April Barbe

I'll admit, when I first watched the trailer for “Ad Astra,” all I could think was “Brad Pitt is an astronaut?!”

But once it sank in and I began to read reviews for the new Sci-Fi flick, I decided it may be worth checking out!

The movie is about “Astronaut Roy McBride,” who undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.

It's certified 80 percent fresh on popular movie review website www.rottentomatoes.com.

“Critics Consensus from www.rottentomatoes.com – Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child.”

Starring Pitt as the lead character “Roy McBride” and veteran actor Tommy Lee Jones as his father, “H.Clifford McBride,” the movie definitely has the star power to succeed.

The film also stars veteran actor Donald Sutherland. It's directed by James Gray, who also directed “The Lost City of Z.”

Writer Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said: “Gray’s direction, like Pitt’s performance, is fiercely intended and intricately controlled and the resulting movie has some of the epic and Conradian qualities of his last film, 'The Lost City of Z' – though with a more satisfying structure and story arc, and with more exciting set pieces.”

Brandshaw also said that the phrase “ad astra” is Latin and means “through struggle to the stars.” He went on to describe the movie as “a spectacular, immersive picture, offering an intelligent and deeply considered variation on existing themes.”

Renowned movie critic Roger Ebert, upon viewing it at the Venice Film Festival, had this to say about “Ad Astra”:

“I like the big sandbox in which director James Gray plays. He starts with gigantic canvasses – immigrants (The Immigrant), Russian gangsters (Little Odessa), love (Two Lovers) and now intergalactic space – but he micro-focuses on the most interior human emotions to splash across them.”

Ebert continued by saying most of the movie has an “Apocalypse Now” feel, but “Gray, with Brad Pitt's help, manages to make this film his own even amidst all the homages and contemplative narrations.”

With that said, I'm sure it's no “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but more along the lines of “Interstellar” or “Gravity.” I found both of these films entertaining, so I guess I'll buy a ticket to see Pitt's venture into space.

I mean, after all, Pitt has been a cowboy, a fly fisherman, a vampire, a detective, an Army lieutenant, a baseball general manager, a movie stunt double and a leader on a few casino heists … why not an astronaut?

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