The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.

CoherenceTitleCoherence (2013)
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Runtime: 89 minutes
The actors are all believable, and play the “mumblecore” expertly. The problem is that they’re playing incredibly unlikable characters. There is the insanely jealous girlfriend, the asshole failed actor, and the flirtatious ex-girlfriend to name a few. Not only are they just annoying, when a simple act like the lights going out happens, this group of 30-somethings all start freaking out as if they’ve never been in a blackout before. It was mind boggling how they handled the situation, and these two major points nearly killed the movie for me in the first 30 minutes.

Story & Script
Fortunately the time travel aspect of the movie picks up at around the 30-minute mark and things start to get interesting quickly. It takes a while to get there, but once there, it starts to move briskly. The script itself is almost entirely improvised, which is an impressive feat in itself.

Here is the reason I watched this movie: a director – James Ward Kyrkit – invited seven of his friends over for dinner one evening. They all happened to be actors as well. What would follow is five nights of improvisation with the actors only given character relationships and some brief direction. This is a dream project for me as an actor. I would love being a part of this. The fact that this is how the director handled this film, and then put together something this coherent (pun intended) is incredible. Byrkit clearly is going for an independent feel for this movie, and there are some shaky cam moments and out of focus shots, but they add to what the director is intending instead of detracting from it.

We recently covered another time travel movie here at Cinefessions during a podcast called +1. This is a better time travel film, and it really isn’t that different from what is going on here. Coherence follows annoying adults while +1 follows mostly likable teenagers, if you can believe that. There are moments in Coherence, though, that made the hairs on my arms stand up, exclusively towards the end of the film. There are no straight answers, which I can appreciate in a time travel flick.

As annoying as these characters were, I would watch Coherence again to see if there is anything I missed the first time around.

The Verdict
Coherence is an admiral effort; it’s a risk that mostly pays off. Though it won’t have a huge audience, time travel fans will surely want to check it out. Just give it time to find its flow about 30 minutes in.