Ad Astra (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Drama, Mystery
Director: James Gray
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Duration: 123 minutes

Ad Astra (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Concept
Bad: Too sterile, Slow, A bit bland
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 3.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Space movies have always been an interesting genre, be it the impressive battlefields in Starship Troopers, the allure of the different planets in Valerian, or the frightening entities in Alien. We’ve seen many different approaches to the Sci-Fi genre, some a bit more realistic than others. This time we’re taking a look at the Blu-ray edition of Ad Astra, which paints a somewhat bleak vision of the future, where the world has become an eerily distant and sterile place.

We quickly get introduced to a distant future, in which mankind has been exploring the depths of space, even establishing themselves on Mars. We get to know Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), who is an esteemed astronaut. McBride soon finds himself tumbling towards Earth after a power surge, an occurrence that has been happening more frequently as of late. After successfully rescuing himself, he is contacted by SpaceCom, to request his aid. His father, Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones), was a famed astronaut himself, but has been assumed dead for over sixteen years. Clifford was the lead astronaut for the Lima Project, which’s goal was to search for other intelligent life. After reaching Neptune all contact has been lost. It was communicated to his family and the outside world that the astronaut perished during his mission. Now, SpaceCome believes that Clifford is still alive, and is actually the cause of the mysterious power surges. Roy gets dragged into the mission in order to, hopefully, get a response from his father after broadcasting a message, but it seems that SpaceCom doesn’t fully trust his motives.

Ad Astra is a very slow-moving movie and is somewhat uneventful. We reckon the director wanted to portray the lifelessness of space, and he succeeds to a certain extent. The future feels grim, monotone and as if everything has to be sterile. This also makes the interactions in the movie awkward and impersonal, which does succeed in making the main character stand out from the crowd, if only for just a tiny amount. The movie spans two hours in length, and you’ll only have one topic to sink your teeth in, with only a few minor distractions towards the end goal. The movie feels like an impressive art project but somewhat fails to convey the proper emotions to the viewer, especially when looking at the movie’s pacing.

It’s easy to say that the acting presence in the movie almost solely relies on Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. Pitt plays his role as the fearless, and somewhat emotionless astronaut quite well, all while slowly getting involved in the risky mission of contacting his father, and stopping the flares from reaching the Earth. Tommy Lee Jones’ presence is limited in the movie, but we’re still quite happy to see this veteran perform in big-budget productions such as this. The supporting characters all feel a bit too sterile, which is probably intentional, but it also creates a certain unease that makes the movie hard to watch.

The Blu-ray version of Ad Astra comes with many different specials features, but they all boil down to making of extras. You’ll get a lot of information about the choices behind the movie, some background on how certain aspects came to life, a bit more about the art behind the movie, and so on. Overall you’ll have an hour worth of extra content, which is certainly a fair amount for a movie such as this. As the movie itself was more of a tranquil art project, rather than a story-driven experience, the special features add a lot to the value of the physical edition.


Ad Astra is a peculiar movie. It shines through as an elaborate art project, and makes for a perfect background movie, but it fails to capture you all the way through. The story is there, but it’s very flimsy to fill two hours of moviemaking, and the cast of characters feels very sterile, making you uncomfortable for the biggest portion of the film. While we certainly had an entertaining time watching the movie, and the extras explain the choices that were made to bring this project to life, we can’t help but feel to encourage you to wait until you find this one in the sales bin.

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Rating: 3.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Ad Astra (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 3.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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