Director Morten Tyldum ("The Imitation Game") has taken two appealing young A-list actors and used them perfectly. Working from a script by Jon Spaihts ("Doctor Strange") he puts them on board a brilliantly conceived spaceship embarked on a 120-year journey.  Problem is, 90 years early, something malfunctions and some people awaken in their sleep chambers, first one, then another... Therein lies our tale...

Yes, things get busy. If you are familiar with Tyldum's work (see "Headhunters") you will brace yourself for some great action delivered in a comprehensible way. Luckily both actors are capable...  and the production design is to die for! In addition, the mindless efficiency of the robotic support staff is first of all amusing, then not....

Our cast:
  • Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy") Writer Aurora has the skills to document this unique adventure, but she also knows the life expectancy of a human.
  • Chris Pratt ("The Magnificent Seven") Jim has to cope with absolute solitude until it becomes unbearable...then he has a moral  and ethical quandary.
  • Michael Sheen ("Masters of Sex") Arthur is right where he should be, but isn't this bartender a little too literal?
  • Laurence Fishburne ("Black-ish") Gus makes it clear that he will figure out what happened... but then there is that moral dilemma... he knows what solitary confinement does to the thinking processes... and then there is that pesky equipment malfunction...
 I kept thinking, What would I do if I were sentenced to solitary confinement for the rest of my natural life? Realizing that it is a death sentence, no matter how you experience it, made me think of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's "On Death and Dying: Five Stages of Grief." Watching Jim trying to comprehend the magnitude of his solitude is thought provoking. And as we watch what Arthur does, in his literal interpretation of what has been said, makes his action understandable. Catastrophic, but understandable.

Because this is PG-13, expect no profanity, no gunshots, only implied sex and no vehicular mayhem. There are no slavering space monsters or aliens and the acting is first rate, but expect an unexpected ending. All of this is performed on award-winning sets that are mind-boggling and original. As I said, a production design to die for!
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Here is a trailer:
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