James Gray's much-anticipated sci-fi thriller "Ad Astra" had its world premiere Thursday at the Venice International Film Festival, so the first reviews are finally here.
So far, things are looking good for the Brad Pitt-starrer. While the space film wasn't necessarily universally loved, many critics have shared very glowing reviews. In fact, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes shows that with nine in so far, the film has a Tomatometer score of 89%. Those who loved it were also vocal on Twitter; there was even talk of Pitt and a possible Oscar.
Of course, it's always hard to get everyone on board. In spite of all the rave reviews, some critics found themselves a little underwhelmed by the sci-fi flick (hence the sub-100% rating). They've been vocal as well, explaining where they felt "Ad Astra" missed the mark.
First, here are some of the positive early reviews:
#AdAstra is unassumingly and distinctly James Gray. Emotional and grand. A monumental space quest with a claustrophobic sense of intimacy. Beautifully shot, with a stunning lead performance from Brad Pitt. Narratively and visually, it's Gray's most daring work. #Venezia76pic.twitter.com/w9iDxoq80T
— International Film Critique (@IntFilmCritique) August 29, 2019
#AdAstra is worth every second and every frame of it’s time. Monumental space odyssey that feels like an intimate psychodrama. Just for its melancholic beauty I want to immerse myself in its world again and again #Venezia76
— Radek Folta @Venezia76 (@rdfolta) August 29, 2019
#AdAstra is a journey to discover the unexplored space, to discover our solitude. James Gray paints the space as a different dimension: immense, terrifying, and resolutive of our pains. Max Richter turns space into sounds and emotions. Amazing. #Venezia76
— luca (@lucamattiolz) August 29, 2019
— Lorenzo Ciorcalo (@rotovisor) August 29, 2019
— Lindsey Bahr (@ldbahr) August 29, 2019
AD ASTRA is incredible.
my #Venezia76 review: https://t.co/4nsABAbzVipic.twitter.com/EP7G8lX6gg
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) August 29, 2019
The best film I've seen so far at #venice2019 is #adastra because
a) it keeps a steady pace throughout
b) it adresses the root of toxic masculinity
c) there's an underlying loneliness that everyone can identify with
— Nadja Sayej (@nadjasayej) August 29, 2019
And here's what the critics who are a bit underwhelmed are saying:
#AdAstra Visually stimulating with artistic bravado regarding the films composition and framing but aside from surface-level affirming visuals, ultimately a meandering lifeless existential entity that overly evaluates simplicity. pic.twitter.com/3WkOP0UpN4
— Jak-Luke Sharp @ Venice Film Festival (@JakLukeSharp) August 29, 2019
I was looking forward to #AdAstra And I love science fiction. I even love bad science fiction. But this is boring science fiction. And that I cannot forgive. It makes Soderbergh’s Solaris look like Tarkovsky.
— John Bleasdale (@drjonty) August 29, 2019
I really struggled to write my review for #AdAstra because it took me a long time to gather my thoughts together. I liked what it was trying to do but I never felt emotionally invested in it. That score though ? #Venezia76
— Hannah Wales (@hannahwalesy) August 29, 2019
Slightly conflicted about #ADASTRA. Thanks to Hoytema it’s occasionally stunning, and one scene is especially jaw-droppingly intense. But I’m never emotionally invested, and the plot is thin. Expected more from Max Richter. MVP: Brad Pitt’s face. #Venezia76
— Pernille Middelthon (@PMiddelthon) August 29, 2019
Feels like a movies that is hardly trying to reach a new approach on sci-fi genre but adding nothing new at the end. 2/2 #Venezia76
— alessio (@alessiomarinacc) August 29, 2019
— Veronika K. Žajdela (@VeronikaZajdela) August 29, 2019
— Erik Anderson @ Telluride Film Festival (@awards_watch) August 29, 2019
"Ad Astra" opens Sept. 20, so you can watch it and decide for yourself whether it's amazing or a little disappointing.