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Gravity

You’ll cringe, gasp and hold your breath. Just remember that your oxygen isn’t running low

What do you do when all hope is gone? How do you keep trying when you know that no help is on the way?
    Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock: The Heat) isn’t having the time of her life on her first trip into space. After training for six months to install her communications system on a satellite, she is awkward in zero gravity and nauseated in the vacuum of space.
    Her situation gets worse. She’s on a space-walk when debris from a destroyed Russian satellite rips apart the Explorer shuttle to which she’s tethered. The crew is killed and she’s hurtling off into the void.
    The other survivor, experienced astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney: The Descendants), is only a voice on the radio. Ryan has gone too far to see him.
    Will she fight for survival — or let herself slip into infinite space?
    A movie that will leave you breathless with effects and acting, Gravity is a tense look at just how vulnerable astronauts are. Director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) is a master of building tension. We watch from the silence of space as the first pieces of shrapnel rend the shuttle. Next we see the panicked astronauts trying to survive the impact.
    Cuarón uses the vastness of space to full advantage, showing us just how insignificant we are in the scope of the universe. As Ryan tumbles farther and farther into the void, her radio, the only connection to Kowalski, begins to short and she’s left a rotating speck among the stars.
    The IMAX experience is worth the premium prices, as Cuarón uses the full frame to paint his terrifying survival story. Explosions, fires and slowly dropping levels of oxygen ratchet up the tension.
    Though set in the infinite vacuum, the story is surprisingly small. So performances have to be fantastic. Bullock makes a compelling lead character in the face of danger. Her performance is more impressive as she’s saddled with a clunky space suit.
    As the more experienced space traveler, Clooney conveys the cavalier cool that one expects from a person in a routinely dangerous job. Like fighter pilots, he keeps his voice utterly controlled, even when he’s facing down a hail of shrapnel that’s tearing apart the world around him. As Bullock’s voice of reason, he’s the perfect blend of soothing and command.
    Gravity is a heart-pounding look at what motivates us to survive. You’ll cringe, gasp and hold your breath as you watch Bullock and Clooney battle to find their way back to Earth. Just remember that your oxygen isn’t running low, so breathe.

Great Space Drama • PG-13 • 90 mins.