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Drama in Space? Ad Astra Movie Review by Ms. H

Written by RealMsH

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of


When I watched  the movie trailer for the Ad Astra film starring Brad Pitt, I made a mental note to see the movie once it was released.  I was looking forward to an epic space adventure saga similar to the award winning movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock.  Did Ad Astra deliver as everyone probably expected? Check out my movie review to find out.

Plot of the Ad Astra Movie

I don’t think I will spoil the movie by revealing that most of the action took place either in space or in a spacecraft instead of on earth.  The gist of the movie is the quest to find intelligent beings or life on another planet -- namely Neptune via a special project. The clincher here is that the head of the space voyage to Neptune that occurred more than two decades ago happens to be the father of Roy McBride, an Astronaut played by Brad Pitt. Roy McBride’s father is played by Tommy Lee Jones.

Neptune vice Mars Space Travel

I will give kudos to the writer since his space saga did not center on the usual  planets -- such as Mars. Instead, the search for intelligent life in Ad Astra centered on -- not Mars -- but Neptune as mentioned above.

Musings in the Ad Astra Movie

The Ad Astra movie is told partly in narrative form -- with Brad Pitt’s character talking about the events that are happening to him as well as his feelings.  Some of his musings to himself appear to be philosophical in nature. In fact, it seemed to me that the writer used the space adventure story to not only reveal what was occuring during the space travel, but also delved into the element of human drama and philosophy A line in the movie Ad Astra that stood out to me paraphrased is “He looked for something that was missing and did not find what was right in front of him.”

Little known fact about the word Ad Astra:  The term Ad Astra is latin and means “to the stars.” During an interview, Brad Pitt described the word as being NASA’s motto -- “Through the stars.”

Brad Pitt walks up the space in the trailer of Ad Astra James Gray

Conflicts in the Ad Astra Movie

If you see this movie, you will notice conflicts and yes, drama between Brad Pitt’s character and others. In my opinion, there is a contrived confrontation that occured when the spacecraft intentionally went off course -- which I will not spoil for you.  Suffice it to say that the encounter had to do with a mammal which seemed sort of out of place for a space movie. You will know what I’m talking about if you see the Ad Astra film.

Assessment of the Ad Astra Movie

The movie, Ad Astra may be worth seeing just to revisit the phenomenon of space, especially if you haven’t seen a space movie recently.  In this way, the film sort of delivered. To be clear, Ad Astra is not in my opinion, a “feel good” type movie. In fact, the conversations and dealings between two relatives in this movie seemed to be rather sad.  

If you watch the Ad Astra movie, you may question if the film is about certain relationships, or is it mainly centred around the search for intelligent life on Neptune -- or maybe both. I’ll leave that for you to decide.

The good news is this movie may pique your interest in the planet Neptune; however, the not so good news is you may walk away from the movie not as happy as you may have been when you first started watching the film. That being said, I believe Brad Pitt did a good job playing the character of Major Roy McBride. I think Brad Pitt also brought a measure of A-list quality to the movie Ad Astra, which probably otherwise would have been a run-of-the mill space adventure drama.

Rating of the Ad Astra Movie

Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars with 5 stars being the highest, I give the Ad Astra movie 3 stars.


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