The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

R   |    |  Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller


The Thirteenth Floor (1999) Poster

A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation of 1937 becomes the primary suspect when his colleague and mentor is murdered.

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7/10
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  • The Pool
  • The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
  • Craig Bierko as Douglas Hall
  • Larry questions Whitney
  • Director Josef Rusnak
  • Doug & Jane

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13 November 2005 | The_Void
7
| Entertaining and thought-provoking....very underrated
The Thirteenth Floor is one of those films that has gotten lost under all the more well-known films of the late nineties; and this is a shame, because it's a damn sight better than a lot of the films that always receive praise from the critics. Not everything in this film works, and for that reason and others; it's no masterpiece, but you've got to admire The Thirteenth Floor for it's originality, and it's ability to pull a coherent plot out of a scenario that has 'disaster' written all over it. The film is based on the book "Simulacron-3" by Daniel F. Galouye, which is the same book that inspired Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "World on a Wire". Whether or not this version is better, I can't tell you having not seen Fassbinder's version; but I can tell you that this version is worth seeing. The film follows the death of a computer programmer. He was working on a computer simulated world before his death, and his colleague; Douglas Hall, believes that the programmer left the key to discovering his murderer inside the virtual world...prompting him to go in search of it.

The film works both as an entertaining science fiction flick, and a thought provoking drama. The film asks questions about the value of life and the ills of playing God; and although these questions have been asked by many films many times before; here, it's done so well that you forget that and ask yourself these questions all over again. The twist at the centre of the movie extremely well worked, and after it hits you'll ask yourself how you didn't guess it sooner - and that is testament to the excellent plotting preceding it. Despite being a science fiction film, there is very little in the way of special effects in this film. However, the movie makes up for this with the excellent way that 1937 Los Angeles is created - it's easy to buy into the film's multi-world plot, and for that reason; it doesn't need special effects to work. The acting is largely good, with Craig Bierko impressing in the lead role. Vincent D'Onofrio, Gretchen Mol and 24's Dennis Haysbert, who is excellent in his small role, support him. On the whole, this isn't brilliant or a masterpiece; but as far as modern Sci-Fi goes; this is one of the best I've seen.

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