Jordan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Watching this was truly an out-of-body, out-of-theater experience. Especially on the IMAX screen, this movie was overwhelmingly stunning and massive in scale. Yet, so much of what this movie is about is struggles within oneself. The montages that blended childhood memories and jawdropping space scapes are unbelievable. Brad Pitt's performance is so raw and real. When he reminisces about his father, he's baring everything and you can feel his pain. When his father tells him he never loved him, my heart was ripped out of my chest. He is the heart of this movie, and even in moments of restraint, you can feel what he's going through.
I love movies that use color, and this movie is incredibly bold and vibrant. The second I saw the first lens flare (the opening shot is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen captured on screen), I knew this was going to be the most visually striking movie I'd ever seen in theaters. The grain of the film gives this movie so much texture that most space movies lack. Everything about how this movie uses light blew me away.
I remember hearing when the trailers first came out for this movie that all James Gray films are impossible to market because of how thematically diverse and expansive they are. And, that's definitely true. Though this has the thrills of a great space movie, it goes so much deeper. All of the small details that this movie barely gives a second thought to, like the idea of the moon becoming a tourist destination and the evolution of technology and AI are such brilliant touches that demonstrate how much Gray had on his mind when developing this film. This was my first ever Gray movie, and after watching this movie was unlike any other that I've experienced, now I've gotta go watch his whole filmography.
After anticipating this movie and having such high hopes about it for so long, I'm so Glad Astra that it was more amazing than I could have ever hoped for. I praise every movie because I love movies so much—but this movie is a masterpiece on another level entirely.
Also, this is my 1,000th movie marked as "seen" on Letterboxd. This site has deepened my appreciation of film as an art form and as a medium that encourages all kinds of passionate thought and discussion. Can't wait for the next 1,000!