I reviewed this film in 200 words for East London listings website Live At Your Local.
Check it out at http://www.liveatyourlocal.org.uk/film_theatre/
I feel like I towed an orthodox line with this review, and have still not resolved a contradiction in how film reviewers seem to judge films. On the one hand, I do not believe Source Code was as good as Moon, Duncan Jones’s first offering. On the other hand, Source Code ticks all the boxes that it needs to for its genre – and reviewing in a ‘genre cinema’ style a la Mark Kermode it should definitely get four, if not five stars. Do you rank all the films that you see alongside one another, or do you rank them alongside similar films, in a comparative analysis of which best fulfils the expectations of that particular genre? In any case, Source Code is more mainstream than Moon, and is let down by its ending, which is a concession to cliche and sentimentality.
The other challenge was writing the review to a 200 word limit. 200 words is not very much – in fact I wonder of the utility in getting reviewers to write such short pieces – but it certainly makes you more concise (unlike this wiffle waffle).