Ad Astra

Cool as a cucumber, astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), the son of missing and famed astronaut H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) is called to action when strange power bursts from outer space begin threatening life on earth. Following in his father’s footsteps Roy will have to travel to the edge of our solar system to save our world and subsequently uncover the truth about his missing father and life on other planets. Directed by James Gray and Written by Gray and Ethan Gross, this dive into interstellar, zero gravity, soul exploration is a finely crafted amalgamation of the last twenty years of sci-fi space travel, all beautifully encapsulated in a two hour and two minute package. Which is to say, top notch acting from the ensemble, which also incldues Ruth Negga and Donald Sutherland, helps to add significant weight and power while drop dead gorgeous cinematography from Hoyte Van Hoytema, and a score, glacial and haunting from by Max Richter more than makes up for the somewhat underwhelming story arc of a father/son relationship dogged by the harshness of space and the human psyche. Perhaps an alternate working title might have been Zen and the Art of Space Station Maintenance? With early sights set on making an awards splash this year Ad Astra is not one to go quietly into the night, even though in space “no one can hear you scream.” Worth checking out this weekend, Ad Astra is rated PG-13.