Despite it’s interesting science fiction concepts and cool Twilight Zone feel, the Box is slower than the end of The third Lord of the Rings film. Although I understand the “cleverness” in the script, it inspired nothing but boredom, personally. It’s a very deliberately slow and methodical movie, but it’s main problem stems from the fact that it’s based on a short story by Richard Matheson and any time you need to expand a story to fill two hours, you risk thinning it out or slowing the pace.
The cast is actually superb. Led by Cameron Diaz with an affected and pitch perfect southern accent, and James Marsden in tow with a powerhouse like Frank Langella rounding out your core characters, you can’t stray too far from credibility or believability. Unfortunately for director Richard Kelly, his first film is a hard one to follow and while this holds some of the same thematic elements, it doesn’t quite knock it out of the park. His last movie Southland Tales may have a been a bit of a mess, but at least it entertained with a constantly changing and almost schizophrenic genre palette, swapping from sci-fi to comedy and drama and musical. The Box is steady and slow with a mix of sci-fi and thriller.