The Reel Review
Earth, 2049. A mysterious global catastrophe has forced millions to flee for a new life on one of Jupiter’s moons. But a terminally-ill, Arctic-based scientist (George Clooney) who stayed behind must make the arduous trek to a neighboring station to warn unaware astronauts onboard a returning spacecraft. This Netflix sci-fi/thriller is an adaptation of the novel, “Good Morning, Midnight,” by Lily Brooks-Dalton, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.
The Midnight Sky feels like a bizarre, slow-motion mashup of 2013’s Gravity and 2015’s The Revenant. It is beautifully shot, with gorgeous visuals and an impressive looking, albeit ridiculously spacious, spacecraft. And the performances – from a daddy bearded Clooney, to Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo and Kyle Chandler as the concerned spacecrew – are all earnestly good. But the story itself is JUST SO SLOW AND DREARY.
Clooney’s dialed in direction doesn’t help, sucking what little energy there is out of the drama’s big moments, be it his discovery of a downed airplane, his harrowing escape from a sinking way station, or the spacecraft’s run-in with space debris (hello, Gravity 🤨). The not-so-twisty ending – since you see the twist about an hour in – is heartfelt, but damn, getting there is a real slog.
• George Clooney lost 30 pounds and was hospitalized with pancreatitis, four days after filming started.
• Clooney and Kyle Chandler also worked together as director and actor in the Hulu series Catch 22.
• The Midnight Sky was filmed in Iceland, the Canary Islands and Shepparton Studios in Surrey, England.