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Ad Astra - To the Stars

Ad Astra - To the Stars

USA/China 2019 - with Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Ad Astra
Genre:Drama, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Direction:James Gray
Cinema release:19.09.2019
Production country:USA/China 2019
Running time:Approx. 122 min.
Rated:Age 12+

When the Earth is threatened by mysterious energy waves, astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is tasked by NASA to go in search of the trigger of the menacing waves. A key to this could be Roy's father Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones), who left on a mission to Neptune 20 years ago and has since been presumed missing. Roy's superiors assume that Clifford is still alive and that he has something to do with the energy waves. Now it's up to Roy to travel to the far edge of the solar system and ensure the survival of our planet. But what he learns on this perilous journey makes him question not only his own place in the universe.

With Ad Astra - To the Stars, director James Gray (We Own the Night) sends his audience not only into outer space, but also into the depths of the human soul. His film is only very rarely a visually stunning sci-fi spectacle, but in most moments a very quiet, almost philosophical look at life, father and son relationships and the human condition. If you're expecting action and pace, you'll certainly be disappointed here and put to a hard test of patience. For when Roy looks back on his life during his journey and ponders the meaning of it all, it may have some substance. It may also be visually and atmospherically compelling. But it's also a bit plodding.

It's a shame that some really good approaches are never fully played out. For instance, Roy has to make a stopover on the now-colonized moon along the way. Here Gray and his team have not only visually implemented really great ideas, but also socio-political echoes woven in, which could have been gladly elaborated a little further. However, no sooner has this fascinating lunar world been allowed to unfold than it moves on. This is a pity in so far as there is a literally silly scene shortly after, which is so silly that it takes away quite a bit of credibility from the film.

Ad Astra - To the Stars is altogether a conglomerate of very successful, but also a few failed ideas. An ambitious piece of science fiction cinema, which despite great actors, great effects and dramaturgical depth is not as special as he would like to be. In the end, you're left with an ambivalent impression, because the film is really good at its core, but a few small flaws make sure that a lasting impression like Interstellar is missing. So the bottom line is a satisfied, but also slightly restrained: worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • Ad Astra - To the Stars
  • Ad Astra - To the Stars
  • Ad Astra - To the Stars
  • Ad Astra - To the Stars
Cinema trailer for the movie "Ad Astra - To the Stars (USA/China 2019)"
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