* * * * A
Wow. I remembered that Source Code was good, and the very basics of the plot, but I’d forgotten almost everything else about it. It stars Jake “Donnie” Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens, an Air Force pilot who inexplicably finds himself on a Chicago commuter train moments before it explodes. He is then returned to a tiny room where he can communicate with “Beleaguered Fortress”, a military operation.
His contact, Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), refuses to explain what is happening, and sends him back to re-experience the explosion over and over. His mission is to determine who set the bomb that destroyed the train. It’s gradually revealed that he is reliving the last 8 minutes of a man who was killed on the train. But there’s a big twist: He’s not merely experiencing what his host experienced. He’s actually able to take control and alter the time line, but only during those 8 minutes.
This is a great film with good acting, interesting characters, and an excellent science fiction plot. My one big criticism is the name. “Source code” might sound cool, but it has nothing to do with the premise, that a dead person’s short term memory can be recovered along with some sort of quantum entanglement of alternate realities around the events of those memories.