Action / Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi


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January 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM



Aaron Paul as Michael Powell - Age 21
Kevin Spacey as Prot
Jeff Bridges as Dr. Mark Powell
Clarke Peters as Homeless Veteran
651.10 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 5 / 54

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jhclues 10 / 10

Emotionally Involving Drama

Life is comprised of infinite possibilities; some known, others a mystery and destined to remain so. And what of the vast unknown, the realms beyond which knowledge has no established boundaries or parameters? Who is to say what exists or what is possible? Valid questions, all of which are raised and explored in the story of a particular individual's personal journey, a strange and dramatic odyssey that defies facts and logic, in `K-PAX,' directed by Iain Softley, and starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. In the wake of an incident in New York's Central Station, a man named Prot (Spacey) is transported to a psychiatric hospital in Manhattan, where he is delivered into the care of Dr. Mark Powell (Bridges), who attempts to uncover the truth about his patient, who claims to be from the distant planet K-PAX. It quickly becomes a challenge for Dr. Powell, as Prot, with his calm, direct, forthcoming manner and a propensity for produce (he eats bananas peels and all, and Red Delicious Apples are his favorites) is quite convincing. But it's Powell's job, as well as his nature, to be skeptical. Prot's claims, however, remain intact and stand up even under the most intense probing and the watchful eye of Dr. Powell, who finds himself in something of a quandary-- Prot even tells him the exact date and time that he will depart for K-PAX, a scheduled return trip that allows Powell but a short time to sort it all out. And Powell just can't seem to get his mind around the idea that he is dealing with a real alien being; and it's something he is going to have to resolve quickly, if he is ever going to know the truth. And he has to know. The truth, after all, is the only thing that is going to set him free in his own mind.

Softley has created and delivered a sensitive, thought-provoking film that challenges the viewer by sustaining the mystery surrounding Prot while forcing you to reflect upon your own concepts of what is, in fact, possible. And as you never know for sure about Prot until the denouement, you are able to identify with Powell, seeing the situation from his point of view and trying to solve the riddle right along with him. Softley creates an atmosphere of wonder and a real sense of being confronted with something that is truly unique as the story unfolds and you begin to realize that Prot just may be what he says he is. And in the context of the reality to which the film is disposed, it's an engrossing matter to try to wrap your mind around. How do you react when all of the evidence is contrary to the physical limitations we've set for ourselves? While at the heart of the film there is a resounding depth of humanity that is evident, not only in Prot, but in Dr. Powell, as well. All of which makes for an extremely engaging and gripping drama.

As we've come to expect, Kevin Spacey gives a brilliant performance as Prot, presenting his character from the inside out, emotionally deep and physically convincing at the same time. This is a unique individual, and Spacey brings him to life with care and the ability to share those moments that are particularly revealing, which adds to the believability of the character and the credibility of the story itself. For this film to work, it is essential that we believe who and what Prot is; we do, and it does. Spacey simply pulls it off magnificently. It's a memorable performance, from which evolves a character that will stay with you for a long, long time.

Jeff Bridges, meanwhile, emerges on equal footing with Spacey, adeptly making a very real person of Dr. Powell. It's a fairly straightforward role, and the challenge for Bridges was to take this very normal and ordinary character and make him unique in his own right, which, opposite the character of Prot was no small task. And, again, for this film to work it was necessary for Bridges to rise to the occasion. And, with exceptional skill and being the consummate professional that he is, he succeeds without question. Bridges infuses Powell with an underlying complexity, and is so giving in his performance, that it makes the interaction between Powell and Prot vibrant, and at times intense. It's a demonstration of two of the finest actors in the business doing what they do best, creating a dynamic that is alive and inspiring. It's a great job by Bridges, who never attempts to steal the spotlight from Prot, which serves to raise the level of the film to an even higher notch.

The supporting cast includes Mary McCormack (Rachel), Alfre Woodard (Dr. Villers), Ajay Naidu (Dr. Naidiu), Vincent Laresca (Navarro), Kimberly Scott (Joyce), Conchata Ferrell (Betty) and Saul Williams (Ernie). An entertaining, emotionally involving film, `K-PAX' is a dissertation on possibilities, as well as an examination of the ever evolving complexities of the human condition. It's a film that demands an open mind and rewards those who are able to approach it on it's own terms and embrace it. In the end, it makes you realize just how real K-PAX is; and it makes you appreciate Prot's journey, and just how much we all share and have in common with those around us, human or alien. And it may just make you reflect upon your own journey-- where you've been and where you're going. And that's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.

Reviewed by FlickJunkie-2 9 / 10

Inspired storytelling

K-Pax is a very intriguing film. Is Prot (Kevin Spacey) really an alien, or is he a mentally deranged human who just thinks he is an alien? That is the question that Dr. Powell (Jeff Bridges) must answer before the self proclaimed deadline that Prot sets for his departure from Earth.

As the film unfolds and more evidence is uncovered, both theories grow in credibility. His ability to map from memory the area of the galaxy where his home planet is located indicates a knowledge that no human could possibly possess. Yet the hypnosis sessions lead us to a real person with a very real and traumatic life, filled with devastating events that could have caused such a personality aberration. The ending seems to give the answer, but is just ambiguous enough to make you wonder if you really know. Normally, I don't like lady or tiger endings, but this one is tantalizing. I have my own theory that fits all the clues, but I don't know that my theory is any more correct than anyone else's.

Director Iain Softley (`Wings of the Dove') spins the tale delicately, with great skill. This is a rare example of the director staying in the shadows and inducing outstanding acting performances out of talented actors to let the story dominate. This is not to say that the directing is technically inferior, because it is excellent. However, Softley remains unobtrusive, delivering great power through the use of subtlety, a pleasant change from today's vanguard directors who visually grab and shake the viewer as if to scream, `Look how brilliant I am!'

Kevin Spacey once again delivers a marvelous performance as Prot. This is a part that is extraordinarily demanding, requiring Spacey to render the cool and logical Prot one minute, and then switch gears to conjure his tormented alter ego under hypnosis the next. Spacey is so believable as both alien and human, it makes the viewer's task that much more difficult. Jeff Bridges is also terrific as the relentless psychologist who becomes obsessed with learning the truth about Prot.

This is inspired storytelling for the thoughtful viewer. I rated it a 9/10. If you must have closure at the end of a film, this movie will be very frustrating. However, if you like a fascinating mystery that keeps you thinking long after the credits, you won't be disappointed.

Reviewed by Vampenguin 9 / 10

One of the most underrated films of the past decade

Due to a very misleading advertising campaign, I saw this film in theatres at the relatively young age of 10. The trailers on TV portrayed the film as a comedy, and I bugged my parents until they took me. After seeing the movie, I was blown away. I had no idea what to think. Totally different than anything I had seen before, leaving far to many questions for such a young mind. Needless to say, I loved it. This morning was the first time I'd watched in in probably 2-3 years, and I still think it's one of the greatest films made in the last decade. Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges are both in top form, as a mysterious man who may or may not be from another planet, and the psychiatrist that develops a bond with him while trying to decipher his mystery. The supporting cast are near perfect as well, each resident of the mental institution is incredibly convincing in their own way. The open ending was handled very well, giving lots of evidence to support whatever you believe happened in the end. How this movie failed to receive at least a nomination in that year's Oscars is beyond me. If you haven't seen this film, run to Wal-Mart RIGHT NOW. The DVD is usually in the bargain bin, pick it up!


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