Scott Marks 4 p.m., Nov. 25
A throwback piece of good-looking sci-fi, starting with the gorgeous and haunting image of a shattered moon, its debris stretching out into orbit. Happily, we are spared the resultant catastrophes; the emphasis here is more on Tom Cruise's self-discovery than his badassery, and hardly at all on saving the world. (Still, a few hectic set pieces do attempt to justify the biggish budget.) He plays Jack, a glorified janitor on a ruined Earth, fixing drones and shooing scavengers away from the water-collectors. But of course, he finds that everything is not as it seems. In keeping with the anxieties of the day, super-technology is not only not fetishized, it's practically demonized. (Does anyone really think drones are our friends?) Yes, we've got gyro-planes and swimming pools in the sky, but all we really want are vinyl LPs and a cabin by the lake. With Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko. 2013.
- "Oblivion: symbolism is fun!" • April 19, 2013
- A closer look at the trailers for Oblivion and After Earth • December 12, 2012
- An even closer look at the trailer for Oblivion • December 12, 2012