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on March 19, 2000
We first meet Al Fountain (John Turturro) at a remote construction site in the country, where he is the foreman. Immediately, we recognize who and what he is: The Boss; obsessive and meticulous about the work, tenacious in regard to detail. At the same time, it is obvious that he is sorely lacking when it comes to his relationship with his crew. Not that he is a bad guy; neither overbearing nor abusive with his employees, he is, in fact, somewhat personable in his own way. It's just that everything in his vision is so clearly cut in black and white. In the world of Al Fountain there are absolutely no shades of gray. This is further established when he phones his wife and young son to check in and give her an update on the job. When he tells her that one of the guys has invited him to play poker that night (much to the chagrin of the rest of the crew), she is ecstatic and encourages him to go. Clearly, she loves him, but knows how he is. When he quizzes his son on his multiplication tables and the response is unacceptable, flash cards are ordered. When Dad gets home there will be another quiz. In a brilliant metaphor, we see the flash cards as they are perceived by the boy; they are huge, nearly as big as he is, Marley's chains he must carry wherever he goes without respite. When the job is abruptly closed down, Al finds himself with some time to reflect on his life, which he uncharacteristically embraces, prompted by an incident at the poker game the previous evening. At this point the story really begins, and we follow Al on a drive through the country, which ultimately becomes a journey of self-discovery. Along the way he meets "The Kid," (Sam Rockwell), a charismatic, though somewhat naive young man who lives alone in the remnants of a trailer situated on a secluded parcel of land far off the beaten path. It is a lifestyle that Al, initially, simply cannot comprehend. When The Kid explains that he lives "off the grid," it is beyond anything Al can fathom. In the end, this movie is a textured tale of awareness and the importance of setting one's personal priorities. Extremely well presented and acted, it is touching and poignant without the unnecessary burden (in this case) of undue sentiment. The supporting cast includes Catherine Keener, Lisa Blount, Annie Corley and Dermot Mulroney. In "Box of Moonlight," writer-director Tom DiCillo offers us a journey that is well worth the taking.
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on September 1, 2000
Other reviews have described this movie's quirky charm and essential good-heartedness, so this is just a note of warning: the DVD version has been "cropped" from the VHS one (I know, I know, widescreen is supposed to reveal MORE at the sides, and it does, only here they've also sliced off the top and bottom of the frame). I don't know if it was a bad editing decision or a bad transfer, but this movie's actually better on VHS. First time I've seen that happen.
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on February 8, 1999
After watching this film, I got the most magical feeling. It reminded me that there can be life outside of the everyday hustle and bustle, and that there is a child in all of us. All too often we ignore our inner child and get caught up in our concrete jungle lifestyles. We live this life only once and this movie showed me that we must not ignore the simpler things in life, like collecting moonlight in a box or getting in touch with mother nature. To feel sunlight on your face, water cascade against your body or dance till the sun comes up, is what this movie gave me. It reminded me to slow down and take some time to get back in touch with my senses and to watch how I treat others, sounds heavy but this movie has excellent acting and many messages. I have watched this movie 3 times and have found something new in each viewing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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on June 24, 2013
I seen this movie once at 2AM on some TV station a long time ago. As a then single male in his early 20s, and even now as a 30 year old male engaged to a like minded female, I'm inspired and stress free after watching it.

I'd imagine if you have kids or a controlling or materialistic partner, this movie will only annoy you, because it represents free-will and going against social regulation which are mandatory in a world where you have to socialize and live to work.

Me and my future wife both like this movie though, and plan to spend a little money on a small piece of land somewhere rural with a cheap car and manufactured home. We see no benefit of getting into dept just to live in a ugly home 10 feet from someone else, that you lose the second you don't make a certain income; like is the fad of today.

Other movies you may like if you like this one:
American Job
Bong Water
Into the Wild
High Fidelity
Clerks 2
Real Genius
Office Space

These are known in some circles as "chill movies", they are also popular with minimalists and wallflowers.
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on February 7, 2014
Al Fountain (John Turturro) is Mr. Every Day while losing his youth in a humdrum existence. He is the "electrical" engineer, definitely stressing this point while his crew on the job pretty much despises him. Al stares at the clock on the wall, or at his watch all of the time bent on catching them being unproductive, and he eventually does. I guess this would be the high point of Al's overly structured and boring life, that is until he spies a gray hair hit his foot and then slip down the shower drain one morning. Along with that single hair spiraling downward are his irresponsible boyhood days that no longer have a chance of coming back. He now leads a conventional life in a mutually felt stale marriage. He doesn't seem to take any interest in his ignored wife, or could-care-less young son any longer. He very much desires to be liked by the men who work for him, he neither fits in nor knows how to relate with them remaining totally stuffy in his tight white collar. I suppose, concerning Al, the blue collars just don't work well with him any longer.

The job he has been working on suddenly ends, causing an inward panic in Al. He takes all of his bonus money from work and takes off to find the remote place in the country where life was actually fun in his childhood. A mysterious and laid back place, Splashy (actually named "Splatchee") Lake, where he was able to be a kid not all buttoned-up like now. An amusement park type swimming place complete with a slide and sunny days. This all sounds way too good to be true for Al now. While driving toward the lake he just misses getting into an accident with a completely unusual man whose car broke down in the middle of the road. A guy possessing many names but just goes by "Kid" (Sam Rockwell). He dons a replicated suit of Daniel Boone which he liked so well he just took it. Kid also steals Swedish garden gnomes and deer statues to sell, including many other odd and eccentric things. The things of Kid's outlandish and over-the-top life make Al's skin crawl at first; such as Kid stating that he is living totally "Off of the grid".

Kid is a study in himself, an odd duck, but a completely loveable one in the same breath. He lives in one half of a trailer that he purchased and that would be an opened up lengthwise side. You will be amazed at how his place is decorated. From old Christmas lights to packages of Oreo-type cookies he smashes by the bagful for breakfast then eats with wooden spoons. Deer statues stuck everywhere out on his land, along with anything that people would throw away, Kid turns into something useful. He is a wild child/man that never seems to suffer from any unhappiness, especially upon meeting Al who is instant company for him. The super uptight meets the free spirit becomes their interlude and for some quizzical reason after another, Al just cannot seem to get out of there. Maybe Kid will fill you in on that reason?

The writer and director (Tom DiCillo) offers us one moonlit moment after another. The absolutely gorgeous cinematography (Paul Ryan), along with these two phenomenal actors, show everyone what it means to truly be alive and how to be very aware and appreciative of our oftentimes unnoticed surroundings. From Kid walking through a field eating red ripe tomatoes right off of the vine, to jumping into the lake without abandon, reservation, or his Daniel Boone duds, he always chooses to live in the moment. We are treated to a movie that makes magic happen with each and every turn when Al finally lets down his guard. A "Box of Moonlight" is just as it is titled, something that cannot necessarily be captured unless you allow your imagination to take more than just a fleeting glimpse.
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on May 24, 2014
Tom DiCillo and cast knock it out of the park with this one: a gentle, insightful and loving little film that leaves you wanting to tell your boss to take-this- job-and-shove-it and go on a mad adventure WAY outside your comfort zone. I should know, because in 2001, inspired by this film, I that did just that myself and have NEVER regretted it. Turturro, Rockwell and Keener are three of my faves and they shine like the moonlight here. Watch it with someone you love.
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on March 30, 2012
This might have been a straight to video movie. I had never heard of it, and the DVD case certainly looks to be a video store attempt to hook you into a stinker (using a picture of Dermont Mulroney on it and listing him as a star on the cover is beyond a stretch for the cameo he has in the film). You could call this a B-movie though really only in the sense it is certainly not a big budget film. Its lack of money never detracts however, and other than that it is top notch in every way. Also ignore the official "Amazon Review" and pay more attention to the others here. This movie is quirky, fun, memorable, and poignant all at the same time. More importantly, it's almost 100% unique, a rarity to find for those who want something different but still accessible and entertaining.

Besides John Turturro, the other actor in the movie who turns in a great performance and nearly steals the show is Sam Rockwell. I was more familiar with him from a small role in In the Soup , but his "off the grid" character, who lives in the woods in a sawed in half mobile home (lengthwise), eating tomatos from neighbor's gardens and selling stolen garden gnomes for junk food money becomes the life of the party. He is primarilly supposed to be a contrast to Turturro's straight laced character, but he easily moves beyond a supporting cast role and ends up in several of the movie's more memorable scenes. From the moment Turturro's character offers him auto assistance on the side of the road and links their cars together, both literally and figuratively, the movie really takes off into an unchartered direction that is definitely worth the trip.

I won't go into any spoilers here, but essentially it is a film about someone who has taken his life a little too seriously and finds out when he returns to a kitcshy old vacation town that he went to as a child that there is more to life than he thinks there is. He goes "native" enough that you wonder if he will ever go home, especially with Rockwell hiding his rental car keys and inventing other reasons for him to stay. With a strained marriage, a few young women including the charismatic Catherine Keener from movies such as Out of Sight [Blu-ray] also present him with challenges and opportunities for his personal growth. Will he learn what being part of a real family is all about?

You'll easily like this film much better then the 10 other highly acclaimed movies you thought you were going to like this year and ended up disappointed in.
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on December 1, 2015
I absolutely LOVE this movie ; Turturro & Sam Rockwell cross paths in a hilarious , endearing , quirky comedy that is top rank . Turturro is the uptight , square construction boss who is laid off & Rockwell is "The Kid" , an off-the-grid trippy character wearing a Davy Crockett suit whose "car" breaks down which Turturro almost hits while looking for Lake Splashy where he vacationed as a boy . The plot unfolds as Turturro bonds with his complete opposite & begins enjoying his rambling , devil-may-care lifestyle in rare form . This is one of my all-time favorite movies & if you like offbeat indie films this is one not to be missed !!! Check it out , you are guaranteed to laugh & laugh a lot - Hardie* McGehee singer/songwriter
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on April 16, 2016
A quirky kind of feel good redemption flick. Great stuff from Sam Rockwell and though Turturro is stiff as always,he does bend a little in this. Catherine Keener is fairly herself, a bit muted thank God with that huge face she doesn't take up much time.
I have the flu right now and I watched this movie and the acting and point made me feel better. I still can't think. Viruses suck, but Sam Rockwell is always a joy to watch. Very funny, yet full of emotions.
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on December 21, 2014
I've watched this show several times, each time a new appreciation. 'Box of Moonlight' goes in my top five forever list. Such a good film, adventure, awareness, coming of age, breaking open that box...
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