As a species, our “purpose” in the universe has always been presented through arduous introspection — our lives are fleeting, our footprint small, and our influence even less relevant. As we’ve come to understand the subjective banality of our existence, the greatest minds on earth have pondered our ability to navigate the cosmos; a basis that’s been beautifully sensationalized in Ad Astra, James Gray’s most recent space-faring film.
Taking place in humanity’s not-so-distant future, Astronaut Roy McBride (played by Brad Pitt) sets out toward the farthest reaches of our solar system to uncover the mystery surrounding his missing father, Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones). Over the course of his theatric journey, Roy battles with various demons, each with their own basis in his past, the inability to measure up to his own ambitions, and the omnipresent void left by the departure of his father at a young age. After coming to the realization that the disappearance of his objective signals a much larger problem, McBride begins to unravel a series of mysteries surrounding human existence, as well as mankind’s place in the vast universe.