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3.4 out of 5 stars87
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2014
Gilliam's most Gilliam film since Twelve Monkeys. It's a happy mess, and feels like a modern day Brazil. It starts weird, becomes oddly conventional for the middle third as it finds it's feet, then goes off the rails for the finale. Christoph Waltz is endlessly watchable as the poor sap plugged into a fast-paced modern life, Lucas Hedges holds his own as he channels Brad Pitt from Twelve Monkeys, while David Thewlis seems to be updating Johnny from Naked with a chemically induced love of life in a Gilliam world gone mad.
Strictly for Gilliam devotees, the film feels rushed, disjointed, but so many ideas are thrown at the screen that some do stick with you after. And Melanie Thierry is a revelation. It's no Brazil, however.
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on 23 December 2014
Was dreading watching this all year after hearing very shaky things about it, and being quite a big Gilliam fan since my childhood.

I'm glad to discover it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be...but still not as great as it could've been. It was almost like Twelve Monkeys with a lower budget, and ailed by similar inflections to my most hated Gilliam film - other than The Brothers Grimm whose existence I just simply ignore - The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. It wasn't very funny, and I'm not sure the Brazil-esque satire was at all needed for something like this. He should've gone full-on campy adventure, or more subtle and toned-down melodrama. He clearly wanted both, and I don't think it works.

Some decent performances from the usual suspects - particularly from Lucas Hedges, who you might recognise as 'Redford' (hilariously on-point character naming there) from Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom - but I wished to have seen more fleshed-out parts for Damon, Swinton, Thewlis, and the briefly-featured Bhaskar, Whishaw and Stormare. Waltz was fine in his part, but I'm not sure neurotic suits him so well (Tarantino and Polanski have brought out his best to date).

But yeah, cyberpunk is not cool anymore. I'm not sure it ever was. I always thought somebody should notify the Wachowski's, Skrillex (cringe) and whoever still goes to Burning Man but I didn't think we'd have to tell Gilliam that too.
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on 6 September 2015
Not the best Gilliam but it is always welcome when he comes back to Brazil and 12 Monkeys atmosphere, where he can liberate all his visionary talent and dark, cinical yet poetical vision of man and world.
Waltz is so good ay playing the good man yet victim of himself and an uncomprehensible society, and some scenes are really impressive. However, the film is not so consistent and enlightening in my opinion, resulting a little to unresolved and confused.
The blu ray quality is really good
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Directed by the always unique Terry Gilliam, The Zero Theorem is a strange mess of ideas which added up to an entertaining slice of the bizarre, if you like this kind of thing (I do).

The plot, for what it's worth, finds Christoph Waltz playing Quohen, a socially awkward computer genius in a cluttered neon future. He is tasked by the "management" of his current employment to solve the zero theorem and effectively prove the meaning or meaninglessness of life (or something like that anyway). On his quest he encounters various oddball characters amusingly played by the supporting cast - David Thewlis being a standout for me.

It all looks great as you'd expect from a Gilliam flick - this alt-world is well realised, kind of similar in tone and style to one of Gilliams best films, Brazil. Waltz is excellent in the eccentric lead role, he's in basically every scene and carries the load well.

The film is strange though and has so many ideas and questions being thrown around without necessarily having all the answers as it moves towards a head scratching conclusion. It's relatively slow moving as well so it's not going to be to everybody's tastes I would think. I'm a fan of Gilliam though and the journey was entertaining enough to make this worth it. Probably the best film of his since Twelve Monkeys I reckon.
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on 7 April 2015
The cast was made up of a variety of different kinds of characters who were male, but all the females were young women who dressed quite provocatively, great if you like that kind of thing but for me the lack of a strong female role was quite upsetting.
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on 15 December 2014
Watching this reminded me of how good the scenary in Blade Runner was, as here the effects at times are poor or meant to be poor i.e. rundown estates in a street in Romania with graphics added. The ideas were like William Burroughs cut-up and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. The star was Melanie Thierry making everyday sex appeal look flawless, she was stunning. At times I wanted all the story inside the church as a minimalist play, however the virtual sex/love scenes were fantastic. This review feels like the movie, ideas everywhere and nowhere chaotic and calm. The best things make no sense, especially as the meaning of life is unknown, we will die and then what...so glad these questions are asked and answered in this way: existence before essence.
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on 21 January 2015
It can be tricky being a Terry Gilliam fan. Some people will think he's one of the other Pythons. Some people will think he's British. Some people will think he's mad and some people will think you're mad. I grew up on his films. From Jabberwocky onwards I've always like what I've seen. There is always something fantastical to catch a hold of you. The Zero Theorem is not exception. The visuals are stunning, the performances are crooked and weird. The story is a little empty and lost in the translation to screen, but this is Gilliam. You rarely get the complete package. Instead something will stand out or engage with you and there is so much of that here. Yet another strange world to explore and still so many viewings to come.
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on 7 September 2014
There are a lot of things to praise in this movie: an impressive futuristic setting, some striking visuals and some top notch acting. Particular mention for Melanie Thierry and Tilda Swinton as the shrink. My overriding feeling after watching it was confusion. I found my attention wandering at various points along the way, and I couldn't honestly say I completely understood what was going on throughout. Was a bit divided between moments of being captivated, and moments of indifference. If you're a Terry Gilliam fan you should have no complaints, but I think this is one that will divide opinion!
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on 20 January 2015
I love the look of Terry Gilliam films but all you get with this film is good looks, no plot. A waste of quite a few good actors.
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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2014
Quohen is an eccentric computer genius living alone in an abandoned church and given the task of discovering the meaning of life by his boss, the mysterious management. Director Terry Gilliam's latest is a very strange, visually spectacular scifi fantasy film with an excellent performance from Christoph Waltz as Quohen. Not quite one of Gilliam's best films but is ambitious and probably for Gilliam or perhaps Christoph Waltz fans only.
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