Ad Astra: Movie Review

Ad Astra
Ad Astra: Movie Review
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About the Author

Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry is an aspiring actor and has a strong passion for film. He was born in Brampton Ontario and has recently moved to Oakville. He is a graduate of Acting for Film & Television from Niagara college.

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Space, the final frontier. What lies out there? Is there extraterrestrial life? These are questions that Ad Astra asks. They are ever increasingly curious questions, but they aren’t the focus of the film. Instead we get a much more personal and gripping story about a man on a mission that is very good, if a little slow.

Forceful visuals, gripping suspense, growing curiosity, and wonderful performances are all at the foundation of Ad Astra. It’s lead character carries the weight of the solar system on his shoulders and it makes you feel that weight alongside him, though the weight does cause the pacing to slow to a crawl.

The story follows Roy McBride; son of the late and great international hero Clifford McBride. When power surges from the derelict Lima Project orbiting Neptune, it causes catastrophic damages to the human civilization. Roy embarks on a long journey to reach the ship, and possibly discover what happened to his father.

There are many things that are good about this movie. But what holds it up by far the is the performance of the sole lead character. Roy; played wonderfully by Brad Pitt is the through line of the movie. If he didn’t hit the mark, the whole movie would have fallen apart. Pitt conveys a relatable, yet still impressive individual going through one of the toughest journey’s in his life.

This isn’t to say that all of the other performances are poor, far from it. Everyone does a stellar job,  but considering that Brad Pitt takes up almost the entirety of the film’s two hour run time, his work needs special recognition.

Complimenting the incredible acting is the magnificent visuals. Somehow, Ad Astra manages to make these locations feel real, despite taking place in space.

The story is also commendable. While it is very slow, that is a deliberate decision made to ratchet up the suspense. The whole movie elicits a tense feeling that danger is around every corner, and that everyone is watching you. That being said, the slow pace isn’t for everyone, so keep that in mind for movie night.

Fans of dramatic sci-fi films like The Martian, Interstellar, and even Gravity will enjoy this film. While there isn’t much in the way of vulgarity or violence, the complicated themes may not engage younger viewers.

Ad Astra is an astronomically interesting film and a stellar piece of art.

 

Ad Astra

9 out of 10.

2 hrs 5 mins. Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction.

Directed by James Gray.

Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ruth Negga.

Now playing at Film.ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill, and Cineplex Oakville & VIP. Also in IMAX.

 

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