'Ad Astra': Brad Pitt and director James Gray leave critics impressed as praises pour in for the 'out-of-this-world' movie

The science fiction film directed by James Gray, which hits theaters on Friday, September 20, follows astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt) on a space journey to find his long lost father, Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones).


                            'Ad Astra': Brad Pitt and director James Gray leave critics impressed as praises pour in for the 'out-of-this-world' movie

The initial reviews of Brad Pitt's space drama 'Ad Astra' are here and critics have thumbs-upped the movie and have dubbed Pitt's performance to be "out-of-this-world".

The science fiction film directed by James Gray, which hits theaters on Friday, September 20, follows astronaut Roy McBride (Pitt) on a space journey to find his long lost father, Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones).

First reviews of 'Ad Astra' are mostly positive. USA TODAY praised Pitt saying "undoubtedly luminous as the brightest star of 'Ad Astra'," while also adding that the film is an "engaging and even hopeful exploration about the consistency of human feelings, no matter where you are in the galaxy".

"At the center of all this wonder is Pitt, who’s fabulously two for two playing back-to-back heroic figures who are also curiously complex," Truitt said, referring to Pitt's performance in Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'. "The depth of his performance is just as integral to the film's success as the whiz-bang visuals."

The Hollywood Reporter echoed the same thoughts. Although the film "can be stubbornly uninvolving", there is "no shortage of striking imagery in the space odyssey," it said.

The Guardian too was lavish in its praise of Pitt's performance terming that he "anchors the whole movie", describing him as a "still, calm center with the pure physical ease and charm of an intergalactic Gary Cooper". The movie was termed an almighty power surge. 

Praises poured in for director James Gray as well. The Atlantic observed: "Ad Astra is Gray’s most sweeping story yet, set out in the magisterial solar system; it’s a fable about the importance of person-to-person connection in the face of astounding technological advancement."

Slate had this to say about Gray's approach to the film. "Though Ad Astra spends most of its running time in a state of stargazing introspection when Gray does film an action set piece, he stages it with originality and kinetic panache."

Some critics, however, had a different opinion altogether. The National's review termed the movie a "semi-silly low-serotonin remake of 'Apocalypse Now' in space."

It added that 'Ad Astra' was merely watchable. Variety's Owen Gleiberman agreed, saying "The movie’s tagline should have been, 'In space, no one can hear you cry about your absent-daddy issues'."

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