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Cracking Jake Gyllenhaal's Source Code

Moon director Duncan Jones is following up his criminally under-appreciated psychological space thriller with yet another voyage into the world of science fiction: Source Code, an all-new thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a military captain that's forced to relive the same scenario over and over again until he gets it right. The movie lands in theaters on April 15, 2011, and now we actually have an idea of what Source Code is all about.

The full plot synopsis is listed below courtesy of Worst Previews, but be warned, it's absolutely loaded with spoilers. I don't think the movie's "big twist" is revealed here -- if there is one, and if Moon was any indication, there probably is -- but for those of you who would rather view Jones' latest without any advance knowledge whatsoever, it's best to turn away now.

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Got all that? Good. Let's proceed:

Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes with a jolt to find himself on a commuter train heading into Chicago. Although the other passengers all seem to know him, he has absolutely no idea where - or even who - he is.

The last thing Colter remembers is flying a helicopter mission in Iraq, but here he is in someone else's life going through someone else's morning commute. Before he can do anything an express train zooms by on the opposite track and a bomb explodes, seemingly killing Colter and all the other passengers.

Colter comes to in an isolation chamber, strapped to a seat, and wearing his military flight suit. He still has no idea what's happening, except that he's being spoken to by mission controller Carol Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), who calmly recites a series of memory questions to which Colter is shocked to realize he knows the answers.

He learns he's part of an operation called "Beleaguered Castle," but before he can progress any further, Goodwin starts up the machinery and suddenly Colter is back on the train, at exactly the same time he first appeared there, once again speeding through Chicago with the same group of commuters.

Colter figures he's in some kind of simulation exercise, with his task being to find the bomber on board the train before it goes off again. Living the explosion over and over, Colter must uncover the identity of the bomber, while also figuring out what the alternative universe of "Beleaguered Castle" is. Adding to the puzzle, Colter uses the second chance opportunities to make peace with his father, and to find romance with a fellow passenger on the train.

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There you have it: Source Code in a nutshell. Jones and Gyllenhaal make for an interesting pairing, and it certainly sounds as if they have a lot of equally interesting material to chew on here. I'm certainly looking forward to this one.

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