Life (2017) – Review

This extraordinary movie centers around six astronauts who discover the first ever living cell on Mars. After researching the cell on the International Space Station (ISS), the cell begins to grow into a larger life form and the astronauts then discover just how dangerous and potentially deadly it could become. Each of the six crew members must work together to keep it from reaching earth and causing damage on land. A gripping and equally as fascinating movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the off with a refreshing ending that is guaranteed to leave you shocked.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson

For me, Life is a movie that often gets overlooked as being categorised as a top tier picture of recent years – it’s a movie that is vastly underrated by most and one I’d encourage anybody with an open mind to space exploration to see. Many of its critics have spoken about the similarities between Life and other “cliche alien movies” that fall under the same umbrella, but I’d urge people to cast aside any thoughts and feelings for other movies and just enjoy this for what it is – a separate entity.

It’s fair to say that on a whole, the plot and story was extremely fast paced but easy enough for the viewer to keep track of. The feel throughout was one of suspense and intensity and this began right from the opening act – a huge strength for the movie. Many of the intense scenes leave you with a feeling of dread and they keep you absorbed from the off. Many of the effects were brilliant too, with the feared alien life form, Calvin (named by school children back on earth), looking truly terrifying at times.

Once the crew began studying the captured cell from Mars, they quickly came to the realisation that they had bitten off a little more than they could chew, hence Calvin coming to fruition. Some extremely gory and frightening scenes ensued before the cell from Mars began growing and causing havoc upon the ISS.

The acting was steady too, Jake Gyllenhaal starred as David Jordan, one of the primary astronauts, while Ryan Reynolds also appeared for a short time as Rory Adams. Other support roles came from Rebecca Ferguson, Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada and Olga Dykhovichnaya, who all did a very good job as portraying each of the astronauts caught up in the horrifying situation.

Of course, in a movie such as this, the acting comes, at times, second in importance to other aspects of the film. Some of the camerawork was simply outstanding – many scenes being shot upside down while the astronauts circled effortless around the ISS and it wasn’t just the camerawork that was impressive either, the visuals throughout were breathtaking and in my opinion, award worthy. It’s important to mention the soundtrack too, this could be regarded as a firm reason for many of the of the ‘edge of your seat’ moments during the film.

Overall, a visually spectacular and on occasion, genuinely terrifying movie that adds no shame to the Sci-Fi / Horror genre – and let’s not overlook the shocking ending that many filmmakers wouldn’t have dared to delve into.  

“This is Doctor David Jordan – our mission is to intercept a research pod from Mars.”

David Jordan – Life

4 thoughts on “Life (2017) – Review

  1. Luke Atkins

    I can get along with this review. Wouldn’t give it a 4 personally but def at least a 3 or (more likely) 3.5 in my subjective opinion. Never understood why it flopped so much


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