‘Ad Astra’ Film Review

Photo via Francois Duhamel/Twentieth Century Fox

Coming off the stellar Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt once again stars in a masterpiece of cinema in 2019 with the new space drama, Ad Astra.

This movie takes place in a fictional world where space exploration has reached impressive feats, such as settlements on the moon, an underground base on Mars, and exploration into the outer Solar System is possible.

The premise of this film is that astronaut Roy McBride, played by Brad Pitt, is sent into space by the government to track down his father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who is viewed as a threat to humanity’s existence.

This film is downright brilliant. First, the cinematography is beautiful to look at on the big screen. Hoyte van Hoytema did an excellent job portraying the vastness, the beauty and the awe of space. Seeing the planets and their rings on the big screen was breathtaking and made the theater experience memorable.

Another memorable aspect of this movie was the acting. Pitt is the star of the film and the story is told solely from his point of view. The character study of Roy McBride was excellent as it delved into his emotional state and what was on his mind during a situation or conflict. Pitt gave the character so much authentic emotion and depth that made him feel like a real person and not a fictional character. Even though it dealt with fictional science-fiction elements, the performance and the writing of McBride made it feel much more grounded than other sci-fi blockbusters such as Star Wars.

Last, the film thrived when it came to immersing the audience into their world. Not only did the cinematography help make the film look great, but also through great writing, it makes the world feel natural and authentic. They established on the moon how there are territories that are disputed, and this would come into play in the film. Also, the shot where they showed a strip of restaurants, such as Arby’s, on the moon made it feel like that was a real strip and not some fantastical concept.

The only complaint is the film took too long to get going and the beginning was very forgettable, but once the plot kicks in, the film is incredible.   

With great writing, acting, and cinematography, Ad Astra is a cinematic masterpiece that will leave viewers in deep thought after the film ends, and in awe of the beautiful and stunning world it set up.

Rating: 9.5/10

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