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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 28.85%
Average: 3.85%
Pretty Bad: 7.69%
Total Crap: 5.77%

4 reviews, 28 user ratings

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by brianorndorf

"Sam Rockwell is best with lunar madness"
4 stars

Taking inspiration from screen giants “2001,” “Solaris,” and perhaps even “Outland” (if you squint hard enough) comes Duncan Jones’s “Moon,” a cerebral potion of killer science fiction that deftly toys with futuristic worry to construct a terrifically understated nightmare. Evocative, riveting, and ultimately contemporary in a roundabout way, “Moon” is a superb mood piece, sublimely cradled by Jones, filtered through tireless work from star Sam Rockwell.

In the future, Earth’s energy needs will be filled by Helium-3, a substance harvested through lunar rocks at an off-world facility overseen by Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) and his robot assistant Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Nearing the end of his contract with his Earth employers, Sam looks forward to rejoining his wife and daughter after years away. Out on a routine mission, Sam experiences hallucinations that end up crashing his Lunar Rover. Awakened back at the base, Sam discovers an irritable doppelganger preparing for duty, with Gerty unwilling to provide proper answers to Sam’s urgent questions.

In many ways, “Moon” is a throwback sci-fi event, invested in areas of storytelling patience and weighty psychological investigation that are rarely welcomed anymore when traveling beyond the stars. “Moon” treks cautiously, coolly attempting to manufacture a suffocating aura of brain-squeezing suspicion as Sam is overwhelmed by the revelations uncovered when he reawakens, probing deeper into his seemingly mundane existence as a lonely lunar jockey.

Employing a striking production design that merges genre standards of futureworld decoration with tight, bright white confines that encourage the confusion, “Moon” is a dazzling film to behold. Jones confidently maneuvers around the lunar locations with the help of seamless, deceptively simple special effect techniques and a contemplative screenplay that’s more concerned with building unexpected passages of tension than traditional shock routines.

“Moon” is truly a modern horror film, eschewing a tiresome slasher mentality to explore the very nature of identity and the perversion of human life through advances in science and corporate skullduggery. The film doesn't sermonize, it observes and cherry picks incoming malice, watching Sam work through his complex emotions as he confronts his reality as a crude utility.

The picture does suffer from slight “Twilight Zone” trappings that exhaust the running time, and perhaps Jones aims to achieve definitive profundity with a severity that's off-putting. Cast the little nagging bothers of the film aside and what's left is fairly wonderful stuff. “Moon” clutches the viewer firmly early on and slowly tightens the noose as Sam swims through his eroding doubt. The role is beautifully played by Rockwell, who nails every square inch of bewildered response available to Sam as he confronts his purpose. Support is handled with spooky calm by Spacey, who infuses Gerty with a chilling sense of soothing robot loyalty and procedural unease. The performance is matched by the disturbingly reassuring design of Gerty: a bulky mechanical friend with a smiley face display up front and unspecified company man programming within.

Where Sam takes his paranoia will remain behind tight spoiler doors. Rest assured that Jones is respectful to Sam’s philosophical concerns and to the needs of a satisfying cinematic conclusion. “Moon” is a clever, captivating addition to the (mentally) lost in space genre, taking audiences to the farthest reaches of the galaxy while scripting corporate horrors perhaps too close for comfort.

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originally posted: 06/13/09 02:54:25
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2009 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2009 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Seattle International Film Festival For more in the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival For more in the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell overrated bore skip it 1 stars
3/29/16 Aj wales Dreary overated. Story poor. What was the whole point. 2 stars
4/07/15 Vaselir 5031f06cb9aaf10295a17fca86ac0644 3 stars
11/16/14 Rashad What's the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? <a href=" h 4 stars
10/24/14 Jonathan We work together <a href=" ">buy bimatoprost overnight free delivery</a> The economic slo 2 stars
6/14/12 Josie Cotton is a goddess Slow but good 4 stars
10/20/11 Magic This movie beats other sci fi movies with five times its budget. Rockwell's acting. Whoa. 5 stars
6/12/11 Merle It is a great movie to put you to sleep. 2 stars
4/21/11 Ace-of-Stars My only complaint was waiting for Sam to share his more grim discoveries, which never came 4 stars
3/01/11 Captain Slog My favourite sci fi movie of all time. Great soundtrack too 5 stars
2/12/11 Ionicera Amazing performance by Sam Rockwell but leaves too many plot strings dangling 4 stars
11/21/10 mr.mike The miniatures looked fake , distracting from a good story. 3 stars
5/12/10 Dave Bowman Rockwell's performance was pure cinematic Gestalt. 4 stars
4/05/10 erik if you fell asleep, you need a brain. 5 stars
3/11/10 daveyt loved the seamless normality, Rockwell's on top form 4 stars
2/19/10 Craig Brilliant. A must see. 5 stars
2/01/10 Langano Best film of 2009. 5 stars
1/15/10 Sevarian Excellent all across the board 5 stars
11/20/09 DsTiOSo Hi! rQheRkx 1 stars
8/13/09 thejames good soundtrack, entertaining, ends too soon. 4 stars
7/14/09 damalc excellent; like "2001" without the pretentiousness 4 stars
7/14/09 Suzz don't miss this film if you like great sci-fi 5 stars
6/26/09 Tim a challenging sci-fi posing so many pertinent questions in such discreet fashion 5 stars
6/22/09 Toni Awesome! So much to like abt the movie - the emoticon on GERTY was genius 5 stars
6/21/09 Ming sorry this film make me falling asleep..not much exciting happening 2 stars
6/18/09 jurisprudence man this sucked 1 stars
6/18/09 george ljjhKW bkwPpwvo03NXzw47jvGa 4 stars
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  12-Jun-2009 (R)
  DVD: 29-Dec-2009


  DVD: 29-Dec-2009

Directed by
  Duncan Jones

Written by
  Nathan Parker

  Sam Rockwell
  Kevin Spacey
  Matt Berry
  Kaya Scodelario
  Benedict Wong
  Malcolm Stewart

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