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RATING: ★★★★ (4/4)

Gravity is the flat out best movie that has ever been made about space. Yes, sci-fi nerds need to get over themselves and realize that the time has come for the Star Wars and Alien franchises to be dethroned. Upon its release, this film instantaneously set new standards for cinematic excellence with its insane special effects, not to mention redefinition of the sci-fi genre. What might seem like a silly movie about an astronaut lost in space is actually a powerful thriller with enough adrenaline to fry your brain to a crisp.

Image Credit: IMBD
Image Credit: IMBD

Director Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) provides a refreshing sense of clarity and purpose to this visual masterpiece, avoiding the tendency of sci-fi films to be too broad in scope. George Clooney (Ocean’s Eleven, Michael Clayton) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) are an effective duo as two astronauts who experience a horrific mishap while on a routine space mission. Even Ed Harris (The Rock, A History of Violence) adds a meaningful contribution to the film as the voice of NASA, a role he also played in the 1995 classic Apollo 13.

As an audience member, I was never able to fully acclimate myself to the cosmic environment, which was so vivid and surreal I would be appalled if Gravity did not sweep the visual effects categories at the Academy Awards. Gravity defies the conventional wisdom that movies set in outer space must take place within the confines of a spaceship, giving the film an exciting, unique feel. Furthermore, given that the movie is largely just Clooney and Bullock, the movie is able to shed light upon the lonely, serene nature of space.

Clooney delivers one of the best performances of his career, portraying a veteran astronaut on his last mission who is simply trying to savor the moment. He effectively provides the audience a reprieve with his calm demeanor, giving the movie necessary balance to its frantic scenes of panic and chaos. Clooney has surely put himself on the fast track for at least a Best Supporting Actor nomination, serving as the driving force behind the film’s most heart-wrenching scenes.

Rather than taking on traditional sci-fi themes such as the origin of man or the possibility of extraterrestrial life, Gravity distinguishes itself in a powerful way. The film reflects upon concepts including the beauty of nature and the innate human instinct of survival – themes quite unconventional for the genre. Most importantly, Gravity conveys the inspiring message that life is a wonderful gift worth fighting for until the very end.

I simply cannot recommend Gravity enough, as the film will blow you away and grasp your attention from the very beginning. Unfortunately, nostalgia for the pioneering movies of the sci-fi genre might prevent Gravity from going down as one of the all-time greats. Regardless, this film is a cavalier, forward-thinking piece of cinematic history that will not disappoint.

Check out the trailer here!

6 COMMENTS

  1. It was a stunning, awe-inspiring film. Harry Arnold this film was just, as the kids would say, off the chain. The special effects were WOWZA. Thank you for capturing the beauty of this movie into your well-written review.

    Harry I like reading your reviews. You should give your “series” a name. I was thinking something like “Dirty Harry Goes to the Movies.” I like that. It’s catchy. Anyways, a well-written review as always. Keep up the good work.

  2. Haha. First off I would like to congratulate Harry on another well-done article, but I would like to point out some flaws in his argument for Gravity being the best space movie ever. The special effects were pretty slick but other than that, the viewer is left with two underdeveloped characters that do not really intrigue the mind. Furthermore, Sandra Bullock’s character while emotionally stimulating really brings nothing to the plot and the magnificence of the film. I would go as far as to say the characters in this film detracted from the overall grandiose of this space journey that Alfonso takes us on. When I remember the film, I do not remember any particular line or funny moment from one of the characters, I remember space in all her glory. Like Harry said, the space experience that the viewer experiences is visually breathtaking, but take away any of the god special effects and you are left with another movie about astronauts stuck in space. I also have to disagree that this movie will not go down as one of the greats because of “nostalgia!” The glaring response to this claim would be the movie Avatar. It became an instant success and legend in its genre as soon as it came out. The reason not many movies these days can overtake the pioneering movies of their genre is because they are often not good enough! So yes, as James Cameron says “it is the best space movie,” but it is most definitely not the best story set in space.
    I too think you should name your series, “Dirty Harry goes to the Movies” because its catchy.

  3. Nice article, Harry. I disagree with your conclusion, as I did with your review of Captain Phillips, but I enjoyed following your arguments all the same.

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