I was wrong about Ad Astra

Sometimes I go to the movies for an escape, get away from my current issues and escape into the land of a movie. When something like this happens, I can find myself not in the right headspace when watching certain films and I realize this and rewatch a film and like WOW what was going through your head that was great.

Ad Astra was a film that I wasn’t enamored with the first time I saw it (check out my first review here Ad Astra), I felt like while it was technically amazing, it lacked in true substance. After rewatching this film, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Plot: Astronaut Roy McBride 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.

The Good:

Brad Pitt:

During my first review I wrote this about Pitt’s performance This movie had “LETS GET BRAD PITT AN OSCAR” and I sit here today not sure I wouldn’t put Brad Pitt in my top 5 performances.

And the son suffers the sins of the father.”

Roy McBride had daddy issues which to me I think in my first viewing I didn’t grasp or connect to because I thought his performance was a little dry and slow but it makes sense because of the those daddy issues can cause some emotional detachment to things, to feelings.

We know with the daddy issues come a variety of issues that causes some trickle down effects throughout his life. I can understand, I could relate and it hit me to the core.

You are watching a man struggle with his emotions, struggle with understanding how to act and live in this world. It is so relatable and raw, it’s kind of terrifying watching the film and seeing some version of myself. The uphill battle of understanding what feelings to feel at what point and time. Ultimately when McBride realizes his struggle with emotions cost him everything in his life, was heartbreaking.

This was one of the most emotionally charged performances of the year.

James Gray: I am so sorry for any bad words that I ever said about this film. I was wrong, you are an amazing filmmaker. The writing, the directing, you sir took my breath away. Thank you.

Cinematography: Hoyte Van Hoytema legit should be nominated for an Oscar for the his amazing palette in this film. It was beautiful from the first scene up until the last one.

Score: Johann Johannsson score is truly breathtaking. The emotions that you felt within McBride were only elevated by the sounds of the score.

Run Time: My only nitpick and what I think leaves from being a perfect film is the movie is a little long at times. I feel like we could’ve shaved of a solid 10-15 minutes and we could have had a perfect film.

The Verdict:

**** 1/2 out of ***** gavels

This was hands down one of the biggest mishaps in my time of watching movies.

Ad Astra isn’t just way better than I initially thought, this was one of the best movies of the year.

It’s an emotionally charged film that will leave you gasping for air. The ending just absolutely ripped my heart into 1000 pieces.

Should You See It?: MY GOD YES!!!!!!!! Just Wow.

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

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