as we go along. Or so I sensed. The dialogue (described as "lame" by many) didn't bother me at all. The film is unpredictable, just like the characters, and it keeps you guessing what happens next. And when something happens, it doesn't disappoint.
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