Oblivion movie poster

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.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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