In an ideal world everyone you know would be talking about how intellectually stimulating and emotionally powerful DISPLACEMENT is, along with how it deserves a best-picture nomination far more than a certain incredibly over-hyped and over-rated movie last year that expected us to believe (as a fundamental requirement of enjoying the movie) the "profound" and "scientific" concept that all a person has to do to see into the future is to learn the proper foreign language! (Personally I found it far easier to believe that Lisa could see through time after eating Apu's extremely spicy cooking.) Alas, we live in a time where the movies that most people see are those with advertising budgets of millions upon millions of dollars, and the establishment (from professional reviewers to amateur bloggers) tends to overlook how nonsensical many such movies are are for fear of offending the famous "auteur" directors (or powerful production companystudios) behind them. Rather, the establishment instead tends to take out its frustration on modest-budget independent films, where it can blow out of all proportion the scientific flaws they contain with little danger of retribution.
To paraphrase Shakespeare's Anthony, "So let it be with DISPLACEMENT!" But unlike him, I will admit from the outset that I come to praise this movie, which slowly builds from its scientificthriller foundation to a highly dramatic and emotional catharsis whose power you don't see coming -- and which few movies these days, regardless of production or marketing budget, can match.
And yet (as we discover along the way) this scene flows naturally from the fundamental plot of the movie, which is a result of main character Cassie's deep need to spend just a few more minutes with her late mother, and help her fulfill her dying wish. As someone who lost the most important person of his life a few years ago, I can certainly understand how Cassie feels. If you can't relate to this desire (to do almost anything to get a few final minutes with a deeply loved one who died too soon), then I suspect that you are either young or extremely fortunate. (Though it occurs to me that such fortune comes at the price of having had a lesser experience of what life is truly all about.) In any case, if you don't like the science, ignore it. (Even I found a moment here and there a bit much.) For it doesn't really matter, as virtually all of us have long accepted the idea of time-travel in movies (including the idea that things often go wrong), and the scientific specifics delved into in this film to justify it (for those "nerdy" types who are interested in it), while not really necessary, are no worse (in fact better than) most films.
My only significant criticism of the movie is how difficult it is the first time through to follow the first twenty minutes or so. But it's important to note that this is NOT (as is the case with many movies) because of any flaw in the story per se, but simply because -- in addition to following Cassie's trips through time -- the movie also cuts to scenes involving what might be called (I'm trying to not be too spoilery here) Cassie Prime, without adequately orienting us first.
Thus my fear is that some will be so confused by the beginning that they will give up on the movie. Which would be a shame, for the second time around virtually everything makes sense and, as I said before, the movie builds to an emotional climax that is well worth the time and effort even if you do have to watch the movie a second time before fully experiencing it.
I also love how, at the end of the movie, on one level everything is reset to how it once was, and yet on some metaphysical level Cassie's character has been changed -- as shown (amongst other things) by her radically different attitude toward her dad.
Every cast member was clearly devoted to his project and gives it their all, a testament -- along with the great cinematography and visual effects -- to the quality of the direction. And in yet another surprise for a movie of this budget (which looks like it cost millions of dollars more than it reportedly did) is the use of real musicians! Which is undoubtedly one of the things (along with the acting, directing, and composer) that makes many of the scenes, especially the climatic one, so powerful and moving.
In sum, whether of budget great or small, this is the best movie I've seen in a long time.
Review by Neal Reynolds from the Internet Movie Database.