In David Koepp's ambivalent tale of middle-class terror, modern society is already set just below the boiling point. When a massive, unexplained blackout strikes married couple Kyle MacLachlan and Elizabeth Shue's region, their already tense suburban lifestyle threatens to pitch over. Old friend Joe (Dermot Mulroney) adds some obligatory class and marital strain into the mix, but together the three debate what to do as their society is rumored to be collapsing (all phones and broadcasting are also shot). Making an end run for the in-laws' house 500 miles away, they come across several confrontations that compromise their values and test their survival instincts. Unfortunately, there are no fresh critiques of humanity's latent turpitude that lurks close to the surface, and the film's pacing is rather staid. --Alan E. Rapp
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