A group of unconnected strangers find themselves in an elaborate maze of cube-shaped rooms, some containing deadly traps. It's unclear why they have been selected, or how they even got there. But they have to figure out the puzzle of the Cube in order to survive and to find their way out.
First up, special mention should go to the set design. It's simple, iconic, and cleverly economical (the same set easily becomes another 'room' by changing the coloured lighting). In fact, the 'cube' structure is a sinister character in its own right, with its booby traps, mysterious closed hatch doors and its secrets.
The film is a character-driven psychological thriller, with some excellent performances from its small cast. At the start we know nothing about the enormous Cube, or the other characters, which puts us in exactly the same situation as them. We learn as they learn, and we watch the individuals reveal their true personalities and develop as they try to stay alive and work out their escape. The dynamic of the group is intriguingly open to several interpretations. Each person seems to have a role, for example a special knowledge or expertise. But you could also see them as a mother figure, father figure, vulnerable infant, teenager, etc. And it's easy to see other roles and connections when you start to think about them.
Information and clues are drip-fed to us in a tantalising and teasing way, which kept me totally hooked throughout. Violence appears briefly, and gore is restricted to just a few scenes. But when it does appear, it is done well with great impact. The special effects are wickedly gruesome and visually impressive.
The Cube is an unusual and intriguing film which keeps you guessing, thinking, and re-thinking, right up to the end. I really enjoyed this, even on a second viewing and knowing what the outcome would be. 5/5