Wake Up! 90 Years Early “PASSENGERS”

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star in Columbia Pictures' PASSENGERS.

Launch Date: December 21, 2016
Travel Time: 1 hour and 56 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed By: Morten Tyldum Grade: B

There is a reason we woke up early

Jim Preston is a mechanical engineer who is on his way, along with 4,999 other passengers and 243 crew members, to populate a new colony on a planet called Homestead II. Approximately 30 years into the 120 year journey, Jim’s hibernation box opens. He is stunned to learn that he will perish prior to the landing date since there is no way to resume hibernation. Jim keeps himself occupied aboard the space ship Avalon by playing games, building things, talking to Arthur the android, and attempting to break into the bridge.

One day, he stumbles upon another passenger with whom he falls in love with by reading videos about her life as a writer and why she is on the journey. After a year in solace and much deliberation, Jim decides to wake Aurora up so that he has some human companionship. Over time, the two hit it off famously while noticing peculiar events such as robots and other systems malfunctioning. When a crew member’s hibernation box opens, they realize that something terrible is happening aboard the Starship Avalon. Something big.

Every moment counts

Just when I thought that Collateral Beauty was going to be the only ‘feel-good’ movie of this season, Sony Pictures Entertainment crashed my illusion by squeezing in another high quality film. Morten Tyldum, known for his Oscar nominated direction of The Imitation Game, harnesses the talent of the small, but stellar cast and crew, including Academy Award nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, and multiple Academy Award nominated composer Thomas Newman.

Even though Chris Pratt is the main character, Jennifer Lawrence receives top billing. While both actors have experience in leading roles, they displayed a beautiful chemistry as they dominated the majority of the film. Jennifer earns her salary by delivering one of her most enchanting and intense performances to date. It was refreshing to see Chris Pratt in a role that allows him to develop his dramatic side. The screenplay writer, John Spaihts, who is known for writing Doctor Strange and Prometheus is obviously no stranger to science fiction as evidenced by the incredibly detailed spaceship, its contents, and the hazards of traveling for 120 years through space.

Jennifer Lawrence stars in Columbia Pictures' PASSENGERS.
Jennifer Lawrence stars in Columbia Pictures’ PASSENGERS.

The story is intriguing as it drew me in with its character driven plot and witty dialogue. Plus, I was pleasantly surprised as I continuously attempted to surmise the big reveal without success so that is the component that sets this ‘stranded in space’ story apart from the rest. Take a trip into the theater this holiday season to join Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in their journey as Passengers!

~Movie Buffette

 Passengers is an insightful character-driven film about life, love and the precious time we are given. Not only does it star my favorite actress, the amazingly talented Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook [Oscar win] and American Hustle), but we also witness a dramatic performance from Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World and The Magnificent Seven) who is known for his witty sense of humor and action prowess. Their performance captivates the audience and resonates as we all begin to ponder what we would do if faced with the same circumstances.

Jennifer Lawrence (center), Chris Pratt (right) and Michael Sheen (left) in Columbia Pictures' PASSENGERS.
Jennifer Lawrence (center), Chris Pratt (right) and Michael Sheen (left) in Columbia Pictures’ PASSENGERS.

Academy Award winning cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto who is known for Argo, The Wolf of Wall Street and Brokeback Mountain (Oscar win) creates a beautifully shot film and imaginative landscape inside the Avalon and its surrounding space. Norwegian director Tyldum does an exceptional job with a well-paced film that entertains us one moment and the next has us on the edge of our seat as we watch the characters face imperiled situations in thrilling scenes. The layering brings balance and keeps the audience engaged.

Passengers explores what it truly means to be human and how lonely life can be if we are all alone. The film is a little predictable, but overall an excellent science fiction adventure with a little romance. Take a voyage to the cinema and experience one of the best movies this holiday season. You will be glad you did.

~A.S. MacLeod


Chris Pratt as Jim Preston
Jennifer Lawrence as Aurora Lane
Michael Sheen as Arthur
Laurence Fishburne as Chief Gus Mancuso
Andy Garcia as Admiral Norris

About Leigh Ann Rassler