Movie Review: Moon

Moon is a superbly acted, well executed, and intelligent psychological sci-fi that – finally – has the attention span of an adult.

For three long years, Sam Bell has dutifully harvested Helium 3 for Lunar, a company that claims it holds the key to solving humankind’s energy crisis. As Sam’s contract comes to an end, the lonely astronaut looks forward to returning to his wife and daughter down on Earth, where he will retire early and attempt to make up for lost time. His work on the Selene moon base has been enlightening — the solitude helping him to reflect on the past and overcome some serious anger issues — but the isolation is starting to make Sam uneasy. With only two weeks to go before he begins his journey back to Earth, Sam starts feeling strange: he’s having inexplicable visions, and hearing impossible sounds. Then, when a routine extraction goes horribly awry, it becomes apparent that Lunar hasn’t been entirely straightforward with Sam about their plans for replacing him. The new recruit seems strangely familiar, and before Sam returns to Earth, he will grapple with the realization that the life he has created may not be entirely his own. Up there, hundreds of thousands of miles from home, it appears that Sam’s contract isn’t the only thing about to expire. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Moon ditches visual gimmickry for existentialism. Ideas take center stage, and special effects are just a backdrop to the story. The build-up is a gradual reveal that shows the implications of technology that functions all too well for its creators.

If human beings can be re-created and programmed like a disposable tool, then what is the value of human life? The film tackles this subject through Sam as he finally finds out what happens at the end of his contract.

Sam Rockwell delivers a superb performance as Sam Bell, portraying the contradicting types of his personality as he becomes self-aware, grapples with a borrowed existence, and realizes that his life has an expiration date.

The shots of the moon is both eerie and wonderful, adding to the lonely existence of Sam  and the drama that unfolds. Kevin Spacey’s voice is perfect for the robot assistant Gerty. Sam’s working station/living quarters are simple, but they provide a relatable practical work space.

While it’s been an engaging film, the Moon never steps beyond its placid course. It wraps up too nicely towards the end.

Nonetheless, Moon is a thought provoking psychological drama that may serve as a warning for a future of efficient, but not exactly ideal possibilities wherein technology can automate anything, even us.

My Rating: 8.5/10

3 Comments Add yours

  1. J. C. Conway says:

    Very good review. I loved this movie. We don’t have nearly enough of it’s type. It avoids cliche. It doesn’t go too far. The cinematography captures the mood and feel of the story. It is interesting, thought provoking, focused and it also manages to be a great showcase piece for Sam Rockwell as a featured talent.

    1. A.R. says:

      Yep. Refreshing to see a movie that doesn’t just randomly blow up stuff in 3D. Sam Rockwell is too underrated, if there’s a film that he should have won an award for, its this.

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