Rent Ad Astra (2019)

2.9 of 5 from 1161 ratings
1h 57min
Rent Ad Astra Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
When a mysterious life-threatening event strikes Earth, astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) goes on a dangerous mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.
Actors:
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Directors:
Writers:
James Gray, Ethan Gross
Others:
Gary Rydstrom, Mark Ulano, Tom Johnson
Studio:
20th Century Fox
Genres:
Top 100 Films, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
27/01/2020
Run Time:
117 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
27/01/2020
Run Time:
117 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by James Gray
  • To the Stars
  • A Man Named Roy
  • The Crew of the Cepheus
  • The Art of 'Ad Astra'
  • Reach for the Stars
  • Audio Commentary by James Gray
BBFC:
Release Date:
27/01/2020
Run Time:
117 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Audio Commentary by James Gray

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Reviews (27) of Ad Astra

Minus 2 - Ad Astra review by MJ

Spoiler Alert
06/02/2020

I want to score this minus 2 simply for wasting 2 hours of my life that I will never get back. It's very slow going, very boring and has virtually no story to speak of.

There is almost no action so if you're an action fan there is nothing here for you. If you like a great story there is nothing for you either. If you like a psychological drama about characters there is nothing here for you because Brad Pitt's character is basically an unfeeling robotic moron and his father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is just a lunatic and not worth searching for.

The ending is useless too but don't worry about that because you don't want to be watching this pile of crap anyway so the ending is the least of your worries.

In summary, don't bother because it's one of the worst films ever made.

13 out of 14 members found this review helpful.

Doesn't go quite as far as the stars - Ad Astra review by CS

Spoiler Alert
10/02/2020

If you're expecting Aliens, Star ship Troopers or even the tripped out grandeur of 2001 A Space Odessey, this film isn't for you. Admittedly, it is slow, but not without merit. The story is an interesting one and although ultimately unsatisfactory, its still worth the price of admission. Pitt is quality here, to say that he is unemotional is a misunderstanding of the character he plays. His calm demeanour and level headedness under conditions of extreme danger are what gets him chosen for his mission. His one Achilles heel is the very object of his search, one which has cost him his relationship with his wife, played by the very easy on the eye Liv Tyler, who makes a brief cameo here. Much of the film is metaphor, which I fear, is the reason that some people just won't get it, but it does go to some lengths to show The Hero's Journey and the difficult and often dark choices which must be made along the way. The film looks very good and has a strange , almost 1970's feel. It is visually beautiful in many scenes but let down by a drab performance from Tommy Lee Jones and underwhelming dialogue in the end confrontation, which certainly could've been a lot better. Not brilliant, but definitely not the Pitts either.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Beautiful but vacuous and poor plot and writing - Ad Astra review by PJ

Spoiler Alert
16/02/2020

Visually this is really impressive and hats off to the DP, art and props/sets depts and especially FX houses. What lets this film down is Brad Pit and the writing and directing. Long verbose monologues (telling rather than showing - I actually think this would have worked better without all the monologues.

The writing is poor - trying to be an exploration into farther son issues/relationships and absent farther etc. It falls short of its other goal of exploration, search for ETs and a viable story. It kind of has the same pretentiousness as interstellar and sometimes the same level of poor physics.

If you want good sci fi watch, Moon, Solaris, or 2001. Fundimentally its boring. The original Russian Solaris is near 3 hours long and is way more engaging. It's a shame because a lot of hard work has gone into this film but its script and direction are lacking.

3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

A slow character study, with impressive images - Ad Astra review by BG

Spoiler Alert
10/05/2020

If you're looking for something consistently exciting and pacy, I can strongly advise you to look elsewhere.

Ad Astra is a slow, deliberate character study of a difficult man. Brad Pitt's character is an astronaut whose laid-back veneer (his superiors note his pulse rate never goes above 80bpm) hides a lifetime of iron-willed self-control and emotional repression. Emotionally distant, dedicated solely to the mission of the moment, he is the perfect astronaut and a shell of a human being.

The film takes great pains to soak us into his routine, with slow and deliberate repetition over the course of the film's running time.

This is effective to some degree, because when a deviation occurs, it has more impact because of the approach. However, it's also going to make the movie quite boring for viewers seeking a more propulsive experience.

Story-wise, it's slender but effective; powerful electromagnetic bursts have begun to hit Earth, and Pitt's 'Roy' is sent on a mission to see if they're originating from the long lost mission that claimed his father decades earlier.

To go further into the plot would be fruitless for two reasons: there isn't much more to go into, and the few emotional and visceral punches the script pulls off depend on going in without excessive knowledge.

Director James Gray manages some very impressive visuals in a great many scenes. The space travel and lunar surface scenes etc are all extremely well designed and executed (with some tongue in cheek comments on commercialisation which seem very likely to prove accurate if humanity ever does manage to fund such expensive endeavours), and they look fantastic. There are also weird and psychedelic visual moments that are powerfully reminiscent of Kubrick's '2001', and nice nightmarish touches such as constant psychological evaluations and 'calming' rooms that seem anything but calming...

If you're in the mood for something slow-burn, immersive and visually very impressive, Ad Astra may be right for you. Personally I found it a bit of a drag, but I couldn't help regularly admiring its visuals, ideas or performances.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Ad Astra review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

For a space epic with lots of special effects, explosions and, yes, even pirates on the moon, James Gray’s Ad Astra is a somber surprise of science fiction. It’d be easy for a film as large as this, boasting a blockbuster scenario and a towering lead actor, to become lost in the muck of its own action and theatrics. To my delight, however, this is a deeply cerebral and introspective film that delves deeper into the psyche of a man trying to escape from himself and out towards the stars.

Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) serves as an astronaut in a future where mankind has expanded to the stars. Mars now has a military base, the moon is a tourist attraction and Earth now has gigantic structures that poke the atmosphere. Roy is considered an important asset to his government because of his lack of emotion. In the opening scene, we see how he handles a very frightening power surge and explosion on a tower hundreds of miles above Earth without raising his heart rate. Even with fires and falling people surrounding him, he keeps his cool and handles the situation as best as he can before dropping towards Earth in his parachute.

He serves another purpose as well. His father (Tommy Lee Jones) recently went missing on a space station around Neptune but the government believes he may be alive and causing shockwaves that is damaging other planets and space stations. With his family connections, the military believes Roy can talk some sense into his dad and not become emotionally vulnerable given his unemotional state. This is made clear from Roy’s many psychological evaluations and his distant nature from his wife Eve (Liv Tyler). He’s so distant he doesn’t even want her to touch him. There’s also a bitter past that Roy is shutting out as hard as he can.

Roy’s unemotional state may also make him the best candidate for a simplistic sci-fi action picture as well. Indeed, the first act of the film seems to set this all up. There’s a very matter-of-fact manner of dialogue on informing Roy of his mission and Roy’s voice-over explaining his world. There’s also plenty of action with Roy making a stop at the moon where pirates attack their rover in a chase where astronauts shoot at one another. But then, once the story shifts to Mars, the film becomes more than just theatrics. Roy comes to terms with himself and his father. Thanks to his dad’s best friend (Donald Sutherland), Roy soon learns that he’s not only being lied to by the government but that he’s also lying to himself.

What’s most wondrous about a film such as this is that it boasts fantastic special effects and a fully-realized future with its own technological advancements and conflicts of resources, all of it used to tell a personal story of man’s desire to escape. Curiously, I found the film does an astounding job showcasing traits of autism. The film never outright states that Roy has this condition but he has a lot of familiar traits and his internal thoughts are very reflective.

Ad Astra has all the brilliance of the engrossing somber sci-fi I love to discover. Brad Pitt is in top form by delivering a nuanced performance of a conflicted astronaut who learns forgiveness and sadness on a journey of self-discovery. The special effects are brilliant, featuring lots of zero-g segments and many of them action-oriented with amazing tension. The atmosphere feels rustic and believable, never once looking too futuristic. There’s such a grand sense of majesty to such a film that I just can’t get it out of my mind and loved every minute of it in the theater. This is undoubtedly one of the best films of 2019.

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