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Review: Stylish sci-fi thriller ‘Curvature’ trapped in first dimension

Lyndsy Fonseca and Zach Avery in the movie “Curvature.”
(Screen Media Films)

“Curvature” is a forgettable sci-fi thriller whose intriguing start gives way to an arcane, convoluted plot that fails to viscerally or emotionally engage. Director Diego Hallivis, writer Brian DeLeeuw and production designer Laura Miller work hard to distinguish their work, but it’s a case of style — and conjecture — over substance.

Helen Phillips (Lyndsy Fonseca) is a robotics engineer mourning the recent suicide of her husband, Wells (Noah Bean), a brilliant scientist and co-founder, with partner Tomas (Glenn Morshower), of the Curvature Research firm.

One morning, after Helen wakes up panicked and disoriented, she receives a puzzling phone call warning her to escape her home — her life is in danger. She enlists friend and co-worker Alex (Zach Avery) to help her unravel a mystery that involves a shadowy pursuer (Alex Lanipekun), time travel, murder, hidden cameras and the rethinking of Wells’ death.

Oh, and that strange call? It was from Helen herself, a just-go-with-it twist that will inform much of her risky journey, one that includes several OK action sequences and a climactic visit to a time-machine prototype (it looks like a tricked-out MRI machine) that was designed in secret by Wells and Tomas.

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More dimensional characters played by a more charismatic, starrier cast might have helped warm up this remote effort. Linda Hamilton’s brief, throwaway role as a fellow engineer doesn’t help.

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‘Curvature’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; also on VOD

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