Rating 3½

Directed by Duncan Jones

Written by Nathan Parker, based on a story by Duncan Jones

Starring Sam Rockwell (Sam Bell), Kevin Spacey (GERTY – voice only), Dominique McElligott (Tess Bell), Matt Berry (Overmeyers), Benedict Wong (Thompson), Kaya Scodelario (Eve) and Rosie Shaw (Little Eve)

Sam Bell is an employee of Lunar Industries, a company that extracts helium-3 from the Moon to provide a clean source of energy on Earth. He is the only employee working in the Moon base camp and a satellite communications failure means he has no live link to Earth and his only contact is occasional recorded transmissions. As he comes towards the end of his three-year stint he begins to have hallucinations, but all is not as it seems.


‘Moon’ is an independent British film production directed by Duncan Jones, the son of David Bowie. It was recently voted the best British independent film of 2009 by the British Independent Film Awards and Jones was voted best first-time filmmaker. The film has also won nine other awards. It has an 89% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes from 158 reviews.

The film is derivative, drawing in particular on films from the late 1960s and early 1970s, most obviously ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Silent Running’ and ‘Solaris’. I found it a little difficult to get past this, which might partly explain why I did not enjoy the film quite as much as perhaps I should have. To me it felt like a stretched out episode of the original ‘The Twilight Zone’ or ‘Outer Limits’, which is not a bad thing, but somehow it was as if there was something missing. Probably, the hype surrounding the film meant I approached it with unreasonable expectations.

Nonetheless, it’s an interesting film that proves once again that simply throwing tens of millions of dollars at a production and allowing CGI effects to carry the weight is not the only way to go. I enjoyed ‘Moon’ a lot more than ‘Serenity’, the last sci-fi film to really get the backing of film critics, but a film that I ended up watching three times and disliking more on each occasion.

‘Moon’ is largely carried by an excellent performance from Sam Rockwell, who I have seen very little of in the past, although his film career dates back twenty years. It grossed a little under $7.2 million at the box office against a production budget estimated to have been in the region of $5 million.

Review posted 8 November 2009


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