Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The New York Times
Banishing showy effects and cheap scares, the Ecuadorean director Sebastián Cordero has meticulously shaped a number of sci-fi clichés - from the botched spacewalk to the communications breakdown - into a wondering contemplation of our place in the universe.
Cordero and screenwriter Philip Gelatt demonstrate a deft understanding of how to handle a found-footage narrative without making it too familiar.
The basic story has been told many times before, but it's intriguingly retold by screenwriter Philip Gelatt and director Sebastian Cordero in this low-budget, bare-bones rendering of a familiar theme.
The sights are gorgeous-a seamless mix of archival imagery and impressively rendered digital views of our galaxy-and the science is, to layman's eyes and ears, more than credible.
Given the saturation of the found footage horror genre, Cordero's approach delivers a much shrewder alternative that goes beyond the power of suggestion by rooting its otherworldly fears in authenticity.
The real treat here is the science, not the fiction. The film's sleek aesthetic was developed in consultation with NASA about what such a mission would actually require, and look like as viewed on surveillance cameras.
The beauty of Ecuadorian director Sebastian Cordero's film is the simplicity of its approach.
A quiet, modest chamber piece more like "Moon" than "Star Wars."
Director Cordero manages the not-bad trick of generating suspense while keeping the overall tone cool and collected.
Meticulously crafted by Ecuadorian helmer Sebastian Cordero and his team, this futuristic tale of astronauts searching for signs of life near Jupiter was ostensibly shot using cameras positioned aboard their spacecraft; their video diaries have been cannily reassembled into something coherent and genuinely compelling on their own low-key terms, if a touch over-earnest at times.
As directed by Ecuadorian filmmaker Sebastián Cordero (Chronicles, Rage), Europa Report manages a few striking and intense sequences - most notably, a fatal drift into the endless vacuum of nothingness, filmed from the perspective of the disappearing spaceman.
Technique largely does the work of imagination. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The nuts and bolts of Europa Report may feel very familiar, but the movie doesn't look quite like anything else.
Finally, a found-footage thriller that merits, and expands on, this irrationally popular format.
Europa Report doesn't entirely sell out to convention by the end, but the steps it takes to reach its noble conclusion reflect a lack of imagination and invention, especially for a film that initially seems to champion such qualities.
While Europa Report recalls such small-ensemble stuck-in-space flicks as "Moon" and "Sunshine," it's basically "The Blair Witch Project" relocated to the vicinity of Jupiter.
Director Sebastian Cordero - he did the John Leguizamo journalism thriller “Chronicles” - serves up chilling and all-too-real ways to die in space and maintains tension even if suspense is in short supply in a tale told in flashback.
After a while, it's hard to escape the fact that the audience is watching a potential monster movie in which most of the fun stuff - i.e. the monster-has been pared away.
"Another Earth" and "Moon" transcended their financial and physical limitations with mystery and ambiguity. Europa Report goes ploddingly where bolder films have gone before.
Simply put, the care and thoughtfulness that goes into footage-faking has not been applied to the film's script or structure.

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