LIFE movie poster
Six scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a single-celled organism in a soil sample from Mars. What starts as joy at finding proof of life beyond Earth soon turns to terror when the tentacled entity, which they have named "Calvin", becomes dangerous. A fight for survival begins.

Stellar effects and a fine cast make this outer space chiller a quality popcorn flick. It's a passable clone of "Alien". This isn't a spoiler, since the trailer makes the plot perfectly clear. After a slow start that gets all of the scientific facts of space station living out of the way, director Daniel Espinosa ("Safe House") cuts right to the chase. Many jumps, scares and a fair amount of
gore take over for the remainder of the film. The tension builds nicely and never lets up until a predictable twist ending. Jake Gyllenhaal leads the group of international actors as doctor/pilot David Jordan. Ryan Reynolds is engineer Rory Adams. Rebecca Ferguson is the Center for Disease Control rep Miranda North, who has orders to keep anything harmful away from Earth. Ariyon Bakare is paraplegic exobiologist Hugh Derry. Rounding out the crew are Olga Dihovichnaya as Russian cosmonaut Ekaterina Golovkina and Hiroyuki Sanada as Japanese engineer Sho Murakami. Reynolds gets all of the wisecracking lines thanks to screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. No surprise, since they also wrote the "Deadpool" screenplay. A pulse-pounding music score by Jon Ekstrand adds to the excitement. The claustrophobic 'trapped-and-hunted-in-space' plot has been filmed many times, but most are not as well-acted or as polished looking as this. While "Alien", Ridley Scott's 1979 groundbreaking mix of sci-fi and horror, can't be beat, this is an admirable attempt. The thrilling and scary "Life" won't be the death of this genre. (3 CAMS)

Rated R / Running Time: 103 minutes

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