“Stowaway” presents a well-acted, tense space thriller

Engaging, yet unoriginal, Netflix presents another clichéd space adventure.

Joshua Flores, Staff Writer

Netflix’s latest release “Stowaway” follows Zoe, played by Anna Kendrick, and Marina, played by Toni Collette on a space journey sidetracked by an unexpected guest. While on their way to Mars, they soon find a wounded passenger on their spaceship. With only enough supplies for their original team, the scientists are left conflicted over the difficult choices that are to come. With betrayal, unexpected trials and a tense two-year journey, the team struggles to make sense of their dire situation and hold on to their hope for a safe return back to Earth. 


With a number of successful space-based films, such as “Alien,” “Gravity” and “Life,” thrillers based in space can be redundant and lacking in fresh material to add to cinema. “Stowaway” is fun and provides a number of intriguing plot lines, yet feels too similar to other movies within the genre. With little to no new revelations or creative liberties, Netflix seems eager to rely on the radiation of past films, using the same concerns and plot lines to sustain this recent release. 

While the story seems a bit familiar to anyone who has watched a space film in the past decade, “Stowaway” delves into big questions of morality and human connection. This emotional intensity is one of the film’s biggest successes by the time the credits roll. When faced with choosing to save themselves or work toward the greater good, the film seems to find some sources of inspiration and authenticity in their storytelling, though these themes are glossed over by a slow burning plot and a number of glaring missteps, lack of character development and fragmented storytelling and backstory.


One of the biggest draws of the film is the inclusion of a number of familiar faces seen throughout the runtime of the movie. Kendrick and Collette deliver spectacular and emotional performances in “Stowaway,” tackling roles outside of their traditional, more popular roles. Loyal fans of the actresses are certain to be drawn to their large roles in the movie and captivated by their impactful, heart-wrenching performances as they struggle to survive in the deep depths of space. 


“Stowaway” has more heart than expected, yet the movie remains stagnant and lackluster in its inability to be inventive. Audiences have become tired with space stories and this film only adds to the boredom that comes with yet another that enters into the same chartered territory, bringing little to no new content into this tired narrative. The performances are award-worthy, and the visuals striking, yet “Stowaway” still feels much too familiar to be applauded or acknowledged as anything more than a collage of past films merged into Netflix’s latest project.

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