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Movie Review: The Space Between Us

Updated on May 28, 2017
The Space Between Us theatrical poster
The Space Between Us theatrical poster

The Space Between Us

Directed by Peter Chelsom and written by Allan Loeb, The Space Between Us is a science-fiction romance about a boy from Mars. The film stars Gary Oldman (Nathaniel Shepherd), Asa Butterfield (Gardner Elliot), Carla Gugino (Kendra Wyndham), and Britt Robertson (Tulsa). Lead astronaut, Sarah Elliot is found to be pregnant during Earth's first mission to colonize Mars. Soon after, she dies from the complications of child birth and gives birth to the first human in space, Gardner Elliot. The rest of the film focuses on Gardner's relationship with his friend Tulsa and the whereabouts of his father.

Life for 16-year-old Gardner Elliot is nothing short from out of a science-fiction novel. He lives in a space station on Mars to which he compares to being inside a "bubble." When he's not creating robots, he watches classic Hollywood romance films from Earth. His caretaker and scientist, Kendra Wyndham serves as a mother figure and tries her best to give him a sense of home. However, his patience ultimately wears thin. Especially, when he becomes friends with a girl from Earth, named Tulsa.

The characters depicted in the movie are one of the film's strongest aspects and they give the story credibility since their all unique. Tulsa (Britt Robertson) is strong, feisty, and mature for her age. Gardner (Asa Butterfield), given his situation, is awkward when interacting with other human beings. He is delightfully awkward and straightforward. The dynamic between him and Tulsa is enjoyable to watch since they bring out the best in each other. She helps him to be courageous, while he teaches her to let her guard down. They're the perfect match for each other.

The film forgoes the intricate areas of space and science for the narrative of love and family. Space is definitely still the theme of the film. But, if you watch some of the space scenes and find yourself asking, "is this accurate?" Chances are, it's not. Nevertheless, the cinematography of Mars and its space stations are great to see. However, the film's main concern is family and space is but a beautiful backdrop to it all.

Is It Worth A Watch?

The Space Between Us is NOT a cheesy love story about space. Everything about the film (including its ending) is grounded in reality as much as possible. The beginning half is centered in space, but the atmosphere of the film shifts for the better when the movie focuses on Gardner and Tulsa's relationship on Earth. The coolest moments of the film are when Gardner finally arrives on Earth and marvels at everything we tend to take for granted. If you're still on board by that time, then you are in for a smooth ride.

The Space Between Us is currently available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and major streaming platforms available.

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