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Directed by: Daniel Espinosa

Grade: B+

Life is about a group of scientists on the International Space Station that discover an alien life form. Unfortunately not E.T. I should say first off that I have certainly heard the Alien comparisons, and understand them, but my Alien experience is only the one that had Michael Fassbender in it. (And you bet I’m gonna see Covenant.)

But that’s a whole other movie.

In the end I really enjoyed this one even though it isn’t my cup of tea, it started out kind of blah and like every time someone died it was as though the movie was working through my list of worst ways to die. (Yes, I do have a list of the worst ways to die.)

The cast was excellent. Rebecca Ferguson and Jake Gyllenhaal are usually good while Ryan Reynolds can be hit or miss (to me) but was good here. The other scientists include Ariyon Bakare (I wasn’t fond of his character but acting wise he stole the show), Hiroyuki Sanada and Olga Dihovichnaya, were top notch. It did take a while for me to actually roll with the characters though. The beginning felt a little too much like they were going through a check list of traits to get out of the way.

I did like the way it was set up. By that I mean it felt like the project was grounded in more realism than most of these movies. It’s present day. This mission is pretty famous on Earth. There’s a whole committee thing that put it together. Just little things here and there that made it feel more real from the beginning.

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Maybe enforce those firewalls sooner huh?

While the film does a really good job of ratcheting up the tension and this horrible sense of confinement and growing hopelessness I couldn’t help but spot some points where it might have gone a lot better for everyone involved had they listened or at least not let their emotions get the better of them…

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Do not let it get to Earth.

The film is gorgeous. It’s CGI seemed flawless to me. I don’t think there was a moment where that took me out of the film and the actors did a good job with the movement through the space station, which must have been hard to keep up for long periods of time.

Anyway, I totally get why some people would find this derivative and too much of an Alien thing, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt for all the characters and man that ending has stayed with me for the last couple of days.

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Recommend: Yes. This March has been a really great month for movies!

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