starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
screenplay by Ben Ripley
directed by Duncan Jones
starring Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami
by Walter Chaw The one part of Source Code that isn't duck-ass tight poses so many questions about the nature of our hero's heroism and the aftermath of the film that it opens up what initially seems a hermetically-sealed conceit into something of real depth and fascination. Far from the solipsism of failures interesting (Timecrimes) and not (Primer), different from marginal successes like 12 Monkeys and Déjà Vu, Duncan Jones's sophomore feature (after the similarly thorny Moon) plays most like a child of Last Year at Marienbad and a companion piece to Abbas Kiarostami's contemporaneous Certified Copy. It speaks in terms of quantum physics and string theory, but without pretension, achieving the almost impossible by introducing difficult concepts at the same pace with which its characters--not a dummy among them--are able to understand them without gassing (or worse, falling well behind) the audience. That it presents itself as a mainstream, popular entertainment is more to its credit, giving lie to the notion that Hollywood is bankrupt of ideas. Rather, it's the destination for gifted filmmakers--some of them smart enough, and resourceful enough, to hold fast to their idealism and intelligence for, if not an entire career, then at least long enough to set a bar.