Silent Running ★★★½

Bruce Dern puts the mental in environmental.

Although too dark to be a children's movie, Silent Running works at a very childlike emotional level, from the Sesame Street environmental message and scenes of Big Wheel-like vehicles bombing around, to the toy-like appeal of the drones (piloted by a crew of amputee actors) and a rather preposterous third act revelation that plants need sunlight. But despite the infantile brickbat environmentalism, and maudlin Joan Baez tunes, Bruce Dern brings the whole mess home after a rough trip through the rings of Saturn. I found the whole thing very appealing, and far more touching than I had (dimly) remembered.

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