Even though it's a pretty short 90 minutes, "Gravity" is too much to take in with one viewing. Not only is it a visual marvel, it's packed with relentless tension that pins you to your seat and glues your eyes to the screen. In fact, the first 13 minutes is one long shot - dizzying and transporting.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are astronauts working on a project in orbit. It's her first time in space, and he's a veteran ready to retire. When an accident happens, they have to rely on each other to survive.
Director Alfonso Cuaron, who hasn't made a movie since the 2006 masterpiece "Children of Men," obviously spent all his time planning this movie out. The camera moves seamlessly from point-of-view outward - capturing the well-choreographed action in multiple ways.
Bullock proves her Oscar win was no fluke, and the movie is positively exhausting in that everything that can go wrong for her does.
Cuaron's script occasionally relies on cliches for dramatic punch, but he also makes a lot of smart decisions. The movie feels like a wonderful magic trick he's pulled off, and I never want to learn how he did it.
EPPLER'S RATING: * * * * 1/2
Four stars out of five