“Gravity” earned critical acclaim, a slew of awards, and more than $700 million at the box office, which is to say that Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi drama was fairly successful. One subset of moviegoers wasn’t impressed, however: NASA scientists. In a BBC video in which the women helping us conquer the final frontier list the best and worst movies set in space, “Gravity” is repeatedly cited as the most inaccurate of them all.
Others to earn ire due to scientific inaccuracies are “Mission to Mars,” “Armageddon,” and “Red Planet”; “Planet of the Apes,” and “Spaceballs” receive (dis)honorable mentions as well. Alas, “Gravity” stands above all the others for being utterly divorced from reality. Everything that could go wrong went terribly, terribly wrong, and that’s not exactly the feeling we want everybody to have about this industry,” one scientist says.
It’s not all negative, however. “Interstellar,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Martian,” and especially “Apollo 13” receive praise.
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Other issues with “Gravity,” which won Cuarón the Academy Award for Best Director: “how Sandra Bullock could move between orbits with almost really no issue” and the fact that, “when she gets out of her spacesuit, she’s in cute little underwear. Where’s the diaper?” Where, indeed.