Parent reviews for Ad Astra

Common Sense says

Pitt flies high to reach emotional depths in sci-fi drama.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 25 reviews
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byJohn K. September 21, 2019

Thoughtful, Beautiful & Powerful

I saw Ad Astra with my 11.5 year-old son. He gave it an “A” rating, and so do I. Ad Astra is an intelligent psychological chess game, exploring parent/child individuation and vulnerability as strength. It made my 11 year old son cry – he said it was the first time he ever cried in a movie. But admittedly it is not for everyone. Those who go in expecting "Star Wars," with lots of fast paced action may be disappointed, or pleasantly surprised. Think “2001: A Space Odyssey” for pacing. Unlike many superhero movies we’ve seen, there was never a time when I winced thinking, “why did they have to use that word,” or “that was too violent.” As an ordained minister, I appreciated that my son could see this movie without a cesspool of language and violence. As an astrophysicist, I also appreciated the way that Ad Astra did much better at respecting the actual laws of physics then most sci-fi movies (with a few exceptions – e.g. liquid water boils instantly in Mars’ thin atmosphere - oops). My wife is not a space fan, but she tolerated the movie and appreciated the emotional development in the father and son relationship. Brad Pitt deserves an Oscar for brilliant acting, and the producers (including Pitt) also deserve recognition for a thoughtful, beautiful and powerful film. I kept thinking about it the next day, which is always a sign of a good movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byCriticus September 23, 2019

Ad Astra Per Aspera

"Through hardships to the stars". An apt title for this intergalactic odyssey of downbeat mystery and conflict set upon by our stoic journeyer, Roy McBride, played by Brad Pitt. When powerful electronic surges impact Earth in non-ending succession, wreaking chaos and death, it is famed astronaut Clifford McBride, long thought dead, who is suspected of causing the destruction. Leader of Lima project, a mission designed to successfully monitor space outside of the influence of the sun, McBride Senior vanished sixteen years prior, leaving his teenage son fatherless, yet not without legacy. Fast-forward to present day, Roy McBride, proudly walking in his father's footsteps as a renowned astronaut, is called upon to help establish connection with the supposed crew of Lima Project.

Brad Pitt delivers some of his best work here, in his unrelentingly sober portrayal of a man injured by broken relationships, hurt by the absence of his father and impenetrable in his cold, hard, emotionless approach to life. As beautiful as the visuals are, as great as the ambition, this is a story about Brad Pitt's character, plain and simple.

And it's a controversial film. Not because of the material it contains; but rather because of the material it doesn't contain. It's what you might very accurately term a "slow burn" - a slow, almost methodically planned story, as though it did indeed move in a low gravity environment, with space and time to breath and live in every scene, with plenty of close-ups and lingering shots. Many audience members have already been repulsed by this, with reports of slumber and even disputes as to the purported relevance of the film, some condemning it as a snooze-fest; others hailing it as a sublime, thought-provoking, exciting masterpiece. It's for each person to come to his own conclusion.

With all that said, I enjoyed many aspects of the movie, and ultimately recommend it to anyone who's capable of sitting through some tedium for a really unique journey. I thought the unsubtle voice-over was a plus, and I really appreciated the viewpoints offered on mass commercialism and society, and the final message, which, although interpreted in different lights by different viewers, remains a positive and surprising innovation, I think. Call it dull, call it pretentious, call it arty - I don't care. It's a movie that doesn't try to be something it isn't - James Gray makes sure to tell the story he wants told, instead of pandering to action-loving audiences who perhaps would have ensured a higher overall rating, had he succumbed to popular yet predictable tropes. As it is, Ad Astra is its own product, distinctly different from others, and somehow the more elusive and meaningful for it. There's more that could be said, but that is enough for now.

Some good news is the low amount of offensive content in the movie. It isn't meant for an extremely young audience, but thankfully the decisions were made nonetheless that were very mature. A relationship is depicted with very mild nonsexual imagery, a man jokingly gives another the finger, the f-word is used once ("It f-ing sucks") with sh**, h*ll, G*d-d*mn, bast**d, d*mn all being used quite sparingly. Violence is the most extreme category, with some brief sequences of gore. Precaution should certainly be taken here. Although fleeting, the violence is the most impactful, especially with regard to tone and circumstance.

I wish you well, and hope you see what I did in Ad Astra.
Adult Written byLucast1934 September 27, 2019

Good movie but not for everyone

I liked it, my brother didn’t. It depends on how you look at it. Yes, brad Pit travels and sits in space with him narrating his feelings throughout about his personal feelings and issues only to be disappointed. No interesting plot twists, but very blunt, honest, and straight forward. However, the movie wasn’t made to please an action hungry audience, but a taste of a Sifi reality. Yes, it is a sifi movie, but it’s not fictional, at least not on the same level as most sifi movies. It’s very realistic as you find out in the end, straight forward, and almost disappointing, but, still reality. His personality is really affected by his fathers absence, he just ends up being disappointed in the end. Onto the visuals and cinematography, is amazing, absolutely beautiful. So mild gore and violence, people are shot, and dead body’s with blood on them are show, but nothing strong. One F bomb, and mild language after that. This movie is very slow and tedious and requires you to try and be awake, but it’s something to appreciate because of the realism of human negotiator being affected by their past and environment and appreciating those who are right in front of you. Enjoy!
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byHeath V. September 21, 2019

Most Boring Movie I’ve Ever Seen

80% of the movie is Brad Pitt staring off into space. Scientifically unsound at almost every turn. Seriously......I hate myself for not leaving the theater.

Extremely slow developing and no payoff at the end. Very melancholy
Adult Written byJake S. September 18, 2019

Good but not great

Unfortunately there are references to a "god" which takes the real science aspect away. In saying that, there is enough disbelief in the space stuff that does not align to real life, that it's ok their is mention of a mythical God.

Be prepared to talk to your kids about how some people go crazy in stressful moments and have been socially conditioned to seek answers when they cant find them from a mythical higher power that is not real.

There is swearing and light sex content but that is real life.
Adult Written bycarrie014 October 12, 2019

so boring

it's such a boring movie... saw it with my daughter (who's 19) but i think it's for kids 10 and up because i feel like kids that are too young wouldn't be able to really understand the film. however, not sure why you would want to watch it... it's so boring even the climax of the movie made me sleepy
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byChris B. December 19, 2020
Adult Written byKen R. October 29, 2020

Ad Astra – Relationships Adrift In Space

There’s enough to like in this space exploration yarn to keep most viewers reasonably compelled - wondering how it may achieve a conclusion. It starts with a bang via some spectacular explosions at high altitude, then slows to examine some disenfranchised family relationships. All this takes place while a team searches for other forms of intelligent life - in the outer regions of the solar system. Writer-director James Grey (The Immigrant ’13) presents his story within a kaleidoscope of vast and beautiful vistas.

While in some aspects similar to 2001, this is more accessible, offering a little more humanity to contemplate. In some ways, it’s like a cross between Silent Running and a serious take on the Star Wars theme. Some situations come across as maybe a little far-fetched, under-explained and under-developed but it offers a mostly mature script that’s worthy of some thought. Brad Pitt gives one of his more convincing performances - mostly registered by nuanced facial expressions and a nicely handled voice-over ‘thoughts’ approach. A strong ethereal style music score by Max Richter (Testament of Youth ’14) helps build an expansive atmosphere.

But, if we are looking for God (as the movie hints) I doubt we are going to find him floating around the solar system – or at least, not until he’s ready to be ‘found’.
Adult Written byEH13 May 15, 2020

Don't bother

Please don't bother with this movie if you care about science and have any regard for good scifi. The movie is nonsense and gets the science so, so wrong. The story is unoriginal and poorly told. Watch Interstellar instead-it is far better.
Adult Written byChris_Feher April 5, 2020

For Once, CSM Gets It Right!

Please disregard all the bad reviews of this movie. I read the RT and IMDb reviews beforehand, and ended up expecting something negative that never came. This movie gives off heavy Interstellar/ Martian vibes, but with much better colors and effects. Take that, and pair it with an actor that never misses? Bam! You get a hit!I don't want to get too enthusiastic here, but my main point is, watch it. You won't regret it at all. Now, as for the age rating, CSM also got it right. One of the best parts of the movie is that it is perfectly watchable for even younger teens. The only real thing to be careful with is some mild language, and one bloody scene of an animal attacking a human with gory after effects. Besides that, its basically a green light for anyone. Just. Don't. Sleep on it.
Parent of a 9-year-old Written bysterdun December 28, 2019

Pleasant meditative pace, but underdeveloped characters and minimalistic plot. Minimal swearing and violence.

16+, because younger kids simply won't get it.
Adult Written byMadre662 October 12, 2019

Emotional Journey Sparks Boredom

This movie is trying very hard to be deep and sophisticated, and it misses its mark entirely. I spent the majority of the first half of the movie watching Pitt's "emotional journey" and feeling stupid for not understanding the beauty and sophistication that was playing out before my eyes. Then I realized: there was none. So I spent the second half of the movie sleeping. I woke up right in time to watch Brad Pitt moving through space like it was a swimming pool. The producers clearly had no understanding of basic physics, or of the difference between an emotional journey and a snooze-fest.
Adult Written bymovieman48 October 7, 2019

Stunningly photographed but tedious

Stunningly photographed this might be but the plot is incredibly tedious and the movie could have done with half an hour shaved off it. There are also some pointless sequences included presumably to flesh out the rather mono-themed plot - ie a guy seeking his lost father. I fell asleep during part of it and ended up wishing I'd have slept through the rest!
Parent Written byldmom September 28, 2019

Boring ...

Most of the movie is Brad Pitt staring off into space. Scientifically unsound at almost every turn. Seriously......I told my daughter we should have left the theater. 16 yr old .... I agree and "I" almost fell asleep

Extremely slow-developing and no payoff at the end. Just an all-out SLEEPER. Save your time and $$
Parent of a 8, 11, and 13-year-old Written byGeNioS September 27, 2019

Had to review to save the children

I rarely review movies but can't let this go. The only reason an 11 year old would cry at this movie is because he was made to go to it. It is slow moving and has virtually no plot. Then throw in a couple of extremely violent and gory moments to take it over the top. Not for kids, or adults for that matter.
Adult Written byJosh R. September 26, 2019

It was ok

This movie wasn't bad, but it didn't keep me interested throughout. SPOILER ALERT: the seen with the monkeys was so random that I couldn't keep a straight face. The beginning was good, and so was the middle. But then at the end, they trailed off and went to a father-son type of thing. The end was very bad in my opinion. The visuals were amazing, it's worth seeing in the theater but just for the visuals. There was only one character basically, so that made it bad too.
Adult Written byStephen Wilkerson September 22, 2019

Crap Astra

This is the worst movie I've seen since the Good Shepherd. For starters there wasn't one person on set that had a clue how physics works. Moreover, cheeze graphics, bad over cost acting and a worthless story line. You couldn't pay me to go see this again!