The Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 sci-fi crime thriller directed by Josef Rusnak and relatively based upon Daniel F. Galouye’s novel Simulacron-3, also published as Counterfeit World (1964). The film stars Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D’Onofrio and Dennis Haysbert. Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important, but knowing someone is after him, he leaves a letter for his colleague, Douglas Hall, in the virtual reality his company has created. Fuller is murdered in the real world and his colleague is suspected. Douglas finds a bloody shirt in his bathroom and cannot recall what he did during the night Fuller was murdered, so he enters the simulation to find the letter but is confronted with the unexpected.
I have no idea how I missed this film. Maybe because it came out the same time that The Matrix did which surprised us all and was definitely revolutionary. I guess among all the hype and popularity of The Matrix, The Thirteenth Floor wasn’t given much attention. In fact, when it came out it received negative reviews; but today it is considered a cult classic. Also this film is found on many “must-see mindblowing films” lists.
Given the mysterious situations, Craig Bierko (Douglas Hall) delivers a cool and calm role rather than a more worried one, as one would think would be the adequate choice. Vincent D’Onofrio’s performances were brilliant. The contrast between his characters is great and shows just what a talented actor he really is. The rest of the cast were also great, but it’s Bierko and D’Onofrio that I’m most affected by.
The cinematography was alright but the visual effects, for the year it came out, were really good. The plot can be slow at first but towards the end, things receive a twist and punctuates the film into what everyone meant for it to be, which results in it being an excellent story, one you will enjoy and understand more the second time you watch it. That’s all I can say without revealing any important details. I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves a good sci-fi that makes you think and question things.
Thanks for reading my review!
– Nick Andersen