The X-Files: I Want to Believe

In theaters.

Note: This isn’t so much a review as it is a navel-gazing meditation on what The X-Files once meant to me and how that meaning has faded. I tried to write a real review, but I wasn’t able to disentangle my reaction to the movie from my one-time infatuation with the TV show, and I finally gave up. Consider yourself warned.

“Trust no one” was the line most associated with The X-Files back when it was in its prime. That phrase reflected its convoluted conspiracy-oriented mythology, not to mention larger premillennial fears, so that was the phrase that magazines and the like used when talking about it. But for me, that was a misrepresentation, for much of the show’s drama comes out of the fact that Mulder and Scully both have someone they do come to trust: each other. The truly archetypal X-Files phrase appears on Mulder’s iconic flying-saucer poster in block capitals: “I want to believe.”