Originally published on on December 2013

In a stunning update of the classic shipwreck narrative, space-walking astronauts Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are literally knocked for a loop when space debris destroys their shuttle, the ISS and any means of returning to Earth. More Kubrick than Cameron, this weightless, true-science ballet from Alfonso Cuaron is elemental, immersive, and awesome. It joins Avatar and Hugo in justifying the overused and abused 3D treatment. Yet as it floated toward its wildly improbable ending, I was torn between wanting more character development, so I could care, and a 2001-like minimalism. Big screen, please. (90 min)