Brad Pitt shoots to the stars in “Ad Astra”

“Ad Astra” is sluggish in pace yet worth a watch for its compelling cinematography.


Courtesy of IMDb

Brad Pitt’s newest film “Ad Astra” lacks in entertainment.

Chris Baeza, Freelance Writer

“Space, the final frontier.” For many years this line has been the signature line of the “Star Trek” franchise. Humans have looked to the stars in all their wonder for centuries, wondering what mysteries lie beyond the great darkness in the sky, as every star has the potential to harbor some sort of life. Starring Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones, “Ad Astra” pushes the boundaries of hopes for human exploration beyond our universe, taking viewers on a ride that will both break them and capture their imaginations.


In his follow-up film to “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Pitt rockets out of the ‘70s to the not too distant future in “Ad Astra.” Space discovery has expanded farther than we could ever imagine, thanks to technological advancements. Jones’ character leads one of the first expeditions deep into the solar system, hoping to come into contact with extraterrestrial life. Pitt follows in Jones’ footsteps by becoming a space explorer, and one of the most decorated ones at that. Years after the government has lost contact with Jones’s character, they commission Pitt to follow up on his father’s mission, which turns out to be much more complicated and mysterious than he originally thought.


Pitt’s performance was adequate but not exceptional. His character Roy McBride lacks emotional connection to anyone or anything and Pitt excelled at maintaining distance between the characters he interacted with. Although the prominent A-lister may lose viewers with too many dry moments, Pitt’s character develops as the film progresses. By the end, viewers can sympathize with the growth that Pitt displayed through his performance.


Where “Ad Astra” lacks in excitement, the computer-generated imagery makes up for its slow-paced story. The planets of our solar system looked realistic, creating a sense of awe in viewers with the hopes of someday seeing them in real life. Although that dream may be doubtful, “Ad Astra” makes up for it with its beautiful, wide landscape shots that put the solar system’s infinite beauty on display.


“Ad Astra” is acceptable but lacks excitement. The action appears randomly and feels out of place with the nature of the film. Although there are exciting action moments, the movie has many unnecessary plot points that miss their mark and fail to draw the interest. The movie can be slow at times, but Pitt and Jones’ performances shine a light on scenes where the film seems to lag. “Ad Astra” may not be the best movie of the year, but it is worth watching in theaters for its awe-inspiring CGI and cinematography. 

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