STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis, Melissa McCarthy, Dahlia Salem, David Denman, Octavia Spencer, Ben Falcone

2007, 98 Minutes, Directed by:
John August

On the surface The Nines appears to be an anthology film. It ostensibly tells the story first of a down-on-his-luck actor (Ryan Reynolds) confined to house arrest after a drug binge, and then about a scriptwriter (Reynolds again) who has to ditches an actress friend from his planned TV series in order for the show to go ahead. In the third and final segment Reynolds is a loving husband whose family gets stranded by the side of the road and he has to find a cell phone signal to call a tow truck.

The same actors appear over and over again as different characters in the seemingly unrelated stories which is of course a clue that the various stories and their layers of meaning are all connected somehow as the viewer will come to suspect. However, to be honest the way in which they are connected is a bit of a cheat – a metaphysical sleight of hand that veers the movie straight into sci-fi territory, probably Philip K. Dick country . . .

The ending may a cop out, but The Nines is still an intriguing enough directorial effort by John August, who supplied the screenplays for movies such as The Corpse Bride, Titan AE and Big Fish. The Nines reminds one a bit of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in that there is an autobiographical undertone to The Nines. One gets the feeling that the film is actually inspired by real events in the screenwriter’s life, whereas most of today’s movies seem to be complete impersonal fabrications.

The cast is pretty good, but casting Ryan Reynolds was a mistake though. He does a pretty decent job, but the reality is that The Nines is the sort of film that won’t appeal to the actor’s fan base. If you rented The Nines expecting another Good Luck Chuck type of comedy you’d most likely be disappointed. In fact this is the sort of movie that would probably appeal to the actor’s detractors – a low-key and intelligent sci-fi drama which, while it may never live up to its own premise, is recommended to the serious-minded SF buff who seeks a respite from all the brain-dead Hollywood special effects genre offerings out there.


Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick: As one user on, who gave The Nines a low rating, puts it: “I rented this movie because I love Ryan Reynolds, but the movie was really disappointing. It was so complicated that I only watched it because of Ryan's good looks.” Now if that isn’t a recommendation to check this movie out, then we don’t know what is . . .



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