The Space Between Us (2017) Review

Director: Peter Chelsom

Starring: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson

Rating: PG-13


The Space Between Us begins with a mission to colonize Mars. Upon arrival astronaut, Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery) finds out that she is pregnant. Soon after she gives both to Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) she dies. Sixteen years late while Elliot is living on Mars and being raised by Kendra Wyndham (Carla Gugino) he befriends a teenager, Tulsa (Britt Robertson) back on Earth. Through curiosity and a sense of adventure to find the one thing Elliot has missed out on, a father he returns to Earth. Elliot soon realizes Earth may not be all he imagined and runs into many issues upon his journey.

What The Film Did Well:

When The Space Between Us is, well, in space it is visually fantastic. It has some pretty stunning CGI based scenes that take place in space and on Mars that really stick out and reminded me a lot of the visual effects in movies like Gravity and Interstellar. Although, both those movies are better both in overall quality and with visual effects The Space Between Us is very reminiscent of those movies aesthetically speaking. When parts of this movie takes place back on earth it also has some really beautiful cinematography and pan over shots, including one near my hometown which was really awesome to see.

Another thing that this movie does well is it is very well casted and well-acted by everyone involved. The performances in The Space Between Us is not going to blow anyone away or get any award consideration, but the acting is still good. Gary Oldman helps carry parts of this movie with his character Nathaniel Shepherd and that was to no surprise because Gary Oldman is basically great in everything he does. The chemistry between Asa Butterfield (Gardner Elliot) and Britt Robertson (Tulsa) was really good and believable throughout the movie. Carla Gugino was also very good in her role of Kendra and just overall this movie was well acted throughout which was really nice to see.

What The Film Didn’t Do Well:

There are a few points in The Space Between Us where the timeline seems little inconsistent or had an awkward flow. At one point, it jumps two years ahead and then it suddenly jumps ahead sixteen years without any real development of the plot. Fortunately, those are the only times that the movie does this, because when it did happen it was not totally clear on the rhyme or reason behind them wanting to jump lot points suddenly.

One major plot point that I didn’t quite understand and took me out of the movie would have to be how the character of Tulsa knows the character of Gardner. When it jumps forward to Gardner being sixteen he knows another teenager on earth and they communicate via an instant messaging system and it is never clear how they initially know of each other or meet. It was just all very confusing to me and a hole in the plot that just was too big for me to skim over.

Another aspect to this movie where it falls through and truly falters is the tone and genre. It starts off with the tone of a science fiction thriller which seems like a great idea, but slowly it changes the entire tone. It starts to develop into a romance, which seemed unnecessary at first and had me questioning why and even kind of groaning at that aspect. As The Space Between Us progresses it develops into a coming of age young adult movie which it does well. I wasn’t a fan of the crossing over of the genres, but once it developed into the young adult movie it achieved what it set out to do.

Final Thoughts

This movie gets a 5/10. It is not a bad movie and is made for a specific audience. For that audience, it is probably a fantastic movie, but for a regular audience member it struggles in a lot of areas. It gets cheesy in parts, especially towards the end. It becomes bland and boring occasionally, but was not a bad movie overall.

The Space Between Us





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