Critic Reviews



Based on 13 critic reviews provided by
Approaching the Unknown is the best science fiction movie since Gravity, and certainly the most melancholy since Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 Solaris.
Under the steady hand of writer-director Mark Elijah Rosenberg, tension and pathos build, slowly sweeping us along with the captain's fraught yet hopeful exploration.
Credit Rosenberg for keeping things ambiguous because it does make the film more interesting. Without this lingering sense of potential artifice, Approaching the Unknown becomes a slow-moving descent into acceptance - not quite a riveting plot with the suspenseful intrigue a descent into madness brings.
The New York Times
If Approaching the Unknown isn't entirely satisfying, Mr. Strong reaches high with his portrayal of the unraveling of a man who believes survival is a matter of engineering.
Writer and director Mark Elijah Rosenberg paces things patiently, which in some cases is a polite way of saying there are boring stretches.
If you want another lesson about why we should be going to Mars and what we'll encounter and maybe find out about ourselves, “Unknown” will do until we have an actual liftoff.
Too high-minded to ever stoop to suspense or fun, Approaching The Unknown is almost completely interiorized, unspooling in voice-over narration that sounds like a writing exercise that got out of control.
The film doesn't seem particularly interested in grappling with any of those issues beyond the most superficial level.
The film fails to lay down the character foundation that might have elevated the third-act histrionics.
Unfortunately, his machine fails en route; way more unfortunately, he comes up very short compared to Mark Watney, the red planet-stranded astronaut played with such humor and energy by Matt Damon in last year's “The Martian.”

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Approaching the Unknown (2016) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board