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A routine space mission turns into a fight for survival for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Alfonso Cuaron’s nerve-shredding thrill ride.

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  • Director Alfonso Cuarón
  • Producers Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
  • Screenwriters Alfonso Cuarón, Jonas Cuarón
  • With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
  • USA 2013
  • 90 mins
  • 12A
  • UK distribution Warner Bros. Pictures

Gravity is awesome in the dictionary-definition sense: ‘inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration or fear.’ Unfathomably beautiful and technically immaculate, Alfonso Cuarón’s (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) space thriller is pure cinematic experience. Medical engineer Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her first space mission under the command of astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), making his final flight before retirement. During a routine spacewalk to undertake repair work, satellite debris crashes into their shuttle, leaving the craft severely damaged and their means of communicating with earth destroyed. Their challenge is not only how to survive and return home with a fast depleting supply of oxygen, but how to do so before the accumulating mass of debris returns on its ferocious orbit. From Melies’ A Trip to the Moon through Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Scott’s Alien to Neill Blomkamp’s more recent District 9, space stories and science fiction have provided rich material for cinematic innovators. Cuarón’s vision is superbly realised by VFX Supervisor Tim Webber and London-based Framestore. What is extraordinary about Gravity’s digitally generated universe is that, whilst being propelled on a nerve-shredding thrill-ride, the effect of total immersion is such that the very idea of fiction is suspended. This is space: fact.

Clare Stewart

These screenings will be in 3D.

Read the Time Out review.

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