Transcendence 1.0 stars

"People fear what they don't understand," drowsily intones Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), a scientific genius who is uploaded to the Internet after his body gets taken out by a bunch of neo-Luddite radicals. True enough, Doc! You know what else they fear? Omniscient, omnipresent entities that can control all the computers and computer-enabled devices on earth, and who build nanobots capable of hotwiring the soul! People are silly that way. Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut doesn't tackle its questions about humanity and technology so much as it pushes them up against each other and waits for something to happen. Pfister manages something close to an admirable sympathy for those on either side, which is a good thing, because if you think too much about the story instead of the characters, you're sunk. (Say this for old man Nolan: he's careful about plot mechanics.) With Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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