Ad Astra (2019)
IMDb rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 84%
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Earth is threatened by an anomaly (inexplicable, unpredictable power surges) linked to a historic space mission to find intelligent life. That mission, which launched 29 years earlier, ended with astronaut Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) disappearing. Now his astronaut son Roy (Brad Pitt) is being sent to find him after SpaceCom finds clues to Clifford’s fate.
The CGI in this movie is amazing – it looks like it really was filmed in space. The cast is top-notch (Brad, Tommy Lee, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland and more). But the script is the real star, asking questions like, “Should we be experimenting in space?”, “Do we need to find intelligent life?”, “What happens if something goes wrong?” The answers aren’t comforting either.
It’s a powerful thriller, writes Brian Tallerico at rogerebert.com. “Thematically dense and visually sumptuous, Ad Astra may not work for those seeking an action thrill ride. But it works wonders below the surface, serving as an examination of masculinity, a commentary on how we become our fathers. This is rare, nuanced storytelling, anchored by one of Brad Pitt’s career-best performances and remarkable technical elements on every level.”