The Signal

6.01 h 37 min2014X-RayPG-13
Laurence Fishburne stars in this mind-bending and suspenseful sci-fi thriller about three college students who encounter a mysterious "signal" in the desert.
William Eubank
Brenton ThwaitesOlivia CookeBeau Knapp
SuspenseScience FictionDrama
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Lin ShayeRobert LongstreetLaurence Fishburne
Brian Kavanaugh-JonesTyler Davidson
Focus Features
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

1591 global ratings

  1. 55% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 14% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

S. DaresReviewed in the United States on May 23, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Plausible scenario for E.B.Es/E.T
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The movie plausible scenario makes a good point about making contact with E.T or E.B.Es answering one of most important questions of humanity, are we alone in the Universe?. Base on a pair of MIT College students with no surprise! exceptional computer and math skills and their friend a CalTech incoming freshman.
I like this movie but starts too slow, and then goes wild scifi at the very end, with a cool ending!.
For further entertaining I recommend on this genre UFO with Gillian Anderson Former X-Files (agent Scully) whom brings a sense of authenticity to the subject matter. Also base on a math college kid and a signal, it is a bit more cerebral and sophisticated and yes more plausible.
3 people found this helpful
KenReviewed in the United States on August 16, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
More Clever than you can imagine, if not, go make movies.
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If you like Sci-Fi, Especially about Dreamland and E.B.E.'s then this is for you. Pay no attention to the YouTube comments on here (opp's, I meant reviews) because yes, I have a turd cutter also. Catch my drift? If someone didn't like this film then it's because their favorite Sci-fi movie is probably Guardians of the galaxy, or Transformers. Time to sit back, and see a true Sci-fi film. If you have never been to Nevada than this for you. Do a little homework and you will see the genius. There are references to many older science fiction movies all mashed into one here, but instead of being cheesy, this movie adds a touch of class and imagination to these references and definitely does them justice. Look, if its been a while since you have seen something in this particular category of film, start here. You will not be disappointed. Lawrence Fishburne's performance was equally as great in this as the Matrix IMO. It's close to the same, however it will keep you guessing. Please give it a shot. Easily worth 1 cup of coffee at starbucks.
25 people found this helpful
spookarooReviewed in the United States on September 13, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Well. That was strange.
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If you want to watch a movie where no one is a winner, this is it. Half way through it I realized the writer was stringing us along with scenes that made no sense--they were fillers--because he obviously couldn't think of something interesting or relevant to build on. Just wastin' (my) time so he could get to an ending. Did he want to write a sci-fi? A horror? Suspense/thriller? The writer gave all three a shot. Note to writer: no one likes a hero who is nothing but a victim. Where the film ended is where something important should have happened but, oh gee, cos the writer was out of ideas, he just has the hero/victim standing there with mouth open as the camera pulls back and ta-da! we finally get a look at what we knew was there all along. Don't waste your money buying this. Watch it if it's free and you have nothing better to do. I would say there's little believable about it but well, when you're dealing with ET's what's believable is only as real as your imagination.
One person found this helpful
dwallReviewed in the United States on July 3, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
A decent sci-fi movie, but it could have been much better
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I probably liked it a little more than 3 stars, but that's only because I find Olivia Cooke's take on the characters she portrays endlessly fascinating (check her out in the film Thoroughbreds). And the Laurence Fishburne reveal at the end was a true surprise. But the ending was unexpected only because it didn't really connect to the bulk of the story that preceded it. You never get a handle on what the "signal" actually is or the reason behind why the subjects have alien appendages after encountering the mysterious whatever-happened-to-them. The acting is very good despite the plot holes, though, and you do feel for the young college age characters, if only because you as the audience are as tortured and confused about what's going on as they are. It's not a bad movie, it's just that the key moments feel rushed where a little more exposition would have helped the story.
4 people found this helpful
Space MerchantReviewed in the United States on January 27, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bet this will become a cult classic
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I had low expectations because of the low star rating on Amazon but I was pleasantly surprised. I think the script was well written and original which is rarely seen these days. The direction and acting were superb. I think this will become a cult classic and something I’ll watch again and introduce friends to.
I’m guessing the low ratings come from people who prefer movies like Cloverfield or from people who don’t appreciate quality sci-if films.
9 people found this helpful
James C GirasaReviewed in the United States on May 13, 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent story which fails to answer all questions
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This review is for the Blu-Ray version of The Signal.

BLU-RAY DISC: The quality of the blu-ray disc is excellent as to be expected for a modern science fiction movie.

EXTRA'S: There are lots of extra's. For starter's there is a director commentary. There is a featurette called "Behind The Signal." There are deleted scenes and alternate scenes.

PLOT/SYNOPSIS: I'll keep this brief because if you go into any kind of detail then their will be lots of spoilers.

A small group of friends, two teen boys and a teen girl decide to take a cross country trip. Nic has a deteriorating condition that is taking away his ability to walk. His girlfriend, Haley is going away to school for a year. Together with their friend Jonah, they decide to drive her to school. They start receiving messages from a mysterious hacker and decide to go investigate the source of the signals while on their road trip. That's about as far as I can go without giving away all sorts of stuff about the plot.

IMPRESSIONS: This movie shows influences from several good sci-fi movies of the past. Among them are 'The Matrix' and 'Dark City' along with found footage movies and take your pick of 'contagion' movies; and alien abduction movies. The main problem with this movie is that it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. You will get a resolution to the main story arc but you will not get answers to a lot of other plot points which I find frustrating. This could have been an excellent movie. For the budget, they did a tremendous job, especially with the special effects.

Ultimately, I can only give it 3 stars because of the failure of the writers and director to put together a more coherent story.

Recommended for all sci-fi fans. Even though I only give it 3 stars it is an interesting movie and worth a watch.
2 people found this helpful
john Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Film
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In my view the best science fiction uses the genre to focus on the human condition; that is, it explicates/outlines that condition within the context of an expanding consciousness/boundaries for humanity.

This script is really about LIFE-about it's temporality/impermanence, and the nature of time in those relationships-as well as memory-and ultimately as human beings what makes life worth living-but also the pain/conflict that life can bring. The use of younger players for me really works (and they do a great job!)-because in one sense (perhaps the author is saying) that we as a species are evolving and therefore "ever youthful"---

The cinematography really works as it outlines the dynamic nature of time-and highlights the characters facing themselves-including the rage-which is likely about grief; the super slow motion for me nails it-as it is perfectly balanced as a character.

The film is rounded out by the seasoned presence of Laurence Fishburne, and at times I was wondering whether the script writer had descended (in real life) into madness and this was his way out-like the ten toes questions that only a seasoned thespian could make work-and the dark places from which the characters needed to escape-

Great job!!
Tim F. MartinReviewed in the United States on September 24, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Suprisinginly good!
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A good movie! I was worried it was going to go the art house/indie route and be confusing and while pretty to watch, not give the viewer any real answers. It did give answers, in fact pretty much everything is answered right at one of the best endings of any science fiction movie I have seen in some time.

The movie starts off - having seen the trailers - as a completely different movie almost. We meet three friends traveling across country, friend Jonah and hacker friend Nic along with Nic's girlfriend Haley, all helping Haley move from MIT to a university in California. Johah and Nic are obsessed with a powerful and cryptic hacker called Nomad, who they track down to a very, very rural area of Nevada. More or less along the route they take, the three end up investigating, hoping to confront Nomad in person.

Until they reach the place where their GPS coordinates lead them to Nomad, the film (a few creepy overtones of the hacker skills of Nomad aside), feels like a beautiful shot indie film, with gorgeous light, beautiful skies, a long road trip through farmland and forest and desert, the three of them dealing (or not dealing) with Haley leaving their lives for a year and Nic coming to terms with an illness that in the future will put him possibly in a wheel chair and how he views that changing (or ending) his relationship with Haley.

Once they get to the strange home in the desert where Nomad supposedly lives, it gets a bit of a horror movie vibe, with lowlight cameras revealing a strange house, cryptic house hold items, but no sign of Nomad. Quickly things get worse, as Nic and Jonah, in the basement (!; not a place I want to be in a such setting), hear Haley screaming...and it gets strange from there, with Nic waking up in some sort of secure government facility, surrounded by people in contamination suits, the only one that talks to Nic being Jonah (with a wonderful calm and soothing voice).

I don't want to give anything more away, but it was a good and original science fiction film. I liked the flashbacks to the life Nic had before the events of this film, the time before the encounter grounded the characters (though not entirely sure the trajectory of Nic's and Haley's relationship really played out post encounter), and the effects (especially the slow motion photography) were good.
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