You'd think a 90-minute film focused solely on two characters could be a bit dull, but critics are over the moon with Gravity, a space thriller that follows a veteran astronaut and newbie in a fight to survive miles above Earth. (It's got a 98% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.) Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in Alfonso Cuaron's near-real time film some are calling a visual masterpiece. Go ahead, splurge on IMAX 3D.
- Greg Evans gives it five stars: "Cuaron has broken extraordinary ground here, creating a film-going immersion in outer space that, at least for those of us who’ve gotten no closer than an airplane allows, feels unfailingly right," he writes for Bloomberg. "Bullock fulfills the promise of her earliest, smartest self," while "Clooney is a star without rival in a perfect-fit role."
- It's "a stunning space jam," marvels Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times. "This is one of the most stunning visual treats of the year and one of the most unforgettable thrill rides in recent memory." There's a bit of "overly melodramatic back story," but for the most part, "you've rarely seen anything like it."
- Claudia Puig at USA Today calls it "a bracing masterpiece ... the kind of enthralling, all-encompassing, giddy cinematic experience that surfaces once in a blue moon. No film since 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 has captured such a vivid reality outside Earth's gravitational pull. And no film has so artfully interwoven 3D technology."
- Rafer Guzman writes for Newsday that it's "a rare combination of jaw-dropping special effects and visual artistry." But he's not quite as wowed as the others: "If this technological marvel had a slightly stronger human heartbeat, it would be a genuine masterpiece."