Open ‘The Box’ For Five Clips


When I first saw the trailer for this movie “The Box,” I remember thinking, “This reminds me of something I’ve seen before.”

In the official movie trailer, a mysterious man with a scarred face (played by Frank Langella) gives a financially-struggling couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) a wooden box. Once you open its lid, the box contains a red button in it. The man tells the couple that if they push this button, he will award them $1 million.

Of course, there is a catch: Someone, somewhere, will die.

The desperate couple struggles with the decision — with doing the right thing — but as the trailer makes obvious, they push the button.

I remember thinking to myself, “This cannot end well.” This thought stayed in the back of my mind until I figured it out — this movie is based on a “Twilight Zone” episode I had seen a long time ago. The episode was called “Button, Button,” just like the short story it was based on. It’s a classic to me.

I also remembered that I thought the movie “Indecent Proposal” was kind of a copy of “Button, Button,” except the consequence of following through on this proposal will be death instead of a an adulterous betrayal. With the clips shown below, we get to see a little bit of the desperation the main characters of the movie face — both before they push the button and after.

These clips show the error of their decision. Cameron Diaz’s character appears to be unhappy in every scene. The money, just like in the movie “Indecent Proposal,” did not make them happy nor did it solve their problems. Instead, by what we see here, things go from bad to worse.

Writing, directing and producing a movie is a lot of work, Richard Kelly is doing all three for “The Box.” He is very talented and has the experience with the dark feel a movie like this needs (ie: “Donnie Darko” and “Southland Tales”). And this is a good opportunity for Cameron Diaz to remind us she can do good work, as she did in “Vanilla Sky” or “Being John Malcovich.”

I am especially happy for James Marsden. This is an uncommon role for him (he’s usually playing the very nice guy who loses the girl). This may actually be his chance to show us he can be a leading man. The question is: Will he make it to the end of the movie?

I actually left the best for last, Frank Langella. He always plays these dark characters well, but here, his cold and confident portrayal of this character, along with the scarred face simply makes his true intentions indiscernible. He definitely plays his character like a calm businessman, confident in his product and unfazed that he’s done this so many times. It will be interesting to see how his character is developed and how he interacts with others.

“The Box” will be opened on Nov. 6.

Follow It’s Just Movies on Twitter at

10 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Lynn #

    You did it again Josue!
    I was sold at: “Push the button” lol just like : “swallow the red pill” in the Matrix lmao. I am an adrenaline junkie haha. I am really looking forward to seeing it.

  2. Melissa #

    I read this story a long time ago in class! The original story! This is amaaaaaaaazing!

  3. shedmonds #

    I was thinking Indecent Proposal too!

    Well done Josue – how do you find the time?

  4. 4

    Ah! I remember the Twilight Zone episode. I knew the premise sounded familiar. Good analysis, but it really doesn’t sound like my kind of movie.

  5. Josue #

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. Shedmonds, I don’t know where I find the time either!! lol

  6. 6

    Once again an excellent article! The references for Twilight Zone and Incident Proposal are very assertive. I can clearly see your characters’ depiction through the clips, especially with Langella. It’s good to see Marsden diversifying his roles, in my opinion he is a much underrated actor. I’m looking forward to this movie. Thanks for the review.

  7. PattiD41 #

    Loved the article. You write so well Josue. The movie sounds very interesting. I love James Marsden and will definitely see the movie.

  8. Apple El #

    Thanks again for a very enticing movie review, Josue! I’m betting it can’t end well. I’d love to see this when it comes out, it has just the right amount of mystery and intrigue!

  9. Cam Smith #

    Seein’ this on Monday or Tuesday.

  10. Robert D #

    I have to say I’m still not sold on the plot it’s kinda just too weird.

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. uberVU - social comments 31 10 09
  2. Under Review: "The Box" | It's Just Movies 08 11 09