Good Enough: Our Review of ‘Life’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 26, 2017
Good Enough: Our Review of ‘Life’

When it comes to that delicate balance that we call the human experience…we’ve heard every single movie pull quote and catch phrase that we can think of because Life always finds a way.  In what has to be the 8,756,382,947th movie ever called Life we get an effective and fairly entertaining sci-fi yarn in space with our heroes in mortal combat against the unknown.  If it sounds like something that you have seen before, well it basically is…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Even though life aboard the International Space Station is rarely boring, today is a special day, as this six person crew is on the brink of a discovery that will change the course of human history; proof of life on other planets.  As the crew goes about their work, their tests and experiments end up having some unintended effects which shows that this life from another planet, just might be more intelligent than any of them had ever expected.

While Life doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table, it still works as an effective locked in type of sci-fi thriller.  It knows what it is and doesn’t go out of its way to reinvent the wheel, and some days…that’s OK.

Director Daniel Espinosa has a solid yet unspectacular track record transitioning between Hollywood productions and his films out of his native Sweden and if anything no can say that the man isn’t a solid craftsman who is capable of keeping a story moving from beginning to end.  His pictures always look good and his visual style allows audiences to get wrapped up into the story.  The script from writers Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick borrows from the genre pretty liberally as movies like Alien, Gravity & Leviathan all get paid a little bit of respect in the process and it all plays out fairly well.  Admittedly nothing fresh gets added to the formula here, but the overall execution is pretty good and we as audience members will at the very least won’t get bored and mostly likely enjoy the ride.

It’s a rich and mostly international cast that is spearheaded by Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds but no one really stands out of it all, and that’s kind of work.  Along with our two main leads, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare and Olga Dihovichnaya all do fine work and the general level of equality between them all does keep us guessing as the narrative unfolds and this life form gets more and more out of their control.

Ultimately, Life is a decent little sci-fi yarn that allows for some quality entertainment and is worth seeing on the big screen but it doesn’t quite match up with other entries in the genre that have come before it.


  • Release Date: 3/24/2017
This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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