Daniel’s Dauntless Movie Reviews

Ad Astra

Daniel Gunton-Taub, Staff Writer

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Ad Astra is a film about an astronaut named Roy McBride (played by Brad Pitt), who must stop a surge in the cosmos that threatens the universe while also looking for his father, Clifford, who went missing many years ago.

I thought this film was really great due to its originality when compared to other space films. Although its plot is lacking, it makes up for it with its atmosphere. This film is less about the story and more so about the world in which the characters live.

There is an emphasis on the established settings like shopping centers and space stations on the different planets, which are visually engaging throughout the film. In one scene, Brad Pitt and his team of astronauts are fighting against another team of astronauts on the moon. This scene, like many others in the film, excel due to their engaging cinematography.

All of the space scenes, shot by Hoyte van Hoytema (Spectre, Dunkirk), are filmed beautifully, with the shots of the outer and inner atmospheres of different planets setting the mood for the entire film. Additionally, the film is surprisingly quiet. Dialogue and music are only included when necessary and when it is, it really works well.

The performances are exceptional from all the actors, especially coming from Pitt who gives another excellent performance this year after previously starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Tommy Lee Jones is also remarkable as always, playing Clifford, the Commander of a missing space project.

Finally, the film’s score, composed by Max Richter, is quite phenomenal. The soft instrumentals are used to highlight the overall mood of the film. This, combined with van Hoytema’s cinematography, help establish Astra’s celestial atmosphere.

Overall, Ad Astra is quite good and a film I’d certainly recommend. If you like space and science fiction that isn’t just a Star Wars knock off, then it is worth the watch.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Director: James Gray

Final Score: 8/10

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