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Code 46

  R Closed Captioning

Michael Winterbottom

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About the Movie

Code 46 is a love story set in an eerily possible near-future where cities are heavily controlled and only accessible through checkpoints. People cannot travel unless they have "papelles," a special travel insurance. Outside these cities, the desert has taken over and shanty towns are jammed with non-citizens - people without papelles whose lives are severely restricted. William (Robbins) is a family man who works as an insurance investigator. When his company sends him to another city to solve a case of fake papelles, he meets a woman named Maria (Morton). Although he knows she has been creating the forgeries, he falls completely in love with her. He hides her crime and they have a wild, passionate affair that can only last as long as his papelles: 24 hours. Back home, William is obsessed with the memory of Maria. He tries to see her but is refused the necessary papers to travel. Desperate, he uses one of the fake papelles he kept from his investigation. He eventually tracks her down, only to discover she has been accused of a Code 46 violation.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 98
  • Fresh: 49
  • Rotten: 49
  • Average Rating: 6.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Winterbottom and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce sell the sci-fi but botch the interpersonal. – Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: It's a common enough problem in sci-fi movies. A filmmaker creates a totally convincing world but can't find a compelling story to put in it. – Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: A provocative, classy, low-key sci-fi tale that presents a world so within reach it's scary. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Winterbottom's movie may be cold, but it's still pretty cool. – Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Interesting take on the dystopian theme

Albeit, derivative. In particularly, Brave New World meets Sheltering Sky (the novels not the movies). The performances are "good". Cinematography is good as far as the director and editor have let us experience it. But, something went amiss in the directorial thrust. It's not entirely clear whether this is a fault of the screenplay or not. This movie is easily 30 minutes too long. The story is stretched out with repetitive, i.e., gratuitous, scenes of lovemaking (including an odd bondage scene) that do NOT propel the story forward. We get it already! The illicit love story angle will make most of us scratch our heads with bathos, anyway. There are many moments that were rife with further opportunities for character and dramatic exploration, but the director doesn't seem to really understand the dystopian paradigm. The characters constantly allude to leading lives of disquieted desperation; however, I think few viewers would agree that they feel any empathy with them. I thought that a good deal of important narrative is kept from us through the use of manipulative story-tricks--that are intended to prolong the suspense, but, the effect just left me feeling cheated and not a little angry with the film-makers.

Great, subtle science fiction.

One of my favorite science fiction films. It's about characters and a carefully rendered world. It doesn't club the viewer over the head with gadgetry or computer-generated imagery. In fact, the large-scale sets are all real places. It's a great feat of cinematography that they manage to make present-day places look so alien. The relatively tiny budget makes it all the more remarkable.

Didn't really go anywhere.

There were neat elements to the movie but I didn't find anything to learn or experience from the story. I felt like things went unresolved and was too long. It's a shame because the trailer looked interesting.

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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2004

Customer Ratings

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