‘SOURCE CODE’ (2011)


Movies that explore “mind control” isn’t usually something I watch. This particular take isn’t the easiest story to relate to because its concept is foreign to the average person. Plus the Source Code writers expect us to know too much before things explain.

Source Code (2011) Film Review

Protecting the lives of his fellow U.S. citizen is Colter Stevens’ mission. An American soldier, putting his life on the line is a day-to-day part of his life. But today, the last thing Colter remembers is flying a mission over Afghanistan. When he wakes, he’s on a moving train sitting next to a beautiful woman (Michelle Monaghan) who clearly knows him. Insisting he’s not Sean (Jake Gyllenhaal), he leaves her side only, in his reflection, he doesn’t recognize himself. After a bomb explodes, again he awakens in a new location, this time strapped into a harness after the train explodes.

Suddenly, he hears the voice of a woman, a small computer screen, who reveals she’s Navy officer Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). She explains why he’s assuming another’s identity. The train is just the first target in a string of high-profile terrorist attacks in Chicago. Colter’s mission is to uncover that person’s identity. Using a new scientific program called Source Code where someone can enter the mind of another human being to relive their last moments. Now it’s a race against time to stop theses attacks.

‘SOURCE CODE’ (2011). Review of the drama about a soldier who is unable to figure out why he's in the mind of another man. Text © Rissi JC

Much like its genre peers, Source Code’s problem doesn’t lie so much in its emphasis to create a good story structure but rather its content (more on that in the footnote). That said, this title does stump me. The change in directions and misdirection isn’t completely mind-boggling brilliant, but it’s clever. It takes me into the next day to ponder the intricacies to realize what many of the conclusions suggest. The story is gripping and pulls the audience in with a hero where its counterparts might only consider how big the next explosion should be. The idea that a man wants to save lives he is told can’t be is admirable.

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The main fault of the movie lies in its necessity to be so repetitive. Its tendency to repeat on top of itself gets old really fast but at the same time once the movie settles into this pattern, it does a little better job at skipping parts of the already rehashed scenario. That being said, the movie has a fabulous cast who seem to become really complex characters. Jake and Vera do a nice job but Michelle’s character is basically expendable in the sense that she has no depth. To be fair, it isn’t for lack of good acting but screen time that’s limiting. (Just as a fun side note, in a minor role, a guest star from a memorable episode of The Closer appears.)

Even before the opening credits finish, the movie impresses with its set-up, all before we glimpse a single person or hear a word of dialogue. It’s all thanks to the musical score, which sets the mood for an intriguing mystery that, makes us as confused as the hero – which may or may not be a good thing. If you don’t mind your brain twisting around in any number of ways, then this is an entertaining ninety-four minutes.  

Content: Sh*t is a popular form of venting frustration, as is God’s name with around half a dozen GD. [There is also the phrase “f- you.”] Several scenes might be disturbing for those who are sensitive to random violence. One man is mentally disturbed and shoots two people [pools of blood] for numerous reasons. Elsewhere there are several shots that repeat themselves of a train exploding [there aren’t ever graphic depictions of this, but the serious implication of lives lost is explored]; conversation revolves around what happened to a Navy pilot. There’s also a man in a coffin-like box without legs. The film is PG-13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. looved this movie. Jake and Michelle were perfect together. I absolutely love both of them (Michelle was also perfect in Eagle Eye- have you seeen it? It was pretty good.) And Jake… well… hottttttt. ;)

  2. The Informer – I liked it but it wasn't my fave action flick. The acting wasn't bad nor were the characters plus it throws in some good twists.

    So glad you stopped in – thanks bunches for the follow! :-)

    Rachel – yes, I liked this one but it wasn't my fave action movie. I'd definitely watch it again and some of the twists were actually brilliant.

    YES! I have seen Eagle Eye – I quite loved that one! As a matter of fact I keep thinking I am going to post that review as I revised it not long ago and I never do! LOL!

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