Sara | United States | 01/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a class thriller. You can't look away! I had a dream some years ago very similar to the plot of this movie, but I have never seen this movie until now. What if an astronaut brought something back with him from outer space? If his wife becomes pregnant, is she carrying her husband's child or the child of this alien being? It preys on the underlying fears of humanity of being systematically wiped out.
But this movie is NOT about the spread of an alien virus around the globe. It's a psychological thriller on a smaller scale, between a husband and a wife. The scenes are passionate and riveting. The wife begins to suspect that something is wrong after one of her husband's colleagues dies (presumably of natural causes.) The colleague's wife then presumably commits suicide. The wife, who has just learned she is pregnant, starts to wonder what happened to her husband up in space during his lost two minutes of communication with NASA. She is approached by a former employee of NASA who says he has answers for her, so she reluctantly agrees to meet him. She follows the information he gives her, which leads her to the truth. She begins having mental visions of her babies and of what her husband is doing in the present. There is a fantastic twist ending that I did not see coming.
This is NOT a movie for those interested in blood and gore. It's along the lines of Rosemary's Baby or maybe the Pelican Brief if you want some comparisons. I'm thoroughly impressed, and wonder how I could have missed this gem when it was out in theatres."
Is he or is he not? (3.5 stars)
M. B Cole | Las Vegas, NV | 04/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Commander Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp), an astronaut and a loving husband to Jillian (Charlize Theron), is lost in space for 2 minutes along with his partner Captain Alex Streck during a routine space walk to repair a broken satellite. After coming back to earth, tests are run on them and everything comes up ok on Spence, but Alex's heart takes a beating. He survives, but barely. The recordings that their suits picked up have them screaming in panic, but apparently, nothing happened. During a party that is thrown for the two astronauts, Alex suddenly and quite freakishly dies leaving his wife behind who begins to say some strange things about him to Jillian. As time goes by, an ex NASA employer comes to Jillian to tell her that he's discovered some strange things about her husband Spencer's readings. How everything is the same, but just a tad off. As pieces being to come together, she begins to second guess who her husband really is more and more. Did her husband return from space, or did something else? Or is she just going insane?
I like this movie. Yeah, sometimes it felt a little drawn out, but I liked it. Until the ending that is. The whole movie felt very `what if'ish' to me. As in, "What if he is or isn't an alien" "What if she's just going nuts". I really don't think you can tell what's going on, until the very Hollywood ending. And when I say that I mean that Hollywood decided we were too stupid to decide on our own what happens, so they just let you know. Up until the ending though, I felt like I was watching a pretty good thriller. When we find out that Jillian had been locked up in a nut house before, you really don't know what to think. And every little thing you've seen becomes a `Well...this could be the reason' sort of idea.
In the end I would say give it a rent if you've never seen it. Johnny Depp plays his party really well. So does Charlize, even though it felt and looked like she was doing Devils Advocate at the same time (same craziness and same short hair).
P.S. My ending that I came up with would've been really good and I think had made the movie better.
One of the Worst Films I've Seen in a While
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 03/19/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If the script for Rosemary's Baby had been sold in 1999, rewritten by a total idiot to accommodate the then-success of TV's "The X-Files" that script would've been re-titled The Astronaut's Wife.
It's a movie that is almost grossly unoriginal. A movie that wastes no time jumping right into the "action" of the plot, but then feels drawn out in the middle-section.
Academy Award-nominee Johnny Depp (Best Actor, Finding Neverland (Widescreen Edition)) stars as Spencer Armacost and Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron (Best Actress, Monster)
As his wife Jillian Armacost. Spencer is an astronaut...I know you hadn't already guessed this, so I thought I'd let you know. Within minutes of the start time, Spencer and his fellow astronaut Alex Streck (Nick Cassavettes, the director of The Notebook (New Line Platinum Series)) are blasted off into space. Minutes after that, Jillian is contacted by NASA and informed that they have lost contact with Spencer for two minutes. Both Spencer and Alex return to Earth fine....But, within minutes, Alex has died of an apparent stroke and his wife has committed suicide. Taking no time to grieve, Spencer resigns from NASA and accepts an executive job with an aerospace firm. Spencer and Jillian relocate to New York and Jillian becomes pregnant with twins. Soon, a former NASA employee tracks down Jillian convinced that what happened to Spencer during those two minutes was something supernatural...Extraterrestrial even.
I doubt you'll even care when the film reaches this point. An hour into The Astronaut's Wife, I didn't care about the characters or what was going to happen to them. I didn't care what happened to Spencer during those two minutes. The script and these characters give you nothing to care about.
It's a film that seems to suspect its audience is a bunch of idiots. It explains things we already know and toys us with the notion that Spencer may be an alien, which we already guessed.
Furthermore, it's billed as a "thriller," when there's nothing thrilling about it. There's nothing ominous or menacing about it, despite how hard it tries to be both of these things. Worse, its got a dramatic musical score that attempts to create false tension, including the clichéd LOUD MUSIC cue when a character opens a refrigerator to find another character standing behind it.
It is filled with ridiculous, textbook dialogue throughout. When character's meet, we're treated to the old:
"Hi, my name is..."
"Oh, you must be..."
"Of course, [insert witty comment]."
How embarrassed was Johnny Depp to recite the "explanation" of what "happened" to him during those two minutes?
This can't even be saved by the star power of Depp and Theron in performances that have PAYCHECK written all over them. Theron, a talented actress, cries and contemplates throughout. Her hairstyle is clearly a not-so-subtle tip-of-the-hat to Mia Farrow in "Rosemary's Baby." As if the near plagiarism of the film's plot wasn't enough.
Finally, we're treated to a nonsensical finale that most people will miss because they will be sound asleep by the time the film reaches this point.
The Astronaut's Wife is nothing more than Rosemary's Baby by way of The X-Files, lacking in both the intelligence and entertainment value of the two.
In a word: Horrible.