Life (2017) Movie Review


“Life,” directed by Daniel Espinosa, is a thrilling science fiction film that delves into the awe-inspiring and terrifying possibilities of discovering extraterrestrial life. The movie, released in 2017, takes audiences aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where a team of astronauts makes a groundbreaking discovery: a single-cell organism from Mars, the first evidence of life beyond Earth.

The film boasts an ensemble cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds, who deliver compelling performances that capture the intensity and fear of encountering the unknown. The narrative unfolds with the crew’s research on the organism, named “Calvin” by schoolchildren back on Earth. As Calvin evolves, it becomes clear that this life form is far more intelligent and dangerous than anyone could have anticipated.

Espinosa’s direction, combined with Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography, creates a claustrophobic and labyrinthine environment that heightens the suspense. The early scenes, which playfully “float” the camera along with the crew, are particularly effective in immersing the viewer in the zero-gravity setting.

The creature design of Calvin is a highlight, evolving from what initially appears to be a harmless entity into a formidable antagonist that challenges the crew’s survival. The visual effects are solid, with the blood bubbles escaping from Calvin’s victims being a ghoulishly nice touch.

Critics have noted that “Life” does not necessarily add new wrinkles to the trapped-in-space genre, but it is thrilling, well-acted, and capably filmed enough to overcome this. The film’s pacing and tension build-up are well-executed, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

The score by Jon Ekstrand also deserves mention, with its constant, insistent presence that contributes significantly to the film’s atmosphere. “Life” is a cinematic experience that, while drawing comparisons to classics like “Alien,” stands on its own as a gripping tale of extraterrestrial discovery and survival.

In the Nutshell

“Life” is a must-watch for fans of the science fiction and horror genres. It’s a film that combines the excitement of space exploration with the primal fear of the unknown, resulting in a suspenseful journey that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Whether you’re a sci-fi aficionado or just looking for a thrilling movie night, “Life” promises an adventure that is as intense as it is visually captivating. For more detailed reviews, you can explore various perspectives on sites like Roger Ebert and Rotten Tomatoes. I give 4 out of 5 stars.

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Genre: Sci-fi

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