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Project Almanac (2015)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 30 January 2015 (USA)
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2:34 | Trailer
A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.

Director:

Dean Israelite

Writers:

Jason Pagan (as Jason Harry Pagan), Andrew Deutschman

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonny Weston ... David Raskin
Sofia Black-D'Elia ... Jessie Pierce
Sam Lerner ... Quinn Goldberg
Allen Evangelista ... Adam Le
Virginia Gardner ... Christina Raskin
Amy Landecker ... Kathy Raskin
Gary Weeks ... Ben Raskin
Macsen Lintz ... David, Age 7
Gary Grubbs ... Dr. Lou
Michelle DeFraites ... Sarah Nathan
Curry Stone Curry Stone ... Male Student
Jamila Thompson ... Marina
Katie Garfield ... Liv
Hillary Harley Hillary Harley ... Blonde
Courtney Bowers Courtney Bowers ... Jess' Friend
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Storyline

As a group of friends discover plans for a time machine, they build it and use it to fix their problems and for personal gain. But as their future falls apart with disasters, and they come to realize the irreversible ripple effects caused by their time travels, they must decide to fix this once and for all.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Today is better the second time around See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinema One See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,310,252, 1 February 2015

Gross USA:

$22,348,241

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,213,241
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2012 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

When the team travels back in time to change Quinn's outcome in the chemistry presentation they have to move Quinn's "past-self" out of the way. Which makes David's time travel attempt to kiss Jessie not possible since he would have to get rid of himself in that time line, in that exact moment and then somehow remember it. See more »

Quotes

Jessie Pierce: When you said time machine, I thought dinosaurs or at least Woodstock, you know?
See more »

Connections

References Groundhog Day (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Brother
Written by Adam Levin, Casey Harris, Noah Feldshuh & Sam Harris
Performed by X Ambassadors
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Minor issues detract from an otherwise enjoyable time-travel flick.
29 January 2015 | by BrentHankinsSee all my reviews

Time travel is always a tricky subject for a filmmaker to tackle. It's been done countless times, with countless interpretations, and most attempts struggle to show us anything we haven't seen before. But every once in awhile, someone comes along with an idea that breathes new life into the genre, and aside from a few stumbles in the third act, Project Almanac fits nicely into that category.

Teenage genius David Raskin (Jonny Weston) just got accepted to MIT, but there's one problem - he was only awarded a partial scholarship, and his mother's only solution to afford the staggering tuition cost is to put the family home on the market. Hoping to apply for a last- minute grant from a yearly technology competition, David begins digging through his late father's possessions for potential ideas, and discovers an old video camera containing footage from his seventh birthday party. But as he reviews the tape with his sister, he makes a startling discovery - his modern-day self is visible in the background of the footage.

Along with his closest friends and fellow inventors Adam (Allen Evangelista) and Quinn (Sam Lerner), David begins tearing through his father's basement workshop looking for answers. He finds them hidden in a floor safe: a small device, along with a collection of notebooks and blueprints for a "temporal displacement" device. "We can't build a time machine in my basement," David says in disbelief, before Adam reminds him of the video footage. "I think we already did."

The experimentation process quickly becomes the highlight of Project Almanac, as David and his friends repeatedly test the device on various objects. The visuals here are tremendous fun, and the sheer, unadulterated joy the kids display when they realize what they've accomplished is infectious. They behave exactly the way you would expect teenagers with a time machine would behave: they go back in time to ace tests, stand up to bullying classmates, attend Lollapalooza, and in David's case, win the affections of longtime crush Jessie Pierce (Sofia Black-D'Elia).

The film runs into trouble around the beginning of the third act, when a seemingly innocuous deed turns out to have severe ramifications for the rest of the world. There's no clear explanation why things have become so dour, when previous trips into the past didn't result in disaster, and the film quickly descends into Butterfly Effect territory as each attempt to correct these mistakes results in further calamity. The ending also provides far more questions than answers, which is particularly disappointing when the first two-thirds of the film is so well-done.

Project Almanac also loses a few points thanks to a found footage approach that does more harm than good. The hand-held camera makes perfect sense as the kids film their experiments - David is a scientist, after all, and scientists like to document everything. But a lot of the dialogue-only scenes would have been better served by a more traditional cinematography style, as there are plenty of scenes where constantly holding onto a camcorder doesn't seem plausible.

These are minor issues, to be sure, but they're still issues that keep Project Almanac from being a truly great film. As it stands, it's still a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable entry into the genre - just make sure you take some Dramamine beforehand, and don't try too hard to make sense of the overlapping timelines in the third act, or the film's head-scratching conclusion.


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