Movie Review
Moon
Moon poster
By Craig Younkin     Published July 16, 2009
US Release: June 12, 2009

Directed by: Duncan Jones
Starring: Sam Rockwell , Kevin Spacey

R for language.
Running Time: 97 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $5,004,057
B+
Moon will alienate some with its slow-moving, overly-thinky subject matter but if you're in the mood to give your brain a workout and be prepared to talk about it afterwards, Jonesí first directorial effort is a major success.
Big Questions: Can director Duncan Jones, David Bowieís son, get out from behind his fatherís shadow with his own space oddity? Is ďMoonĒ the thought provoking, "2001"-esque science fiction flick itís being billed as? Will Sam Rockwell, being the only person on screen for most of the time, be able to anchor a film all by himself?

Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an astronaut working for Lunar Industries, a company responsible for 70% of the Earthís energy, which they harvest from the moon. After a good three years of sending parcels of energy back to Earth, Sam is just two weeks away from being able to see his wife (Dominique McElligott) and young daughter (Kaya Scodelario) again. The three years of isolation, and only having the shipís computer Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) to talk to have not done Samís state of mind any good as he either talks to himself or starts seeing things at different points of his day, his wife included. Just a very weird thing happens after being bombarded by a storm of rock while on a mission at one of the mechanical harvesters. Injured, he is awakened later in the infirmary thinking that Gerty saved him. Heís told that a rescue team is on the way and that he must stay inside until they arrive, but disobeying orders he heads back out to the harvester and finds another him, unconscious. He brings the other him back to the ship where a lot of questions lay in front of them both.

Nathan Parkerís screenplay is nothing mindblowing but if youíre in the mood for a good psychological drama, this one more than fits the bill. Itís slow moving but your head will be working a mile a minute trying to figure out the secrets that lay in store here. Which one of the Sams is the real Sam? Has all this isolation finally driven Sam loco? Could the company that Sam works for be playing with him, putting him into some kind of experimental test or something? Jones proves to be an expert in paranoia, creating a claustrophobic and weirdly surreal situation. It gets so crazy at one point that the two Samís even start a fight with one another. The production design is really good too, the lunar rovers and the space shuttle, with its dirty white walls that somehow add to the suspense in their own way, are like throwbacks to "Alien" and "2001: A Space Odyssey," and, in a way, the movie is kind of an ode to both. And Sam Rockwell is terrific here, taking on the dual roles with a level of quirky craziness and moving vulnerability that keeps Sam compelling. Kevin Spacey also gives a good robotic vocal.

Moon will alienate some with its slow-moving, overly-thinky subject matter but if you're in the mood to give your brain a workout and be prepared to talk about it afterwards, Jonesí first directorial effort is a major success.
Craig's Grade: B+
Craig's Overall Grading: 317 graded movies
A11.0%
B42.0%
C30.3%
D16.4%
F0.3%
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