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Code 46 (2004)

Tim Robbins , Samantha Morton , Michael Winterbottom  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton, Om Puri, Togo Igawa, Nabil Elouahabi
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom
  • Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Producers: Andrew Eaton, Arti Gupta, David M. Thompson, Robert Jones, Rosa Romero
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00067BBMI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,370 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Code 46" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • "Obtaining Cover: Inside Code 46"
  • Original theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Like Gattaca did before it, Code 46 extrapolates from the present to posit a chilling, dystopian look at our genetically regimented future. In the corporate-controlled, near-future scenario presented by prolific director Michael Winterbottom and his regular screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, nations and languages have merged to form a polyglot society in which genetic imperfections are avoided by the strict enforcement of Code 46, which prohibits sex between people who share 100%, 50%, or even 25% matching DNA. As an insurance-fraud investigator in Shanghai to investigate the issuance of forged passports (a major offense in an overcrowded world), Tim Robbins meets his prime suspect (Samantha Morton, echoing her role in Minority Report), and their violation of Code 46 has tragic and ultimately dehumanizing repercussions. Fascinating as a "what-if" scenario, Winterbottom's film is more successful as a melancholy mood-piece than a science-fiction tale. While the plot and characters suffer from occasionally vague definition, Code 46 offers a fascinating study of human longing in an age of oppressive globalization. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

What if the person you desired most was the one person you were forbidden to love? OscarÂ(r) winner* Tim Robbins and OscarÂ(r) nominee** Samantha Morton "make a sexy and moving pair of desperadoes" (Entertainment Weekly) in this "provocative, quietly erotic" (Premiere)sci-fi thriller from the director of 24 Hour Party People. In the near future, privileged classes live and work "inside" cities, while non-citizens scratch out a miserable existence "outside" in a vast desert. People cannot leave their designated zones without special visas known as"papeles." When fraudulent papeles surface, Seattle investigator William Geld (Robbins) travels to Shanghai to ferret out the culprit and meets Maria Gonzalez (Morton) a woman with whom he has a passionate affair but breaks one of society's harshest laws: Code 46. *2003: Supporting Actor, Mystic River **2003: Actress, In America; 1999: Supporting Actress, Sweet and Lowdown

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best bad movies I've ever seen. March 28, 2005
I can't believe it took a full glass of wine to work up the courage to write this review. Monday night is supposed to be my "thinking night"; an ascetic alternative to the typically alcohol soaked weekends. I've gone back and forth so many times about my opinion on this movie. Last night however, I decided I'd thought about reviewing this movie once to many times. So, my best shot.

As expressed in the title, I don't think Code 46 is a good movie. I agree with most of the critics as it relates to the storyline (full of holes and cliche), and I don't particularly remember a standout performance by either Tim Robbins or Samantha Morton. I do however remember the movie...often.

I've basically distilled down the value of Code 46 to this: a world-class "ambient film".

This is a beautiful movie to watch. Set in near-future Shanghai, it consistently presents vividly attractive sets, with hauntingly beautiful music. Bear with me a second here, but if you took a random collection of good movies (as a control group), and randomly snapped pictures of scenes, then hung them on a wall, my bet is that Code 46 would consistently compel a more significant emotional response.

Hardly a reason to watch this film. I'm a Sci-Fi buff, I really look forward to good plot development, good effects, good acting. This movie scores poorly in those verticals. However, with all the crummy media out there, when a certain piece comes along that leaves an impression, any impression, it's worth noting in my opinion.

This movie is worth watching. Put it on before going to bed, let the cinematography and score wash over you. It sets a powerful and interesting mood for emotion. Which is more than I can say for most.


Christian Hunter

Santa Barbara, California
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian Atmosphere Where DNA & Emotions Clashes... January 3, 2005
In a future where the people of the world are united, the sun burns all living as the ozone layer is more or less depleted. Disease and other biological complications have led to the cloning of humans in order to restore the human species, which has also led the world to create a number of rules and one of these rules is Code 46. Code 46 states that people with 25 percent or more similar DNA cannot copulate, and if pregnancy is accomplished then the pregnancy will be terminated. In addition, if Code 46 is intentionally broken it is a criminal act which will be punished accordingly. Thus, in order to maintain the human species a dystopian atmosphere has been generated where emotion is secondary and biological purpose primary.

William (Tim Robbins), an intuitive agent for the Sphinx Corporation, arrives to Shanghai in order to investigate inside theft of papeles, paperwork that allows for travel between different zones of the world. Through the investigation William meets Maria (Samantha Morton), the thief of the papeles, but instead of handing her over to the superiors he lets her go. This displays William's personal motives as he has fallen in love with Maria, and begins to follow her immediately as she leaves the company grounds.

It is Maria's birthday and on each of her previous birthdays she had experienced a recurring dream about riding on a train that brings her one stop closer to her destiny. This birthday is the birthday that is suppose to bring her to the final stop where her destiny awaits her. When Maria bumps into William on the train, as he has been following her, she seems to grasp the moment as she invites him on an unforgettable journey as she is aware of him knowing her secret.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Under-rated Gem April 1, 2011
By Ed G
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When it began, I thought it was a bit slow. When it was over, I couldn't stop thinking about it for three days.

The voiceover track is a story unto itself. The film deserves a second watching just to absorb it.

Well cast, well acted, well directed, well filmed...there is nothing I would change about this film. There really ought to be a separate category for thoughtful sci-fi that contains no space ships, no ray guns and no monsters. My thanks to all those who helped to create it.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars somber and melancholy March 25, 2006
By dev1
Viewers have faulted Code 46 for the lack of physical and emotional chemistry between Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton. After all Robbins is well to do, educated, handsome and tall where Morton exudes none of these characteristics. A less capable director would have taken the easy road and selected a beautiful, tall cover girl for Robbins. But director Michael Winterbottom chose Morton, and let the storyline and acting abilities of the characters convince viewers that the relationship is both plausible and real. And Morton is a convincing seductress. She plays quite a natural cat and mouse game of sexual and emotional fulfillment: extending her affection at times, then pulling back at other times. Keep in mind that Robbins is more than a chance encounter and romance, but the fulfillment of a dream. Any male could have taken the place of Robbins: he just happened to be in the right place under the right circumstances.

I could not foresee an ending more tragic. Both Robbins and Morton engage in a affair which both know must end. An affair which is both illicit and illegal. Morton's punishment may seem severe, but in my view, adds credence to the story, and reinforces her character as the tragic heroine.

Code 46 is not the feel good hit of the summer, but somber and melancholy. Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars No
I don't know what it is about Tim Robbins. Very gifted, but should stay out of acting in leading rolls. It just doesn't work. I turned this one off.
Published 1 month ago by Suzanne Schumacher
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant science fiction story
My first viewing of "Code 46" was through a rental. After viewing it, I knew I had to have my own copy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Todd Groves
4.0 out of 5 stars Original
This movie has an original story line that keeps evolving throughout the movie. I usually don't like sci-fi, but I enjoyed this movie.
Published 3 months ago by Emily Fleck
2.0 out of 5 stars from the earliest scenes, seizes you by the throat
however, if you switch this vapid thing off, you should feel better. modest scifi ideation that is obscured, rather than developed, by a very tepid hour length flirtation (which... Read more
Published 5 months ago by dax
5.0 out of 5 stars CHECK...NO PURCHASE this film! Pass it on
Watch or purchase this movie at any cost... there is a weird but pleasurable nuance in this film...I can't beleive morton and robinson together in this indie film, but it will stay... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Simil Fugai
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE FOR DONOR KIDS
It is a real worry for children from donor parents that they may become involved with someone who is genetically similar i.e. brother, sister, mother, father. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bronwyn Van Dam
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite sci-fi movies.
This movie has a unique look: moody yet romantic. I love the locations, soundtrack, and dialogue.
View it and be prepared to be stays with you for awhile.
Published 12 months ago by Lisa kovacik
3.0 out of 5 stars Film Ok
I like Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton; their acting was good. I liked the sci-fi aspect of the film. The film itself was slow and never really caught my attention. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Vyctorya
5.0 out of 5 stars good watch.
Great concept and it was entertaining. The quality of the video streaming was great too! Very pleased overall with the quality and movie.
Published 14 months ago by machavely
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting dystopia sci-fi
There's not a lot of sci-fi here for tho who seek that sort of thing. Instead, this depicts a future world not that different from today, when everyone speaks a mashup of one... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Brad Smith
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