“Entrancingly strange… succeeds in teasing the brain and touching the heart” – Justin Chang, VARIETY
“Haunting... an exploration of time travel that feels altogether refreshing” – Peter Martin, TWITCHFILM
In mid-’70s New York, a man in a fedora slips into an office building’s boiler room, carrying a mysterious briefcase. He uncovers a bomb, and is attacked while struggling to deactivate it. He succeeds — almost. Horribly disfigured, he’s transported to his agency’s headquarters where he receives a new face. He’s a temporal agent, traveling back and forth through time, altering history, and his assignment — thwart the mass murder perpetrated by the so-called “Fizzle Bomber” — continues. New face, new place. Now he’s undercover as a bartender. He falls into conversation with a tough yet androgynous customer. There’s something off about the guy, who offers to enlighten the agent with “the best story you ever heard”…
Time, place and identity get folded, spindled and mutilated in the mind-bending new movie from Australia’s sibling cinema sorcerors Peter and Michael Spierig, whose feature debut a decade ago, UNDEAD, had its North American premiere at Fantasia. Adapting Robert A. Heinlein’s 1960 short story ”— All You Zombies —”, the brothers Spierig weave a richly atmospheric web of metaphysical conundrums and cool noir thrills. Hopfrogging decades and popping off paradoxical whammies, the almost ironically titled PREDESTINATION takes its audience to the most unexpected places. It’s a maniacal mind game, but one with a heart. The brothers work again here with Ethan Hawke, following his turn in the Spierigs’ slick vampire flick DAYBREAKERS (Hawke is also in Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD, at the fest this year). But it is young Australian actress Rachel Snook who steal the show as the bizarre barside storyteller. Other than tagging her as a rising star to watch out for, we’ll keep the details of her rather diversified performance to ourselves and allow you to absorb them along with the many other astounding twists tucked away in PREDESTINATION, a superior sci-fi thriller with a soul that’s predestined for a place on your must-see list this summer!
— Rupert Bottenberg