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The Zero Theorem

HD   R Closed Captioning

Terry Gilliam

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About the Movie

In a fractured vision of our not so distant future, a computer genius (Academy Award Winner Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained) is given a seemingly impossible mission by his employer, a shadowy, all-powerful corporation. As he obsessively pursues his task, distracted and slowed down at every turn, he may unlock the very secret of human existence. Featuring an all-star cast and directed by visionary filmmaker Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, Brazil).

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 111
  • Fresh: 57
  • Rotten: 54
  • Average Rating: 5.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Gilliam's penchant for overstimulation can numb your visual cortex, but Theorem is still the best thing he's pulled out of that bag in a while. – Keith Staskiewicz, Entertainment Weekly, Sep 12, 2014

Rotten: This "Theorem" is all sizzle, zero steak. – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Sep 19, 2014

Rotten: Too bad the story tucked around all that production design is such a futuristic drag. – Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice, Sep 16, 2014

Fresh: Say this for Terry Gilliam: Even when he repeats himself, he's unique. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Oct 9, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Disjointed but very good

I loved this movie. It’s not for everyone. If you need all of your plot conflicts explained and presented to you in a pretty little package with a bow, then you might want to save your money. If, on the other hand, you enjoy movies that make you think and leave some questions unanswered, this may be worth your time and hard-earned money.

Most of the criticisms of the movie I think are fair. The only one I don’t like is those who criticize the notion of the zero theorem itself. Seems these people take the notion of the theorem too literally, and don’t see that it’s Gilliam’s statement on the fantasies of the modern era, and how we live our lives more closely connected to more people than ever before, but are living lives that are increasingly devoid of meaning and meaningful, personal relationships. Other than the disjointed dialogue and pace, I enjoyed this movie. Christopher Waltz is excellent, and his supporting cast turns in good performances as well. Most of all, the film is visually stunning. It’s beautiful, in fact. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from Terry Gilliam.

Visually Good

I found the film hard to follow and hard to understand and I worked hard at it. The visual treats that Gilliam gives are always easy to love. But the dialogue and the characters seemed to evolve randomly and without any means of coordination and fluidity and structure. I was hoping for more from him.


A lot of Gilliam gimmickry with no real payoff. I usually love his work, but this was just as disappointing as Tideland. There is some beautiful production design and an interesting take on the future in here, but it’s overshadowed by a character so introverted, he’s almost catatonic.