on September 10, 1999
I've read most of the reviews here and, with all due respect, I think many of them miss the point. For the time being, forget about the technicalities: about whether a monstrous, complicated structure could ever be built, about the physics of the operation, about the characters, et. al....suspend your disbelief.
Speaking of characters: there is no character development. But this is done deliberately. These aren't single people being represented here. The characters aren't meant to be believable. Or even real. No one in their right mind, if they woke up to find themselves stuck in a cube armed with lethal traps, would behave as irrationally as they do. So assume this allegory:
Let the cube represent a system, created by man. Call it "civilization" or "society" or whatever you want, but I'll refer to it as the "system". Like them, we are all trapped in this system today, this post-modern rat race full of glass and steel and concrete and plastic. I'm willing to wager everyone's ultimate dream is to escape it, too. The 6 people in the movie represent, as best as can be explained, the 6 social groups in the system:
1) The strong, military, authority type, used to getting his own way and controlling others in the system for his own benefit, adhering to the practise of "might makes right".
2) The intelligent, analytical scholar type; understands the logic of the system but not much else; kinda has a silent "don't rock the boat" mentality to her, which is why she is easily swayed to do the bidding of others.
3) The paranoid, suspicious clinician type, who constantly worries about the condition of others, and has a burning desire to warn everyone of what she perceives as harmful elements in the system.
4) The apathetic, intellectual type, who probably knows more about the system and how it works than anyone else but is reluctant to tell anyone because he doesn't see what good it will bring.
5) The naive, "ignorant bliss" type, in the form of an autistic savant, uncaringly obeying the system's rules and having no hangups at all about it or how it functions or why its even there.
6) The rebellious, criminal loner type, out to defy, subvert, and beat the system on its own terms, without help from anyone else.
It is interesting to note that the criminal was the only one killed by the system itself (the fellow at the beginning doesn't count. That was just a prologue to explain to the audience how the cube works). This is appropriate, since he was the only one trying to defeat the system, rather than work with it. All the other characters end up killing each other, save for the autistic, who didn't care either way whether he escaped the cube or not, who was granted freedom (or whatever the hell that was at the end).
A great allegory of life, I found. Its almost as if the movie was saying that its not the system's fault. Yes, the system was built by man, but by man collectively, not by any single man (remember the line: "There is noone at the top. Big Brother is not watching you."). The system, this movie is trying to say, is not evil. The system can't be evil. It's not really anything. It just IS.
Men often do evil things through the system--but that doesn't make the system evil. People often blame the system when they should really be blaming themselves. Because in a system such as this one, the most lethal traps aren't the ones hiding in the cube, but rather the people you're stuck in the cube with.
on July 25, 1999
A superb film that goes to prove that even without the high budget to throw into effects as is the trend these days, a good involving plot and characters is what makes a good story.
One set, six actors, one costume change, nothing flash about that and yet I was sitting on the edge of my seat and shivering by the end. The plot was complex but not overly, (even with the rapid calculating of maths that I was happy to let the characters do for me at that speed) it was tense and psychologically challenging.
Of the six characters dropped into the maze, not one of them possessed the skills to get out on their own but their personalities and psychological hangups were so conflicting that they couldn't work successfully as a team. I couldn't decide if it was poignant or just corny that the only one to make it out was the innocent, the one free of mental baggage. The movie had me thinking about it for days and that was its success.
on March 23, 2004
Cube, a low budget Canadian flim, is a masterwork that shows it isn't necessary for a production to have millions of CGI effects to produce an atmospheric and effective movie. The movie focuses on the interactions of six strangers who find themselves trapped in a series of cubes as they attempt to find a way out. Along the way they dodge a number of life threatening traps. All the while the characters interactions grow more paranoid and distrusting of each other until they conflict breaks out. The dialogue ranges from the outlandish to the sublimely bitting, in particular Worth's commentary on the possible reason for Cube. The ending is a downbeat but suits the tone of the movie. The acting is good and whilst the characters are to some extent ciphers the situation that they find themselves in doesn't really need more then the archetypical characters that we get. Of the cast Nicole De Boer and David Hawlett are the standouts and get the best lines and growth. What does it all mean? Part of the appeal of the movie is that it doesn't give you any easy answers; instead it functions as sociological Rorschach test, is it a critique of the mechanistic nature of society today? An allegorical, cautionary tale on the need for humanity to come together to progress? A tale of moving from purgatory to heaven? In the end the movie allows all these interpretations and more. Ultimately this is a not a movie that is easy to watch or like but if you do stick with it then it can reward you with a film that is a brutal commentary on society.
on February 6, 2004
'Cube' is an interesting, low budget fantasy that obviously evokes strong emotions in many people. Reviews here both celebrate and attack virtually every aspect of the film, from its premise, to its acting, to its meaning.
I found the film to be gripping. disturbing and somewhat unsatisfying.
But the most unusual, and shocking, aspect of the movie isn't mentioned in any of the reviews I've seen.
'Cube' can best be viewed as an allegorical thriller, with the nature of the huge cube in which the protagonists are trapped left open to interpretation.
But if the character's final idea of what the cube is and why they are inside it is to be taken seriously, then 'Cube' is one of the most nihilistic movies ever made for a popular audience. Whether you want to look at the story as symbolic of the individual's struggle in society, or if you just want to accept it at face value as an gory horror yarn, 'Cube's view of the human condition is so bleak as to be positively subversive. I don't believe this is a great movie, but any film with a vision as unique and dark as this should not be dismissed.
on February 6, 2004
Based on all the other reviews here, I had high hopes for this title. I'm a big fan of Twilight Zone style science fiction, and the idea of this movie sounded as creative as they come. After watching the movie in it's entirety though, I must say I'm feeling a little empty on the inside.
The setting of movie is suppose to take place within an enormous 26 by 26 room cube. The directors do a good job of conveying this idea the best they can shooting on only a single set. The result left me the viewer with a very claustrophobic and uncomfortable feeling throughout the majority of the film. I would of have loved this had the movie given a great sense of closure at the end. I for one didn't like the ending unfortunately. Again, I didn't feel any sense of closure. Instead of escaping to the outside world, the survivor(s) escape towards a "white light". Made the movie feel very tacky and low budget.
As for the cast themselves, I found the actors portrayals of their characters to be very believable and realistic. Nicole de Boer is a wonderful and beautiful actress. I enjoyed watching her very much.
Watch this movie, but be warned it not for everybody. I say it's a rental at best (especially with the lack of any really special DVD features as well). The producers did as good a job as they could have on a low budget.
on January 26, 2004
Ah, but the above question has no correct answer as most good questions in this life don't. The Cube offers the situation with all its detail and intrigue, it offers the questions, the dillemas, the pondering and the eerie suspicions.
But its real thrill is that it offers no answers. The answers are all up to you to come with (if you wish), but even if you do you'll never be confirmed plus you'll find that mostly everyone else might disagree with you.
The five humans that (basically) wake up to find out they've been transported unknowingly to a strange and evil-feeling mechanic environment (the "cube") do what anyone would try to do:
they try to come out. To escape.
But as they realise that the cube is not only a massively compartmentalised prison but also one laced with lethal traps mostly everywhere they decide to put their brains a little bit more to use. But this doesnt seem to help much either. Because figuring out how to come out of the cube while simoultaneously not dying in the process is difficult and offsetting enough.
But the real torturing part for the protagonists is not all that. It's the questions themselves. If you know why you're in a prison, what the purpose of that prison is, who's set it up and what the overall scheme is, you might go about your efforts with a more collected mind.
Yes, but you see, the prisoners of the cube know nothing.Not only the know zilch about the cube but also nothing about each other, and, as they eventually are forced to admit, not much about themselves either.
The Cube is undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi films of all time. Some have criticized the acting level in it but in my opinion it is the acting that actually makes it all the more convincing. The fact that none of these actors is a "name" is an added plus. It emphasizes that this could be you, or, that indeed this might you at this very moment. The fact that you feel sure you "know" where you are and what you're doing there is the same thing these people thought too. Usually all it takes is a more careful look and the Cube starts appearing in all types of shapes and forms all around you. Spooky? Nah, reality isnt spooky, it's what's beyond it that is.
Filmed on a somewhat low budget but with brilliantly fitting and believable settings as well as pretty good effects for the money available this movie has "classic" written all over it.
Besides, even if the technical part wasn't (or isn't) totally up to par this would hardly take anything away from this masterpiece. It's not about how flashy the cube is or how "cool" the victims inside it are, is it? Nobody with enough suspicion in him cares about that. It's, as i said, the questions that matter.
Go on and discover those questions too if you've somehow managed not to ask yourself about them till now. And good luck coming up with anything close to an answer...
on January 14, 2004
I was very impressed by this film in the same way that I was impressed by Lord of the Flies. I love movies that deal with human existance in a very metaphorical way. In many ways I found it more compelling and thought provoking than The Matrix, and I was particularly impressed with the stark set design. It even prompted me to attempt Kafka's The Trial. It also reminded me of movies like 12 Angry Men or Lifeboat with its claustrophobia and psychological archetypes.
I discussed this film many times with friends and I repeatedly made points about the machine being a symbol of our consumption driven post-industrial society. (I have also just finished reading "The Subliminal Man" by J.G. Ballard which deals with some of the same themes.)
I feel that it is important that one view the movie this way and based on the ending I feel like I "got" the message of the film.
The characters inside the cube have been called cliches, but that is because they represent types, not individuals. Cube is a study of how human types respond to their world, a world that is unfair, chaotic, dangerous, and ultimately without meaning.
This is definitely a thinking person's movie, it is more about ideas and metaphors. The production values are low and the acting is kind of stilted. Although it sort of reminds me of Survivor, the TV show. That being said, CUBE 2, Hypercube, was IMHO a much Inferior movie, even tho the special effects were much better. They lost the meaning and it proved to be a typical Twilight Zone-esque horror movie without much intellectual content.
on January 9, 2004
This is an interesting movie in many ways. The basic theme is fantastic. A number of individuals are somehow abducted and placed in a giant Rubiks cube in essence. Supposedly there are thousands of rooms in the structure, each room with six exits and may containing lethal traps. The idea is to figure out which rooms have traps and which rooms lead to the exit. Another twist is that the rooms also move on a regular basis. I am not sure if the movie concept is original to this film or has been taken from somewhere else but it was enough to make me want to see it without any reviews from elsewhere. Where the movie fails terribly is in the story. Instead on being able to follow this group as they heroically try to escape this fiendish trap the film shows the characters fighting and killing each other. I understand that being trapped in this situation would be stressful for anybody but I think that most people would want to escape rather than assaulting and murdering their fellow prisoners. The movie focuses on this conflict rather than their environment or the attempt to escape. One of the character essentially goes "postal"; this almost makes the movie just another typical violent gorefest. The brilliant premise of the movie and the environment are not exploited to anywhere near their potential. I would much rather have had a plot line where there was of course stress amongst the characters but they were still able to work together. Thus I give the movie 3 stars for a novel and outstanding concept but zero for the actual film.
on January 8, 2004
What do a cynical nihilist, a pugilistic cop, a conspiracy theorist/free clinic physician, an escape artist, a number crunching adolescent, and a guy with Asperger's Syndrome (vs. autism) have in common-they're stuck in a huge Rubik's cube and they all had better fates than the poor schmuck who done got himself ...uh.. "gridded" in the opening scene-I counted 78 human parts, how 'bout you.
I was pleasantly surprised by this film, especially having previously seen "Cube II." The characters themselves are not unique and neither is the idea of bringing them all together in a stressful situation-happens everyday, it's called public transportation. However, throwing them into different cells of the biggest darn puzzle box from hell-now that's a spicy movie.
The Cube was suspenseful with pinches of humor and a side of mystery. There was just enough character development that the audience grew to like and dislike particular players...and as the situation became increasingly dire and the actors revealed more of themselves and underlying values/gifts/psychoses...the audience could then re-evaluate their hero (or lack thereof). At times, I did notice extreme over-acting particularly with the many hidden angry side-glances followed by mischievous grinning-an attempt to allow the viewer an inside glimpse of a character's personality. Uh, guys, the movie's about a giant death box...I think I can figure it out on my own...
As for the ending and the mystery of the cube...It makes for a great sequel...I saw Cube II...that 'aint it
on November 19, 2003
Six strangers awake to find themselves in a seemingly endless maze of interlocking cubical chambers armed with lethal booby traps. With no food or water, they only have a few days to live. None of them have any idea why or how they became imprisoned, but soon discover that each of them possesses a skill that could contribute to their escape. However, tempers flare when their is a fight for leadership. But as they fight to free themselves, they come to realize that unless they can work together, none of them will get out alive.
"Cube" is one of those films that you assume will be horrible because of the unknown actors and the fact that it came straight to video. However, do not let that keep you from watching this film. It is by far one of the most suspenseful and scary films that I have ever seen before. You never get bored or frustrated, despite the fact that all of the characters are put in a frustrating situaion. I was on the edge of my seat! All of the actors are quite good considering that they are all unknown. The emotion that all of them portray is extremely realistic. Also, all of the characters each have different personalities as well that you will find entertaining. Watching them slowly lose their minds is great. Perhaps the best feature of the film, is the cube itself. It is one of the best set designs I have ever seen. Every booby trap is set off differently, and all are extremely lethal. Not only is each booby trap different, but the color, size, and shape of the rooms are as well.
"Cube" is one of the most suspenseful films you ever see. The acting, story, and cube itself are all done to perfection. The DVD extras are actually decent. You get deleted scenes, comparative and alternate storyboards, production design, schematic set design, special effects artwork, and production commentary. Plus the quality of the film is excellent. Definately a must own