Moon  (2009) Sam Rockwell; Kevin Spacey; Dominique McElligott
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Science fiction can encompass many genres--suspense, horror, action-adventure, romance, even comedy--but director Duncan Jones's Moon doesn't fit neatly into any of them. This smart, provocative film has no aliens or cool spaceships, and the effects (mostly consisting of model vehicles lumbering across the lunar surface) aren't all that special; instead, the material is character- and story-driven, centering on an excellent, multilayered performance by Sam Rockwell. The scene is some undetermined point in the future. Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an employee of Lunar Industries, the company responsible for mining a fusion energy source called Helium-3, which is vital to Earth's efforts to reverse a serious energy crisis and can only be found on the far side of the Moon. Sam is all by himself, and as he nears the end of his three-year contract, the solitude is starting to get to him ("Three years is a long haul," he says. "Way, way, way too long. I'm talking to myself on a regular basis"); his only contact with his wife and daughter back home comes through the occasional video messages he exchanges with them, while his sole interaction on the Moon is with GERTY 3000, a computer voiced by Kevin Spacey (and an obvious parallel to 2001: A Space Odyssey's HAL 9000). Things start to go seriously sideways when Sam crashes his vehicle while out inspecting one of the giant Helium-3 harvesters. He comes to in the base infirmary, seemingly none the worse for the wear; but an unnerving surprise awaits him when he goes back to check out the accident site, and the resulting complications occupy the rest of the movie. Fans of 2001, Solaris, and other cerebral sci-fi will enjoy figuring out what's going on; others will find it slow-moving and tedious. Either way, Moon, which was made quickly and on a relatively low budget, is well worth a look. --Sam Graham
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Top customer reviews
This would be a really great movie for teens too. Just skip it past Sam Rockwell's nude shower scene which does nothing whatsoever to further the plot. I think it was just put in to get the movie an R rating.
This movie really keeps you on the edge of your seat, and is one of my favourite overall Sci-Fi films. I don't exactly know how they managed to get Kevin Spacey to play the robot, but I was extremely impressed by not just his performance but Sam's. The story material far exceeds what you would even expect from an indy film, but the real kicker is the film quality. The cinematography, the acting, and the music all come together into what you would truly expect to be a massively global film made by the best of the best in some secret Hollywood facility filled with cigar smoke and expensive catering. This movie just screams beauty, and if you're looking for a film to take home and watch, a film that'll keep you thinking for days. This is it. Now, I'm a little biased being a Sci-Fi fan and all, but I was sincerely, and honestly, impressed by just the sheer quality and beauty that went into the creation of this film.
This movie came earlier and so the Tom Cruise movie Oblivion that mirrors it in a lot of ways would be the knock off so to speak, however I liked both of them for their own unique reasons. Sam Rockwell pulls off this (nearly) one man show brilliantly and completely believably. Gerty also seems like an earlier version of the mission robot in Interstellar, and with more believable levels of human empathy than I've seen in live actors. I don't want to give away much more, but I'm semi glad they didn't stretch out the ending and left you to think about the realities of something like that.