REVIEW SUMMARY: Part suspsense, part romance, and part sci-fi, this totally non-mainstream movie starring George Clooney surprisingly delivers some really interesting sci-fi. Written and directed by Steven Soderberg based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem (the second film to be based on that novel.)
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Chris is a psychologist who is coaxed by an old friend out to a remote space station orbiting the planet Solaris. Something odd is going on there – the corporate owners of the station have lost contact other than the request for Chris. He goes out and finds his friend missing, 2 crew members dead, one hiding in her room, and another clearly acting strangely. Chris finally finds out what has driven them to this, and has to deal with it – finding that he has to deal with his own troubled past as well.
PROS: This one honestly surprised the heck out of me. This is a tremendous risk taken by Clooney and Soderberg because the film isn’t traditional Hollywood in any way. Big kudos for that – and for pulling it off. The sci-fi elements are very interesting but I don’t want to give any of it away.
CONS: Parts of it are too slow, despite the fact that the film is only 99 minutes long. I almost felt like there was meant to be a connection between the tone of 2001: A Space Odyssey and this movie – interesting if true.
BOTTOM LINE: Worth a watch if you can catch this one on cable like I did.