In Gravity, which lands in theaters this weekend, director Alfonso Cuaron has given new meaning to the "lost in space" theme, and to the very concept of isolation.
It's as much an existential exploration as it is science fiction.
Following an explosion during a space walk, the premise is a human being, floating tiny and unbound, in the limitless, quiet, stark expanse of the cosmos.
Add in Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and what have you got? Critical gold! Check out excerpts from some of the week's top Gravity reviews ...
"The film’ extraordinarily beautiful in its vision of a much larger universe, and it’s slyly honest about our insignificance within it. That’s what makes the ending both awe-inspiring and far-fetched. - Boston Globe
"A great movie is hard to define. So let Gravity do it for you. With enthralling detail, it offers thrills, humor, dazzle, disaster, poetic vision and mythic reach." - Rolling Stone
"Much as Gravity revels in the giddy, scary thrill of weightlessness, it is, finally, about the longing to be pulled back down onto the crowded, watery sphere where life is tedious, complicated, sad and possible." - New York Times
"The technological innovation that made the film’s astonishing illusions possible is, for once, not only show-offy impressive but justified. Even a 3-D non-believer and detractor can see that the process was invented for films like this one." - Philadelphia Inquirer
"For long stretches, Cuaron trusts Bullock to give us a one-woman show, and she delivers. Her work here constitutes one of the greatest physical performances I've seen." - RogerEbert.com
"Cuaron is telling a different but related story of terror and mortality and hope. With nothingness pressing in on all sides, in a place where the grip of someone else’s hand is all that keeps you from the void, life really does seem like a miracle." - The Telegraph
"It’s refreshing to see a female lead in a survival film that doesn’t involve rape, kidnapping, or aliens. We don’t get many films like this. Let’s hope Hollywood keeps them coming." - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"No one has more screen time in Gravity than Bullock, and no one makes better use of it. Her bleak working conditions in this effects-heavy film demanded physical dexterity and the ability to withstand long periods of isolation, but through it all her gift for connecting with an audience, so essential for this kind of film, never fails her." - L.A. Times