How much you're likely to enjoy The Box , which opened at the box office in sixth place with $7.9 million over the weekend, may well depend on how well you are able to cope with preposterous story lines. Indeed, that word -- "preposterous" -- cropped up in many, if not most, of the reviews of the film. In her mixed review, Manohla Dargis in the New York Times regarded The Box as "a serious work that insists on its own seriousness even when it edges toward the preposterous." However, Claudia Puig in USA Today wrote that "director Richard Kelly has fashioned a preposterous tale that lacks the wit that made his Donnie Darko a cult classic." Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News scoffed at the movie's "preposterous special effects." But Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times, while acknowledging that "preposterous" is "one of my favorite adjectives," nevertheless went on to write, "If you make a preposterous movie that isn't boring, I count that as some kind of a triumph." He concluded "This movie kept me involved and intrigued, and for that I'm grateful. I'm beginning to wonder whether, in some situations, absurdity might not be a strength." But "boring" was indeed the operative term for several critics. "Have you ever actually tried watching paint dry? A sloth walk? Grass grow?" Asked Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. "You can have all the 'thrills' with none of the chills courtesy of The Box. "

09/11/2009