Director: James Gray
Writers: James Gray, Ethan Gross
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga
A journey into the mystic mind of James Grey, Ad Astra kicks the list off with a somber journey into the deeply unsettling unknown both literally and figuratively. As Brad Pitt embarks further out into deep space in search of a missing exploration craft on Neptune, he’s forced to face the fragile turmoil within himself. Certainly, space films have been stunning before, and sure they’ve been contemplative, but rarely have the two gone hand in hand so masterfully.
Each crafted image imprints on the mind of the viewer the stunning and relentless awe. Pitting our protagonist against a series of events so cosmic and violent that they reflect his struggle to combat his very nature. As a man brought up to value brain over heart, consistency in character over emotional resonance, we grow to understand the forces working against us are working against his core essence.
The film is a stunning painting frame to frame and the third act, while easily the most problematic in its convenient conclusion and whiplash-inducing exposition to kick it off, features some of the best work in Brad Pitt’s already sterling career complemented by an equally mesmerising Tommy Lee Jones. 9/10