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Ad Astra Review: Brad Pitt Stars In a Excellent Space Adventure

Brad Pitt ventures to the stars in Ad Astra.
Photo: Fox

Gorgeous spaceships flying deep into space to save planet Earth. Peril in an infinite abyss. Beautifully composed reflections off a helmet. We’ve seen it all before. Even the most futuristic space movies usually feel somewhat familiar and yet Ad Astra, the latest film from director James Gray, does not. It tells a seemingly simple story set in a realistic future with twists and turns that feel completely fresh, while never losing sight of its lead character or lofty themes. It’s one of the best space movies in years.

Brad Pitt stars as Roy McBride, a very capable, very focused astronaut who is the son of the most famous astronaut of all time, Clifford McBride. Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones), however, went into space decades ago hoping to find intelligent life and never returned. His son followed in his path by becoming as a space explorer and, one day, circumstances dictate Roy has to go out and find out what happened to his father.

As written by Gray and Ethan Gross, Ad Astra takes place in the “near future.” A time when you can buy a ticket to go to the Moon, there’s a manned outpost on Mars, and a U.S. government agency called Space Command is tasked with handling all of that, while also looking for intelligent life.

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