Gravity is a knockout.
It’s also a rare example of a mainstream movie that defies pigeonholing. It is
science-fiction? Yes, in the broadest sense, but it’s the fundamental human
story that matters most. Is it a showcase for dazzling visual effects? Yes
again, but they exist to illustrate (as seamlessly as possible) the main
character’s journey, not to show off a lot of cinematic bells and whistles. Is
it a highbrow think-piece in the tradition of 2001: A Space Odyssey or simply a piece of entertainment? The
answer is simple: it’s both. Co-screenwriter Jonás Cuarón says he wanted to
take audiences on a thrill ride but admits that he and his father (director and
screenwriting partner Alfonso Cuarón) were thinking in larger, metaphoric terms
as well.

In many ways the most important ingredient in Gravity is Sandra Bullock. Without her
movie-star charisma and everywoman relatability, the film wouldn’t work nearly
as well as it does. It is essential that we identify with her character and
connect with her roller-coaster swell of feelings as she finds herself adrift
in outer space. I hesitate to describe her adventure any further, as I think
audiences should experience the journey for themselves.

George Clooney is ideal as her lighthearted partner in the
space mission; his casting is as canny as Bullock’s. Cuarón counts on the
friendly, familiar personas of these stars to make us feel comfortable as we
begin our odyssey into the unknown.

It takes a supremely confident filmmaker to trust his
content (and cast) by shooting long, unbroken takes, but that is the visual
hallmark of this daring film. Cuarón doesn’t feel the need to show off, and he
knows that Bullock and Clooney will hold our attention. (I can’t wait to see
the making-of documentary to learn how he and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki
accomplished their goals, using unprecedented techniques and custom-made

Gravity is a
genuine original in every possible way: involving and immersive, moving and
memorable. It’s definitely worth seeing in 3-D, although the real dimensionality
lies in the concept and the screenplay as much as any photographic technique.

For once, at least, the hype over a new Hollywood movie is




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Matthew Moran

God, Leonard, I wish people weren’t so harsh on "Gravity" nowadays. I feel like you and I are the only people on this whole planet who loved the film.


I should first start by saying that due to a lack of depth perception (for the most part), 3D is, for me, no different than seeing a regular movie. However, I did just finish seeing "Gravity", and whether in 3D or 2D, it is this writer's opinion that the writers and others tasked with the story-line decided to ask for a HUGE suspension of disbelief, hoping that the special effects would compensate for the wholly unbelievable story line. As the old saying goes, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and "Gravity" is certainly a prime example of that. I have nothing against Bullock or Clooney, only with the absurdity of the actions in the film. As far as I'm concerned if you want to see "Gravity" out of curiosity, wait til it's out on DVD and save yourself the 10 bucks plus popcorn and soda costs by skipping it in a theater. Better yet, go see "Apollo 13" again to see what a tight plot and good acting can accomplish.

Rudy Chavez

Can't wait for the day when Sandra Bullock gets burn out and goes on a 10-year sabbatical (even better if she retires.) She's all over the place, and she's way overrated. As much as I enjoy movies with George Clooney, I'm going to pass on this one. Furthermore, it's too bad the movie wasn't shot in space and, somehow, Bullock got lost up there — for good.

William Wood

To tell you the truth, I had been looking forward to seeing this film ever since I left the theatre when Children of Men played. Seeing that he's tackled my favourite genre, science fiction, from a second angle after his enthralling 2006 attempt quite excited me, and I can't wait to see it even though I must admit being nonplussed by the unsurprising casting.


This is the golden age of t.v. but "Gravity" is proof that gifted filmmakers and charismatic stars can still make the film experience truly unique. No twittering during this film. As always Leonard thanks for your take.


ok so what's your point about if sandra b wasn't in the movie it would work nearly as well. but she is in the movie and it does work really well. isnt that like saying if marlon brando wasn't in the God father it wouldnt work nearly as well… say if tom hanks was the god father…well…


Movie "Gravity", cinematography great, but content absurd.


Excelent review!
This is a breakthrough kind of film, a film that surely it will be subject of study over cinema universities. Cuaron is a genius.
It have been years since the last time of going to the movie theater and watch a film and you can share the experience of such different, vivid and organic emotions. It was all you just said, its involving, immersing, moving and memorable.
Some people would said its a simple story, a linear one, but you could go as deep as YOU like, it,s up to you, it has many layers if you want to see them. Or just enjoy the incredible realistic space journey like you where there. That is the pure spirit of cinema.


hhhmmm, suppose if I want to see an Actor float in space, there is always Barbarella..
LM's review didn't convince me that Sandra or George are tethered well enough to hold a one-dimensional story line together…pass.

James Knuttel

Hi, Leonard.

I just saw "Gravity" this afternoon. I agree with you – it's a knockout film, one of the best I've seen in a long time.

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