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The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

Craig Bierko , Gretchen Mol , Josef Rusnak  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dennis Haysbert
  • Directors: Josef Rusnak
  • Writers: Josef Rusnak, Daniel F. Galouye, Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez
  • Producers: Helga Ballhaus, Kelly Van Horn, Marco Weber, Michael Ballhaus
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767821629
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,460 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Thirteenth Floor" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Conceptual Art Gallery
  • "Before and After" special effects gallery
  • DVD-ROM and Web Links
  • The Cardigans "Erase/Rewind" Music Video

Editorial Reviews

Computer scientist Hannon Fuller (Armin Mueller-Stahl) finds something extremely important. Knowing that he's marked for assassination, he leaves a message in the virtual reality world he's designed, hoping it will be found by colleague Douglas Hall (Craig Bierko). Hall is a suspect in Fuller's murder and indeed finds a bloody shirt in his house, with no recollection of what he did the night before. Hall plunges headlong into Fuller's world (a re-creation of 1937 Los Angeles) to try to unravel the slaying and is soon knee-deep in confusion and trouble. What this film lacks in character depth and plot cohesiveness it makes up for in special effects and high concept. Fans of films like Blade Runner, Dark City, eXistenZ, and even the game Sim City should find this appealing. Of course, there's the question of letting the computers do all the heavy lifting in films while the humans walk through the plot (an all-too-familiar scenario in 1999), but the re-creation of '30s Los Angeles is certainly something to see, pallid script and acting or not. The Thirteenth Floor is a stylish modern-day noir that raises questions about technology versus reality, all the while wrapped up in a murder-mystery story line. --Jerry Renshaw

Product Description

This 100 minute featuer film DVD stars Craig Bierko, Armin Jueller-Stahl, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Dennis Haysbert.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elevators sometimes skip "the thirteenth floor" May 3, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
but you shouldn't. This is a very good movie and most any sci-fi or cyber freak should enjoy it. The premise is that in the near future a Los Angeles-based company has almost perfected a virtual reality system so real that a customer can jack into it and experience 1937 L.A. as a real person, interacting with cyberpeople who behave as real as their real-world counterparts. When the Craig Bierko character's boss (played by Armin Mueller-Stahl) turns up dead, our hero has no choice but to go into the 1937 reality. He discovers a very spooky thing: those 1937 characters have developed an independent consciousness and don't realize that they are "unreal" in any sense, mere technical creations.
The plot thickens, and I don't want to spoil it. I thought this movie should have done much better at the box office, and possibly it would have if not for the fact that The Matrix blew it and quite a few ships out of the water in the virtual-reality flick department. But The Thirteenth Floor has its own charms, and is well worth enjoying on its own terms.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Virtual Reality October 23, 2005
Here are a few elements of this movie that might appeal to some people:

Firstly, it presents a clearer, more sensible idea of how virtual reality works than its 1999 movie siblings "THE MATRIX" or "eXistenZ". And it does it thoughtfully, without mind-numbing action scenes and special-effects.

Secondly, the virtual reality world of L.A. in the 1930s is visually rich, yet doesn't stray too far from a realistic look.

Bonus extras are Armin Mueller-Stahl's, Vincent D'Onofrio's and Dennis Haysbert's performances, Gretchen Mol's lusciousness (also enjoyably down-to-earth as a grocery clerk), and exquisite direction and photography (Josef Rusnak, Wedigo von Schultzendorff)

On the DVD, director Rusnak makes the accompanying commentary in the way I like -- he comments on what we're watching with relevent and interesting behind-the-scenes info.

I rewatch this film (and film with commentary) frequently for these reasons.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film Noir January 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is not a "Matrix rip off", far from it, it is one of the best Sci-Fi films I have ever seen. Craig Bierko is fantastic as Doug Hall, the computer scientist who is the prime suspect in the murder of his boss (Armin Mueller Stahl), Vincent D'onofrio is great as usual as Doug's partner Whitney, this is a great movie with great acting, great special effects and a great story, This is not I repeat NOT a Matrix retread, it goes where the Matrix did, and beyond, this movie is for fans of the old film noir movies, but still crave good sci-fi, This movie just proves that you don't need blood and guns, to make a good action movie.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies This Year! November 26, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie because I was bored and walking by the theater. I thought I would be killing time for a couple of hours: I was wrong, this time was not killed, it was extremely well spent. The thing I liked best about this film is that it doesn't take time out to explain things, but rather simply shows you the situation, and leaves the understanding to you. In other words, it does not insult your intelligence. Its theme is similar to that of The Matrix, Dark City, and ExistenZ. Having seen all of these, I would rate this one the best of all of them. While I enjoy cinematic gunfire and explosions as well as anyone, I do enjoy a film which does not feature a lot of this sort of thing, and instead relies on the plot itself to keep the story moving. This film is one such. The movie posters said "Question Reality." I am now following that advice. I would rate this film as the best I've seen this year. Now I'm just waiting for the video to come down in price.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Disappointing DVD March 29, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love the movie, but was really disappointed in this DVD! When I purchased it, I didn't notice that it was only the full screen version. Coming back to check on Amazon, it seems this movie is not even available in wide screen! (At least not in region one.) So many of the special effects shots are wasted in a full screen version. You don't really get the full effect. If they ever do a widescreen version I would buy it but this DVD does not do the movie justice.
Another disappointment in this DVD is the lack of special features. This DVD is listed as a "Special Edition." Seeing that, I was expecting some good special features, but all it had was the trailer, a few still shots, and a VERY brief one-screen bio on the actors. That is not what I would expect from a special edition!
I get the impression the DVD version was rushed together with very little thought. Sony, you can do better than this!!!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, different type of movie June 29, 2006
Tired of explosions and bad guys who shoot hundreds of bullets but still miss their main target? Try this drama/sci fi movie. The characters are the stars, not the sets nor the action sequences. Bierko is great as the lead and has star quality. Why can't he get more roles? Gretchen Mol is beautiful and is convincing as the mysterious blonde with a hidden agenda. I don't want to give much away as this is really a classical mystery.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Matrix March 11, 2005
By 3-006
Yes, this movie pre-dates the Matrix and in fact has a much more interesting storyline than that film. I see why the 2 are so often compared, but I would describe the 13th Floor as an intellectual version of the Matrix.

The plot has already been discussed so I am going to simply mention some of my favorite aspects of this film. It was fascinating how these programmers could create such a realistic virtual world, wherein the people are programs and have no idea of the truth (see, how the Matrix ripped it off?). Imagine finding out you are nothing but a bunch of 1's and 0's and there is no possibility for change or escape?

It is exceedingly clever how one character leaves clues in the virtual world that allows another character to help solve a mystery in the real one.

Interestingly, perhaps due to a limited budget, more attention was paid to the actual story instead of filling the screen with all kinds of cheesy cgi, which resulted in a better, more fulfilling movie, as opposed to a simple action flick.

Vincent D'Onofrio submits yet another stellar acting performance. I am always floored by how he can look so completely different from one role to the next. Check out the brilliant independant flick, Salton Sea, if you are a fan. (As an aside, while I did not particularly enjoy The Cell, Vincent gave the most chilling performance I have ever seen in my life and one that I will never forget...too bad Jlo was involved.)

If you are interested in the concept of virtual reality or even parallel worlds, or maybe just new types of entertainment technology, you will no doubt enjoy the 13th Floor. While it is a slow-moving drama, the intriguing storyline and believable performances will keep you more interested in this film in the long run than some cheesy, special effects laden popcorn flick.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Too smart for most viewers?
Is it possible that a movie can be too smart for just about everyone? I guess so unless I am just too stupid to see how obvious this construct must be to "smart" people. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Jason M. Amodea
5.0 out of 5 stars virtual
The ability to create a virtual world is the height of ego. Playing GOD. The thoughts evoked are intoxicating. I think that is one of the reasons I love 'thirteenth floor'. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Peter Porritt
3.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better...
Can you say Dark City? I couldn't help, but make comparisons to the classic as I watched this. I saw too many parallels in this movie that it bothered me because I prefer a movie... Read more
Published 22 days ago by iGUANA
2.0 out of 5 stars Two movies with same title
I mistakenly ordered this 13th Floor. As it says it is an "Indieflix". I reordered the movie I was originally looking for.
Published 24 days ago by Patricia Fordham
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This movie has both the full screen and widescreen versions on it. I have watched several times both on TV and DVD. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jim Bartlett
3.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, Dickian but still average
The Thirteenth Floor was released just a couple of months after 'The Matrix', a film with which it shares a central question; i.e. how real is reality? Read more
Published 2 months ago by still searching
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird movie
This is an old movie with a weird premise. But it is entertaining and the kind of movie you may be inclined to watch more than once.
Published 2 months ago by coach438
1.0 out of 5 stars I Threw it Away
This was recommended to me by a Christian so I thought it would be something I could watch without shame, but I found its insinuations and outright shocking behavior so bad that I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daniel Graves
5.0 out of 5 stars I have no idea what this movie is about
I like the Matrix feel about the movie. However, I am clueless about what the movie means. It's good for the flashy lights.
Published 3 months ago by Vytautas Baronas Leita
5.0 out of 5 stars Reveals the truth
This very convincingly reveals what its like to be living in a hologram, which apparently we are according to quantum physics. This is good news! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sharon K. Phillips
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