The 9th Life of Louis Drax movie poster
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The 9th Life of Louis Drax
The 9th Life of Louis Drax movie poster

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

There are movies that fail financially because they don’t get the proper distributor support, and there are movies that fail because they just kind of, you know, suck. The 9th Life of Louis Drax falls squarely in the latter category, a movie that thrives on the intriguing potential of what its odd premise promises and that squanders its potential with forgettable performances, awkward storytelling, cheesy special effects and a shockingly disappointing ending.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax follows a neurologist (Jamie Dornan, best known for Fifty Shades of Grey) who is attempting to learn the mysterious circumstances that resulted in the near-death of a boy who has the seeming ability to repeatedly cheat death. Sarah Gadon plays the boy’s mother, and Aaron Paul his violent father, who has vanished.

The allure of the movie is that Louis Drax has an uncanny ability to survive death, but even in that the movie struggles to be interesting. The story does a poor job of defining its title character—12-year-old Aiden Longworth is trapped in a bland, poorly written character and doesn’t have the means to escape—and frankly, there’s nothing interesting about his “ability.”

The rest of the movie is a chaotic mess, with the story jumping in and out of chronological order and even into dream sequences and more, none of which imply that the typically reliable director Alexandre Aja knew what he was doing when he made it. The visual effects are embarrassingly awful, and the overall production looks cheap.

There’s little to like about The 9th Life of Louis Drax, despite hints to the otherwise. Nine lives was more than enough.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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