High Life (2018) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
122 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
No fun at all
ghykal-343-9033509 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I see a lot of movies. Way too many movies. So I've obviously seen some horrible stuff. This isn't the worst, but it's pretty close.

There's no rhyme or reason to the entire movie. The lead (Pattinson's Monte) is an unlikeable character that lacks credibility as an actual person that could exist anywhere. His redeeming trait is that he doesn't want anything from anyone. He mostly mutters to the audience and punches other characters in the face when he's not caring for a baby.

The lead antagonist is an even more convoluted character. She's a criminal? scientist? Sex freak? In charge of the mission? She collects sperm and is for some never explained reason trying to make a radiation proof baby. I think they tried to make her sexy, but it just comes off as disgusting.

If you're looking for a super slow flick with a wailing baby and a muddled story line with no payoff at the end, then you should give the High Life a watch. Otherwise, you're better off drinking a High Life and playing on your phone.
162 out of 224 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
High Life: when you've taken acid all your life and write a screenplay about your delusional fantasies
TheTopDawgCritic18 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
WOW, one of the worst films I have ever seen. As I invested my time from the start of this film, I concluded this will either be a brilliant film, or a massive flop, and sadly, it was the latter. All these positive critic reviews calling this an artistic film? This was a severely failed attempt of a pretentious experiment in shock and horror cinema for the wannabe artsy-fartsy crowd. And calling this a sci-fi? Please. Putting people in a padded box and surrounding them with imagery of space and a black hole does not make this film a sci-fi. Some reviewers saying this film is a metaphor... yes, for a terrible writing.

The screenplay was clearly written by someone who took too many drugs at a young age, is sexually frustrated (sperm troughs and a masturbation room lol?), and is clearly still on a wild hallucinating trip.

The plot had more issues than National Geographic. How does the first shuttle quickly go into the back hole, then fast forward to a teenager's age, and they do it again, all whilst the long mission from the beginning is to reach the black hole. And what genius launches another space ship filled with only dogs - and the smallest and cutest one survives? Let's also throw in some dumb sex scenes that would make Law and Order SVU cringe. Artistic? No, pathetic. A kindergartener could have written a better script. 95% of this film has mind-baffling plot issues of this scale.

The props, sets and costumes (e.g space suit) seemed to have cost the budget a mere $5k, and were all circa 1970 art department quality. Let's throw some old fish tank filters in a few rooms with padded walls and we'll call it a space ship set. Oh, and an air vent that needs a good punch to run, apparently with technology that can take a crew to a black hole. LOL.

The casting was a waste of talent, and I'd avoid this film on their resume, as their bland and pointless characters were far from artistic - or even necessary. As a parent, I ended up cringing every time the baby cried. Artistic? No, annoying - and unnecessary.

The almost 2 hour length felt like I lost an entire day. The pacing was ridiculously slow and anyone with A.D.D. will be looking for something shiny on the floor.

The only redeeming qualities were the amazing score throughout the entire film, the cinematography, and the stunning visuals - the rare times when shown.

This will be a forgettable film that I hate myself for watching until the end. A very generous 2/10 from me.
84 out of 123 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The perfect metaphor
lluisgh2811 February 2019
The movie works only as a metaphor of the universe: empty and meaningless.
115 out of 178 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I'd Rather jump in a black hole
dynamiteheaddy-4338722 April 2019
The movie is weird and confusing with a terrible ending. It feels like whole scenes were cut as certain parts made little sense with bad editing and I even had to read Wikipedia to fill in the gaps at times. The acting is the strongest point but the set looks cheap, the story is strange and it's as pointless as the mission they are on.
42 out of 61 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
jacobnunnally8 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this at the Angelika with a good movie buddy. He said critics were really into this movie so I thought yeah, let's go!

This is an ugly, boring, convoluted movie without a single milligram of charm. The leading actor is Robert Pattinson - a handsome, young, dynamic actor. It would not have mattered who played the leading role because all he did was stare at people in a melancholy way and had very few lines. I myself could have done as well. What I'm saying is the movie didn't play to the actor's strengths.

The movie was ugly and claustrophobic. Everything is inside, in a grey, boring motif. Gross. That gets pretty old after a while. No variety, no color, no exploration, nothing interesting or captivating.

Also here we've got the laziest ending I can say that I've ever seen -- the movie just ends. Since there isn't really a plot, I guess that's fine, but it just seemed like the producers said "OK guys we ran out of money so let's just wrap it up here, we're done." Unbelievable.

Also, this film is pretentious beyond belief -- it thinks really, really highly of itself as a philosophical masterpiece but is just rehashed garbage from previous sci fi movies. Big deal.

I am not exaggerating when I write that this is the worst movie I've seen in several years. It was breathtakingly awful, with no plot or character development to speak of. It was lazy, pointless, ugly, and stupid.

I think giving it a 2 out of 10 is being charitable. Save your money and watch grass grow for an hour and a half.
84 out of 130 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Crazy bad execution on an interesting concept.
Burly-hobbit31 March 2019
I went in on this watching just the first trailer some time ago. I love cerebral sci-fi/horror and overtly weird movies, so this seemed like my cup of tea.

But no. It's horrible on every level except for the general idea and some concepts. But as a movie it effectively destroys itself in the first act alone: overt exposition by tertiary characters that we never see again, forced and cringe inducing dialogue. Bizarre choices of editing, scene-placement and a paletera of secondary characters that have interesting stories but are never explored in any meaningfull way.

While the first 20 minutes or so set up an amazing cerebral experience, with a great performance from Pattinson, it quickly desolved into try-hard symbolism that is not just hitting you over the head, but also frustratingly hard to follow.

There are some cool shots and moments, but in the end 3/4th of the movie felt as useless nonesense that tries too hard to be edgy.
60 out of 93 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The point misser
largu31 January 2019
I went to see High Life at a film festival and had quite high expectations but I would have been disappointed regardless. I've seen every premise of the movie done before, and better. It's a low-budget 'gritty' version of SF but as such it doesn't feel honest. How low budget are you when sporting stars like Binoche and Pattison? The fake feel of the sets must be an esthetic choice but to no apparent reason. Even an old and decidedly silly film like "Dark Star" handles the theme of dangerous ennui and boredom in a lowfi space setting much better. Also, the use of sexual abuse to create some scenarios just feels like lazy writing. I get what they were after, a poetic reflection of the human condition set against the backdrop of the merciless empty universe, but there are too many things that doesn't work. With better photo or a more atmospheric soundtrack I could have bought it as an art house flick but it never goes the whole distance. Quite ironic from a movie about an never ending trip through space. It goes nowhere and still misses.
64 out of 112 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sad Waste of Another Superb Performance by Robert Pattinson
metaflixinc24 April 2019
Claire Denis' 'High Life' is undoubtedly better on paper than it is on the screen. One has to assume that the script includes certain details like what "The Box" is, or clarify the discrepancy between the fates of the astronaut's bodies early on versus what we're shown throughout the movie.

Despite the film's limited dialogue, many of the lines feel bizarrely stilted, as if there was a problem in the French-to-English translation regarding the emotional meaning of what Denis was hoping to convey.

As a result, Denis has ultimately made a film that is just interesting enough to keep the audience's attention the entire time, but lackluster enough for them to never really care. Worse, the last twenty minutes are so packed with logical flaws that 'High Life' crashes into its final destination rather than ending on anything that resembles a high note, sadly wasting another superb performance by Robert Pattinson whose time and effort could have been better spent on something else.
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disappointing film, thin plot, misleading premise
ArtistGrl15 September 2018
This is not a thriller/ sci-fi film but a failed art project relying too heavily on controversy alone. I'm guessing that the space / ship scenes were made to look ridiculously fake on purpose, as I've seen more convincing cinematography in movies from the 1960's.

Unlike many people at the TIFF screening who kept leaving as the film progressed, I actually stayed for the entire thing. It felt much longer than ity was but still managed to end abruptly.

Only positive thing was Robert Pattinson's acting. None of the actors were bad, but there is nothing that they could have done to save this one.
96 out of 181 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pretentious garbage
sdean13628 March 2019
"Bold" cinematic choices make every aspect of this film appear desperate to appeal to some upper echelon of movie-goers. Behind this guise the narrative lacks any semblance of profound or even clever meaning. Unnatural writing and flat performances, taken alongside wholly absurd imagery, make the viewing experience uncomfortable (unless considered facetiously, in which case the movie becomes thoroughly entertaining). Unfortunately, the discomfort felt by audiences seems to be provoked solely for discomfort's sake. Cute baby though.
53 out of 95 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation? No.
t-unknown-one18 April 2019
No, no it's not. Not at all. Where did that little headline come from? It's about ppl stuck on a spaceship going nuts. It wasn't done very well either.
36 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
pipo-20 April 2019
Horrible, I went into this seeing all the (Fake) reviews, I really like sci-fi/ space movies but this is just trash, softcore porno, and highly annoying,

Who creates a movie and decides to put a crying kid every 10 minutes, no one wants to hear that.

the spaceship is not believable, cgi is horrible , not realistic, annoying, sick , blah I could go on on on but I have better stuff to do...

If you want to waste 2 hours of your life feel free, I wish there was a crackdown on fake reviews this movie is nothing more then a B movie with some ok actors, but script, is just poor and somewhat disturbing when they have to throw in tons of nudity and other weird sex machines.

I will be sure to avoid all movies from this director in the future.
27 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Confusing and unnecessary
slabihoud29 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Just saw the film at the Viennale, Austria's International Film Festival. The reactions have not been as harsh as in Toronto, I saw just one person walking out and one booing at the end. I think that the brutality of the film is not so special anymore, but don't get me wrong. This isn't something positive. But during the last decade brutality in feature films had increased and "High Life" does not show more than we already got used to.

The film has its merits but all in all I was disappointed by the waste of talented actors. The story is confusing and the slang for non-Americans hard to understand. It is said to be about sexuality but I doubt it. If you dare to boil down the story from its sci-fi setting to what it is really all about you will find a not so new story about outcasts in a deadly surrounding. Most people start to kill each other while others stick to the bitter end fulfilling their duties. And only one is able to find love and develop human feelings. To be honest: the ordeal to watch this film is not worth the outcome.
52 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not that smart
hijodejuliete6 February 2019
The movie is boring and so pretentious you ask yourself how it got distributed. It is and empty, pointless effort that I guess tries to cover the issue of motherhood, maybe, who knows, but it goes nowere. There are other movies in theatres now that go nowhere, like The House that Jack Built, but where there there is some fun in the way, some deep comentary, some standout visuals, here there is only emptyness and pedestrian craftmanship. I just feel authors here are just not that smart.
46 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
How Not to Make a Rational Sci Fi Film
danew1326 April 2019
If a space ship resembling Dr. Who's Tardis isn't enough, High Life is a semantic ambiguity for an almost unintelligible film from muffled sound, minimal dialogue and no attempt to really set up any sort of plot.

The script, direction, acting and sets all say low budget film that has you wondering why it was made and who the hell made it. Both Julliey Binoche and Robt. Pattinson must have been desperate, hoping they were acting some sort of metaphysical statemement.
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Go Watch Solaris - The original OR the Re-Make
genious-3541320 April 2019
I won't bother re-iterating what other people have said about the movie, the plot (or lack thereof) and the pointless one-dimensional characters. I will say there is a certain creepy vibe to the movie that is appealing but it never really pays off. It's just kind of an atmosphere more than anything. And that got reminding me of how Solaris (both of them) had the same tone and feeling but had a great story to it - without being all contrived like this empty plot and a few random scenes of soft-core sex that seemed to be shoe-horned in.
18 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
janisragovskis30 March 2019
This is first time I write review. This movie was horrible, and boring from first minute. Thought that later it will get beter but it was worse. Those guys who made this movie was under some heavy drugs or something, please don't make movies again, go do something else. About movie- it supposed to be something new and different with those sex parts, but it ended boring and stupid. Where is the story? Where is the twist or something? They just died one after the other. Lived boring life somewhere in space, ok reached that black hole and? Thats it. One of the worst two movies I've ever seen in my life. (Second was the House That Jack Built). Rated it with two stars only because there might be something worse... If it's even possibe. Wasted almost 2 hours of my life, and I payed for it because watched it in cinema.
36 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Space-Drama of your nightmares!
JamiroBontes19 March 2019
When High Life started I saw a beautifully lit and shot movie, and when I saw Robert Pattison outside reaparing the ship while talking to his kid, I thought I was in for a fantastic slow building space drama. Eventually what I got was a uninteresting snore fest.

Let's start with saying I think the film looks gorgeous, the film is lit by an expert you can just tell. I also thought Robert Pattison who I loved in Good Time was alright in the movie. So before I give my negatives I want to say that I really couldn't give this movie lower then a 4 because I was defenitlly in awe of how it was lit. But now my negatives, I think the movie really doesn't have a pacing what so ever. There are scenes were nothing happens, and this goes on and on and were somthing like 2001 A space Odessey has that to sometimes the plot in that movie is always moving forward in every scene, it may take long but there is always something happening that moves the plot along. This movie doesn't have that. I also think the acting is absolutelly terrible from everybody else. Dr. Dibs is terrible and the teenage Willow is just afwul. The story of the film I can imagine is hard to follow but luckilly I got it and even the story is really bad so I think the concept is good 'isolated in space with your kid' but it was a terrible story and it really needed someting else, something interresting.

I really cannot recommend this movie because it's really boring and I am not saying that the pacing is to slow for me, I am saying there isn't any pacing at all! I was looking forward to this movie but I am extremelly let down. Do not watch it unless you like convoluted, pretentious nonsense!
34 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
High Life (2019)
rockman1828 April 2019
I've heard of Claire Denis but shamefully have never seen any of her work. I liked the trailer for this film. It seemed like a high concept space thriller, which as you know is something that is in my wheelhouse. I also have faith in everything A24 produces so I had to see this as soon as it came out. Having watched it the film is certainly visually arresting and quite disturbing. I'm not sure it fully meets what I was hoping for but Denis's film is thought provoking and asks questions of what humans in loneliness would do when on the brink of madness.

The film is about a space crew consisting of criminals and their mission of going towards a black hole to find a new energy source. The space crew soon realize that the doctor on the ship has some alternative ideas that include invasive sexual procedures meant to create life. I'm still not exactly certain on the solidity of that plot but this is the general gist. Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche lead with supporting performances from Andre 3000 and the always lovely Mia Goth.

There's talent on display in High Life. Pattinson is a very solid actor as could be seen from his other A24 feature, Good Time. The film looks like an authentic look into a space ship and I thought the film possessed some brilliant cinematography and camera handling. I especially liked the look of the black hole and the actions that occurred when approaching the black hole. I like when science fiction films (space ones namely) maintain the integrity of science and that seemed to be the case here.

The film borders on being very out there almost drifting off in plot like the bodies in space. What we see though is a fairly disturbing sexually charged mission in space with characters descending into utter madness and chaos. The film is definitely reminiscent of other space films before it but Denis strives to set it apart. I think its an impressively made film though it doesn't always work for me. It may require another watch to fully grasp and comprehend what Denis tried to go for.

37 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Black holes inside out
laurent-milot10 September 2018
A rock on the head... I felt as if I was hit that way watching this new opus from Claire Denis at its TIFF world premiere. People walking out, scarce applause, you know you watched something else, something reminding you that cinema really is an incredible medium, acting is more than reading texts and showing pretty faces, and writing is an art on its own. Without spoiling the movie, just know that it's not what you expect, likely not what you want to see (or I seriously question your sanity), and that the U.F.O may be a metaphor for the movie itself and/or the viewer, absorbed as they are inexorably towards an unforgiving black hole. Cast is amazing, with special mention for Juliette Binoche, unforgettable, although you wished you could.
84 out of 178 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Like being stuck in an elevator for 2 hours
nick949657 April 2019
Nothing happens. The whole movie takes place on the ship, and there is nowhere to go from the first scene to the last, and the thin plot reflects that.

A similar theme to the original "Solaris" (the Russian version) in which a spaceship travels endlessly to another solar system. In this case, it is a black hole, which metaphorically represents the film. So be aware, you are not going to understand the purpose of the voyage, and nothing about the characters makes much sense either.

On the positive side, there is some interesting use of scientific experimentation and some interesting set design as well as a couple of attractive cast members. However, no one other than Robert Pattison gets to say much. Juliette Binoche is wasted in a role in which she has to play a very annoying Nurse Ratchit-type of bitchy scientist, and is very unlikable, which is unfortunate, considering she is usually the best thing about a film. Here, her talent is wasted on a very obnoxious role.

I gather from the little bit I gleaned from all her 12 or 13 lines that Juliette plays a Scientist who is conducting an experiment in getting one of the young women pregnant, but in order to do so, she has to use the turkey baster method. When one of the young studs tried to impregnate a girl naturally, the subsequent furor among the cast made absolutely no sense whatsoever. If the goal is to reproduce, why aren't they reproducing? Are the women all lesbians? Not clear.

This is a baffling and confusing 2 hours, made by a master filmmaker, who tries very hard to make some kind of a statement, but in all honesty, I could not think of what that statement might be.
33 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Kinetic and Primal Power
Raven-196926 September 2018
A black hole is the destination for a group of young prisoners who, as they come to realize, are not coming back. Or so it seems. Kept on a leash and in suspended animation, fed a steady diet of lies, and treated as experiments and not as human beings, the young perps find their own often brutal ways of rebellion. Yet for Monte, who has a baby daughter to care for, things are more complicated. The responsibility is greater than anything, even than the looming black hole.

"It is important to show" said Claire Denis in Toronto "how people are feeling, even when they are brutal." Raw emotion and primal energy are on display in this kinetic, startling film, as people react when they are backed into a corner (in deep space). Also, there is Juliette Binoche as a narcissistic jailkeeper, so what more do you need?! Claire Denis was able to realize her compelling vision with adequate financial support and star power. Everything aligns for her so well; the cinematography of looking at space, stars and nebulas, the cast, the themes and vision, action and depth, . . so, so good!
59 out of 127 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
boring, boring, boring....
boggie475818 April 2019
I read some of these reviews and for the life of me I could not believe some of the higher reviews. We must have watched a different movie. This movie was so slow it was painful to watch, and you never got a payoff. One viewer said this was a ugly movie and I agree. All gray no color claustrophobic like filmed in a tiny room. They say this is a art film and science fiction. I call that a load of bs. This was a painfully slow boring movie that didn't make a great deal of sense. I like Pattinson as a actor but couldn't stand his low monotone voice in this. I love Juliette Binoche but hated her in this movie also. The movie ended in a strange way also, just stopped like they ran out of money or something. So no this movie was pretty terrible.
20 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
leuk060628 April 2019
The so called spaceship just like an apartment that you and I live in. Extremely boring and wasted 106 minutes of my life.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just a waste og time
kennethokpe25 April 2019
I had to ffw somtimes on this one .. I cant remember seeing something this boring Some scenes that def. needed some kind of dialog had only silence , and the editing seemed strange. I usualy like weird storys but this ..,!! Got No words 👎👎
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed