Don’t let the Sundance laurel fool you – “Another Earth” is just as disposable as your average mainstream sci-fi flick nowadays. Mike Cahill’s directorial debut, also written by him and the film’s star Brit Marling, is a disaster from its opening minutes and limps along for another hour and a half barely breathing. To say that it wears out its welcome is quite the understatement because by the time it ends, you’ll feel like you accidentally walked into the multiplex’s sensory deprivation chamber.
Another cliched saying applicable here would be “don’t judge a movie by its trailer” since it must be for another movie, not “Another Earth.” If you were drawn in by the intriguing premise of parallel worlds and science-fiction interplanetary travel, you are in for otherworldly disappointment.
The best thing the movie had to offer is little more than a subplot, a plot gimmick occasionally brought up in conversation but never fulfilling its enormous potential. When the film finally cashes in on this underworked aspect in its dying breath, it feels like something we were expecting in the first reel.
The movie’s main plot, on the other hand, abandons originality and settles for a contrived tale of a woman (Marling) coping with grief. After killing John Burroughs’ (William Mapother) wife and child in a drunken driving accident, she feels the need for catharsis by bringing herself closer to the pain that still haunts her. Sound familiar?
I made a list of 10 movies in the past 5 years that have done it better. But even more than that, it’s a carbon copy of last year’s “Rabbit Hole” that lost all its heart, emotion, and power in the transfer. Nicole Kidman and company make their grief truly moving, while Brit Marling’s painfully reserved, borderline masochistic behavior combined with William Mapother’s endless moping makes for a brutal watch. The only thing they succeed in doing is making you wish you could be transported to another earth – one where you didn’t waste your time watching this movie. D.
Marshall blogs at Marshall and the Movies.
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