GRAVITY Review: Alfonso Cuarón's Mesmerizing Space Odyssey

It has been seven years since Alfonso Cuarón's last film, and now the director has returned with this heart-pounding space thriller Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Hit the jump to check out my review. Possible (minor) spoilers ahead...

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By WolvieCBM - 10/4/2013
I watched Gravity a couple of hours ago, and my mind is still processing what I just saw. One thing is for sure though -- this is my favorite film of the year, so far. I don't need a second viewing for this one to say that. It's that good. Gravity is directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who is best known for the amazing 2006 film Children of Men (seriously, if you haven't watched that one, do it ASAP), and it features Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts trying to survive when debris from a satellite crashes into their space shuttle. It's a straightforward storytelling, but what Cuarón does here is that he puts these two characters in a vast and visually amazing world, and gives them depth in these unique and mind-blowing situations in space.

I can't recall the last time I felt like this while watching a movie. I really don't. There is just something about how Cuarón captured space that is hauntingly beautiful. First, I want to mention just how stunning this movie looks. Wow. Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography is brilliant, featuring some of the most amazing shots I have ever seen in a film. They are striking, gorgeous and simply incredible. Alfonso Cuarón is no stranger to long scenes with no cuts, and Gravity has a 10-15 minutes single-take opening shot. Yep. That is something to admire. I was watching that, and to be honest, I don't think I blinked. I was simply amazed by this whole experience. To say that it's all about visuals would be wrong. Sandra Bullock simply shines with her emotional and Oscar-worthy performance as Dr. Ryan Stone. There are a lot of moments where Bullock absolutely made this her movie with some truly powerful scenes. This is a character who lost someone and simply lost her way. This is her first mission in space, and things just went wrong. You see her struggle, you care for her, you root for her. Definitely Bullock's best performance to date. Next to her, we have George Clooney as veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski. This is a character who gives the film a little bit of humor, and Clooney played it perfectly. There is a scene between the two when things go terribly wrong, and it's done in a way that you know this is the only choice. This is why the script is great. It's emotionally rewarding. The score by Steven Price is also wonderful, as it works fantastic with the whole film, especially those quiet moments in space.

This is one of those rare films that you just want to watch over and over again. I loved every minute of it. Gravity is a true cinematic experience, a heart-pounding journey through space that everyone needs to see on the big screen.

RATING: 10/10
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JoeMomma29 - 10/4/2013, 2:48 PM
This movie is getting serious Oscar Buzz!
jlabatman - 10/4/2013, 2:50 PM
Hmmm, this has me curious now!
santoanderson - 10/4/2013, 2:51 PM
The movie is really, really good. I was surprised at how short it was, though. 90 minutes and that was it. But wow, that opening shot is at least 15 minutes long. Clearly they hid the seams, and much of it was computer generated, but wow, a lot of heart and engineering went into this movie.
27ShowStopper - 10/4/2013, 2:59 PM
Ive heard nothing but great news about this movie. Hoping this is our generations 2001. We dont get many space movies that are actually worth a viewing nowadays.
WolvieCBM - 10/4/2013, 3:02 PM
Haven't seen it in 3D. Will do that on my second viewing though.

Greengo - 10/4/2013, 3:08 PM
My only fear after reading a review like this is that I will go into the movie with expectations TOO high.

Greengo - 10/4/2013, 3:10 PM
I'ma eat some pizza topping and check this out at IMAX 3D.
OverlyManlyMan - 10/4/2013, 3:36 PM
I don't think pansies see the gravity of this situation! YOU NEED TO WATCH IT!
TheSpaceGhost - 10/4/2013, 3:38 PM
Great Review Wolv! Spot on!
gaikinger - 10/4/2013, 3:45 PM
This movie blew my demands to be seen in Imax 3D and I never see movies in 3D. Amazing...just amazing.
Silentman - 10/4/2013, 3:45 PM
This movie is the definition of the word masterpiece. Totally amazing and unbelievably beautiful.
WhiteBolt - 10/4/2013, 3:56 PM
Want to see this badly!
HughJasol - 10/4/2013, 3:57 PM
Best movie of the year bar none! Amazing flick. Everyone in my theater was so quiet and attentive that you could hear a pin drop. That's when you know you have a gripping movie. And to top it all off, Sandra didn't look to shabby either. 10/10!
AsianVersionOfET - 10/4/2013, 4:06 PM
pro346 - 10/4/2013, 4:07 PM
thanks wolvie! your one of only a few reviewers that I trust!knew this would be awesome
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 10/4/2013, 4:13 PM
I thought this was gonna be complete shit. Guess I'm gonna eat my words. Gonna try to see it tomorrow.
ShadowlordSavage - 10/4/2013, 4:17 PM
WB should've got Alfonso Cuarón to directed GL or MOS(or at least tried to before Goyer ever gave them a pitch). I mean the guy's a great visually creative Director who I think would give a DC Comicbook movie franchise some real soul and an experience like no one had ever seen from a Superhero film. WB/DC should try and see if they can at least get him for one DC film at least or maybe his son to write a script for them. They need more innovative and talented filmmakers like that, instead of going for "safe" choices again that end up producing mediocre movies.

Anyway can't wait to see Gravity, it looks amazing and from everything I've heard, it demonstrates the kind of things people want to see when they go to the movies.
WolvieCBM - 10/4/2013, 4:22 PM
pro346: cheers! :) hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Kyos - 10/4/2013, 4:31 PM
Great review, Wolvie, and I couldn't agree more! :D

Of all the movies I was looking forward to this year this is the only one that managed to exceed my expectations. Seriously, it's THAT good! I can't remember when I was that impressed by a movie experience. Best movie of the year so far (although I have no idea what could possibly surpass it)!

And as someone who hates 3D on the big screen - this was one of probably 2-3 movies I've watched that made such good use of it on both a technical and an artistic level that even I have to say that not only did it not hurt the experience, but it actually enhanced it.

To quote James Cameron:

“I was stunned, absolutely floored. I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.”

So yeah, everyone even remotely interested in space movies or just good movies - go watch Gravity and help make it a success at the box office!
TheGoat - 10/4/2013, 4:41 PM
Amazing. Nuff Said.
Grayson7954 - 10/4/2013, 4:58 PM
@lol the darkknight you must be some average movie goer, everything I saw from the trailers looked top notch, and boy did this movie prove it. I could get technical with the direction, cinematography, story, but man this movie was nothing short of amazing
nailbiter111 - 10/4/2013, 6:29 PM
blackandyellow - Suck it up buttercup, cause the film is MAGNIFICENT! Truly amazing. Easy 5 stars. You're not just watching a story, you're feeling the moment.
126thst - 10/4/2013, 6:32 PM
This review sounds like you took pieces of other people's reviews and slapped them together. Nice try.
nailbiter111 - 10/4/2013, 6:33 PM
SotoJuiceMan - if you're too lazy to go see the film in theater don't ask for [frick]ing spoilers. Show some common courtesy to the people that come to review section to actually read a review not spoilers.
TheChameleon - 10/4/2013, 6:57 PM
Saw this today in IMAX 3D. All I can say about Gravity is once it pulls you in, you will watch in awe. This movie has excellent Oscar potential. I can see nods going towards cinematography, visual effects, sandra bullock's performance & directing just to name a few. Definitely recommend seeing it. Totally worth it.
patriautism - 10/4/2013, 7:07 PM
Cuaron Directed the best Potter film IMO with Prisoner of Azkaban, and Children of Men was breathtaking. I will for sure be seeing this, and let's hope they give him a Comic movie (Dr. Strange maybe).
nailbiter111 - 10/4/2013, 7:15 PM
blackandyellow - Well, I'm not a big Sandra Bullock fan. She is hit or miss for me. She is great in Gravity, however liking her performance or not still shouldn't ruin the experience. I know it's billed as her film, but for me, the setting is the star. Space has never looked this good.
Mike89 - 10/4/2013, 7:37 PM
Didnt really care for this movie. Now thats its getting great reviews. I'll probably check it out soon.
gaikinger - 10/4/2013, 7:39 PM
haunted by this overdose
ElDarkside - 10/4/2013, 8:19 PM
Holy hell this movie was INTENSE!!!!! It was an edge of your seat spectacle from start to finish.

Top notch film making in all aspects.

Go see it in 3D too because it truly immerses you in the movie much like avatar did.

I'm usually not one to give 10/10 scores but I have to say this movie definitely deserves the praise!
MightyZeus - 10/4/2013, 8:34 PM
I loved this movie. It was amazing. At first i thought it would be crap just by watching the trailers but i was surprised while watching this movie just as to how good it was.

To be honest i have to say that this film is the best film this year. This film is also worth watching in 3D and on the big screen.
novaprime - 10/4/2013, 8:55 PM
xcan - 10/4/2013, 9:02 PM
Love me some 'Children of Men' so if this passes the xcan test, Cuaron, you may be in the strasphere of my man, Danny Boyle.

Love you Danny, but I can stray sometimes.
ricko8687 - 10/4/2013, 9:09 PM
Wish we had an IMAX in my hometown would love to see in that format
Ichaos - 10/4/2013, 9:12 PM
Might be good but my question is this. What powers do they get after being exposed to cosmic rays when they return and fight crime?
No powers I am confused why is it on this website? Or has the website officially just broke its own name down to if its a comic, a comic book, a book, a boom movie or just a friggin movie it is on topic. And if so where ae the postings about Carrot Top?
KingPatel - 10/4/2013, 9:58 PM
Completely agree with this review, the movie was beyond amazing. A true masterpiece. I kinda wish I saw it in IMAX now though, I bet it would've looked even better.
Ichaos - 10/4/2013, 11:08 PM
@SotoJuiceMan I haven't seen it but I heard after being stranded in space she adapts a small asteroid and names it Wilson.
MANDREW22 - 10/4/2013, 11:09 PM
The CGI in this movie was beautiful, it felt like they actually took a space shuttle into space and filmed it all up there. This movie HAS to be experience in the movie theater.
StarkAnthony - 10/4/2013, 11:32 PM
If you see it, do it in 3D. It's just one of those movies that actually benefits from the format and not a cash grab. Movies like this is why 3D films exist. Do it. Saw it tonight, it was amazing froma visual standpoint and tense and terrifying in all the right ways
TheCaptainIsRight - 10/5/2013, 12:43 AM
Just got back. Great movie. I don't see any way Bullock doesn't take the Oscar.

Oh and I believe Children of Men was one of the main influences of the first Iron Man. If I remember correctly, they used 2 different production teams, one of which the same used in Children of Man which was just for the action scenes.
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