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REVIEW: Brad Pitt is in top form for ambitious space flick Ad Astra

Brad Pitt, possibly the “moviest” movie star of his generation, is having quite the year. He was fantastic in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood just a few months ago (cue Oscar buzz) and now he’s back in Ad Astra (cue more Oscar buzz)

In Ad Astra, Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride who is tasked with finding his father (Tommy Lee Jones) whose own deep space mission went dark about 30 years ago and have been missing presumed dead for all that time.

As it turns out, McBride Senior and his crew were not only searching for ET, they were working on top-secret experiments. Of course, they were. Are there any other sort?

Back on Earth, suddenly, there is all sorts of weird shit happening. Power surges and unusual activity that could destroy us all.

So, what’s causing it?

NASA thinks maybe McBride Sr is the culprit and he’s not as ‘dead for 30 years’ as previously thought. McBride Jr, who is understandably riddled with daddy issues, is keen to find the truth.

But can he handle the truth?

Should I watch it?

First, let me say that Pitt is on top of his game in a way he’s never been before. Sure, he’s a good looking rooster and has relied on that for many years. And, he’s also the man behind Plan B, which has become a super powerhouse Hollywood production company behind many of the best movies of the last decade.

Basically, Pitt doesn’t need to act anymore. And it shows. He’s picking great roles in great movies and this is no different.

Pitt is in almost every scene, many of them alone with only his insecurities, paranoias and various other fears to keep him company. Spending many months alone in space can do things to your mind.

At least, I presume so.

This movie is a long, slow exploration of one man’s grief and his quest to find meaning in his life. Alone with his thoughts, McBride has time to reflect on everything he’s ever done and said really. And many times, he finds himself lacking.

The cinematography is mind-blowing. If you’re a bit of a space nut, you won’t’ be disappointed. Together with the movie sparse dialogue and slow, ambling pace, this is a space movie that will ultimately become a classic alongside 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and Interstellar.

This is a movie to kick back and deep dive into. Just let it wash over you and be ready to be thinking about it for weeks afterwards. I’m predicting Pitt will get a Best Actor nod for this and a Best Supporting for Once Upon a Time. I hope I’m right.

4 stars

Running Time:  123 minutes
Release Date:  In cinemas now
Cast: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler

Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.