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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Sam Rockwell
Kaya Scodelario
Benedict Wong
Matt Berry
Malcolm Stewart
Dominique McElligott .
Directors
Duncan Jones.
Screenwriters
Duncan Jones
Nathan Parker .
Running Time
97 minutes

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Moon
Set Phasers to think...


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Plot
On the final stretch of a three-year contract mining energy from the moon for an ailing Earth, isolated astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) wakes up in his lunar base after a freak accident — and suddenly discovers that he’s not alone...


Review
Moon
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While J. J. Abrams’ Red Bull reboot of Star Trek has triumphantly pulled the Zimmer frame from a rusting franchise, the relaunch is pretty indicative of modern mainstream sci-fi — epic on the dazzle, easy on the brain cells. Given its pondersome heritage, Trek’s facelift as an action series is an invigorating way to go, but it does firm up the argument that the genre of Big Ideas is, nowadays, more about Huge Explosions.

Which is odd because, during the ’70s and early ’80s, American cinema was besotted with sci-fi, not as a rollercoaster ride, but as a vessel for exploring man’s place in the cosmic ink. Duncan Jones’ mesmerising debut is an affectionate throwback to the Blade Runners, Outlands and Dark Stars of the genre, not just in terms of the way it looks, but the way it feels and thinks. From the very moment we land on Moon, the future is sci-fi’s past. The year is 2024 but really, what with the chunky lunar bases, clinical interiors and spooky, mothering computer, its Casio watch is still firmly stuck on 2001. Endearingly lo-fi Tonka Toy lunar buggies bonk over the moon’s surface like it’s space circa 1999. The stranded space-hippy vibe screams Silent Running... And yet, just when you think you’ve seen it all before, Moon fuses a jumble of familiar elements and magics up something original.

The opening act follows all the beats of a castaway movie as we’re eased into the moon boots of Sam Bell, plodding solo around his lunar base, sharing tediously functional conversations with a Kevin Spacey-voiced computer, watching video messages from the wife and generally aching to get the hell out of there. Sedate camerawork and Clint Mansell’s spectral piano score compound the sense of unearthly isolation, but what makes it all so captivating are the lived-in details that ground his solitary confinement — the furry dice in the moon rover, the crumpled Post-it notes, the vac-packed baked beans he slobbily sucks straight out of the bag...

There’s also, however, a softly humming ominous ambience that’s always threatening a lurch into space oddity and when it hits, with the baffling arrival of Bell’s surly doppelgänger, the film warps genres — from character study to twisty-turny existential mystery, and it’s just too smart to spoil. Less a whodunnit, more a whothehellami, while the ingenious script keeps you guessing, a terrific turn from Sam Rockwell keeps you caring. It’s a deeply engaging one-man show and, crucially, puts a human face on some seriously hefty themes (memory, alienation, identity). When he finally cries, “I just want to go home,” hearts will break.

Shot in 33 days and working miracles with a $5 million budget, it’s a Sundance movie in outer space and a relief it escaped the studio black hole. Moon asks proper big, stimulating questions about what it means to be human, without being cold, aloof, poncy or even remotely boring. It also looks, in its own wonderfully Airfixy way, fantastic. If you like brainfood served with your eye candy, take the trip.


Verdict
They do make ’em like they used to — a fresh blast of old-school sci-fi, bursting with ideas and a stellar turn from Rockwell.


Reviewed by Simon Crook


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Moon
Empire Star Rating

RE: Fucking disgrace

An instant classic from the first time I caught it. The story is just so dense from start to finish, and Sam Rockwell knocks it off the rock ( get it?) with his, hmm, performances. If you haven't seen it, go check it out please. The director, Duncan Jones, is son of David Bowie, and it seems that the creativity has passed on from father to son. His sophmore attempt, Source Code, lacked in the vulnerability and delicacy that Moon did so well. A movie I'll mine the moon for any day. 9.3/10 ... More

Posted by Will Frey at 20:16, 05 July 2013 | Report This Post


RE: The Dark Side of the Moon

really alone? (R), 2009 This blockbuster, ‘Moon’, is yet another superb sci-fi movie after recent works such as ‘Star Trek’. Yes, at first you may think that it looks boring and unexciting, but as you watch along you’ll realise that it’s deep and filled with emotional moments. Despite all the emotional moments, this movie is still covered with the repetitive expletives, making it a restricted movie for minors. The effects and the scenes in the movie looked absolutely astonishing, ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 15lial1 at 17:05, 14 June 2013 | Report This Post


The Dark Side of the Moon

Earth is at an energy crisis and it is looking like there is no way out of it. However Lunar, a company who declare that they have the key to solve this crisis, but what would it require? Yes, the name of the movie doesn’t give you a hard time trying to guess it, the Moon. The deal was a person would go up there for 3 years in the shadow of a robot, Gurty, and each day would be the same, yeah 3 years stuck in the same routine, same place, no friends, no human contact – that’s o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dhruvdasot at 05:44, 11 June 2013 | Report This Post


Moon 2009 - Review

Moon - One Man Marvel Powerful, dramatic and plot twisting; ‘Moon’ stars Sam Rockwell as a lonely, isolated worker on the moon. As soon as the opening credits finish, you are immediately thrown into a new, exciting future with plot twists and turns after every scene. Sam Rockwell takes on the challenging character of Sam Bell, the only isolated worker on a futuristic yet seemingly ‘homey’ base on the moon. If you’re a Sci-Fi fan, this is a must – watching t... More

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Posted by JakeSmithKGV at 04:53, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


One Man Marvel".

Do you like Science fiction movies? Then I would recommend this mysterious and dystopian movie that touches on the Isolation of the moon and the identity of clones. Its name… “Moon”. This show stars Sam Rockwell as the main character and Kevin Spacey who voices the robot Gerty. This film was directed and written by Duncan Jones with Nathan Parker writing as well. This film was released in 2009 and had only a five million dollar budget to work with, also with that the film used ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jamesshep at 04:53, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


The Dark Side of the 'Moon'

If you’re looking for a movie that’s humorous, powerful, touching and mysterious, this is the movie for you. ‘Moon’ has a first-rate cast; from Sam Rockwell who plays Sam Bell, to Kevin Spacey who plays the voice of GERTY, a robot located on the moon base whose job is to help Sam. Even with GERTY’s amusing antics and strange robotic voice, ‘Moon’ is unsuitable for young children, with the frequent swearing and occasional violence. But even if you̵... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kessandra248 at 04:53, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


Nothing is as it seems

Caution: Mild nudity, repeated expletives, brief violence Would you volunteer for a mission on the far side of the moon, all alone? Would you spend three years of solitude, with no one but a robot? Would you undertake this mission, knowing that at any moment, you might die? Earth is running out of resources. In desperation, humans have turned to the sole remaining power source available, Helium-3. The catch is, this substance can only be harvested on the moon. Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rock... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 15laujt1 at 04:53, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


The Moon

‘Moon’ takes you to a fully jet packed Sci Fi adventure where the most extraordinary events take place. Starring Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell as the main hero of the movie, this movie is full of moments of laughter and sadness. Set in the future world, where energy crisis is diminished by mining fuel from the Moon, Sam Bell is on his daily routine with his three year contract just about to finish. Inappropriate language and content of the scenes make it unsuitable for kids. Sam Rockwe... More

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Posted by shivangiiii at 04:52, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


Moon (2009) - Review

When you hear the words “science-fiction,” your mind immediately thinks of blockbusters such as Star Trek and Alien. You know the scene: spaceships flying around, aliens battling humans in a fight to the death, and robots running around in frenzy. Science fiction lets us believe the unimaginable can happen. But thanks to Duncan Jones, we’ve been introduced to a new science fiction movie that is a little more realistic: Moon. Released in 2009, this sci-fi flick tells the stor... More

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Posted by caoimhebeaver at 04:52, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


IS THIS IT?

MOON 2009 Rating: 9/10 Starring Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell, this surely isn’t a movie to miss out on. This serious yet lean-back topic is sure to get your heads thinking as Sam explores the dark side of the moon for an energy source which contains helium. This isn’t your ordinary sci-fi film with aliens battling each other for the greater good, as the scenery of the film brings it to the sci-fi doorstep. Watch out for the little ones as ‘Moon’ may include coarse languag... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fatiho at 04:52, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


IT’S TIME TO QUESTION OURSELVES

Moon (2009) Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey and Dominique McElligott Critic’s warning: Language Moon, a science-fiction film that doesn’t fail to move and haunt the audience with the perfectly captured emotions, and mystery. Sam Rockwell, acting as Sam Bell, operates a station single handedly, on the moon. An employee of Lunar, a company that fuels Earth with clean energy, he has signed a three year contract. During his time on the moon, he mines for Helium from lunar rocks... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 15leungyc1 at 04:52, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


Moon Review

Jason Cheung Moon Duncan Jones Sci-Fi Moon is a Sci-Fi movie that makes big Hollywood Sci-Fi blockbusters look like a school play. The film is directed by Duncan Jones and the main role was acted by Sam Rockwell. When the film first started, it created a very empty feeling inside the cinema. On the screen you can see briefly an actor and the camera will show somewhere else. Suspense builds up and you will be dying to find out what will happen. Sam Rockwell is playing a role of an ast... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MajorFrost at 04:52, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


Are we really who we think we are?

MOON (2009) Director: Duncan Jones Running Time: 97 minutes The outstanding film ‘Moon’ directed by Duncan Jones and starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey allows you to experience life on the moon. The film explores the theme of dystopia through having to use resources from the moon to use as power on the earth. Jones also explores the real meaning of loneliness and isolation. Sam Bell (Rockwell) is sent up to the moon to harvest helium 3 to power the Earth. Following the sam... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by beth_white at 04:50, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


My personal review on the moon

Moon. In short it’s a compelling work of science fiction film made on a low budget. This is sure to satisfy all ages with its interesting story line and unexpected twist. This film takes a unique approach for science fiction films and uses models instead of computer generated imagery. Directed by Duncan Jones starring Sam Rockwell, Robin Chalk, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott This film contains coarse language and is directed towards an older audience. However this film can still be e... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 15wongtk1 at 04:50, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post


Moon

excellent ... More

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Posted by gillcoull at 05:59, 04 June 2013 | Report This Post


Moon Review

Boosted by Sam Rockwell's intense performance, Moon is a compelling work of science-fiction, and a promising debut from director Duncan Jones. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 23:14, 23 December 2011 | Report This Post


A Deep, Yet Very Uninteresting, Sci-Fi Tale

I heard soooo much about how amazing this film is, so I was very happy when I finally got the chance to watch it recently. The pseudo-philosophical hokum that comprises the story as a whole, I found to be very insightful, but unfortunately, the execution of the film itself I found to be very poor. A slightly undercooked plotline, interesting but underdeveloped characters, and an original theme that feels very unique but never fully realized. Rockwell's turn is superb, and he makes this a more-th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 06:06, 23 December 2011 | Report This Post


Moon

L: BigKovacs Brilliant film! SPOILERS AHOY!!!!!!!!!!! who did Sam see just before he crashed and who was the woman sitting in the chair? I don't think she was in the film at all bar that scene? SPOILERS AHOY!!!!!!!!!!! ]It's his daughter. Now in her teens. ] Just watched it last night.Wow - what a film! Loved it. Next on my list: Running ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Macavity at 14:01, 30 August 2011 | Report This Post


Perfection on celluloid

Normally, I shy away from sci-fi. It was incredible luck that I caught this movie. For a story in one setting, with one actor really to hold one's attention both the story and the acting have to be nothing less than perfect. Sam Rockwell was so excellent in this role I had to remind myself he was just acting. After I came back to earth (couldn't resist, sorry), I had questions about my own views on personhood.This is a rare film that combines escapism with great questions into what makes us huma... More

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Posted by thereallovefilm at 04:14, 16 September 2010 | Report This Post


A brilliant film. This film gives Sam Rockwell hies moment to shine and he does an outstanding job of it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by white mage at 00:50, 23 August 2010 | Report This Post


Amazing. Disappointingly overshadowed in the box office by blockbusters this is pure sci fi. It ranks up there with the classics such as 2001, Blade Runner and Alien for it unlocks the key element of sci fi. It challenges what it means to be human. Must see. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LunarIndustries at 11:17, 16 July 2010 | Report This Post


Bravo!!!!!! Damn that rockwell is astounding

And the crew and director putting this together on a shoe-string budget is incredible Gotta watch it again for Sam Rockwells stellar performance ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monkeyhumour at 10:13, 12 July 2010 | Report This Post


bit depressing

Amazingly atmospheric. Rockwell is great as always - doubly great here. Not the most exciting movie I've ever watched though. I'm a fan of movies that take a more cerebral approach, but this just could have been a bit more... i not sure, a bit more something! That this was shot for 5 mil is staggering, though!? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 23:15, 10 July 2010 | Report This Post


BigKovacs

Just watched this film and loved it. I think the vision just before the crash and the girl in the chair may be the first signs of Sam becoming ill as his contract comes to an end. Although it could just be to keep you guessing as to whether Sam is just loosing his mind. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by law2137 at 17:08, 03 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Awesome

L: TheSpleen How did Sam Rockwell not get at least an Oscar nod? Idiots. Here im thinking he wouldnt be eligible until next year but its not true. HOW IN THE LIVING FUCK DOESNT HE GET A NOMINATION? HE was BRILLIANT!!!! Usually only Christian Bale leaves me memsmerized at his performances. Fuck you hollywood you stupid fucks. ... More

Posted by wgamador at 13:59, 25 March 2010 | Report This Post


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