The Uncertainty Principle (2001)

"OK"

The Uncertainty Principle (2001) Review


In this docu-oddity, Toni Sherwood turns her attentions to one Keith Schwab, a scientist doing basic research into the guts of quantum mechanics.

Try as she might, there's no way to make that subject come to vibrant life (though a 53-minute running time helps).

Schwab, as seen under the flourescent light of the lab and via an unflattering digital video camera, struggles with his experiments. He plows away for six years at Berkeley before getting a gyro-thingy to work. Then it's on to Cal Tech, where he attempts to directly measure a constant of quantum heat dissipation. (If that means something to you, congratulate yourself.) He cheats on his wife. He has a dozen hobbies to help get the mind working -- including biking, diving, and making his own ammunition -- none of which he seems very adept at.

In fact, a more cynical critic would say that Schwab's travails are indicative of someone who isn't adept at anything. Case in point: Eventually, when his second experiment works, he is invited to speak at JPL -- where he is practically heckled by a grating woman in the audience. Flustered, he almost forgets what he was saying.

While such vignettes are intriguing, they are few and far between. Much of The Uncertainty Principle is devoted to the uber-techie details of Schwab's experiments plus interviews with his brainiac colleagues. No one in the picture is terribly compelling, especially Schwab, who comes off as a midwestern buffoon, essentially clueless and certainly not worthy of having a movie made about him. (This, of course, is a common problem with documentaries about scientists; see also the recent W.I.S.O.R.)

As a treatise on the scientific method and the nature of experimentation, The Uncertainty Principle has a few thought-provoking moments. But really, the thought that comes to mind most during the viewing of this movie is: Why was this even made?

Experiment, meet nostrils.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.