Modern sci-fi movies: “Cypher”

A sense of paranoia permeates Vincenzo Natali’s sci-fi thriller Cypher, and it’s all the better for it.

(USA/Canada 2002, director: Vincenzo Natali)


An everyday man is hired by a company to do espionage on other corporations and soon he loses all sense of identity, becoming a pawn in a much bigger game.


This is one of those movies that despite its low budget can be believable and suspenseful at the same time, mainly due to enough mysteries and surprises along the way. What it also achieves is to make the audience believe in the same paranoia the main protagonist experiences. Like the best of espionage thrillers, few people can be trusted and relied on. The sense of losing one’s own identity has of course been done before, but it’s taken to its extreme here.


Unlike a movie like Matrix that also deals with alternate realities and manipulation, there are very few action scenes. But it’s not only dialogue-driven like so many sci-fi movies which ultimately becomes boring, as the suspense really comes from the individual setpieces, the situations the main character is in with some frightening future scenarios that are still real enough to be close to the present-day without an overload of gimmicks.


The only downside to the low production values is that the special effects are pretty bad, especially with some explosions and flying vehicles one has seen better realized with an amateur video editing program. So it’s good that there’s not much of the outside world to see. However, this isn’t irritating, as it adds to the sense of isolation and changes of identically looking places. The whole look of the movie is also quite cold which fits perfectly to the corporate espionage theme.


Simply said, I enjoyed this movie much more than the overrated Cube the director has become famous for. I wouldn’t go so far as to put it above Matrix, but considering its low budget and more suspenseful story, it’s certainly on par and should be checked out even by those who usually avoid sci-fi because of the running time.

Score: 8/10


Buy the BD on
Amazon Germany
Amazon UK (import)
Amazon USA (import)
Buy the DVD on
Amazon Germany
Amazon UK
Amazon USA

Official Ascot Elite Website

Official Miramax Website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page. Using one of the Amazon links and buying the product also helps ;).


About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
This entry was posted in Movie reviews, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Modern sci-fi movies: “Cypher”

  1. Pingback: Blogging 2015 overview | Emotional Multimedia Ride

  2. Pingback: Movie articles in 2015 overview | Emotional Multimedia Ride

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s