FILM REVIEW: AD ASTRA (12A) ESP RATING: 4/5

Brad Pitt puts in an interstellar performance in this ‘thinker’ sci-fi drama – which really reaches for the stars.

It won’t be everyone’s cup-of-tea as it’s not a Hollywood blockbuster-type movie – more akin to an indie-film with a larger budget – but it charts an ambitious course through space to ultimately deliver a ‘son losing his father’ storyline more than anything else.


But when a space station accident nearly kills him, he is selected for a top secret mission to try to find a way from preventing mysterious ‘pulse power surges’ from the outer reaches of the solar system threatening the survival of the planet.

But there’s a twist. His presumed dead legendary father Clifford (Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones) – who went on a doomed mission to Neptune several decades ago never to return – could still be alive, and more importantly could be the key to ending these pulses as it could be a result of experimentation from his voyage.

What this leads to is an eclectic journey for Pitt’s Roy as the usually calm and collected astronaut struggles with the thought of meeting his father that he thought he’d never see again – taking him from the moon to Mars and the emptiness of space in between.

And Pitt – who stole the show recently in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood – plays the role to perfection, delivering a mesmerising performance which really draws you into his anguished character.

In a nutshell it’s a bit like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014) crossed with the George Clooney-starring Steven Soderbergh-helmed Solaris (2002), and if you can put up with a quirky slow-burner just like they were – then you’ll realise this is light years ahead of just a generic space opera.

ESP Rating: 4/5

Gavin Miller




Cast: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland, Liv Tyler, John Ortiz, Loren Dean, Donnie Keshawarz, Sean Blakemore, Bobby Nish & Kimberly Elise

Running Time: 2 Hrs 3 Mins

Director: James Gray

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