Ad Astra

Directed by James Gray
Written by James Gray & Ethan Gross

Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, Ruth Negga, John Ortiz, Liv Tyler, Loren Dean.

It is the far off future, Earth is being struck by power surges from a space shuttle that was sent to Neptune almost 20 years ago. If it is not stopped, it could destroy not only humanity on Earth, but be catastrophic for the whole Solar System.

Seasoned astronaut, Major Roy McBride (Pitt), is asked to head to Mars to send a message to the shuttle, as it is believed his long believed deceased father (Jones) –may still be alive on board, still carrying out his mission to find life in outer space.

Visually stunning, this is a very well directed film. At times I felt like I was watching a play with the fade out technique being used in several scenes. The futuristic elements, where both The Moon and Mars are prominent are quite contrasting. Whereas one is futuristic and thriving, one is dark, bleak and uncomfortable.

The score by Max Richter is extremely powerful, especially as the movie has such strong emotional elements. The majority of the film is set in outer space, and as there is such prominent ‘non diagetic’ sounds within these moments, the score is the primary sound that comes through here, and I can’t fault this.

Pitt is front and centre in practically every scene. I’ve said in other posts, he is a great actor, and does a fantastic job here. Some criticisms of the script is that secondary characters are either barely used, or underused. I would have loved to see some more of characters utilised more, especially that of Negga.

Sadly this underperformed at the box office, and it doesn’t really make sense why. I quite enjoyed it.



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